8 Reasons Aunt May Is Spider-Man's Most Terrifying Villain
Aunt May is Spider-Man's greatest and deadliest foe. Now, based on that alone, do you think this is a clickbait article about a flimsy fan theory supported by out-of-context comic panels? If you answered yes, congratulations, this was a trap and you must now eat The Penis of Wrongness. Aunt May is the most cunning woman in the Marvel Universe. We will be discussing her actual vagina and how it crushed her enemy, Spider-Man. If you're one of the trusting, cool people immediately on board with this premise, you can skip the following sentence and get straight to enjoying the funny article. As for the rest of you, look upon and eat The Penis of Wrongness, all cowards and fools: 8==--==__==D.
She Has A Knockout Win Over Spider-Man
Aunt May once caught Spider-Man sneaking into her home and took him out with a flower vase. This is a big deal. Roughly 90% of Spider-Man's enemies never even land a hit, because he has the 25 best superpowers specifically for fucking you up. Spider-Man villains scream things like "All sculpted bushes are now under the command of The Living Topiary!" before finding out their amazing ability isn't as useful as kicking hard and dodging any attack from any direction. Half the time, Spidey has to carefully pull his punches so as not to splatter his enemies' fragile organs against the inside of their skeletons. But look what happens when he crosses paths with May Parker:
The comic exhaustively explains how Spider-Man is unable to dodge the attack because his dear Aunt May doesn't trigger his Spider-Sense, which is a bizarre weakness that will come up later. The point is, Peter has faced literally tens of thousands of foes outfitted with weaponry and abilities from across time and space, and maybe 20 of them have kicked his ass as hard as Aunt May does with a vase.
She's Needled His Confidence Away Over The Course Of Decades
Peter is the only member of Aunt May's family not dead from murder or a horrible accident, so it's understandable that she can be a little smothering. But she treats Peter like he's the last jasmine blossom in a flower shop run by jasmine-fuckers. He remains her precious delicate boy well into his 30s, and she never once misses an opportunity to tell him that.
Whether he's rushing to get to class or fight crime, May always reminds Peter how a delicate temperature shift might shatter him. If something scary is on the news, she screams how he's too sensitive to look. If she enters his room and he apparently isn't there, she'll talk aloud to herself about how frail her little sissy nephew is, wherever he might be.
Aunt May, and this is real, once called Peter a "PUSSYWILLOW," and continued doing it even after he and everyone close to her told her it wasn't an expression. She didn't care. She thought the non-expression suited Peter so well that it became sort of her catchphrase.
Being an overprotective aunt, even on the nuclear scale with which Aunt May overprotects, isn't so bad, right? Well, I'm no spider-psychologist, but being told he's delicate three times an issue after a backstory of being bullied seems to have had a pretty negative effect on Peter Parker's self-esteem. Here's how he deals with the first time he loses a fight:
Peter Parker is a superhero genius who works for slave wages taking pictures of himself for use in articles smearing Spider-Man as a public menace. Does that sound like a job you would take if you had any self-esteem? If he let people shit in his mouth after swallowing nickels, it would be a more respectable way to make a living. Aunt May changing his diapers until he was 35 had to have contributed to that. And while Spidey eventually grows into a brave champion of the people, he spends years giving up completely after every single setback. That is at least mostly Aunt May's fault.
Related: The 7 Most Confusing Things About Spider-Man, Explained
She Tried To Execute Spider-Man With A Gun
In one story, Aunt May not only has a gun trained on Spider-Man, she pulls the goddamn trigger. To give you the full context, Spidey is beating the fuck out of Doctor Octopus. It's not a normal Spider-Man beating where he blinds you with webs, sprays you with a fire hose, and says some nonsense like "Sounds like you'll need to rent a towel doctor, Chuckles!" No, he's sitting on Doc Ock's chest and ranting at his unconscious skull while he jackhammers it with super-strength punches. Even by the loose standards of comic book pseudoscience, it's not at all clear how his human head remains attached.
