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Is Marvel Really Killing Off Spider-Man's Mary Jane Watson?

It looks like Marvel Comics is going to kill off Mary Jane Watson in May's Spider-Man comics just as they killed off Gwen Stacy 50 years ago.

This is the solicitation for Amazing Spider-Man #27, to be published in June, written by Zeb Wells and drawn by Ed McGuinness.

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

"Last issue's shocking death? Grief looms over Peter" Well, these are the solicitation for May's issues from Zeb Wells and John Romita.

(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 TIn 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 TIn Shops: May 31, 2023 SRP: $4.99

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. 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.

Is Marvel Comics Really Killing Off Mary Jane Watson?

Similar, aren't they? We have seen that Peter Parker and Mary Jane have been bonded by symbol and totem by the Emissary, we have seen them living apart for 18 months, and Mary Jane moves in with Paul, and becomes mother to two children, while Peter Parker looks onward mournfully, cursed by something he has done and everyone blames him for. And today's Amazing Spider-Man introduces Paul as a mystical warrior and scientist, fighting The Emissary and all he brings with him.

Could the separation between Peter and Mary Jane have been to stop the Emissary from coming through? Forcing them to live apart, at a symbolical level, with Paul keeping that separation? Could the kids be fake simulacrums used to enforce that separation? With everyone having to know that it's over, and Peter Parker condemned for cruelly dumping Mary Jane? Could his recent romance with Felicia and Mary Jane with Paul be part of the totemic ritual to prove they are no longer together? Could this arrangement have been to stop The Emissary taking Mary Jane's life as an act of revenge against Spider-Man? Could he now be coming to take that life anyway, as Peter and Mary have failed in that task? And will Mary Jane Watson die – or appear to the rest of the world to die – as a result? And a story drawn by John Romita Jr, the son of the man who drew the death of Gwen Stacy, John Romita Sr?

Hell of a fiftieth anniversary… oh yes, and here is the solicitation for the other issue out in June.

Written by ZEB WELLS
Art and Cover by ED MCGUINNESS
The new-and-improved Doctor Octopus takes his upgraded tentacles for a rampage through Oscorp!
Can the deadliest Doc Ock ever be stopped?
On Sale 6/28

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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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