This could also serve as an opportunity to finally give Peter a long-term love interest again. He’s had several flings since One More Day made him a free agent – Silk, Carlie Cooper, Mockingbird – but frankly, Spidey’s love life has rarely seemed like much of a priority in recent years. At some point you have to wonder why Marvel worked so hard to restore Peter’s bachelorhood. Mary Jane’s return could be the key to addressing that problem. The fact that Peter’s narration in issue #1 refers to these events as “our story” suggests that the Peter/MJ relationship is at the core of Spencer’s run in much the same way the Batman/Catwoman relationship is for Tom King’s Batman.
Peter — and MJ for that matter, either together or separately — in a relationship is something I’ve been hoping for for a while now. It always seemed like Marvel broke up Pete and MJ because the idea of a married superhero is “boring” or to open the door to more stories featuring a single-looking-to-mingle Peter. However, they then never delivered on this concept, aside from his short fling with Black Cat and a couple of issues with Carlie Cooper, a character I was enjoying reading about, until her relationship with Pete abruptly ended and was never spoken of again.
The classic stories focused on or involving Pete and MJ’s relationship have been some of my favourites because it’s one of the few things about superhero comics that’s relatable. They’re often things we all go through in our own lives. An example of this is one of my favourite issue of Amazing Spider-Man, #491 (#50). In it, Peter and Mary Jane — who are separated — cross paths at an airport during their separate flight delays and take that time to work through the issues that pushed them apart a dozen or so issues prior. The book isn’t without its share of action as Doctor Doom is targeted by resistance fighters and — in a twist — Captain America and Spidey have to protect him. If you haven’t read it, you should. It’s great.
As the article mentions, Peter and Mary Jane can still be in a relationship and tell entertaining stories but there’s a risk here that I’m sure Marvel realizes. If fans who left the book around the events of the One More Day arc are expected to come back and get excited about the prospect of the two characters together again, Marvel needs to show they’re distancing themselves from the idea of breaking them up in a strange, otherworldly way again.
Again reiterating the points brought up in Schedeen’s piece, people need to know this could go the distance or they’ll have an even harder time coming back next time if they do at all.