May Reilly was born in an unstable family in Brooklyn. She had a rough childhood, often seeing her parents tearing each other to pieces. For May, life was a nightmare. The tension between her parents rose every day until her father made a decision. He left home. May thought, even if she would never see her father again, her life would be better without these quarrels. May's mother blamed his leaving on May. Moreover, her mother always told May that she was a burden. Every day of her childhood, May heard hurting remarks like that. She wanted to become liberated, but she would have to become a young women before she could. The only positive thing she remembered from her childhood was that she could become stronger psychologically.
Aunt May was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15 (1962).
As May grew up and became a beautiful blond-haired girl, there were two men who she was attracted to. On one hand, there was Uncle Ben, a sales talker at the Coney Island fair at New York. On the other, there was Johnny Jerome, a selfish big-time gambler. Due to her miserable childhood and a feeling inferiority, May let herself be taken in by a man who treated her like a princess. She fell in love with Johnny Jerome. One thing leading to another, and May trusted Johnny more than ever; and when he proposed to elope, she accepted. Jerome’s plan was not perfect however. Indeed there was a little problem called Ben Parker. Ben, May’s bashful lover, succeeded to obtain clues about the true face of Johnny Jerome: a robber and a killer. He intervened at the right time when May was getting ready to run away. Ben convinced her about Johnny. She thought about it rationally, and this time and gave her heart to Ben.
Little by little, their relationship became stronger and stronger. A test for the young couple arose. Ben’s parents often entrusted them with Richard Parker, Ben’s youngest brother. May found taking care a young boy when she and Ben were in a new relationship was not an easy task. They couldn't live on their youth. That was why, when May Reilly married Ben Parker, they decided not having kids. That decision ultimately led to Richard falling in love and marrying Mary Fitzpatrick having a son named Peter. After Peter was born, Richard and Mary Parker realized they had made a mistake by settling down so young. Ben and Mary thought their youth was wasting away, so they left Peter to be raised by Ben and May. Ben and May agreed and greeted Peter with open arms straight away. They completely fell in the love with their new nephew.
Richard and Mary, who were both CIA agents, had been assigned to a secret mission in Algeria. They were double agents for worked for the American government while posing as agents for the Red Skull. During their mission, they were killed by Red Skull when their cover was blown. Upon hearing the news, May and Ben realized they had only one choice: to take care of their orphaned nephew as if he was their own child. When Peter was born, May was approached by Richard and Mary. They both asked if she could take care of Peter if they ever died during a mission. May felt unprepared for that responsibility, but Peter was such a loving child that she couldn't help but accept. From there, Ben, May and Peter became a family. Years passed peacefully in that little New York neighborhood of Forest Hills. Peter became a smart student at Midtown High School. May and Ben were happy that their nephew had loosened up when Peter became enamored with Spider-Man, even if they didn’t know that Peter was Spider-Man. Soon though, they were worried because Peter came home at late and odd hours. One night, soon after Peter had won a wrestling match (as Spider-Man), a burglar broke into their home in order to steal a treasure that had been owned by the previous owner. Ben couldn't sleep that night because he was worried about Peter's late nights. Ben surprised the burglar and the burglar shot Ben. When Peter found out about his uncle's death, he decided to take revenge on his uncle’s killer and ended up arresting the burglar. Without Ben’s support though, May was in trouble to pay her bills. That was when Peter decided to take on more responsibility and got a job as a Daily Bugle photographer in order to help his Aunt May pay bills.
Major Story Arcs
With the death of Ben, May and Peter decided to take care of each other. May wanted to feel wanted and important, so she saw Peter as a weak person. She always worried about him, but never about herself. Moreover, she had a sixth sense and felt bad when Spider-Man was in danger. Spider-Man was becoming more popular and fighting more crime than ever before. As a consequence of Spider-Man's heightened crime fighting, May's health suffered: she had a heart attack and had to be hospitalized. During her time in hospital, she made a new friend called Betty Brant. Indeed, Betty was in a same situation as Peter and May. Her mother was in the hospital and she would usually make trips to see her. That was how the two women became friends and she decided to visit Peter’s aunt as well.
The doctor informed Peter that his aunt must be operated to repair her heart and the operation would cost a lot. Peter decided to brave the danger and take pictures of supervillains. He succeeded in taking pictures of Electro and received enough money from J. Jonah Jameson. The operation was a success, but May had still a weak heart and had to save her strength. She decided to spend some time in Florida with her neighbors, the Abbots. Few weeks passed and May returned home to a peaceful life with her nephew. A nephew, who in her eyes, could not be Spider-Man. She believed it so much that after a fight against Doctor Octopus, where he unmasked Peter as Spider-Man, May still couldn't believe it. Everybody had found out that Spider-Man was Peter Parker, but no one believed that. For all of them, including Aunt May, there was no way Peter was disguised as Spider-Man. Time went by, and May kept her up relationship with Anna May Watson, a former neighbor in Forrest Hills. Finally, Anna and May decided to put Anna’s niece, Mary Jane and Peter together. Peter didn't want to be forced into a relationship by anyone. He got lucky, Mary Jane canceled on him. Twice. Unknown to all, May's heart was growing weaker and weaker.
The day a new super villain group was created, the Sinister Six, the creator of that group decided to kidnap Betty Brant. With Betty kidnapped, Doctor Octopus could make put some pressure on Spider-Man. When Electro and Sandman went to Betty’s apartment though, they found not only Betty, but Aunt May too and kidnapped both of them. Aunt May thought it would horrible, but Doctor Octopus was a true gentleman with her. They even had tea together. Spider-Man succeeded in beating the Sinister Six and police arrested everyone who was responsible for the kidnapping. May saw Doctor Octopus being arrested, and she considered him innocent though. That was the beginning of their friendship.
