Assignment: Save Aunt May

Okay, as I think many comic fans here know, in recent months, Spider-Man’s beloved Aunt May suffered an (eventually) mortal gunshot wound, and Peter, finding no other option—in the entire superpowered, super-scienced, and often magical Marvel Earth—was only able to save her life by selling his wife to the devil. (Slightly simplified for brevity)

Needless to say, for…various reasons, this has not been taken especially well by the fans.

Now, for a thought experiment, and for our collective peace of minds, here’s a challenge I present: find a way, within the current, mainstream Marvel universe, to save Aunt May’s life; Based around Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #24, wherin Doctor Strange allows Spidey to make a mystical world tour to try and find someone/thing that could help dear old May.


  1. You don’t have a writer/editor pre-ordaining your failure, so any solution already dismissed in the comic itself for insufficient reason* is potentially valid, again.
  2. Spidey wouldn’t try any method more overtly horrific or risky than selling his marriage to the devil. (I take it this should grant a fair bit of leeway, while still ruling out stuff like stealing the eyes of orphans, or something)
  3. “Let her die, and get on with his life” doesn’t count as a plan.
  4. Most importantly, and this is important, only two, unique life-saving plans allowed, per poster, per day. I’d like to see a variety, here, from many viewpoints. Discussion, brainstorming, and nitpicking of plans is permitted.

So, geeks…since I don’t think this has been tried before, anyone want to try this one?

*Also, “stupid.”

Let’s see. This was after M-Day, so maybe there was a shortage of mutant healers.

Where was Iron Fist? Was he on the other side of the planet at this point? He might have access to some mystical healing methods.

I’ve got it! The most recent version of May is at least the second resurrection of the character. (I think the first one died right after marrying Dr. Octavius, but I can’t find confirmation of this; & of course Marc DeMatteis wrote the definitive death scene mid- Clone Saga.) Ergo, Petey doesn’t have to save this Aunt May. She can be revealed as an ersatz May (well, the whole JMS run is ersatz, so why not?) & the real one is discovered to have washed up on KooeyKooeyKooey. She’s cooking wheatcakes for Ted Kord.

Have her commit suicide in her final minutes on this earth. This should ensure she ends up in Hell (suicide being a mortal sin. Cue large amounts of irony), but for the sake of certitude, kicking a few kittens should also be considered.

Then Spidey can go to Hell, literally speaking. Since he can’t play music worth a fuck, he’d have to punch his way in, but that also saves him from the whole “don’t look behind you” bullshit. After that it’s all a matter of finding her, and punching out, again literally.

As for the whole “how to get into Hell” part, I’m sure Nightcrawler or Dr. Strange can help - Scarlet Witch too, if he’s really persuasive.

I haven’t read many comics recently, but as far as I know this guy is still around.

Time travel to prevent her from ever getting shot in the first place is another obvious option. The nice thing about this one is it doesn’t matter how long it takes him to find someone with a time machine or time-travel powers. Even if Aunt May dies in the meantime, he can still go back and undo it.

Elixir’s already taken, but there’s also Angel, one of the founding members of the X-Men. Last I heard, Spider-man was on good terms with the team, so it seems unlikely that he’d refuse.

As for less orthodox methods, I bet that Doctor Doom could be persuaded to help, if he was informed that saving Aunt May would throw a monkey-wrench in one of Mephisto’s plans.

Convince ninjas of the hand to resurrect her by giving them information on the location of Wolverine. Then work with Wolverine to finish off the hand.

Pick one:

Cosmic Cube
Shaper of Worlds
Infinity Gems
Infinity Gauntlet
Plead special case to Eternity
(How many “Omnipotent wish granting things/people” does Marvel have, anyway?)

and use whichever one you pick to wish that Aunt May is all better. Or was never shot. Or that the editor who forced this change simply vanished* and that JMS was still on the book WITHOUT Quesada intefering with him.

Option 2:
Put her in suspended animation until Reed can whip up an omni-gadget to fix her

Option 3: (this breaks your rule #3, but I gotta post it.)
Years ago, some guy was interviewing John Byrne (I think) in his FF days. The writer was pestering Byrne “What if Reed Richards was put in a situation where he’d have to kill an innocent to save the planet?” and Byrne(?) replied “Reed would find another option. Reed doesn’t kill.”

