In his 60 years since first gracing the comic book pages, Spider-Man has become one of Marvel’s most prolific superheroes. One of the cornerstones behind the character’s success over the years has been the incredible work that creators Stan Lee and Steve Ditko did in developing a personal life for him. Of particular interest has always been his love life, as we have seen his love interests change over time in the comics. This usually begs the question, is Spider-Man gay, bisexual, or straight?
Spider-Man is straight. In the comics, he is involved with numerous women, and also in the movies, his love interests are women. His two most significant romantic interests are Mary Jane Watson and Gwen Stacy. In the comics or movies, there is no indication that he was ever involved with a man.
This article will explore the sexual orientation of Spider-Man by analyzing his love interests over the years in both the comics and the movies. If this sounds like something you’d like to know about our friendly neighborhood superhero, read on till the end!
Spider-Man love interests in Marvel comics and movies
One fact most avid Spider-Man fans are aware of is that he got his powers at a very young age. He had to make sense of his powers as a teenager, struggling to strike a balance between normal life and superhero duties, which was no easy feat.
All this, coupled with the fact that he has always been the geeky and awkward type, must have set him up for a weird love life. However, this might be far from the truth. Sure enough in his time, he has had his fair share of love interests stuck in his tangled web. This section will explore these various love interests in both the Marvel Comics and Spider-Man movies.
In Marvel comics:
In Marvel Comics, Spider-Man was romantically involved with:
- Mary Jane Watson- Arguably Spider-Man’s best girlfriend. Peter and MJ get married in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21. However, in the One More Day storyline, Peter strikes a deal with Mephisto to save Aunt May’s life. This erased his relationship with MJ from history.
- Gwen Stacy- Despite MJ being Peter’s primary love, true fans know that Gwen Stacy is right up there as one of his greatest loves. The two began a romantic involvement in Amazing Spider-Man #53 after discovering they had a lot of shared interests. Tragically, the Green Goblin murders Gwen Stacy in Amazing Spider-Man #121.
- Black Cat- Black Cat first started as Spider-Man’s nemesis, with the two developing a flirtatious relationship during their encounters that transformed into a romantic one. They dated on and off and even became partners but nothing major blossomed.
- Betty Brant- Betty was an assistant to J. Jonah Jameson at the Daily Bugle where Peter got his first job as a photographer while in high school. They tried dating despite Peter being younger. However, things wouldn’t work due to Peter’s constant disappearances to fight crime as Spiderman.
- Carlie Cooper- After Mephisto erased MJ and Peter’s marriage in the One More Day storyline, fans questioned what Peter’s love life would be like. Enter Carlie Cooper, a New York Police Department’s Crime Scene Unit officer. The two would date for a while but after Carlie discovers Peter is Spider-Man, she breaks it off.
- Kitty Pryde– Kitty Pryde’s relationship with Spider-Man took place in the Ultimate Marvel Comics. Kitty was a teen member of the X-Men and Peter was a teenage superhero. The two started dating after Peter and MJ broke up. This relationship didn’t last because Peter was still hung up on MJ.
- Silver Sable- Assassin Silver Sable is one of Spider-Man’s most dangerous girlfriends. They worked together for years, maintaining a strictly business relationship. It was in the Ends of the Earth storyline that Sable developed feelings for Parker.
- Silk- Cindy Moon was transformed by the same spider that bit Peter, transforming her into the costumed crime-fighter Silk. The two discovered they had an animalistic attraction to each other that consumed them when they were close to each other.
- Captain Marvel- While it never really blossomed into an actual romantic relationship, Spider-Man and Carol Danvers had an attraction to each other while working together for the New Avengers.
- Michelle Gonzalez- After Mephisto mystically erased Peter’s marriage to MJ, several new love interests were introduced including Michelle Gonzalez. Initially, the two didn’t really like each other but after a drunken one-night stand in Amazing Spider-Man #601, they had a brief romance that couldn’t work due to Michelle’s over-possessiveness.
Some of Spider-Man’s other love interests in the comics include Mockingbird, Anna Maria Marconi, Lian Tang, Debra Whitman, Jill Stacy, Liz Allen, and so on.
In the movies, Spider-Man had relationships with:
- Betty Brant- She’s Jameson’s secretary at the Daily Bugle and encounters Peter Parker who works as a photographer at the newspaper. At the start, their relationship is virtually professional but they become closer by the time Spider-Man 3 (2007) rolls around.
- Ursula Ditkovich- This character only makes an appearance in the films. She’s the daughter of Mr. Ditkovichand is Peter Parker’s neighbor. She has a crush on Peter which becomes clear in Spider-Man 3 (2007), especially after Peter and Mary Jane separate.
- Elizabeth Toomes- This character only appears in the MCU and is in the same high school as Tom Holland’s Peter Parker. She is Peter’s first love interest in the MCU. Peter discovers her father, Adrian Toomes, is a villain who’s been stealing alien tech to build weapons. Liz and her family eventually leave New York after her father is apprehended.
- Gwen Stacy- She appears in Sam Raimi’s and Marc Webb’s Spider-Man movies. Gwen and Peter are in the same class in high school. In 2007’s Spider-Man 3, Peter is infected by the symbiote and uses Gwen to make MJ jealous. In The Amazing Spider-Man movies in 2012 and 2014, Gwen is Peter’s main love and always tries to help him stop the Lizard, Electro, and the Green Goblin.
- Mary Jane Watson- Widely acknowledged as Spider-Man’s best girlfriend. In the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy, she’s Peter Parker’s neighbor. Though they rarely speak at first, the two eventually find themselves in a relationship wrought with attacks by various Spider-Man villains like Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, and Sandman.
- Michelle Jones “MJ”- In the MCU, Peter Parker’s main love interest is MJ (not Mary Jane Watson but Michelle Jones). She figures out Peter is Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Far From Home and the two officially become a couple.
The Bottom Line: Is Spider-Man gay, bisexual, or straight?
After analyzing Spider-Man’s love interests in the comics as well as the movies, it’s clear that all of his romantic involvements are with women. This means that Spider-Man is straight. However, in some comic book runs, fans sometimes get confused about his sexuality. Of particular interest is his interactions with Deadpool, who likes to mess with Spider-Man by flirting with him. There are also Spider-Man’s encounters with Johnny Storm.