Introducing Mary Jane to Peter
After the sun comes rain, May’s life was completely predictable. It was always the same things: Aunt May continued to set up Peter with Mary Jane. In the end, Mary Jane moved on. The discovery of a costume of Spider-Man by May (once again, May thought it was a disguise and confiscated it) and she was feeling getting dizzier each day. Routine is like a refrain, it is repeated continually. And May was a pawn on the chessboard of routine. May was too weak and she had to be hospitalized. Peter learn that his aunt was infected by his own radioactive blood. He tried to find an antidote with the help of Dr Curt Connors. But the health of May was deteriorating and she fell into a coma. Peter arrived just in time to give the antidote and May was saved. She returned home and to her usual activities. She spent a lot of time with Anna May Watson and they still tried to introduce Mary Jane. But Peter missed the chance, and it was because of Joe Smith. And Peter missed her. May was worried about his absence. Nevertheless, she never considered her nephew being Spider-Man. She was more than half inclined to discover the truth. Indeed, one time, Green Goblin fought Peter Parker in front of May’s house. Only a massive fog could preserve the secret of Peter Parker.
Everything would have been fine if only Anna May Watson didn’t propose to May to live with her. In fact, Mary Jane took the decision to leave her aunt’s house in order to be independent. So knowing the financial problems of May, Anna decided to propose May to be her house mate. May was tempted to accept, but she refused, protesting that she couldn’t leave Peter alone. That rejection didn’t affect the relationship between May and Anna. On the contrary, they became the best of friends. With the last attempt time they tried to introduce Mary Jane to Peter. And this time they succeeded. Thinking he found an ugly girl who needed to be helped by two older people in order to meet someone, Peter found a gorgeous red-headed girl. They got on well. For May and Anna, it was a victory and thought Peter and M.J. formed a beautiful couple. But the joy was short because Peter found a new friend but not a lover. He loved someone else in the person of Gwen Stacy. After that event, the life of May could continue on normally. It was Peter who changed his aunt’s life. Indeed, Peter decided to live with his friend Harry Osborn. Learning that, Anna May Watson asked May for a second time to live with her. She accepted that time.
On keeping themselves afloat, Anna and May decided to allow people to rent their house. A man responded to their ad and took the house. That gentleman was one of the most dangerous super villains: Doctor Octopus. When Peter learned of this, he decided to fight Doctor Octopus. His aunt saw the fight. She was so afraid of Spider-Man that she collapsed and Doctor Octopus ran away. Peter disappeared to fight Doctor Octopus. May was so worried that she fainted. She fell into delirium and had to be hospitalized. It was only when Peter reappeared that May felt better. Peter explained that he was kidnapped by Spider-Man. Returning at home, May had more and more crises due to her worrying about Peter, but no one was serious about it.
May stops mothering Peter
In an aim to help Flash Thompson, Sha Shan and her father, Peter Parker decided once again to do attempt a fake kidnapping by Spider-Man. His girlfriend Gwen Stacy was very worried and decided to visit Harry Osborn. She asked if he knew something about Peter’s situation. The problem was that May was here. She began such a scandal that Gwen didn’t support Peter anymore. She argued that May was too maternal for Peter, and that she had to see that Peter was not a child anymore and that May has to make some distance between them. May accepted the truth and decided to stop mothering Peter. She left a letter saying that she left home to take refuge elsewhere.
Peter did some research and found his aunt in the mansion of Doctor Octopus. May came to him, asked for a job and be employed her as a governess. Peter put his costume of Spider-Man and went to fight Doctor Octopus. Unfortunately, he was surprised by May who knocked him with a jar. Hammerhead attacked Dr Octopus in order to be the chief of the crime organization. Spider-Man woke up and looked at Doctor Octopus who went to protect May. A fight began. May tried to intervene and accidentally shot Spider-Man. She missed him and Spider-Man could escape. Doctor Octopus was arrested by the police. He asked May to take care of his house until his return. She accepted. Peter had no choice to let her in the hands of Doctor Octopus’ men. May had some adventures before Doctor Octopus came back. She was kidnapped by the Beetle, then by the Green Goblin. But Spider-Man was always here to help her. When Doctor Octopus returned and learned that May inherited a Canadian island with a reactor and a radioactive mine, he seduced May and proposed to her. She accepted. Doctor Octopus was happy because he would use the atomic resources for his interests. But once again, Hammerhead and Spider-Man were here to counter his plans. Spider-Man saved May from the explosion of the island, but not Doctor Octopus and Hammerhead.
To A Predictable Tragedy
Even if May had an iron will, she had another crisis and had to be hospitalized. She rapidly fell into a coma. Learning that information, a correspondent of May's decided to see before it was too late. His name was Ben Reilly, a clone of Peter Parker. He had corresponded with May for five years. May was put in a convalescence house. They then told Peter that his aunt was dead. Peter was in such a rage that he couldn’t believe it. He was right because Peter found that his aunt was alive. Indeed, the burglar who killed Ben Parker was freed. He forced May to say that she was dead in order to interrogate May. He tried to find a hidden treasure somewhere in Parker’s house as the first time he came. Peter was so enraged that the burglar had a heart attack. In the end, he died for nothing because the treasure left by the previous owner disappeared a long time ago.
After that altercation, May decided to return to Forest Hills and transformed her house in an apartment in order to not be alone. Half a dozen people paid to live here. One of them was Nathan Lubinsky. He was a nice guy she met at the hospital. Their relationship became more and more serious and Nathaniel proposed to Aunt May. But they broke up the day when Nathaniel had intentionally caused the death of a delinquent. There was more and more tension between them. But Nathan still had feelings for May and showed it when he sacrificed himself when Vulture tried to kidnap May.
