Some of you may know that Spider-Man’s civilian identity is Peter Parker, and that he eventually married Mary Jane. But there was a time when Parker proposed to her and she said no. How could this be? It’s because she’s not the nice kind of girl that Gwen Stacy was. Stan Lee even said it during an interview. Rather she’s the kind of girl that likes to party and have fun, wearing short skirts and spending time with all sorts of boys. Do you get my drift? You will by the end of this article.
The comic book in question is Amazing Spider-Man 182. As usual Aunt May is in the hospital. While Peter is visiting May says she thinks about Uncle Ben and how it’s a joy to grow old with someone you love. She goes on to say that it’s nice to share the good times, and even the bad times aren’t that bad. Mary Jane was there and points out that May was less than subtle with her suggestions. While heading to the Daily Bugle Peter starts to think that perhaps May was right about settling down. He had kept to himself all those years and he had nothing to show to for it except for grief. While swinging through Manhattan in his Spider-Man costume Peter thinks about how he is going to graduate from college in a few months and he had been offered a teaching scholarship to pay for his PhD. Maybe it would be the perfect time if Peter Parker proposes to Mary Jane!
Later that evening, Peter stops by her apartment. She had told him earlier that she had to get up early the next day for a modelling gig and she needed her beauty sleep. He offered to see a movie with her but she blew him off. Now that he was at her apartment he caught her off guard. He rang the bell and there was no response, so he started knocking. Finally she said she was coming, and answers the door in a robe and towel around her neck. She said that she was taking a shower. Then, in my opinion, Peter Parker proposes to Mary Jane in a way that would never work in real life. He says that he was in the neighborhood and thought that he would share some dessert with her. He holds up a box of Cracker Jacks. She opens the box and finds a diamond ring inside, and Peter asks her to marry him.
I have no idea how he got that ring inside a sealed box of Cracker Jacks in the first place. How did he know she was going to open it immediately? In real life she would have told Peter that she was too tired and didn’t have time to talk to him. As soon as he held up that Cracker Jack she would have suggested they talk another day. For him to show up like that after he had already seen her earlier made it look like he was desperate. To also present a ring in that fashion shows that it was done in haste instead of a thoughtful surprise.
So what does Mary Jane say to his proposal? You might think “yes” since they get married later on in the series. However she says no. You can read this in Amazing Spider-Man 183. How could this be? Well it turns out that she is not the type to be married. She says that she is a free spirit (translation: tramp) and doesn’t want to be tied down to one man. She goes on to say there’s a world of groovy guys out there, and she has to be free to find them. She says this with a smile on her face and walks away as she waves goodbye over her shoulder. She suggests that they be friends and will see him around sometime. Peter is down in the dumps because she made it seem as if they were through, and doesn’t want to see him anymore.
Parker just dodged a bullet based on her honest response. If he did manage to talk her into marrying him (at the current time this story takes place) she would be unhappy and sleeping with guys behind his back. She is used to having fun with other men and not tied down to a single person. She said so herself. Take a look at Amazing Spider-Man 43 for example. Mary Jane just wants to have fun. When he calls her to cancel their first date, she couldn’t have cared less. This is because she previously mentioned that she had another date lined up. So yeah, she likes to get around. Girls that only care about having fun are the kind of girls that only care about themselves, and will chase that high however they can get it.
In Spectacular Spider-Man 21 she tries to explain a little more why she said no. She says that she is not ready for marriage but insists that she loves him anyway. In this scene she seems a little more sympathetic, as if she is trying to protect his feelings. What are your thoughts when Peter Parker proposes to Mary Jane? Should he have done it? Did he make a mistake? Leave a comment.