Now we’re onto the big guns, and the penultimate entry on our list takes the spot of saddest and-at-the-same-time-most-frustrating retcons ever to take place in marvel fiction.
Aunt May Parker is a sacred figure in the Marvel universe, for many of us a more influential family figure than any of our own real-life aunts, and her bond with rambunctious nephew Peter Parker is arguably the greatest of any two family members on paper.
The relationship Spider-Man shares with his aunt can perhaps only be rivalled by the love he shares for on-off love interest Mary Jane Watson (or Parker, depending on timing), and for a time, the pair were oh so happy.
Until 2007, when at-the-time Marvel editor-in-chef Joe Quesada felt married life aged Spider-Man too much and, to the disdain of writer J. Michael Straczynski, decided to return him closer to his boyhood roots by robbing him of all that.
As aforementioned, Peter’s love for Mary Jane is probably the only thing that could hold a torch to his affection for May, evidenced in the One More Day storyline, when he makes a deal with Mephisto to give up his marriage in order to save his aunt’s life.
Now, without sounding cold, there may not be many of us who would choose our ageing, probably-not-long-for-this-world-anyway Aunt over our young wife whom we adore. I mean what’s stopping Mephisto from sending the number 42 bus her way as soon as she recovers anyway?
They say it’s bad to look back, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. We hope you’re watching, Mr. Quesada.