During this savage beating, Aunt May picks up a gun and trains it on her nephew's head. She warns him, "STOP IT! STOP HITTING HIM! IF YOU DON'T STOP IT- I- I'LL HAVE TO SHOOT YOU!" This seems like a reasonable warning, but it turns out to be a lie, since he complies and she immediately shoots anyway. It's nuts. I mean, if she was a cop, she'd be given like two days of paid leave. Speaking of police, it's a passing siren that startles her and makes her miss.
It's hard to criticize writing this good, but what? This is a woman who has lived in Queens through a Galactus attack and a civil rights movement. Are you telling me she loses control of her senses and her entire body at the extremely common sound of a police siren? Bullshit. She wanted Spider-Man dead, and didn't care if anyone else got shot in the process.
She's Married Peter's Worst Enemy And Fucked The Father Of His Other Worst Enemy In Front Of Him
May Parker might be drawn like a Pictionary clue for "hospice corpse," but she can still get it. Any elderly man who enters his orbit is as good as inside her by the next issue. Sometimes it's cute, like when she hooks up with the Fantastic Four's mailman, and other times it's crazy, like when she rents a room to wanted terrorist Doctor Octopus and then marries him shortly after.
The thing about Aunt May is that she is legitimately stupid beyond the ability to care for herself. When Doctor Octopus comes to her door, she says, and I quote, "OH! I JUST REMEMBERED! DIDN'T I HEAR SOMETHING ... ABOUT YOU BEING WANTED ... BY THE POLICE?" He tells her it was fake news, the secret weakness of all old people, so she invites him in, complains about that awful Spider-Man, and rents him a room. That's how easy it is for a world-famous supervillain with a 75-cent haircut and writhing death tentacles growing out of his back to earn her trust.
It's worth noting here that Peter Parker, her beloved nephew, has been living with her for years, and in all that time, he has never been able to convince her that Spider-Man is a good guy. This trusting, naive dingbat charity worker has only one cynical belief in her entire brain, and it's that Spider-Man is an awful villain.
Put yourself in Spider-Man's shoes. Your only living family member is marrying your worst enemy, a felony fugitive with a 2 body and a 1 face, and the only thing she hates in the entire world is you when you selflessly protect the innocent. That's way more traumatizing than getting hit with a rhino horn or pumpkin bomb.
Luckily, the marriage doesn't last, and Aunt May soon goes back to draining every senior ball in the Marvel Universe. Unluckily, two of those belong to J. Jonah Jameson Sr., the father of the man whose media empire is devoted to calling Spider-Man a menace. Here is Peter walking in on them in the erotic cliffhanger of Mark Waid's Amazing Spider-Man #592.
Spider-Man once had his eye pulled out by a guy who beat him to death, and he has killed his wife with radioactive sperm. He was buried alive for two weeks, replaced by a clone, and molested, and writer Dan Slott still cites this incident as one of the worst things they ever did to the guy.
It's obviously awkward, but made five times worse when the three of them sit down to discuss it. The father of the man who's tried to ruin Peter's life and kill him with a robot along with his still soaking-wet aunt sit him down and talk to him like he's an eight-year-old who asked why they were wrestling with their pants off. There's not really a "cool" way to handle this, but Peter manages to pick the worst option by frowning at a picture of Aunt May and Uncle Ben and then dramatically leaving.
Peter, by my math, the woman is 118 years old, her husband has been dead for 47 of those, and this is her 2,708th romantic partner. Maybe the next time she sneaks out of work for lunch sex, don't act like she's betraying the memory of some husband she had nine presidents ago. I'm starting to think you deserve your aunt spending so much time trying to destroy you.
