|For alternate versions of May Parker, see May Parker's Character Hub|
Maybelle "May" Parker was the aunt of Peter Parker and the widow of the late Ben Parker. She took on the responsibility of raising Peter alone, as she stood by him during Tony Stark's mentorship, while unaware of how he became an intern at Stark Industries. May eventually learned that her nephew was actually Spider-Man, but came to accept his secret identity. However, she was soon killed during the Snap, which also killed Peter, only for them both to be resurrected due to the actions of the Avengers five years later. In the wake of the Blip, May continued supporting Peter as Spider-Man, while also starting a romantic relationship with Happy Hogan. She took on an active role in helping her community by working with the Salvation Army and F.E.A.S.T.
In 2024, May met Norman Osborn, a mentally-ill scientist who had come from another universe and suffered with a personality disorder. May convinced her nephew to cure the Multiversal villains of their ailments, but the duo were attacked by Osborn's alter-ego, the Green Goblin. In an attempt to save Peter's life and cure Osborn, she was mortally wounded by the Goblin Glider and succumbed to her injuries.
Raising Peter Parker
May Parker met and married Ben Parker and the two would come to look after their young and orphaned nephew, Peter Parker. The three lived in Queens as Peter grew up. Eventually, her husband died, resulting in May having to take care of Peter on her own.
Peter Parker's Secrets
Tony Stark's Surprise Visit
In 2016, May was greeted by Tony Stark at the Parker Residence, where he told her that he had come in person to offer Peter a scholarship. The two seemingly came into a discussion for some time, with Stark complimenting May on her walnut date loaves. When Peter got home from school later, May greeted her nephew and happily revealed Stark's presence. Stark revealed that Peter's application for a grant from the September Foundation he signed up for in the past had been approved, and Parker then asked why Peter did not tell her about this. Peter, knowing he did not apply for such a grant and did not receive one, played along by claiming he wanted to surprise his aunt. May allowed him and Stark to discuss the details in private.
Caring for Peter Parker
When Peter returned from his "internship retreat" with Tony Stark, May treated her nephew's injuries and came into his room to give him an ice bag for his black eye. When she asked how he got his bruises, Peter claimed that he was in a fight with a Brooklyn guy named "Steve" and "his huge friend". May then jokingly wondered how Peter had done during the fight and hoped that her nephew stood up for himself, being assured he got a few punches in. She then exited Peter's room to leave him alone so he could recover.
Thai Food Meal
Two months later, May let Peter Parker's friend, Ned Leeds, into his room so they could build a Lego Death Star together. A few minutes later while cooking dinner, May heard a crash from her nephew's room and asked what it was, to which Peter replied it was nothing. She came by the room to find Peter in his underwear and Leeds' Legos scattered over the floor. May informed her nephew that they would be eating out tonight at a Thai restaurant as she had burned the turkey meatloaf. May invited Leeds to join them but Peter informed her that he couldn't go. She then left and recommended that Peter wear more clothes.
Together, May and Peter went to Prachya Thai. At the restaurant, May noticed her nephew acting off and wondered what was on his mind, questioning if it was the Larb they were eating. Peter claimed that he was tired out from his internship at Stark Industries, as May proclaimed to not be a fan of Tony Stark. Parker tried to offer her nephew advice in trusting his instincts with his work when she saw that Peter was distracted. She turned around to see a NY1 report on the television, showing footage of the Robbery of the Queens Community Bank.
May ordered Peter to run for safety if he ever saw something like that happening, worried over such an incident occurring so close to where they lived. Peter then asked for a new backpack, but May exasperatedly noted that this was the fifth he had lost. A waiter then gave her a sticky rice pudding for dessert, which surprised May as she did not order it. The waiter insisted that it was on the house and once he left, Peter pointed out that he had given it to May out of sheer physical attraction.
High School Party
A night later, May drove Peter and Ned Leeds to the Toomes Residence as one of their classmates, Liz Toomes, was throwing a party at her house. May noted her own love for house parties while waiting outside. May complimented Leeds' hat, saying that she found it well-fitted for him. Leeds responded with thanks and claimed that the hat gave him confidence.
Peter was nervous as he thought that it was a mistake coming to the party. May then teased her nephew by bringing up him going through puberty and feeling apprehensive about his own bodily changes until Peter had finally relented. Before the two got out of the car, May encouraged Peter to have fun at the party and Leeds waved bye as she drove away. A few days later, May picked Peter up after his Academic Decathlon competition in Washington, D.C.. Following the Rescue at the Washington Monument, May was worried for her nephew's safety and hugged him in gratitude upon seeing he was alright.
Confronting Peter Parker
Having received a call from Midtown School of Science and Technology about her nephew attempting to skip school and leaving detention early, May repeatedly tried calling Peter, to no avail. After hearing about an attack on a New York ferry, May called Peter's friends, Ned Leeds' mother, and even five police stations regarding his whereabouts. When Peter finally came home, she was anxious over where he'd been all day and sternly confronted the young Parker over his uncharacteristic disregard for his education. In a frustration, May then noted how she was aware that Peter also left the hotel room in Washington, D.C. and snuck out of their home each night but did not know why.
Desperate for answers, May demanded from her nephew to know what had been going on with him the last few months without her knowledge. A crestfallen Peter admitted that he had lost the Stark Industries internship, which May immediately believed due to the genuine tears and shaking in his voice. She simply embraced her nephew, while he then apologized for getting her so worried about him lately. With a comforting understanding, May then finished their conversation by noting that she used to rebel as well in her youth. She recommended that Peter take a shower, claiming that he smelled like garbage.
