- —Aunt May
- 1 History
- 1.1 Teen Years, Marriage, and Taking in Peter
- 1.2 Ben's Death and Peter's Secret Life
- 1.3 Gwen's Death and Moving
- 1.4 Clone Saga
- 1.5 Talking About Peter's Double Life as Spider-Man
- 1.6 Gwen's Return
- 1.7 Ultimatum
- 1.8 Post Ultimatum
- 1.9 Chameleon's Defamation
- 1.10 Gwen leaving
- 1.11 Gwen's return
- 1.12 Peter's Birthday
- 1.13 Death of Spider-Man
- 1.14 Return to New York
- 2 Powers and Abilities
- 3 Trivia
- 4 See Also
- 5 Links and References
Teen Years, Marriage, and Taking in Peter
As a girl, May Parker was a wild child; she once shouted a proposal to Jimi Hendrix at a concert, and at fifteen she ran away from home, sleeping in a San Francisco basement for a while. Her family problems were presumably resolved over time, as she now has a good relationship with her mother, who retired to Florida. After marrying Ben Parker, May got close to her sister-in-law, Mary and her husband, Richard, and their son, Peter. When May was told that Mary, whom she considered her best friend, and her husband had died in a plane crash, May and Ben took Peter in and raised him as their own. May became a responsible adult, working in an office cubicle and attending PTA meetings.
Ben's Death and Peter's Secret Life
May's life took a tragic turn when Ben was shot dead by a burglar before her eyes. She became the sole guardian to Peter, who started acting up and keeping odd hours. She comforted him when he had nightmares, but was unsure if Peter even liked her, since he never seemed to be around anymore; in truth, Peter had secretly become the super hero Spider-Man. Terrified she might lose Peter too, May angrily overreacted whenever she couldn't account for his whereabouts, subconsciously pushing him away. One night, May caught Peter coming home extremely late and grounded him, but soon relented; however, reports of Peter's erratic attendance at school continued to cause her concern.
After Peter befriended new classmate Gwen Stacy, May became romantically interested in Gwen's father, John - ironically, the police officer who had investigated Ben's death. When John was killed by a Spider-Man impostor and Gwen's absentee mother refused to take responsibility for her daughter, May took Gwen in. John Stacy's death prompted May to see a therapist, to whom she confessed her fear of loss, her guilt over being attracted to John so soon after Ben's death, and her concern that she was only using Gwen as a way of keeping herself too busy to think about the ghosts surrounding her. She also admitted she was terrified of the chaos Spider-Man and his ilk represented, as he seemed to keep appearing during times of crisis in her life. May's therapist helped her see she needed to let herself love people without always fearing she would lose them. Realizing this seemed to give May new strength. When Peter's employer J. Jonah Jameson unjustly fired Peter, May called Jameson and gave him a piece of her mind; when Mary Jane's father accosted Peter for endangering his daughter, May again defended her nephew. She even held her ground against agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. when they took her into protective custody after several of Spider-Man's enemies escaped.
Gwen's Death and Moving
Tragedy struck again when Gwen was murdered in the Parker's backyard by the creature known as Carnage. With too many bad memories now filling their home, May and Peter made plans to move. After moving from their home and having gotten over the traumatic event of her husband's death, May goes on a date while Spider-Man is dealing with Deadpool and the X-Men. As he was returning home from the skirmish, he decided to reveal his secret identity to her, only to find that she had left a note on her phone saying that she was staying the night with her date, Professor Miles Warren, Harry Osborn's hypnotist/therapist.
It is not until that Peter discovered the clone of Gwen Stacy that he reveals his secret identity to May. May screamed at Peter and Gwen to leave the house, furious that she had given up her adult life for someone who kept secrets from her. At that moment, Peter's father appeared, apparently not dead as Peter had thought. Peter learned that May had known his 'father', in truth a clone of Peter and not really his father, had been alive for some time and had kept the secret from him to "protect him". After a long talk between Peter and his 'father', Nick Fury and a team of Spider Slayers surrounded the Parker home, which triggered a transformation in Gwen, turning her into Carnage. May then suffered a heart attack. She was kept from dying by Sue Storm of the Fantastic Four. She reconciled with Peter and accepted him as Spider-Man, though she was not at all fond of his costume.