Related: The One Simple Reason Tom Holland Is The Best Spider-Man
Peter Has To Watch Himself Bang His Own Aunt With Doc Ock's Dick
Superheroes lead strange lives. Every single one of them has been shrink-rayed, transformed into an ape, or had their mind transferred to a different body. Usually this just means an awkward fight to switch things back to normal. Well, when Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus switch bodies, it lasts for more than a year. It's the second-worst thing he's ever done to Spider-Man.
While trapped in Doctor Octopus' melty, dying body, Peter has access to all the doctor's memories. Most of these consist of getting punched as a child by Octavius' father or getting punched as an adult by himself, but one memory really gets to Peter: watching himself have sex with his own Aunt. Because there is nothing comic writers hate more than Peter Parker. When Batman changes bodies with someone, the writers think, "Look out, crime! Batman's in a body that can shoot eye lasers!" When Spider-Man changes bodies with someone, the writers think, "YOU KNOW, THIS BRAIN HE'S IN WOULD CONTAIN FULL PENETRATION MEMORIES OF HIS AUNT."
In the memory, Aunt May is wearing her wedding dress, which means not only that Doc Ock saw her in the dress before the ceremony -- bad luck -- but also that their first time together was pushing her incontinence briefs to the side and reverse-cowgirling in front of a wedding coordinator. Search your feelings. You know there's no other way to squeeze in wedding gown sex after hair and makeup but before the ceremony. This is exactly the type of thought that likely occurs to poor Peter as he listens to his worst enemy's voice shout from his own mouth, "My dear lady, reduce your velocity or my accursed loins shall buuuuurrrrrsT!"
She Seems Determined To Reveal His Secret Identity
Aunt May never knocked, and her roommate was a teen boy. That'd be a difficult situation even if he wasn't leading a complicated double life. Every day she would burst through his door and he'd be leaping under the covers drenched in sweat. She was way too stupid to ever suspect he was Spider-Man, but at the very least, she should have figured him for a frequent masturbator.
In addition to her lack of boundaries, May seems to have the supernatural ability to find Peter's Spider-Man costume no matter where he hides it. Every few issues, she unearths another one, and Peter has to stammer out an excuse for why he has Spider-Man's laundry. The best was when he would just tell Aunt May none of it happened, and she was so outrageously dumb that she would believe him. Or did she? It seems unlikely she's the world's greatest detective and lockpicker while also being the world's dumbest piece of shit. Aunt May has so obviously been torturing him with constant surveillance, emasculating insults, psychosexual trauma, and now crushing guilt.
I mentioned earlier how Peter's Spider-Sense -- a fully magical danger detection power -- doesn't work with Aunt May because he doesn't consider her a "danger." But she's tried to kill him twice, and he truly believes she will die of fright if she finds out he's Spider-Man, or die of murder if someone else does. So keeping his identity a secret is a life-and-death matter to him, which means Aunt May finds a way to break their own universe's rules simply so she can barge in on Peter in the shower.
All of this secret identity nonsense eventually becomes pointless during the Civil War event, when Pete takes the side of the establishment and reveals to the world that he's Spider-Man. Who could possibly talk Spidey into such an out-of-character move? I'll give you one hint: Her favorite food rhymes with "Doctor Cocktopus semen," and despite all the damage she has done to Spider-Man, his Spider-Sense can't detect her. Well, except when she's dead. Hold on ...
Related: 3 Insane Spider-man Movies You Won't Believe Almost Got Made
She Caused Spider-Man To Erase His Marriage From Reality
After Peter reveals his secret identity, the 60,000 career criminals and ninjas he's spent decades humiliating can now look up his home address and shoot him. One of them tries and misses, but he manages to get a bullet into Aunt May. She's rushed to the hospital, but there's nothing doctors can do other than hope she bleeds out before she can give everyone in the geriatric ward chlamydia.
