Trouble, Galactus, and just who is this Aunt May?

Aunt May. I mean, here’s the real deal. 

She looks OLD. I mean, she always looked REALLY old. Shouldn’t they have called her “Granny May”? Depending on the artist, she never looked younger than 65 and sometimes looked as old as Methuselah. John Romita Jr. would sometimes throw down an Aunt May who looked like she might’ve scared off the Roman invaders, yknow? 

But in 2003, Marvel decided to attempt an Aunt May (and therein, a Spider-Man) origin story written by heralded writer, Mark Millar.

What resulted was a somewhat mature take on Aunt May and her sister, Mary, on a summer romp where they just so happened to meet a couple guys named Ben and Richard. Shenanigans commence and… well I won’t spoil the story. However it had some MAJOR ramifications on the  Spider-Man world, and readers were not really happy about it. The series itself was considered a risky move, the combination of photo covers (featuring teenage girls in bikinis) and the borderline cheesecake style of Terry Dodson (one of my favorite comic artists, as it is. I’ll go into it some other time) made for some really heavy-handed discussions about the place of this in comics. And that led to what the place of this particularly story held in the Marvel cannon. Well… *SPOILERS*

The 2003 limited series Trouble was marketed as the “true origin” of Spider-Man. In that story, teenagers named Ben, Richard, May and Mary met while on summer vacation, and May became pregnant with a child she named Peter. None of the characters’ last names were revealed. The story did not become canon because of its negative reception.  *END SPOILERS*

And so what we do know is – She’s Spider-Man’s aunt, she’s OLD, and she’s died about 40 times. Here’s a notable one from the 90’s. Note to self – remember this cover for your “worst use of diecut covers ever” post. 

Oh… and this one time she apparently bronzed herself, kidnapped a child and defeated the world eater, Galactus. And that’s pretty much all you need to know!


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