Talking About Peter's Double Life as Spider-Man
During her rest in the hospital, May talked with Mary Jane about Spider-Man's popularity. After recovering, May returned home and focused on talking with Peter about his double life. Peter told May why he became Spider-Man, and May said that Ben would be proud of him for doing so.
One night Peter found "Gwen" in his room and asked what happened to her, meanwhile Eddie Brock came by in an attempt to gain access into the house and retake his lost symbiote, who he knew had returned to Peter. May grabbed her gun and threatened to shoot him but Brock easily overpowered her when Peter attacked Brock and engaged him as Venom on a nearby industrial rooftop, with "Gwen" secretly following behind. Peter then tried to show him the horrors of the Venom Suit, asking Gwen to show him, but she had turned into Carnage and attacked Eddie. Unfortunately, coming in contact with the Carnage symbiote regrew the microscopic parts of the suit in Eddie's blood (it did that because the Carnage life form was created partially with the Suit and the contact accidentally gave Eddie some of the Suit helping him reform it) reforming the Suit making him Venom again. Eddie and Gwen then fought each other. Gwen seemed winning, but Eddie then gained the upper hand. Eddie was then able to reabsorb the Carnage monster into his Venom suit, rendering "Gwen" just the clone of an average girl. S.H.I.E.L.D. and Iron Man arrived just after Venom escaped, and had "Gwen" rechecked at the Triskelion. Peter and May were called to the base, and Peter questioned Tony about what exactly "Gwen" was at that point. Stark posed the question that if she was biologically 100% Gwen Stacy, and had her mind, "then who are they to say she's anything but Gwen Stacy". Though she tested to be nothing but a girl at this point, S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Carol Danvers attempted to keep "Gwen" in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody, but Peter and May were able to successfully argue for her release into their custody with the support of Tony Stark.
A few days later, Gwen moved back in with Peter and Aunt May and May tried to enroll Gwen back into Highschool but had a hard time due to the fact that everyone thought she was dead. The following day, Kitty, Kenny, Peter, MJ, and Gwen all met at the Parker residence to head out to the city to see Johnny Storm. Kenny tried to say something nice to Gwen, but the situation became awkward as he thought she died. Aunt May appeared and gave some money for them to enjoy themselves and warned them to lookout for the weather as things looked like it might rain. Little did everyone know that Magneto's plan is already happening. While Peter and the gang headed to the L-train, the police came and arrested Aunt May, taking her into custody. She was then brought to the 103rd precinct where she was questioned at length about her nephew's connection to Spider-Man. The detectives are convinced that Peter Parker actually is Spider-Man, but May offers them nothing, insisting that they allow her to contact a lawyer. Suddenly, all of the lights go out. May walks out of the building into the street only to bare witness to a scene of unheralded devastation. The Ultimatum Wave slams into New York City completely flooding the five Burroughs. Thousands of people are killed. At the precinct, Jessica Drew, aka Spider-Woman, swings down and finds May Parker outside police headquarters. May is trying to save the life of the detective, Mary Lambow, who arrested her, and is currently pinned down beneath a fallen telephone pole.
Spider-Woman then rescues Aunt May, and she is asked by May if she knows Peter. She then says she does and May asks her to find Peter and bring him back to her, Spider-Woman then promises she will. Hours later she someone makes it back home.
Sometime later, Kenny, MJ, and Gwen make it back to the Parker residence and Mrs. Watson and Aunt May are overjoyed to see them alive. However, that happiness doesn't last long, as Kitty arrives moments later and only with the remains Peter's tattered mask that she found while she was looking for him. Immediately, Aunt May and Gwen break down and cry while Kitty hands MJ Peter's mask as she begins to sob too, all believing that Spider-Man had fallen. Later, the military and the surviving Ultimates searched for survivors of Magneto's attack in Manhattan and Captain America found the unconscious Peter Parker within the ruins of the city. Captain America and Iron Man checked on his vitals and he woke up before the Ultimates. To everyone in Peter's life, they were over joyed to find him alive and well. 
