Aunt May Needs to Die Already

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I’ve read multiple stories over the years in various mediums and wouldn’t ya know it, I eventually wrote some stories of my own! And let me tell you, nothing sets a reader/viewer/listener (for those of you who like that Adventure radio) on edge than that tasty prospect of DEATH.

So when characters either can’t die, or can just as easily come back, who cares anymore? Not me! Keep reading or I’ll kill you.

When a character or their loved one is in peril, stakes are raised and so are pulses. Will they succeed? Or will the harsh reality of mortality (rhymes!) set in with the death of a prominent figure? It’s what keeps you interested as far as drama goes.

If there’s nothing serious at hand, why else are you interested?

Oh yeah- the bewbs.

Oh yeah- the bewbs.

In real life, death sucks. It sucks so much that we don’t even want fictional characters to die, provided that we like them in the first place. So when death is taken out of the picture for good, it takes away from the adrenaline one can feel when diving into whatever movie or book they love.

Take Aunt May for example; Spider-Man’s loving aunt. She’s the perfect example seeing as how Amazing Spider-Man 2 is about to be released and Peter Parker is officially back in comics.

This woman refuses to die.

Or at least STAY dead. I feel ya, Peter.

…Or at least STAY dead. I feel ya, Peter.

Now in real life, we say that figuratively. When an old lady or man is up there in age but is still going strong, we give them that credit that giving up on life doesn’t seem to be an option for them. And that’s cool because death is a pretty permanent thing so the longer you can stick it out joyously, that’s awesome.

But in fiction, death is a relative thing.

So as far as Aunt May goes, this woman has been drawn as an old woman since Spider-Man’s first appearance in the friggin’ 60s. She has always been old and she will never by young. She will always “worry about Peter” because he’s “such a fragile boy.” There are no changes to her character that matter because she is not the main character nor is she a character Peter depends on. Anytime she pops up, we’re meant to awe at how lively she is for a woman of her age, blah blah blah.

Ha. Ha. HA.

Ha. Ha. HA.

When Peter pops back up, more or less from the dead, Aunt May’s fiance, J. Jonah Jameson’s own father (Yeah) nags Peter about how he’s been treating his aunt, shown with his finger pointing and all. Like Parker is a kid. Sure, he can’t age past his prime, he’s a comic book character. But Aunt May is still in the background going “Oh dearie, it’s quite alright. Really, I’m fine. Bop bop beedeeboop.”

If the movie is Ghost, then a ghost actually appearing seems fitting. If the movie is about a character not fully dying or coming back to life at all, then there you go- there are exceptions.

I get why they won’t kill certain characters. Once again, Wolverine going to Hell and coming back shouldn’t be treated like the “no biggie” that it is, but the guy makes Marvel too much money to stay dead.

Still, I think they should hold back on what they put him through because nothing matters anymore. He’ll survive anything.

Underdog, my balls.

Underdog, my balls.

But when that’s not the case and the writers just want to write for that character more, well come on. I get that there’s pressure by some fans or that a really cool story could be written “if only that character were still alive” but are there no limits, man?!

Now there was a saying for a while about the only characters in comics that could stay dead. The characters? Bucky, Jason Todd, and Uncle Ben.

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You’re the only constant, Ben!

Well, you see how that worked out for the two former characters. If Uncle Ben comes back as a renegade badass I don’t know what I’ll do. Whine some more, maybe.

But why not bring back Uncle Ben? Because the whole point of Spider-Man’s “power and responsibility” was based on the one time he slipped up, his father figure paid for it. Bringing him back would negate Spider-Man’s responsibility in essence because hey, no harm, no foul, right?

But Aunt May? Not only has she already died only for them to bring her back soon after, Parker had a choice between letting her die or to have never married Mary Jane in the storyline One More Day. The heck, man. If my mother were in her 60s or 70s, she wouldn’t want me to keep her alive if it meant losing my wife. I’m not married, but you get the point. And why? Because the head honcho at Marvel, Joe Quesada just never liked them being married.

So now Aunt May has been sentenced to life with herself.

Just make her a superhero, why don’t you?

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This is “Golden Oldie” in this. No, I’m not joking.

In Superior Spider-Man, May even gets nano-machines into her legs to help her walk without a cane anymore because at the ripe old age of 112, she needed it I guess. Not now thanks to the nano-machines!

Now, comic book characters are meant to be ageless to a degree, with very few characters aging appropriately. It’s understandable. If they aged like us, they’d all be dead at this point. But while Parker has been through some crazy things to eventually go back to doing the things we know and love about Spider-Man, Aunt May has been doing the same thing since 1962. That’s fifty-two years or never aging, never changing, never evolving.

It’s like purgatory. Destined to be old and do nothing of importance forever.

This is when I really felt like Aunt May's story had been finalized.

This is when I really felt like Aunt May’s story had been finalized.

 

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