The Death of Aunt May
May returned to her peaceful life. But she had more and more crises and she had to be hospitalized again. Doctors were categorical. May had to stay at hospital. Nevertheless she didn’t listen to them and decided to spend the little time she had with her family. During the following week, she spent several hours with her nephew. She asked him to bring her to the summit of the Empire State Building because Ben had done so on their dates together. Peter tried to explain why he made so many mistakes, things that he was not very proud of. May stopped him telling him that he did what he thought was right. And she asked one question: How it feels to sling above the city? She knew Peter was Spider-Man. May also knew that Mary Jane was pregnant. She congratulated them in remembering how it was difficult to introduce Mary Jane to Peter. She was glad and said the more important experience would come, because there is no greater responsibility in the world than raising a child. After their journey at New York, May’s health was deteriorating. She had fever and had to stay at bed. She refused to go to hospital and wanted to stay with Peter. She realized she had a good life and a long life. She was tired and knew her time was come. Peter remembered that his aunt read Peter Pan when he was a child. He read some sequels of that book. And May died peacefully in front of the people she loved: Peter, Mary Jane and Anna May Watson.
Return of Aunt May
Peter believed, once again, he lost his aunt forever. But Peter quickly discovered the truth. May was alive. Indeed, it was Norman Osborn who kidnapped May. He replaced her by a fake May who was in reality was a genetically modified actress. When Norman became totally crazy, his former employee Alison Mongrain and Robbie Robertson revealed to Peter where was his aunt. Peter saved her and defeated the Green Goblin. There are still questions: What did the Green Goblin had done to May? Is she the real May?
May in Peter's Life and Discovering the Truth
May tried to find a place in Peter’s life. It was only when Peter lost his wife in an airplane explosion that strong links were created. She supported him all along. Mary Jane came back, but she decided to break up. May supported him once again. One day, May visited Peter by surprise. She found Peter injured sleeping on his bed with a rest of a costume of Spider-Man. At first she was upset because Peter hid something like that from her but then she accepted and after she told Peter that she knows, he told her everything about what happened on the night Uncle Ben die, how he was responsible. May would reveal to Peter that after all these years, she blamed herself for Ben's death. On that night, May and Ben had a huge fight and he went for a walk to console himself but when he returned he was killed. She thought that if they had not fought, he would've stayed home safe. Peter and May bonded and became very close, as Peter does not have to make up lies to keep his identity secret. She even tried to ameliorate his public image. When Mary Jane returned to Peter, May also supported her during the ups and downs of her career.
After May and Peter's houses were burnt down by Charlie Weiderman, and since Peter is already an Avenger, Tony Stark offered Peter to stay with him at Stark Tower. This suited the Parkers very well, even May started a romantic relationship with Jarvis. During the Civil War, Tony gave Peter two choices, either unmask and be on his side, or refuse to unmask and become a wanted fugitive. Peter was considering to go on the run but May convinced him otherwise, to stand his ground and not run away. She even brought him an old Red & Blue Spider-Man suit (since he started wearing a new high tech suit). After Spidey publicly unmasked, his family was in trouble and many attacks were launched at them. The Chameleon disguised himself as Peter and intended to kill May, but she got past the disguise and served him poisoned food, giving Spider-Man the chance to appear and defeat his villain. Spider-Man then switched sides and joined Cap's Secret Avengers while he had May & MJ stay at a motel.
One More Day
After the war, Spider-Man was still a fugitive and on one night while returning from patrol, a sniper hired by the Kingpin was monitoring the Parkers in an attempts to kill either Peter or his loved ones. The Sniper had MJ in his sights and shot as Spider-Man pushed MJ out of the way but the bullet hit Aunt May. In regular clothes, Peter rushed his Aunt to a hospital but since he's fugitive, he can't help from there. She was comatose and the only thing keeping her alive are the machines. Peter's heart was full of hate and revenge, as he wore his old Black costume and set out to find the shooter and eh eventually made his way to the Kingpin, whom he beat up very badly and promised when May dies, he 'll come back and finish him off. Peter asked Madame Webb to perform a seance for his Aunt where he seemed to have made contact with May, who told him that she has been on the path she is now and closes a door in front of a saddened Peter.
Peter was so determined to save her, he invaded Stark Tower and told Iron Man that May needs money in order for her to stay at the hospital. Tony refused but then Jarvis appeared at the hospital with a check that had enough money for May to stay at the Hospital. During another attempt to save her life, Peter went to Doctor Strange who allowed in the story to travel back in time to the moment May was shot but was attacked by entities whose mission is to preserve the events that happened. Strange then told Peter to stay by May;s side in her last moments because he might regret it later. Eventually Peter made the deal with Mephisto in order to save May's life in exchange for Peter and MJ's love.
Brand New Day
In a flash, Peter woke up in May's house with May alive and well with no memory of what happened, Also, the memory of Spidey's ID is also erased. May urged Peter to find a new apartment which he eventually did. In the story, May would be later engaged and married to Jay Jameson Sr. Peter gave her his approval and the two tied the knot. They then went on a honeymoon and let her cousins take care of her house while they were gone. One day, she witnessed Mr. Negative punish one of his soldiers, so Mr. Negative used his touch to bend her to his will and have her become cold and uncaring. She even kicked her cousins and Harry (who was staying there) out of her house. When Peter would ask May for some advice and support, she would verbally berate him and shows how uncaring she is. However, at the end of the SHED story, Peter talks to Aunt May about what happened with Curt Connors and how he killed his son. Though at first, she did not seem to care, but the expression on Peter's face and the story he told had somehow touched her, and gave her the strength to break free of Negative' control, comforting her nephew and the two have an emotional reunion.
