#5 – What Would Aunt May Think Of All This?
May Parker, along with her husband Ben, took in young Peter Parker when his parents were killed in a plane crash. They raised him as their own and doted on the boy to the point of being overprotective. The three of them became a family, the only family that any of them had in the world. After Ben’s murder the bond between Peter and his Aunt May grew even stronger, despite his double life as Spider-Man. They were all they had, all they knew they could count on. When May’s health began to fail, Peter took it as his responsibility to take care of her. It was his fault that Uncle Ben had died, so it was his job to make sure she was okay.
May loved Peter, but her poor health made her realize that she wouldn’t be around forever and that he couldn’t stay with her for the rest of his life. She knew it was important for him to make his own way in the world. To get out on his own, make new friends, and meet girls. That’s why she was overjoyed when Peter finally conceded to meet Mary Jane Watson, and she saw the two of them get along so well.
So what would Aunt May think about the choice presented to Peter in “One More Day”? After all, this story does kind of revolve around her. And she doesn’t get a say in it, at all. If she knew that one thing had to end, either her life or the love between Peter and Mary Jane, which do you think she would pick? Read these pages from Sensational Spider-Man #39 and let me know what you think…
[Note: Sensational #39 is only two issues before the start of the OMD arc. After being shot, Aunt May is in a coma. With the help of Madame Web, Peter is able to go into May’s subconscious and converse with her. Once inside her mind, he finds himself in front of their old house on the night of Uncle Ben’s murder.]
If you said that Aunt May would gladly give up a chance to save her life in order to ensure Peter and Mary Jane’s happiness, you are correct. Even before reading that issue I knew that she would never, in a million years, accept the terms of Mephisto’s deal. In Aunt May’s own words, she’s old, tired, and ready to hang it up. Hell, she’s been trying to die for the better part of forty-five years. I can understand Peter not wanting to let her go. I can understand his feelings of guilt, that it would be his fault if she died this way. But to resort to ridiculously desperate means to save her (i.e. a deal with the devil) at the expense of his marriage when she, in not so many words, told him not to do that…to have Peter Parker violate what was basically Aunt May’s last request was a really, really bad move. What if Marvel ever decides to set continuity back and May finds out about this? Do you think she’ll be pleased with her nephew? How will Peter explain this?
Oh wait…it’s magic, he doesn’t have to explain it.