6 months after the Ultimatum, Peter is now working at Burger Frog, a fast food restaurant, and Gwen Stacy is living with him again and they are dating. Later at the Parkers' residence, an exhausted Johnny Storm arrives and greets Peter and Gwen, and passes out at the front door. They take him in and Aunt May asks him why he is there. After school, Gwen returns to the Parker's residence and sees Johnny talking to Susan Storm. She then finds out that Johnny Storm is now living with them. The next day, she finds out someone else will live with them and tells Peter to be calm for a new surprise. Gwen tells Peter that someone else will be moving in. Peter goes in the house to see Kitty Pryde and Bobby Drake in the living room. Aunt May and Peter go into another room, where Aunt May reveals that Bobby will be moving in with them too. Peter reluctantly agrees. At dinner, Peter was giving himself a full mental review of what's happening in his life so far: an orphaned super hero, living with his widowed aunt, the convenience of hooking up with Gwen and the emotional complexities of it, the whereabouts of Black Cat, wondering if Johnny Storm will annoy him while living together, and getting along with Bobby Drake. Gwen then got up to announce to the boys that she's off limits as she's the girlfriend to Peter. Aunt May then reminded everyone that there's no hanky-panky in the house, especially to Johnny.
Apparently Aunt May read the gossip columns and knows about Johnny's tall list of conquests. Johnny then joked about the matter by admitting everything the tabloids say about his exploits are completely true and high-fived Bobby. Peter re-focused on a more serious subject, how can they hide two world famous hero celebrities within their high school. Aunt May had a cosmetic suggestion, a simple makeover. To Johnny's mortified expression, Aunt May had Johnny's hair dyed black. With Bobby, Peter gave Bobby a buzz-cut; both of them mentioned they might cry over losing their beautiful hair. As for their new identities, thanks to the Ultimate Wave, public records have been destroyed and Aunt May took advantage of that by faking their identities: Johnny Parker and Bobby Parker, cousins to Peter Parker.
Aunt May realizes along with Gwen and Peter, that they are now living in a superhero house. Johnny and Bobby are trying to get into Midtown High. Johnny dyes his hair black and Bobby shaves his hair off to keep a secret identity. But they are not registered in the school just yet. Aunt May has to go to the Principal to get them into the school. The same principal that called the Police under the suspicions that Peter was Spider-man. That was then. This is now; Spider-man is known as a hero. He used to be known as a vigilante and a thug before Jonah Jameson wrote that paper about him telling how great Spider-man was. The principal is more positive now and is happy to bring in these new students.
Mary Jane is shocked to see a pack of superheroes standing together in school. Only she knows the superheroes part. Peter explains that they are his 'cousins' and are new here. As Peter continues, his spider-senses go off, with danger coming from the entrance. Peter walks slowly to the door. Suddenly, there is an explosion. Out of the fire and the wreckage comes a huge green machine with three eyes and weapons. Everyone runs out of the school, except for Peter, who dodges all the machine's attacks, all the attacks that seem to be aiming at him. As Spider-man, Peter rescues the Principal, who was sitting under his desk. In comes the Shroud, who dives for the machine. Spider-man turns to help the Shroud out, but sees the machine shut down, with Shroud standing over it. The Human Torch enters to help, but the fight is over. Spider-man and the Human Torch look to where the Shroud was, now gone. The Human Torch remarks that maybe they should invite Shroud to move in with them also. Awhile later after a haircut ambush, Peter returns home and Aunt May says she likes his new look since his hair is not ridiculously long anymore.
Back at the Parker household, Aunt May decreed an official stop to heroics until public anti-mutant sentiment lowers; it was not without the objection and sarcasm to the young heroes. Bobby was still worried about Kitty, but Peter and Johnny reminded him they tried to help her and was rebuked.