The interviewer replied “Yeah, but what IF the only two options were “kill an innocent person” OR “save the whole world”? Then what?”

Byrne(?) shot back “I’d suggest that we need to find a better writer for the book–if the only resolution is Reed kills an innocent person or a planet, the writer shouldn’t have put him in that situation to begin with.”

This seems relevant here: Aunt May should never have been shot.
*I’ve been collecting Spidey since the Spider-Mobile’s first appearance and this stupid reboot is so obnoxious that I quit buying it.

Amen brother. (I may not have been collecting quite as long as you, but a damn lot of years, and for Spidey the reboot broke the camel’s back. Don’t even get me started on Iron Man)

Recognize that Aunt May wouldn’t want to live if a deal with the Devil was the only way to do it. Say final goodbyes.

Hell, Dr. Strange owed Peter enough to do a massive time-screwing spell for him. Why not just heal her? He’s done healing spells.
(Actually, this era is perfectly in character for Tony. Remember the Armor Wars? He’s always been obsessive about being in control that way. Remember when his slogan was ‘Does Kennedy tell Khrushchev?’)

A note on an earlier method: Daniel Rand does not just have access to healing method, Danny is a healing method. One of the few superhuman healers in Marvel who aren’t cosmic.
Healer is dead and could only heal mutants.
Lionel Jeffries is insane and dead.
Angel is alive, and knows Spidey, and has his powers. (recently added ability to heal people)
Elixir is alive, does not know Spidey, but has his powers. (recent character)

Say, while I’m still up, and thinking of it…is there a cure for vampirism in the Marvel U? All I know on that angle is what was in the Blade movies.

(You can probably see where I’m goin’ with that one. :wink: )

Honestly, most of the super-science guys could do it. Even Magneto, whose specialty is decidedly not medicicine, could manage a very slowly lethal gunshot wound. I think thered be a dozen at Xavier’s alone.

Unless something has changed, Marvel Universe time travel does not work that way.

Well, given the stupidity of this storyline, we could possibly ressurect what was formerly known as the stupidest Spidey storyline of all time (before the current one):

The ‘Aunt May’ that got shot wasn’t the REAL Aunt May. It was another clone. Unbeknownst to Peter, the real Aunt May was abducted some time ago by the High Evolutionary*, taken to yet-another manufactured Earth facsimile on the far side of the sun, and has been placed in a residence that perfectly mimics her original home and life, except that her beloved Peter isn’t Spider-Man - he’s just the milksop, mama’s boy that she loves & cherishes.

In fact, just to make things easier for everybody involved, Dr. Strange detects that the Aunt May clone whose life Spidey made a deal with Mephisto over isn’t even a real clone. “She” is a demonic servant of Mephisto impersonating Peter’s aunt with the explicit intention of getting fatally wounded, so that Mephisto would have a bargaining chip to get him to sell his marriage. Knowing that, Spidey can claim a cosmic case of fraud and get his contract nullified.

Thus, MJ would be his wife again, Aunt May could come back, and then all parties involved could agree to never speak of this again.

*Why the High Evolutionary? Why not? I mean, it’s not like the storyline could get any stupider.

I’m so glad I wasn’t drinking when I read this. Last thing my place needs is more water damage. :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah–there’s a book–the Darkholde Tome (that’s not right, but it’s close) that cures vampires, but there’s a curse attached, IIRC. On the other hand, the curse couldn’t possibly be worse than selling your soul to Mephisto.

Can’t he just, you know, let her die? (ETA: Ahh, didn’t see rule #3).

Wait… he sold his wife? He sold Kirsten Dunst to Satan? For Aunt May?

WTF is wrong with that boy???

He must’ve watched one of her movies.

I don’t think anyone is using the freedom ring currently, right? Let’s just have Spidy use that to save Aunt May.

And it’ll be stupider than the current storyline with the High Evolutionary, so win-win, really.

I know you disallowed it, but how about just letting her die?

I mean, seriously, the woman was older than dirt 30 years ago. If Spider-Man needs a familial vulnerability, use Mary Jane or, even better, have Mary Jane get pregnant.


She did get pregnant (about 8 years ago)–she even had a baby girl. The Green Goblin had the infant girl killed–but told everyone that it was a stillborn so NO-ONE KNOWS that he had the ultimate revenge on Spidey. 'Cause that makes loads of sense, right? Keep the worst possible thing you can do to your opponent secret.