Welcome back to Love and Comics!
Last week we took a look at 7 romance covers from your favorite neighborhood Spider-Man. This week we’re going to bring you 8 heartbreak themed covers from the Love and Comics vault. The countdown begins as Spider-Man Homecoming is set to release in just over 5 weeks on July 7th, 2017. Get excited and get hyped for what is going to be a month long Spider-Man marathon over here at Love and Comics!
The Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 #606 (Peter Parker, Felicia Hardy, and Mary Jane)
Black Cat and Spider-Man have had an on-again off-again relationship throughout the series and in this issue Black Cat makes a major return to try to win her side piece’s affections. Most of their romance has primarily been physical and borders the relationship similar to Catwoman and Batman’s relationship. At the end of their adventure, a local news crew catches Black Cat locking lips with Spider-Man and televises it all over New York City, which includes Mary Jane Watson. Amazing Spider-Man #606 was drawn by artist J. Scott Campbell and as one of his more recognizable covers, is still a sought out issue for collectors of the series. Every other convention tends to have a J. Scott Campbell exclusive but none compare to this original cover from 1999.
The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows Vol 1 #4 (Peter Parker, Mary Jane, and Black Cat) – Siya Oum variant
An homage to ASM #606 is the variant from the “Renew Your Vows” series. “Renew Your Vows” is a currently running title on it’s second volume. It follows up after the events of Secret Wars in which the world is patched up with pieces of different dimensions known as Battleworld. In this issue there is a region where all costumed heroes have been hunted down by Regent. To protect his family, Peter Parker went into hiding as Spider-Man and gave up his super-hero mantle. In this universe, Parker is still married to Mary Jane Watson and they have a daughter together, Annie May Parker. Annie May Parker also has spider powers of her own. This cover comes from current Aspen artist/writer, Siya Oum. She has a self-titled series known as Lola XoXo that is currently on it’s second volume. Siya Oum is definitely one of those artists that has a recognizable style in her designs and judging from her presence on Instagram and Twitter, is someone to keep an eye out for in the upcoming year.
What If Vol 2 #20 (Peter Parker and Mary Jane)
The “What If…” series took a look at what would happen if certain events had not occurred in mainstream Marvel continuity. Spanning just under eleven volumes, the “What If…” series had stories that destroyed relationships, formed new teams, and even saved lives of certain character doomed to die. The series has made several comebacks as one-shots in recent comics but it originally began back in 1977. Although the series itself was said to not have any effect on main-stream continuity, this really wasn’t the case as some story lines ended up being revisited or retconned into future comics. Stories such as Jane Foster’s “What If…” issue or even the issue featured above. Even if the stories did not end up exactly as featured, it foretold of possible arcs that Marvel would one day revisit. In this issue Marvel takes a look at the consequences of Peter Parker and Mary Jane never getting married. Parker ends up breaking it off with Mary Jane in fear of her being at risk for getting hurt or killed (similar to what happened to Gwen Stacy). In the end he settles with marrying another masked vigilante instead. Come back in a few weeks to discover who that vigilante is.
Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual Vol 1 #7 (Peter Parker and Mary Jane)
The Spectacular Spider-Man was another on-going title that was launched during the popularity boom of Spider-Man in the 1970’s. Making it’s first premiere in 1976, Spectacular Spider-Man was an original series with it’s own storyline. Conceived to be stories that focused more on Peter Parker’s supporting cast and alternate villains, Spectacular Spider-Man gained popularity as a flagship title for fans to jump on and start with a new #1. In this giant-sized annual, the Puma interrupts Mary Jane and Peter Parker’s honeymoon vacation. This was also a great issue showing the amount of dialogue that can be written in 8 panel pages. Spider-Man also spends a majority of his time in his infamous black suit costume, which for fans was a definite attraction to the book.
The Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 #640 (Mary Jane Watson and Peter Parker)
As we mentioned last week, “One Moment In Time” took a look at the events that lead to the dissolving of the Parker’s marriage. To save his Aunt May’s life, Peter made a deal with Mephisto. The details of that deal were not really explored until “One Moment In Time”. In this issue, Peter is at the hospital with his Aunt May when Mary Jane is attacked by an assassin sent by the Kingpin. She ends up holding her own throughout most of the assassination attempt, until the very end where she is knocked unconscious by the assailant. Luckily, Spider-Man shows up to take him down and save Mary Jane Watson. He takes her to his resident hero MD, Dr. Stephen Strange for an emergency visit. The story lines between One More Day, Brand New Day, and One Moment In Time are all interconnected. It might be difficulty to keep track of what is going on so be sure to check on online for the trade paperbacks over at Marvel.com.
Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man Vol 1 #76 (Black Cat and Spider-Man)
Black Cat made her first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #194 (1979). Known as the anti-heroine with the “bad-luck” powers, Black Cat made her way into Spider-Man’s story as well as his heart. This is an issue that really portrays that at one point, there was more to just physical romance for the cat and the spider. In this issue, Black Cat and Spider-Man had just defeated the Owl and Doc Ock. As they fight off one last horde of bad guys, Doc Ock’s mechanical arms come back to life and strangle Black Cat leaving her unconscious. Spider-Man rushes to her side but finds that she is in bad condition. He eventually gets her to a hospital as the doctors try to save her life. As Parker stands over his bed in his Spidey suit he looks at a recovering Felicia Hardy and says, “All my power couldn’t save her. The proportionate strength of a spider may be mine to command — but when it comes to helping those I love…people like my uncle Ben and Felicia…I guess I’m useless! I can’t do anything but weep.” As Spider-Man cries into his hands he is greeted with Felicia’s touch to which she says, “Are those tears for me…Lover? That’s sweet.”
The Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 #640 (Mary Jane Watson and Peter Parker) Joe Quesada Variant
Another issue from the “One Moment in Time” story line is this variant cover from Joe Quesada. The cover drawn here is actually an homage to a classic Spider-Man scene of when Parker gave up his mantle in Vol 1 Issue #50. The title of this issue was known as “Spider-Man no more” and was written by legends Stan Lee and penciled by John Romita Sr. In that issue Spider-Man is seen walking away from a discarded mask and suit. Mirroring that cover would be Mary Jane Watson walking away from her wedding dress, which is really a symbol for the dissolution of the marriage between Mary Jane Watson and Peter Parker during the events of One More day. Definitely one of the more heart breaking covers of this series and also a rare gem to find as a variant.
The Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 #560 (Spider-Man, Carlie Cooper, and Mary Jane Watson)
The last stop on this heartbreak train comes from the sequel to “One More Day.” The cross over event titled “Brand New Day” reset the status quo for Spider-Man. People forgot that he was Spider-Man and he had never married Mary Jane Watson. In this universe Spider-Man has a major admirer in Carlie Cooper. It actually seems more like an unrequited love at this point in the storyline. The Bobby reference on the cover is actually referring to Bobby Carr, a famous Hollywood star that Peter Parker would often snap photos of as a paparazzi. At the end of this issue we find out the mysterious girlfriend that Carr has been hiding is none other then Ms. Mary Jane Watson.
Come back next week as we take a look at more Spider-Man romance covers and countdown the release of Spider-Man Homecoming on July 7th, 2017!
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