Bobby wondered if it meant giving up on Kitty and Peter reaffirmed his commitment into helping her; however Bobby still feared she might join the Brotherhood of Mutants. Peter wondered if Bobby was ever this paranoid; Bobby melodramatically asked who said he was paranoid. Peter remarked his joke was a bit intense. Bobby then switched subject, about living a "normal" life; Bobby talked about cash flow issues and the need for money. Peter recommended his job at the Burger Frog, but gave him a fair warning why people always leave the job, because it sucked.
The following day, Bobby got the Burger Frog job, as the tadpole behind the counter with Peter. Johnny had to come out and mock both of them for their ridiculous outfits. Peter and Bobby held their frustration back as Johnny wondered if there's any "dignity" available to order, but joked they don't have any; Bobby returned a favor by icing Johnny's pants. Meanwhile, MJ appeared to talk to Peter.
MJ wanted to talk to both Gwen and Peter about the video she recorded earlier, when the federal agents attempted to arrest Kitty. She doesn't know what to do with the footage as it's a sensitive matter to Kitty, but it's also a very news-worthy matter to publish. Gwen suggested to sell it for money, but MJ objected as she wanted to be a serious journalist. After some thinking, Peter decided to see Ben Urich in the new Daily Bugle.
Later that day, the Chameleon disguised himself as Peter, and tried to hook up with Mary Jane. A few days later MJ thought that Peter had really wanted her back and she kissed him, to Gwen's dismay thinking Peter had cheated on her. Later that day, Peter came home and was scolded by Aunt May, and she said costumes letting the chameleon know that Peter was Spider-Man. Later that night, Bobby, Johnny, Aunt May, and Gwen watched the news and saw that Spider-Man was committing robberies. It was then that Aunt May realized that it couldn't be Peter and she sent Johnny and Bobby to find him. The next day, they came back with the real Peter who had been held captive by the people who were posing as him.
A while later, Gwen confessed to MJ that she was disgusted and angry that she kissed the person who was posing as Peter and that she wants to be away from Peter after that but can't because she has to live with him. She then said that she forced Peter to date her and then left. Later that day, while no one was home, Gwen packed her things and left a note for Peter, Aunt May, Bobby, and Johnny letting them know why she wasn't there, and left the Parker house.
She appeared back in Queens 2 days later letting Aunt May know that she was all right. She told her that when she left, she went to see her mother, but found that she had remarried and had new kids. Aunt May comforted her, when Iron Man came for Spider-Man's superhero training sessions. Aunt May told him that he's exposing that Spider-Man lives in Queens and he leaves. Gwen is confused but Aunt May tells her to get into the house and that she will explain everything. Later the boys saw Gwen and were happy to see her back, while Aunt May was screaming over the phone with SHIELD agents, trying to directly speak with Carol Danvers. Peter wanted to know what happened and Aunt May explained that Iron Man showed up at their front lawn and asked for Peter without discretion. Peter was confused as to why Iron Man would appear and to his surprise, Iron Man was his assigned teacher. As Aunt May continued to vent her frustration against SHIELD, Peter checked with Gwen and she confirmed that she's back and staying.
Aunt May along with Gwen, Bobby, and Johnny invited people over to Peter's 16th birthday party like Sue Storm and Ben Grimm. After finishing decorating, they wait for Peter to come home. They then yell surprise and greet him.