Powers & Abilities
Aunt May does not have any super powers besides being the most caring aunt in the comic-book world.
Earth 295:Age of Apocalypse
A woman named "May" with an uncanny resemblance to May Parker is seen working as a slave in the Seattle Core in the Generation Next series. She talks to Illyana and Ace and is somewhat of a mother type whom tells them about how it used to be outside, before Apocalypse rise.
Earth 1610: Ultimate Universe
May Parker is a woman who has character. During her youth, she followed the hippie movement. So she was very free in her way of thought. For instance, in a concert of Jimi Hendrix, she proposed a toast him. Another time, she ran away from home to San Francisco for a while. Nowadays, she quiets down, but she is still interesting in uncommon stuff like homeopathy, psychology or dietetics. Even if she kept that extravagant mentality, she always stays modern. Indeed she is addicted to internet and goes to a wine class sometimes. On the family side, she was content. She had a husband, Ben, a beloved sister, Mary Parker, her husband Richard and a wonderful nephew, Peter Parker. Everything was perfect. Her sister was also her best friend. She saw her family every time was possible. Through the medium of her brother-in-law, she met the Bronxs who became her friends.
Richard Parker worked with Eddie Brock Sr. on the Venom Project. But their financing was stopped. So they decided to go to Chicago with their wives in order to find new financing. Nevertheless, they never succeeded to hit the target. Their plane crashed. Consequently, May and Ben had to take care of their nephew Peter. They did, maybe too much. Peter became a smart, but weak teenager. Indeed Peter was always annoyed by his classmate. For May, he never really connected with May. When Peter was bitten by a spider infected by Oz solution, Peter fainted and was hospitalized. Even if money was needed, May and Ben were too generous to decide to take proceedings against Norman Osborn. But they could be strict too when it was necessary. For instance when Peter skipped a class, May and Ben acted like parents and grounded him.
Few times later, with his new spider powers, Peter was more self-assured. During a fight between him and Flash Thompson, Peter broke Flash’s hand. May didn’t understand why Peter did that. It was something they didn’t need. They had to find the money for Flash’s hospitalization. Peter apologized and decided to find a way to bring money. He found a job as a wrestler and left the money on the doormat as a gift from school. By that change, May thought that Peter could play basketball along with his studies. Indeed his marks decreased. She told him off. Peter ran away to Kong’s house. May saw his husband went to find him. He came back alone and explained that he found Peter but he ran away once again. They waited for his return. They heard something. Ben called him and went downstairs. May joined him. Peter was not here, a burglar stood in the kitchen. Ben was shot. May, desperate, called the police. Peter came back home. May explained everything.
With the passing days, May worried about Peter’s behavior. Peter wasn’t at school after the attack of the Green Goblin, he had nightmares, he spent a lot of time at the Daily Bugle and he came home lately. For instance, after a fight against Kingpin and Electro, Peter came home very lately. May was very sad. She thought that Peter preferred spend his time outside; May doubted Peter’s love. She didn’t want to be alone. Even if their relationship improved, May still doubted Peter. She liked MJ, but she was not sure what Peter and MJ did in his room. She called Mary Watson to take her daughter back. Since May knew about Peter's secret, she set up some traps for Peter. After a fight against Doc Ock and Kraven The Hunter, Peter came home at 3 A.M. May waited for him. She asked him to explain himself. Peter said he was at the Bugle. May replied that she called the Daily Bugle and he hadn’t come for a week. Moreover, May was worried about Peter’s injured wrist. Peter tried to explain that he was not recognized at the Daily Bugle, his wrist was injured at school and he was at M.J.’s house. May was upset. She said the first person she called was MJ. May didn’t want to worry herself to death. Peter was grounded until the truth was said.
The second trap was when May was visited by Norman’s personal assistant. Norman and Harry returned. She accepted to let Peter go to Harry’s house. It was a mistake, because Peter had fight the Green Goblin again. May had some regrets when she saw a sad Peter come back from Harry’s house. She apologized and withdrew her intended punishment for Peter. A new trap came with a new invitation of Norman. She accepted at the beginning. But Peter succeeded to convince her to not accept. She remembered Ben saying that to be rich, you must walk all over someone else. She declined the invitation and Peter had to fight once again with the Green Goblin. The last trap took place at school. Indeed, May was called for a teacher/parent meeting because Peter’s marks decreased. She met Peter who was going to fight the Rhino. She forced him to go with her. But during the meeting, Peter succeeded to find an excuse for leaving. Peter Parker was a schoolmate and the only friend of Gwen Stacy's. That was why, when Gwen was marooned by her mother, her father left her with May in order to go to a police detectives conference. May enjoyed helping a single parent. She was in the same situation. May was attracted towards George Stacy. She asked him if his wife left forever. He confirmed it but he also said he was not prepared to begin a new relationship. May clearly said she felt alone and she was ready for a new relationship.
A real friendship began between May and Gwen. Contrary to MJ, May was glad that Gwen was here. She was not alone anymore when Peter stayed outside to fight a fake Spider-Man. But she still worried about Peter. She waited for his return but felt asleep. When she woke up, she discovered her nephew sleeping in his room. The secret identity of Peter was not revealed once again. Everything could be fine until the arrival of two cops who came to announce the death of Captain Stacy. He died trying to protect a kid from a bomb launched by a fake Spider-Man. It reinforced the bad vision that May had about Spider-Man. May phoned Ginger Stacy to announce the death of her husband. She asked her when she would come to take her daughter. Ginger responded that she did not want to pick her up. May, offended, began to raise her voice. Ginger hung up on her. Gwen had helped in that conversation and decided to stay with her aunt in Minnesota. May asked Gwen to stay with her and Peter. Gwen, who was touched, accepted. She still had a person who loved her.