So Spider-Man goes to Dr. Strange, and they contact dozens of sorcerers and scientists to find a cure for "old lady with extra hole" -- which is coincidentally May's SeniorMeatLovers username. Somehow, nobody can help. Spider-Man fights men made out of sand, water, and bees. He knows at least five people who have had mind transplants, and twice that many who own time machines. The idea that no one in that universe can patch up a gunshot wound is easily the silliest part of this paragraph. However, there's one last option ...
Peter meets with Mephisto, who is basically the Devil, who agrees to save Aunt May's life in return for erasing Spider-Man's marriage to Mary Jane from existence.
I mentioned this earlier, but Aunt May is the oldest person to have ever lived, by decades. As nerds, we're supposed to suspend our disbelief about comic characters aging, but May jokes about feeling like a spry 60-year-old while her nephew is on the Johnny Carson show, and she gets shot in the gut two years before he meets President Obama. These are real historical landmarks that are hard to ignore, but the specifics don't matter. Aunt May's first date was taking a tiktaalik out to the invention of food. She's had a long, full life. There's no reason for Spider-Man to throw away his happy marriage to a supermodel and ask Satan to rewire all of existence to give this ancient pain in his ass another day's head start on the Grim Reaper.
If you think this all sounds stupid as shit, you're not alone. Fans hated it. It's hard to explain exactly how much, but picture how much they freaked out when Star Wars added too many women, and then cut it in half. So look, it's only mostly Aunt May's fault she was shot, but still, even having a part in removing the love of Spider-Man's life from all of reality is a pretty serious win, supervillainously speaking.
Her Psychological Torture Ends Spider-Man's Career
It's impossible to overstate how much Aunt May worries. She once called a doctor out of surgery to come to her home because Peter said he was tired. Some guy wrote that exact interaction, another man edited it, and a third and fourth drew pictures of it. Peter does eventually move out of her place, but in one story he forgets to keep in touch for a couple days, and May rants about it to herself until she faints. She literally almost dies because Peter neglects to call for two days. It's not out of character, either. When her roommate Anna finds her body, she doesn't think, "What could have caused this!?" No, she takes one look at this heap of old lady and instantly diagnoses a worried-too-hard-about-Peter coma.
So she worries so hard that she might die. That's weird, but how does it contribute to her being Spider-Man's deadliest foe, as promised by this article's absurd thesis? At worst, her fragile mental state might only cause her loved ones to withhold vital information about her health from her.
Peter is smart enough to know his aunt's heart is ready to give out the moment he gets a black eye or a discolored mole. He spends his days getting grenaded in the face and doused in untested radioactive material, and now that I mention it, he himself is made of untested radioactive material. What he does is not safe.
In one particular issue, he becomes so worried about worrying Aunt May that he starts running from all crime. He still gets dressed up as Spider-Man and runs around looking for trouble, but then he flees at the first sign of it, exactly like the punk bitch who thought he could stick his tongue out at me from his birthday party. Congratulations on being six, Brayden, but you should thank Chuck E. Cheese's zero-tolerance no-shirt policy for saving your ass. Where was I? Oh yeah, that time Aunt May got Spider-Man to flee from any possible danger.
Whether it's a coincidence or not, Aunt May has the exact life-threatening emotional disorder that causes someone to stop being Spider-Man, and it has ended his career more than once. She often tells Peter how terrified she is of him encountering "that awful Spider-Man," and has fainted at least three times from seeing him. During one of these, Peter actually rips off his mask to show he's Spider-Man -- which, as 30 years of his own comic have made very clear, would simply kill her from a different kind of shock. All I'm saying is that hundreds of evil scientists have set out to design robots or clones or monsters specifically to slay Spider-Man, and in a million years, none of them could inflict as much damage on him as his own aunt's fussing.
Seanbaby invented being funny on the Internet. Follow him on Twitter, or play his critically acclaimed mobile game Calculords. Special thanks to Dan Slott for both torturing Peter Parker for years and for consulting on this article.
For more, check out The Awful Spider-Man Movie James Cameron Almost Made:
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