Rave : 2001 : Aunt May (SPOILER ALERT!!!)

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Date: Oct 5, 2001
Next: Spider-Man Trailer Reviewed
Prev: The Life of Reilly

So, Amazing Spider-Man #35 ended with Aunt May walking in and finding a ripped-up Spidey uniform on the floor next to a battered and sleeping Peter Parker. So, does this mean that Aunt May now knows Peter is Spider-Man? Not necessarily. If Stan Lee were still writing the series, I would say "certainly not". Think about the number of times Stan threatened Spidey's identity only to save it at the last instant. Way back in Amazing Spider-Man #12 (May 1964), Peter is unmasked by Dr. Octopus in front of Betty Brant, J. Jonah Jameson and two cops. But Spidey is so weak from a virus and consequently defeated so easily by Ock that everyone believes Peter is impersonating the web-slinger.

And that's just one of many... e.g. in ASM #81 (February 1970), Peter leaves a web dummy in his bed which is found by Aunt May. He ends up getting her to believe that she imagined it in some sort of approaching senility. In ASM #87 (August 1970), a feverish Peter Parker reveals to Harry Osborn, Mary Jane Watson, and Gwen and George Stacy that he is Spider-Man. He fixes this up by getting Hobie Brown, the Prowler, to impersonate the wall-crawler in front of the same group with Pete in attendance.

Even in the latest storyline of the Spider-Man Newspaper Strip, Stan is pulling the same rabbits out of his hat. J. Jonah Jameson offers a huge reward to anyone who can discover Spider-Man's true identity. Soon, Spidey finds himself besieged by the public. They follow him wherever he goes, hoping to see him unmask. The web-spinner decides he must end this somehow. His solution? He puts on a wig and a fake mustache and invents a fellow named Joe Wilson who gets a job at the Daily Bugle in the mailroom. Then, he intentionally allows JJJ to see him change into his Spidey suit so that Jonah believes that Joe Wilson is the wall-crawler. Later, after JJ publishes this info in the Bugle, he comes upon Peter changing into the costume. Does he put it all together, even after he discovers that there is no such person as Joe Wilson? No. He just assumes that Pete is pulling a gag on him, courtesy of the guys in the mailroom and the whole thing is left at that.

So, we know what Stan is capable of. But Straczynski? I think he'll play fair with us. Maybe he can even inject some life into this Aunt May imposter who's been shambling around. We can only hope.