Gwen and May became closer friends. May evoked her past when Peter went directly from his laboratory to his room. Gwen explained that Peter was dumped by MJ She went to discuss it with Peter. When she arrived, Peter was watching a video of a picnic they had together (Peter, May, Ben, Richard, Mary and the Brocks). She was touched to see Ben. She was not prepared. She forgot that Richard made some videos. She convinced Peter to come into contact with Eddie Brock. After the death of Captain Stacy, May was so troubled that she consulted a shrink. She had to confess her greatest and deepest emotions and fears to be liberated from her ghosts. For instance, she talked about the day where a school was attacked by Geldoff. All schools were closed and parents were called to take their children. May went, looked for Peter, but didn’t find him. She asked MJ if she saw her nephew. She tried to find an excuse. But Gwen said Peter was not here. May called the Daily Bugle, but she was kept waiting. Evening came, she received a call from Peter’s maths professor. Peter didn’t go to his class. Upset, she went to Peter’s laboratory. She looked everywhere. Peter arrived just in time. May didn’t discover his costume. May asked where Peter was. She wanted to look inside Peter’s bag where another costume was. Hopefully, a comic entitled “The Merry Adventure of Robin Hood” that fell out. It was a book his mother read it to him when he was young. He used that as an excuse that he wanted to be alone to read it. May worried herself sick; she thought Peter was probably dead. She dissolved into tears and forgave him.
She recognized that the problem was Spider-Man, not Peter. She was scared of mutants, Spider-Man and so on. Even if they were good, they put people in danger like Captain Stacy. Moreover, Spider-Man lived in her neighborhood. She also recognized that the problem was also herself. She thought she used Gwen as a meaning to not fear her ghosts. Silence weighed on her. She remembered that everyone she was close to died. That was why she thought she was responsible for the distance between her and her nephew. She understood him but she argued with Peter. Her psychoanalyst saw in May as a good person. She didn’t become an alcoholic. She fell into affection. She showed her affection towards Gwen, but Gwen also needed it. They needed each other. For Peter, she couldn't not be worried about him. He was a good boy and for that, she had to show her love to him.
She applied what her shrink told to do. She asked him to spend an evening with her. Peter accepted with pleasure. Also, when Peter went to May’s office, he explained he was fired from Daily Bugle and was expelled from school. Indeed he had an altercation with his social studies professor about Kingpin:. May thought he was confused between Wilson Fisk and the burglar who killed his uncle. She tried to reassure him. Moreover, she called J.Jonah Jameson and told him off. JJJ was impressed by a strong woman and accepted to rehire Peter. One day, Craig Watson, Mary Jane’s father visited May to argue with Peter. He read her diary and knew that Peter endangered Mary Jane. He threatened Peter to not date MJ anymore. May, upset, ordered MJ's father out of her house. Peter was worried about MJ because her father was violent. May decided to keep an eye on M.J. with Gwen. Days passed and May was closer and closer to Gwen. One evening, May received a call from Mary Watson. She said her daughter ran away. She took money and some clothes. She tried to find Peter. He was not here because he fought Elektra and Black Cat. May thought that her nephew ran away with M.J. She then heard a noise in the kitchen. It was Peter who luckily came back just in time. She told everything involving M.J. Peter had another altercation with Craig Watson. May and Gwen intervened. It was at that moment that Peter knew where M.J. was and he brought her home.
Some time later, May decided to do a jaunt in Florida where her mother was. She returned at the same time as Spider-Man. He was kidnapped by Doc Ock and was brought to Brazil. He went through his laboratory where an armed Gwen was waiting. It was the yelling of May which allowed Peter to turn the situation around. Gwen ran away. May saw that Peter injured and asked for an explanation. Peter responded it was from a sports game. May forced him to see a dentist. Everything returned to normal. Things were arranged between Peter and Gwen. May was worried when Peter had a fever. Everything was normal until that evening where May found the corpse of Gwen Stacy in the backyard. For May, she was responsible. She was too close to her and she died. She called the police. Peter arrived. The police suspected him. May defended him. May tried to get Ginger Stacy on the phone. She couldn’t be reached. It was too much for her. Mary Watson proposed to put May and Peter up. May accepted until she could find a new house to live in.
Even if she was affectionate with Peter when Peter dumped MJ, May could be rude when it was necessary. For instance when Peter wanted to go out to see Harry, she refused. She thought the Osborns' were too dangerous. Moreover, Peter didn’t go to Daily Bugle, he didn’t go to school and he came home at late times. After he fought against some warriors (Hammerhead, Elektra, Moon Knight, Black Cat, Enforcers, Iron-Fist and Shang-Chi), May threatened him to throw him out. When Flash was kidnapped by Studio Din And Mita, everybody knew that Spider-Man was bonded to Midtown High School. Peter explained everything to his aunt. He confessed indirectly he was Spider-Man. May didn’t understand the allusion. She recommended for Peter to see a psychoanalyst. He had an anxiety attack. That was why she apologized to him for his absences in school. Time elapsed and life continued for May and Peter. One evening May went out with a group of friends from work. During that time, Peter fought Deadpool and his team on Krakoa. When he came back to home, Peter decided to tell his aunt the truth about his secret identity. But nobody was inside the house, and there was only a voice message on the phone. It was May saying she wasn’t with her group from work, but she was dating Dr Miles Warren. Later, she had a conversation with Peter about him. Peter told her he had a new girlfriend: Kitty Pryde.