Death of Spider-Man
The Ultimate Six Escape and Leaving Town
A few days later, while watching TV, Peter arrives at home (still in costume) surprising both Gwen and Aunt May as he rushed into the living room. He quickly told the two to take whatever they can and drive out of the city. Still confused, Peter explained that Osborn is alive. Aunt May was confused as she thought Osborn was dead, but Peter explained he's alive and was on the news with all the previous villains he had taken down before. The most damning thing was that they all know Spider-Man is Peter Parker and they know where he lives. Aunt May and Gwen began scrambling to pack; Gwen couldn't resist reminding Peter in frustration that she warned him this would happen(most likely she knew that this would happen because of when the Carnage Life Form came to Peter's house looking for him a year earlier). Peter apologetically acknowledged Gwen's prophecy and told them he'll contact them when it's safe to return. Aunt May was worried about Bobby and Johnny, but Gwen reminded her that they're Iceman and Human Torch; they can handle themselves, but even so, she leaves a note for them telling them to get to a safe place and to call her when they get there. For security, Peter wanted Gwen to text them to keep them in the loop. The conversation was cut short when Aunt May interrupted the conversation to insist Peter to leave with them, but Peter was insistent to stay to help. Aunt May didn't want Peter to go, but he was insistent in this matter and they hugged before Peter telling her to go. Gwen also gave Peter a big hug, reminding him to kick Osborn's ass without doing anything fancy before they departed.
Returning and Saving Peter
Later, one of the neighbors calls Aunt May and informs her that her nephew is Spider-Man and that he's about to be killed. May turns the car around and speeds back home. She arrives just as Electro is about to deal the final blow to Peter and manages to shoot him three times in the chest with her revolver. Electro falls to the ground, dead, but not before once again shorting out and electrocuting Sandman and Vulture, leaving them unconscious. Aunt May was shocked that she shot someone, but Gwen thought it was awesome. Peter realized Aunt May was in shock and tried to calm her down. Peter tried to tell her that Electro was still alive, but his injuries were taking its toll. Aunt May wanted know what happened to him and Peter explained he'd been shot; Aunt May cried out for an ambulance, but the neighbors already assured her they did. In the meantime, Gwen confirmed that both Johnny and Bobby are still alive.
Even though help was called, Aunt May asked for any by-standing doctor as Peter collapsed onto Aunt May. While resting in her arms and kneeling on the floor, he apologized to her because it's not the life she wanted; Aunt May called him a "crazy boy." Even in his exhausted state, he was still able to joke he was a "cute crazy boy." It was then the Green Goblin finally recovered and confronted Peter.
Peter quickly reacted and grabbed both Gwen and Aunt May as Green Goblin attacked. Osborn tried to kill them with a flaming smash, but Peter leaped away with the two before impact. Despite his injuries, Peter leaped over a house and landed on the opposite side of the block; the leap also tore open his bullet wound. After they safely landed, Peter told Gwen to take Aunt May as far away as possible and use whatever means necessary to fulfill the task. Just as Aunt May was about to point out Peter was bleeding, Osborn also leaped over to get Peter. Before Osborn reached them, Peter intercepted Osborn to insure Gwen's and Aunt May's escape. Gwen led Aunt May away from the fight like Peter asked her too. Aunt May after trying to get past Gwen finally managed to get away from her and ran with Gwen chasing her.
Unfortunately when they arrived back at the scene of the fight, Osborn had been defeated, but Mary Jane and Johnny were kneeling over Peter who was lying on the ground, dying. They immediately rushed over and a tearful Aunt May asked Peter "What did you do, boy? What did you do?" Peter smiled with his bloodied face and replied, "It's okay. I--I did it." Aunt May told Peter to hang on, but Peter said, "Don't you see...it's okay. I did it. I couldn't save him. Uncle Ben. I couldn't save him... No matter what I did. But I saved you. I did it. I did..." As Peter tried to reach with his hand for Aunt May, Peter couldn't hold out and died. Johnny tried to listen for a pulse over Peter's chest, but there was nothing. As everyone mourned for Peter, MJ held his lifeless body in her arms as she cried. The spectators could only continue to watch the tragedy that had befallen on the Parkers.
Peter's Funeral and Moving
Shortly after Peter died, news of Spider-Man's demise and his secret identity spread quickly. Those who were involved with Peter's life mourned for him with guilt, anger, sadness, and trepidation. Gwen felt she's cursed, Johnny could only express his rage with bursts of fire over the city, MJ blamed Peter's death on Fury and swore to find investigative proof, Kitty returned as The Shroud to take her anger out on criminals, Rogue thought it was the end of days, and JJ himself couldn't find the proper words to express his feelings for Peter's eulogy on the Bugle paper.
