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Bleeding Cool's "Death Of Mary Jane" Theory – Spider-Man Spoilers

Marvel Comics has been teasing that they are going to kill off Mary Jane Watson for the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Gwen Stacy.

This is a theory. It is not based upon any insight knowledge, just the experience of looking at how people and publishers tell superhero comic book stories. There may be spoilers, but they are not based on any actual knowledge beyond that which has been put on the panel. But it's all about Spider-Man and Mary Janw Watson. Of course, it is. Marvel Comics has for the last few months, been teasing everyone that they are going to kill off Mary Jane Watson for the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Gwen Stacy. However, after talking with a Bleeding Cool intrepid reader, I believe this is entirely a bait-and-switch operation for Amazing Spider-Man #25 and #26.

Marvel Promises Most Shocking Spider-Man Since The Death Of Gwen Stacy

With these covers and Marvel PR promising the most shocking issue of Amazing Spider-Man in fifty years. Well, this is definitely the fiftieth anniversary of The Death Of Gwen Stacy. The Night Gwen Stacy Died ran in Amazing Spider-Man #121, published in June  1973 by Gerry Conway, Gil Kane, John Romita Sr. and Tony Mortellaro.

Is Marvel Comics Really Killing Off Mary Jane Watson?

Before this story, the death of a superhero supporting cast was not a thing. That changed, and this comic is considered a pivotal point for the end of the Silver Age of comics and the introduction of the Bronze Age. And for comparison, these are the covers of Amazing Spider-Man #121 and the Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale Spider-Man Blue that retold the same story. These covers are designed to reflect the Death Of Gwent Stacy but have Mary Jane Watson in that role instead. And then Marvel teases another variant cover by Simone Bianchi pointing out it features the same bridge that Gwen Stacy died falling from fifty years ago…

Marvel Continues To Tease Death Of Gwen Stacy But With Mary Jane

And we have these solicitations for Amazing Spider-Man #25, #26 and #27.

(W) Zeb Wells (A/CA) John Romita Jr.
The past and the present collide in this oversized and monumental 25th issue! Your heart isn't ready for this one. Rated T In Shops: May 10, 2023 SRP: $6.99

(W) Zeb Wells (A/CA) John Romita Jr.
Now fully in the present, the Emissary has returned and his power is so far beyond Spider-Man's abilities. The heroes may figure out a way to win, but the cost of victory will be so immense that you may hope they don't… Rated T In Shops: May 31, 2023 SRP: $4.99

Written by ZEB WELLS
Art and Cover by ED MCGUINNESS
Grief looms over Peter after last issue's shocking death! Spider-Man's villains are more than happy to keep him distracted… Your eyes don't deceive you, DOCTOR OCTOPUS IS BACK! On Sale 6/14

So we have a death in Amazing Spider-Man #26, out on the 31st of May. The same date that Marvel will reveal what this comic book is about.

Who Is Marvel Killing Off In July 2023?

This July… Fallen Friend #1. A heartbreaking one-shot in July… Learn who it will spotlight on May 31.

But what if is not Mary Jane Watson at all? The Death of Gwen Stacy didn't just feature Gwen and Peter, but also Norman Osborn, who has been very present in recent storyline, after getting his personality switched into a benevolent friend to Peter, and helping him at a time when no one else would. But, as Judgment Day showed us, unable to escape the ghost of Gwen Stacy who, as Green Goblin, he killed.

Is Norman Osborn going to die, fifty years after he killed Gwen Stacy? Will he somehow redeem himself in the eyes of Peter Parker? Will he save Mary Jane Watson from whatever fate will befall her in #25, only to die himself in #26?

Will he pass on the legacy of Orcorp to Peter Parker? Will Peter Parker be tasked with bringing up or mentoring Normie Osborn, the Red Goblin? All in a story drawn by John Romita Jr, the son of the man who drew the death of Gwen Stacy, John Romita Sr?

It's not the first time they have been down this road. In the miniseries Revenge of the Green Goblin by Roger Stern and Ron Frenz, Norman Osborn realised that Peter Parker was  the only suitable heir, trying to drug, hypnotise and manipulate Peter into becoming a surrogate. But in the current run,with a reborn Norman Osborn hiring Parker for Oscorp, designing him a new suit and helping him steal technology to save Mary Jane, is this time for redemption for the Green Goblin once and for all.

Hell of a fiftieth anniversary… but also remember, Marvel may have spoiled the spoiler by releasing this Amazing Spider-Man #29 Hellfire Gala variant cover featuring Mary Jane and Felicia Hardy attending, very much alive…

Mary Jane Watson and Felicia Hardy for the Hellfire Gala


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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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