After the battle against Scorpion and the journey to Baxter Building, Peter went home. May explained that Mary Watson called her and said M.J. disappeared. Peter hadn’t seen her since afternoon and went to her research lab. May decided to help too. She went to her previous house and found Peter and Gwen Stacy. Afraid, she ran away to her house in order to call the police. Peter came and asked her to hang up. He tried to convince her. He explained he was Spider-Man, Carnage tried to find him but found Gwen instead and killed her. He saw Gwen at the same moment as her. May didn’t believe it. Peter repeated. May ask for proof. Peter walked on the roof. Annoyed, she asked to stop. She understood everything (the Osborns, and so on). She asked if it was really Gwen. Peter didn’t know but for him, it was a valid explanation. It was too much for May, she gave the order to Peter to get out of her house with that (Gwen). May yelled although she wasn’t his mother, she took care of him. And Peter only was deceiving her. May ordered her to get out of the house.
A man arrived at that moment. He looked like Richard Parker, Peter’s father. May told him to take his son. Richard tried to calm down May. Peter, astonished, asked his aunt why she wasn’t surprised. May said she knew that Richard was alive. She said nothing to protect her nephew. She wanted them to leave her house. Richard said they needed to talk. Richard explained he didn’t take the plane. He was accosted by the C.I.A. He had no choice except to continue his project. He discovered that his son was Spider-Man. She waited until the evening for May when she would finish her work. May didn’t believe her eyes. She ran away. Richard tried to explain everything. May called him a monster to not come early. She refused to believe Richard accosted Peter. She wanted a normal life for Peter. That was why Richard only observed Peter.
SHIELD attacked with several Spider-Slayer created by the Tinkerer. Gwen, upset, became Carnage. As a consequence, May had a heart attack. Richard asked his son to leave. Peter refused; he wanted to protect his aunt. Richard begged him to fight SHIELD whereas he would take care of May. The Fantastic Four intervened. Whereas Spider-an, Mr. Fantastic, the Thing and the Human Torch fought Carnage and SHIELD, Invisible Woman entered the house. She used her powers to transport May and Richard to hospital. May was operated on. Richard learned he was a clone of Peter and died. May was in a stable state. Sue Storm stayed with her until the arrival of Peter. Peter regretted to not tell the truth before. He was scared that he would endanger her if she knew. He didn’t want the person he considered as his mother dead. He knew it was the opposite; that saying nothing endangered her. Nick Fury arrived and told Peter he was wrong to think he was a danger. May wake up, called Peter. She asked what happened. Kitty Pride and Jean Grey arrived at that moment. Kitty asked Professor X to erase the memory of May. Professor X refused. Now May knows all the truth about Peter.
Earth 8311 - May Porker
May Porker was an old lady who lived alone with only a spider as friend called Peter. May was also a scientist. She created the world’s first atomic powered hair dryer. May tested her invention. The experiment failed. May was glad, took her arachnid friend in her hand and crunched Peter’s head. Her new powers were transfused to Peter. He transformed into a pig with the abilities of a spider. May fainted and when she woke up, she lost her memories. She considered Peter as her nephew. Like on Earth 616, she was preoccupied by Peter’s health.
Only two events happened to May after that event. The first event was when Spider-Ham came home and found May. Peter Porker thought she was at her Regular Thursday Night Little Old Ladies’ Social Club Meeting and Dinner Dance. May thought she was attacked and had an attack. Peter called an ambulance. May was hospitalized. She fell in a coma and only an experimental serum could save her. But the serum was stolen by Ducktor Doom’s men. Peter found the capsule of serum empty. Doom used it to create legume soldiers. Spider-Ham beat them. He brought the Eggplant to hospital. Doctors did a transfusion and May was saved. The second event was the introduction of Mary Jane Waterbuffalo to Peter from May.
In What if Aunt May instead her nephew had been bitten by the radioactive spider? (Earth 3123) Peter Parker was at his High School Field Trip when May discovered that her nephew forgot his lunch. May took it to him. When she arrived at the Science Institute, May had been bitten by the radioactive spider. She felt dizzy, gave Peter his lunch and went away. A car without breaks drove into May. With her spider instinct, she dodged the car and crawled on a wall. Understanding she had powers, May went home and thought of some ways to make money. She prepared a costume and became Spider-lady. She looked at a weapon when her bread burnt. She put too much yeast and the bread became a stinky paste. For May it was the ideal weapon. She heard at the radio that Leap Frog stole a candy store. She decided to become a super heroine. She fought Leap Frog and the fight finished in her backyard. Peter arrived at that moment. Leap Frog:char took advantage of the distraction of May and beat her. May, upset, didn’t want to endanger her nephew. She gave Leap Frog a thrashing. Peter afraid, fainted. May decided to take care of her nephew and to be a super heroine.
In What if Spider-Man had joined the Fantastic Four? (Earth 772) When Peter became Spider-Man, he needed money. He asked the Fantastic Four to hire him. They accepted and hired him and to paid him a little in order to help May Parker. Peter had to find an excuse for May because he was often absent. He told her he was hired to clean up the place and had to spend most of his time away from home. On that Earth, May was less worried and didn’t have financial matters.
Marvel Noir (Earth 90214)
In the Spider-Man Noir comic books, part of Marvel Noir, Aunt May is a civil rights activist and outspoken citizen who often gets out there and stands on her soapbox. Her outspokenness became an inspiration to Peter Parker, encouraging him to stick up for what is right. But, her reputation might have also been one of the things leading to the tragic death of Ben Parker (under the Vulture's hand).
What if Spider-Man had never become a crime fighter?
In What if Spider-Man had never become a crime fighter? (Earth ????) On that Earth, Peter stopped the burglar and became a wrestling star. Ben Parker was alive. Peter decided to reveal to Ben and May that he was Spider-Man. Ben gave his nephew a roasting. Ben thought that Peter must use his power for good. Peter, selfish, decided to not listen to his uncle and left Ben and May forever. May was sad because she knew they had lost Peter.
