Just because Peter Parker's Aunt May is getting on a bit doesn't mean she's boring in fact, there's much more to May than just a mean batch of wheatcakes. From her humble beginnings to her big screen debut and everything in between, here's the untold story of Marvel's most iconic golden oldie.
Officially, May and Ben Parker made their canonical debut alongside Spider-Man in Amazing Fantasy #15, but Spider-Man's origin story wasn't the first time that the characters had graced the pages of a Marvel comic. A couple of months before Spider-Man's big entrance, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko published a short story called "Goodbye to Linda Brown" in Strange Tales #97, which featured early versions of both of Peter's relatives.
"Goodbye to Linda Brown" is only a few pages long and doesn't leave much room for character development, but both Ben and May show glimmers of their future selves. For one, they look very similar to their Amazing Fantasy counterparts - especially May. For some reason, the colorist decided to give Ben a grey mustache, although Ditko clearly didn't pencil one in. In addition, both characters spend most of their time fretting over a teenager with secret superpowers, which is pretty much all Aunt May did for the first 50 issues or so of Amazing Spider-Man. Luckily, things did get a little more interesting after that.
Most probably saw Aunt May in the flesh for the first time in Sam Raimi's 2002 Spider-Man movie, in which Peter Parker's doddering aunt was played by Emmy-winning actress Rosemary Harris. But Harris wasn't actually the first person to bring May to life in a live-action project. That honor goes to Jeff Donnell, - and so we’re clear Jean Marie Donnell went by her nickname Jeff, so that explains that... Anyway, she portrayed Aunt May in a 90-minute TV movie that served as the backdoor pilot for the 1977 Spider-Man television series. Keep watching the video to see more of the untold truth of Spider Man's Aunt May!
Early days | 0:17
Big screen debut | 1:14
Her finest hour | 2:16
The night Aunt May died | 3:47
Secret identities | 5:05
Going galactic | 6:32
A woman about town | 8:21
Just a number | 9:48