April 27’s Amazing Spider-Man #1 (opens in new tab) is packed with its share of mysteries and set-ups for future stories, but one of the strangest twists involves children coming into Peter Parker’s life – and to say anything more would be far too much of a spoiler to get into here.
In fact, it’s a little too early to even speculate on the actual parentage of the children in question, even though Amazing Spider-Man writer Zeb Wells and lead artist John Romita, Jr. are certainly pointing readers in a specific direction (for now).
We can’t say for sure who the kids who show up in Amazing Spider-Man actually belong to, and won’t name the character or characters they’ve been linked to here (though we will in our spoiler story – if you dare).
But Peter Parker himself has been a parent before in comics, both in the mainstream Marvel Universe and in prominent alt-reality stories from around the Multiverse, some of which have birthed (pun intended) long-running ‘Variant’ characters who have taken on lives and popular followings of their own.
Three Spider-Kids have been prominent parts of Spidey-lore over the years – though keep in mind we’re hardly claiming this to be an exhaustive list, nor are we claiming any connection between the children of Peter Parker who have previously appeared, or even stating that Peter Parker is or could be the father of the kids who appear in Amazing Spider-Man #1.
(Are the lawyers satisfied? Let’s run this clause by the legal department).
Without further preamble or any more exhaustive disclaimers that this list is just for the sake of fun and observation, let’s meet Peter Parker’s kids.
May Parker is the only child that Peter Parker and Mary Jane are confirmed to have parented in the mainstream Marvel Universe (and no, we’re not alluding to anything about the new kids…)
Tragically, she died in infancy in the Earth-616 reality. But in the alt-reality of the popular MC2 line of comics which kicked off in the late ’90s, May Parker grew up to become Spider-Girl (opens in new tab), the line’s lead character and a cult favorite to this day.
MC2 spun out of the extra-popular What If…? #105 (opens in new tab), which showed a look forward into the future of the Marvel Universe, with the children, descendants, and successors of popular Marvel heroes and villains taking the spotlight, a concept that carried over into the larger line.
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May ‘Mayday’ Parker started out just like Peter – sneaking around as Spider-Girl to hide her crime fighting activities from her disapproving parents, who eventually embraced May’s place as Spider-Girl. ‘Mayday’ also took up her dad’s torch as a prototypical teen hero, trying to balance being a superhero with her schoolwork and being the star of the high school basketball team (which earned her the ‘Mayday’ nickname).
Over the years, her role in Marvel Comics grew larger, and before long, Spider-Girl was the only lasting remnant of the MC2 reality of Earth-982 in the Marvel line, with her Spider-Girl title eventually relaunching as Amazing Spider-Girl and then Spectacular Spider-Girl as it was saved from cancellation by fan demand more than once.
May Parker has another well-known ‘Variant’ of her own in the reality of the story Earth-X, where she’s the host of the Venom symbiote.
Anna-May ‘Annie’ Parker is the daughter of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson in the reality of the title Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows (Earth-18119, to be exact) – a world where Peter and MJ never split up, and instead went on to not only have a daughter together but become a superhero family trio together.
Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows (opens in new tab) started as a tie-in to 2015’s Secret Wars (opens in new tab), which destroyed and rebuilt Marvel’s Multiverse. But its popularity led to the title getting a relaunch as its own independent Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows (opens in new tab) ongoing series after Secret Wars concluded.
In the world of Renew Your Vows, Annie Parker develops her spider-powers in childhood, defeating half the Sinister Six while in elementary school.
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With Peter and MJ realizing Annie is too strong-willed and too bold to stop from being a superhero now that she’s gotten a taste of it (just like her dad), they develop a protective suit for her and dub her ‘Spiderling’.
In a surprise twist, Mary Jane of Earth-18119 also becomes a superhero after Peter uses his scientific genius to develop a suit for her that mimics his own powers, under the codename ‘Spinnerette’.
Interestingly enough, Marvel has also shown a few different leaps forward into Annie Parker’s own timeline. In the original Secret Wars tie-in limited series in which she was introduced, she was shown to take on the codename AMP (based on her initials, Anna-May Parker). And in another possible future, she was shown to potentially become another version of Spider-Girl.
In the limited series Spider-Man: Bloodline (opens in new tab), co-written by film director JJ Abrams and his son Henry Abrams with art from Sara Pichelli, Peter Parker’s son becomes his successor rather than his daughter. Named after Peter’s Uncle Ben (naturally), this Spider-Kid actually becomes Spider-Man fairly early on in his life, under tragic circumstances.
In other words, lil’ Ben Parker doesn’t just inherit his dad’s spider-powers, he also gets a dose of the ‘ol’ Parker Luck’.
Spider-Man: Bloodline kicks off with Peter Parker failing to save Mary Jane from the series’ main villain, Cadaverous, as Ben looks on. Traumatized and nearly killed by the fight, Peter Parker becomes despondent and all but gives up on being Spider-Man.
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If you can believe it, the teen Ben Parker quickly finds himself taking up his father’s costume as Spider-Man himself, sneaking around and fighting crime as is the inevitable nature of Parker kids with Spider-powers.
Though the rest of the story doesn’t quite go as one might expect, it winds up with Ben Parker fully inhabiting the mantle of Spider-Man in his reality of Earth-29320.
So there you have it – the three most notable kids of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson.
At least, that we know of – and no, we’re not hinting at anything.
Stay up to date on all the new Spider-Man comics planned for release in 2022 and beyond with our handy listing.