Characters : Deborah Whitman
Typing and secretarial
Not very self confident
Empire State University
Secretary, student, housewife
Ex-husband, Captain Whitman (uncle, seen in Amazing #210-#211)
No criminal record
Debra Whitman was Doctor Morris Sloan's secretary in the biophysics department of ESU. And she loved Peter. Peter started to date her, but things (Nathan Lubensky, Aunt May, lack of money, Frightful Four, Golden Beetle, Doctor Doom, etc.) kept coming up and he would keep giving her lame excuses to get out of the date. Add Marcy Kane, a prettier student, way more outspoken and witty than the shy Debby, and you have one insecure woman. Because of Peter's rejections she started to date Biff Rifkin for emotional support, but her infatuation with Peter did nothing but grow. It's true Pete and Debby had some successful dates, but they were few and far between, with Peter rarely seeming to take her seriously.
Debra also suffered from a mental instability that led to her idealize people and invert values. With Peter it grew further into her hallucinating he was, go figure, Spider-Man. When she told her shrink about her hallucenations, he looked for Peter (very unprofessionally, might I add) and asked him to wear the suit. His plan was to give her a shocking confrontation with reality to get her out of the hallucination. Peter refused. He then talked to Doctor Sloan and he indicated Biff Rifkin as a more reliable source of information. As it turns out Biff already knew her when she was married to one Mark Whitman. One day he asked her about her black eye and she evasive answers. That night he went to their house and saw Mark beating her. He rescued her and took her to the hospital, but she insisted Mark was a kind and gentle husband, locked in denial.
He then wore the suit and told her he was Spidey. The shock made her come to her senses (she never asked herself how he got to the window of the eleventh floor) and decided to leave NY to get a divorce.
Deb stayed away from New York for many years, only to return after Peter revealed his secret identity after the Superhuman Registration Act forced him to. She came back to plug her tell all book "Two Faced: How Peter Parker Ruined My Life." Peter was hurt when he heard that Debrah had said horrible things about him in her book and went to the book signing to confront her. He was ambushed by the Vulture, who had been waiting for Peter to show up.
Spidey defeated Toomes, and Deborah revealed to Betty Brant that the editors had forced her to exaggerate the mental damage that Peter had "done" to her in order to make for a better book. Deborah's mother had been sick and the medical bills were far more than she could pay for, so when the Daily Bugle dug up all of Peter Parker's past relationships to get dirt on him, she jumped on the chance to write the book. Betty talked Deb into telling the truth to the Daily Globe, confidentially.
|Sep 1979||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #196|
|Nov 1979||App: Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #36|
|May 1980||App: Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #42|
|Jun 1980||App: Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #43|
|Aug 1980||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #207|
Here is the Full Appearance List (44 Apps) for Deborah Whitman.
The assistance of the Marvel Chronology Project is gratefully acknowledged.
Some of the above information is extracted from the various versions of the Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe and the more recent Marvel Encyclopaedias.