At Peter's funeral, Tony Stark made and paid for all arrangements for his burial to relieve Aunt May of the financial burden. Although Aunt May wanted something small and private, those who were touched by Spider-Man came to also mourn for him at St. Patrick's Cathedral as well. While walking in, Aunt May met a little girl that Peter previously saved from a burning building. It gave Aunt May some comfort to know she lived because of Peter.
Inside the cathedral, the Ultimates as well as the Bugle staff were present for Peter's funeral. When seated, Captain America came before Aunt May and admitted Peter's death was his fault. Aunt May wanted to know how it was his fault; Rogers explained about his lecture to Peter, about him being not ready and the bullet he took for him. Aunt May lost control and blamed the Ultimates for their failure to train him and their harshness against Peter. Aunt May was so enraged that she smacked Rogers in the face. Shocked at what she had done, she left outside, only to be overwhelmed by people outside; JJ arrived to help Aunt May complete the service. Although Peter died and left the world in a darker place, Spider-Man wasn't gone.
Peter's death became a critical point to everyone that was touched by him: Captain America left the Ultimates, Johnny and Bobby ran away from the Parker house (due to their guilt over Peter's death) and joined Kitty to start a new life in the abandoned Morlocks lair, and Gwen and Aunt May decided to take an all-expenses-paid new life to France. Unable to cope with Peter's death, Gwen, MJ, and Aunt May developed somewhat emo-culture personalities, with MJ also sporting glasses. Between the secret schemes of villains and heroism of good people, a new hero with similar origins to Peter arises: Miles Morales, the new Spider-Man.
Return to New York
Upon seeing a newspaper in France, Aunt May returned to New York with Gwen and called for a meeting with Tony Stark, hoping to meet Miles. Along with Mary Jane, the two arranged a meeting with Miles in an old warehouse only to be confronted by Captain America, who openly expressed his displeasure at Miles having taken up the Spider-Man identity and threatened to arrest his parents and expose his secret to them unless he retired before going to combat the Rhino. However, May, MJ, and Gwen were far more supportive of Miles; May gave Miles a box containing Peter's old web-shooters and the web-fluid formula, encouraging him to help Captain America and do things his own way rather than Peter's.
Later, while overseeing the sale of the old Parker residence, May and Gwen were visited by someone wearing a red-and-blue Spider-Man costume. At first believing him to be a lunatic disrespecting Peter's memory, the two were shocked speechless when the person unmasked himself to reveal the face of an older and more mature Peter Parker. However, still disbelieving that he was Peter, May slapped him in the face, followed by Gwen physically attacking him. With the arrival of Miles, May fainted after hearing the remorse from Peter for ever showing up. She later recovered and found Gwen speaking to both Peter and Miles. Though Gwen was thoroughly convinced that he was Peter Parker from another universe, May was still cautious, until Peter related how he had lost his Uncle Ben and began the quote, "With Great Power..." in which May finished with "Comes Great Responsibility." Finally convinced that he was indeed Peter Parker, May tearfully embraced him and was given the chance for the closure that she had missed when her Peter had died. S.H.I.E.L.D. later arrived to take Peter back to his own universe, as May decides that she had made the right choices concerning her nephew.
Powers and Abilities
May Parker possesses the normal human strength for a female her age, height, and build who engages in minimal regular exercise
- May was a fan of Jimi Hendrix in her teen years.
- According to himself, Aunt May's personality is heavily inspired by Brian Michael Bendis' aunt.
- Her email was firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 115 appearance(s) of May Reilly (Earth-1610)
- 4 minor appearance(s) of May Reilly (Earth-1610)
- 9 mention(s) of May Reilly (Earth-1610)
- 40 image(s) of May Reilly (Earth-1610)
- 8 quotation(s) by or about May Reilly (Earth-1610)