What if Spider-Man had rescued Gwen Stacy?
In What if Spider-Man had rescued Gwen Stacy? (Earth ????) On that Earth, everything happened like on Earth 616 until the day where Green Goblin kidnapped Gwen Stacy. Indeed, Spider-Man succeeded to rescue Gwen. Gwen survived, but the Green Goblin] too. Norman Osborn had the time to send an envelope. Peter told Gwen the truth and proposed to her. Gwen accepted. They announced it to May. On the wedding day, May was so happy until the arrival of J.Jonah Jameson and cops. JJJ had the envelope containing proof that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. That revelation cause May to have a heart attack. Peter ran away and never found out how his aunt turned out.
What if Spider-Man’s clone lived?
In What if Spider-Man’s clone lived? (Earth ????) On that Earth, everything happened like on Earth 616 until the day where Spider-Man fought his clone and the Jackal. Indeed, the clone lived and thought he was the real Peter Parker. He decided to cryogen Peter. The clone thought he had been absent for three years. He decided to visit his aunt, and saw she lived with Anna May Watson. She thought that Peter was strange but she continued her life normally. She was also one of the people who permitted the clone to discover he was the clone.
What if Spider-Man’s uncle Ben had lived?
In What if Spider-Man’s uncle Ben had lived? (Earth ????) On that Earth, it was May who was shot by the burglar.
What if the alien costume had possessed Spider-Man?
In What if the alien costume had possessed Spider-Man? (Earth ????) On that Earth, everything happened like on Earth 616 until the day where Peter asked Reed Richards in vain to take off his costume. Indeed, the alien consumed all the energy of Spider-Man and took Hulk’s body. Peter was in his mid-eighties. He visited his aunt with another identity and told her how much her nephew loved her. May had the presentiment she never saw again her nephew. She was right because Peter died the day after. Only the support of MJ allowed him to live.
What if Kraven the Hunter had killed Spider-Man?
In What if Kraven the Hunter had killed Spider-Man? (Earth ????) On that Earth, everything happened like on Earth 616 until the day where Kraven beat Spider-Man. Indeed, instead of killing himself, Kraven decided to kill Peter. MJ learned the death of her husband. She told May the truth. She told her Peter was Spider-Man and died. May didn’t believe MJ May was really disappointed of the double identity of her nephew. She thought that MJ was cruel and asked her to get out. Nevertheless, May went to Peter’s funeral. But she didn’t want to see anymore M.J. and continued to live her life with Nathaniel Lubensky.
What if the Amazing Spider-Man had not married MJ and had married the Black Cat?
In What if the Amazing Spider-Man had not married MJ and had married the Black Cat? (Earth ????) On that Earth, everything happened like on Earth 616 until the day where Peter had married MJ Indeed, Peter said no at the wedding because he didn’t want to endanger MJ A few days after, Peter visited his aunt. May revealed she was sad because she thought MJ wouldn't take care of him. For her, she won’t harden his heart to the possibility of loving. Peter was touched by that speech. She contacted Black Cat and proposed to her. Felicia accepted. The Vulture learned the civil identity of Spider-Man. He attacked May. Peter arrived and found his aunt into the debris of her house. The only thing he could do was to take her to a hospital.
What if Spider-Man had kept his cosmic powers?
In What if Spider-Man had kept his cosmic powers? (Earth ????) On that Earth, everything happened like on Earth 616 until the day where Peter had his cosmic powers. Indeed, Peter stayed with Captain Universe. Peter had to wear sunglasses to control his powers. Peter and M.J. visited May. She didn’t like those sunglasses. Peter said he had an accident at his laboratory. May wanted to see his eyes. She took off Peter’s sunglasses. Peter transformed himself into Captain Universe. May had a nervous breakdown and had to be hospitalized.
What if Spider-Man never lost his extra arms?
In What if Spider-Man never lost his extra arms? (Earth ????) On that Earth, everything happened like on Earth 616 until the day where Peter had six arms. Indeed, Morbius was killed by sharks. Consequently, Dr Curt Connors failed to create an antidote. Professor X and Reed Richards didn’t succeed either. Peter could not tell the truth to his aunt and his friends. So he gave a plethora of excuses to avoid them. Reed Richards called Peter. He created four mechanical arms which could become invisible. All returned to normal and May died of natural causes some years after.
What if Spider-Man’s parents destroyed his family?
In What if Spider-Man’s parents destroyed his family? (Earth ????) On that Earth, everything happened like on Earth 616 until the day where Mary and Richard Parker came back. Indeed, May told Peter and his parents that those Mary and Richard were not the real ones. Peter brought his aunt to his apartment. Richard and Mary were robots and they received an order to eliminate May. They went to Peter’s apartment and fought him. The costume was revealed and May discovered that Peter is Spider-Man. But she didn't have the time to think of that because Mary Parker killed her and MJ.
What if Spider-Man became a murderer?
In What if Spider-Man became a murderer? (Earth ????) On that Earth, Peter killed the burglar who shot his uncle. May and Peter needed money. May had extra work. The television abused Spider-Man. Peter asked his aunt if she would forgive the man who murdered the burglar. May didn’t respond. Time elapsed and Peter worked with Dr Curt Connors. He transformed himself into the Lizard. Peter fought him and understood he was responsible of his act. He surrendered to the police. He spent two years for the murder of the burglar. May waited for him when he was freed. She brought him his costume of Spider-Man. She forgave him and supported him as Spider-Man the crime fighter.
What if J.Jonah Jameson adopted Spider-Man?
In What if J.Jonah Jameson adopted Spider-Man? (Earth ????) On that Earth, May came with Peter to see the launch of John Jameson’s shuttle. The space shuttle exploded and killed May.
