Watson, Philip

 In: Characters
 Posted: Nov 2010
 Staff: Dave Sippel (E-Mail)
 Staff: Keith Moore (E-Mail)
File Photo



brown/white, reddish as young man






Moderately talented novelist.


Smith Corona typewriter


Writers block.


Frustrated writer.

Strength Level:






Created By:


Current Occupation:

Freelance writer.



Former Bases:


Former Occupation:

College professor, aspiring novelist.

Known Allies:

Mary Jane

Known Confidants:

Mary Jane

Known Relatives:

Madeline Watson (wife); Gayle Watson (older daughter), Mary Jane Watson (younger daughter); Timmy Byrnes (former son in law); Timmy (grandson); Kristy

Major Enemies:


Marital Status:


Place of Birth:

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Real Name:

Philip Watson

Usual Bases:



”All My Pasts Remembered”

While Philip Watson is a rarely seen part of Mary Jane's life, he has also had an enormous impact on his daughter. Her parents met when they were in college and her mother doted on the kids while Philip worked as a college professor. Philip wanted to become the next great American novelist but lacked the talent.

Despite Madeline's pleas for him to be quiet for the children (MJ and her older sister, Gayle) he would scream in the girl's faces. He blamed them for his lack of inspiration for the novel he wanted to write. Philip moved the family from college town to college town, which the family resented. He continued to blame everyone else, telling Madeline that he never wanted kids or a house. One day in a fit of rage, Philip struck Gayle. He claimed that her dance lessons were costing him a fortune.

The violence was the last straw. While Philip’s college honored him as Man of the Year, Madeline walked out with the kids. He sued Madeline for desertion and the court took his side. They moved from relative to relative but the only one that MJ enjoyed seeing was her aunt Anna Watson. Philip eventually moved to Oregon and never said goodbye. Mary Jane wrote letters to him but he never answered. She gave up trying. (Amazing Spider-Man #259)

”Parallel Lives”

Upon visiting Anna Watson as a high school student, Mary Jane refused to go on a blind date with Peter Parker. Anna said he was a "quiet, sensitive boy." Sarcastically, Mary Jane replied that her father had been "sensitive" too. (Spider-Man: Parallel Lives)

”Two of a Kind”

During a difficult time in the marriage (Peter was hiding his pain after Harry Osborn's death by being Spider-Man full time), Mary Jane went back to Pittsburgh to see her sister. She had acted the part of the party girl her whole life, to mask the pain of her childhood, but with all of the pain she was currently in, she didn't want to hide anymore. She believed that she had to make peace with the present by making peace with the past. Her family made her the person she is and she needed to embrace that fact.

The reunion with her sister went well, with both admitting that they had been selfish. Mary Jane shouldn't have run out on Gayle and Gayle shouldn't have expected her to help with raising the kids. She loved her sister and father and wanted them to know it.

MJ didn't sleep well before seeing her father again for the first time in years but eventually went to his apartment. He had long given up on writing a novel and was merely paying the rent with articles for a weekly newspaper. They made uncomfortable small talk before she saw a picture of her mother at Philip's typewriter. She resented that he had a picture of her, after he abandoned the family. He said that he kept the picture as a reminder of how much he loved his former wife and that he hated that he never let her know it. They agreed to stay in touch, that it was a new beginning. (Spectacular Spider-Man (vol. 1) #219)

”One Moment in Time”

Its unknown for how long MJ and her father stayed in touch, or if they even kept their promise to each other. However, Philip did have a long lasting effect on his daughter. After Mephisto prevented Peter and MJ's marriage, their daughter, May, was erased from ever existing. This was explained in the One Moment In Time story as a conscious decision on Mary Jane's part due to her past with her father. She told Peter that she refused to bring a child into an abusive situation, because she knew what it was like. She knew that Peter was nothing like Philip but the fact that he was Spider-Man made being in Peter's life extremely dangerous. MJ was willing to take that risk but not to bring a child into such an environment.


Cover Date Appearance Information
Dec 1984 FB: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #259
May 1989 App: Spider-Man: Parallel Lives
Sep 1987 App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #292
Dec 1994 App: Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #219
 In: Characters
 Posted: Nov 2010
 Staff: Dave Sippel (E-Mail)
 Staff: Keith Moore (E-Mail)