What if Peter Parker had to destroy Spider-Man?
In What if Peter Parker had to destroy Spider-Man? (Earth ????) On that Earth, it was a violent Flash Thompson who had been bitten by the radioactive spider. Peter knew the truth and tried to convince him to be a crime fighter. The burglar didn’t go into Peter’s house because he was there. M.J. was killed instead of Ben Parker. May was there to comfort Anna May Watson. Flash Thompson decided to become a criminal. May convinced Peter to act. He created four mechanical spider arms and beat Flash. Everybody congratulated him (JJJ, the Fantastic Four, his High School). May and Ben were really proud of their nephew. They became Spider-Man’s advisers. What if starring Spider-Man, the man behind the mask? (Earth ????) On that Earth, Black Cat tried to avenge Peter from Flash Thompson. She succeeded convincing everyone that Flash was Spider-Man. May and the Scorpion learned that. J.J. Jameson hired the Scorpion to kidnap Flash. The Black Cat was sympathetic and tried to free Flash. The Scorpion beat her and attacked JJJ. Spider-Man beat the Scorpion. Only JJJ knew where Flash Thompson and Black Cat were. JJJ asked Spider-Man to reveal his real identity. Peter unmasked himself. His secret identity was revealed, and May was in great danger.
Marvel Team-Up - Aunt May: Herald of Galactus
In Marvel Team-Up #137, the Fantastic Four are taking a break and decide to take Franklin to the circus. Mary Jane, aunt May and Peter were also at the circus, when suddenly danger strikes and the need to leave in a hurry. Peter notices the status of the situation and sneaks out, coming back dressed as Spider-Man, and suggests that Franklin stays at the care of aunt May as our heroes go out to fight evil. Shortly after Spidey and the Fantastic Four left, Galactus appears at the circuses grounds with the intention of devouring the world. Aunt May is outraged, and worried about Franklin's safety, she tries to dialogue with Galactus, in the meantime, Franklin shares the Twinkies he was eating with Galan, and he loves it! May agrees to feed him if he spares Earth, and Galactus turns her into Golden Oldie, his new herald. She comes across a cosmic baker that makes cake planets and Galactus is finally able to satisfy his hunger in a tasty way, so Golden Oldie goes back to Earth, returns to being May Parker, and Franklin and May keep their adventure a secret. In the final page, it is revealed this was a weird dream that Marvel's editorial staff had.
Aunt May appeared in the 2001 Spider-Man live-action film, and was played by Rosemary Harris. Her role more or less resembles aher part in the comics, and in the climax she is injured by the Green Goblin, prompting an angry Peter to seek revenge.
Harris reprises her role in the sequel, Spider-Man 2, where she plays a larger role in the storyline. She is now facing financial difficulties after Uncle Ben's passing, and is forced to sell her home and move into a small apartment. She initially dislikes Spider-Man, but grows fond of him after he saves her from Doctor Octopus during a failed bank robbery. It is heavily implied that she deduced that Spider-Man was in fact Peter, though she never explicitly states this.
Harris returned in Spider-Man 3, where it was discovered that Uncle Ben had in fact been murdered by Flint Marko. Peter joyfully tells May that Marko is dead after a battle with Spider-Man, but May (again, seemingly knowing that Peter is Spider-Man) warns him, albeit indirectly, that revenge can lead to a path of violence and darkness. She appears once more at the end of film, attending Harry Osborn's funeral (as in the film continuity, Harry was a close childhood friend of Peter).
The Amazing Spider-Man
Aunt May is portrayed by Sally Field in The Amazing Spider-Man.
Aunt May appeared in the classic 60's Spider-Man animated series.
She appeared in an episode of the short-lived live-action Spider-Man series from the 70's.
Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends
Aunt May was a recurring character in Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends, where Peter and his team secretly operated out of her house. She was given a pet dog named Ms. Lion
.Spider-Man: The Animated Series
Aunt May appeared as a major character in the 90's Spider-Man: The Animated Series. In a departure from the comics, this version of Aunt May despised Spider-Man a great deal, though she still deeply loved her nephew Peter.
She never appeared in the sequel series, Spider-Man Unlimited, but was mentioned quite frequently.
Spider-Man: The New Animated Series
Aunt May was absent from the short-lived 2003 Spider-Man: The New Animated Series, as the executives at MTV feared that an elderly character would alienate younger viewers. This was explained away by having Peter attending college and living on his own. She does however make a cameo in a photograph shown in Peter's bedroom.
Aunt May was a major character in the Spectacular Spider-Man, and once again was shown to be very overprotective of Peter. This version of Aunt May was fond of Spider-Man, despite not realizing he was secretly Peter. She suffered a heart attack near the end of season one, which caused much angst for Peter, who was initially unaware of this due to the influence of the Symbiote. She recovered at the end of the season and continued to play a large role in season two. She was instrumental in convincing Peter to admit his true feelings for both Gwen Stacy and Liz Allan near the end of the series. It was also hinted that she might have mutual romantic feelings for her doctor, Doctor Bromwell, but the series was cancelled before this subplot could be pursued further.
The Ultimate version of Aunt May appears as a major character in Ultimate Spider-Man. She is significantly younger than her previous animated counterparts and as such has a much more youthful appearance. She enjoys various activities such as French cooking, yoga, and even video games, which Peter uses to his advantage in order to sneak out of the house in the middle of the night without drawing May's attention. Despite this, Peter still hides his powers from her, fearing that she would not approve of his vigilante activities due to her protective nature. She is voiced by writer and magician Misty Lee.
Aunt May appears in small roles in several video games.
Marvel Superheroes vs. Street Fighter
Aunt May has a cameo in Marvel Superheroes vs. Street Fighter.
Aunt May appears in Spider-Man 2.