Several days later, Peter Parker ran into their home and told May that he needed her help in preparing for the Homecoming Dance, as he had gotten a date with Liz Toomes. May helped Peter out by giving him a suit to wear and a corsage for Toomes, as well as helping him learn how to tie a Windsor Knot.
May even taught Peter to dance, which he initially found quite awkward. Nonetheless, the unwavering support and care from his aunt allowed the young Parker to relax as he prepared himself for Homecoming. On the night of the dance, May drove her nephew to the Toomes Residence to meet with Toomes. Once they arrived, she gave Peter some final advice on his date etiquette before driving off.
A few days after the homecoming dance, May walked into Peter's room and found him in his Spider-Man Suit, startling her. She cursed loudly in response upon deducing that her nephew and Spider-Man were the same person.
Snapped and Blipped
In 2018, May was a victim of the Snap. Five years later, as a result of the Blip, May was restored to life. When May reappeared in her apartment, she was shocked to discover that a new family was now living there. About a week later, May attended Tony Stark's funeral along with her nephew at Stark's home.
Helping the Community
May made herself active as a member of the Salvation Army by helping other victims of the Blip find new homes after their return. In 2024, May organized a homeless support shelter at the Urban Sports & Cultural Center and had her nephew act as a celebrity guest for a fundraiser to bring in news coverage. May then shared her story of being brought back into existence before she introduced Spider-Man to the audience.
Afterwards, in the back room, May and Peter were met by Happy Hogan who came in bringing in a large check from Pepper Potts. Hogan then complimented May on her dress, in which she commented on his beard. Their flirting caused Peter to become confused about their behavior and then Parker left to allow Hogan to speak with Peter.
Peter Parker's Trip
At their new apartment, May threw a banana at her nephew, as he was packing for his school trip to Europe. She then gave him a hug and commented on his "Peter-Tingle", a word that Peter didn't care for. Later, when Peter was not in his room, May put his suit in his suitcase.
During Peter's trip, May was in a momentary relationship with Happy Hogan, but was routinely calling in to check up on him. May called her nephew upon his arrival to Venice checking on him, while Hogan was eating her lunch, and she had Hogan say hello to Peter to stop him from doing so.
Upon Peter's return, May greeted him at the Newark airport, while trying to dissuade security from giving her a ticket for illegal parking. She gave him a hug and then drove them back to New York City to their home.
Relations With Hogan
Back at the apartment, May and Happy Hogan sat down with her nephew who questioned their relationship. While Hogan was sure of them being together, May attributed their time as a fun summertime fling, with mutual attraction but no real interest. Due to this, Hogan was taken aback and they both exchanged glances.
May told Happy Hogan that their relationship was called off and that it was only a fling, leaving him distraught at the news. As May led Hogan out of the apartment, they heard a noise come from Peter Parker's bedroom. Parker told Hogan she would see about it, but Hogan insisted and beat her to the room.
They found Peter undressed standing with a girl in his room. Thinking that the two were about to have sex, May closed the door and told them to practice it safely, only to realize that the girl next to him was his girlfriend Michelle Jones, and promptly greeted her. As May went into the living room, Peter told her that it wasn't what she thought and then demanded that she and Hogan explain their own relationship.
However, Jones told Peter to look at the television which broadcasted NY1 news which revealed his identity as Spider-Man and was airing footage of their apartment complex. Peter used his Web-Shooters to close the blinds and May asked if it was live footage. Peter then opened one of the blinds to show her the news helicopters that were surrounding the complex. The news continued stating that the United States Department of Damage Control would be leading the investigation and that Stark Industries was under controversy due to their drones being used in the Battle of London.
Damage Control Interrogation
Days later, May and Peter were sitting in the living room and watching the television when they heard a knock on their door. May went to answer it and was met by Agent P. Cleary and his agents who told her that Peter was under arrest. She told him that she knew her rights, as well as the Fourth Amendment. Despite this, Cleary went inside and took pictures of various items. He then took Peter in and brought him to the New York City Police Precinct.
May was also asked to come to the Precinct and met with Ned Leeds and Michelle Jones who had been called in as well. As they passed Peter in one of the rooms, she and Jones told him not to say anything without a lawyer.
When it was May's turn to be interrogated in the interrogation room, she told Cleary that they could not be there unless he had actual evidence against them. Cleary told her that she, having been entrusted by Peter's parents to raise him, had endangered Peter by encouraging him to take on vigilantism and questioned her judgment in doing so. He continued stating that she would definitely need a lawyer.
Meeting with Matt Murdock
After finding Peter a lawyer, May, Peter, and Hogan met with Matt Murdock at the apartment. Murdock told them that he was able to remove all criminal charges off of Peter, much to May's delight. However, he told them that there was still the court of public opinion and things would still be hard for Peter. He then told Hogan that he would be under investigation due to his role in Stark Industries. A brick was then thrown in through a window from a Mysterio supporter and May and Hogan ducked. Murdock caught it with one hand, shocking them at his superhuman agility. Following this, Parker stated they needed to find a safer place to live.
May and Peter were offered to stay at Happy Hogan’s condominium on Long Island. After they arrived, a loud alarm system went off, and May managed to turn it off. They then met Dum-E who greeted them. Hogan gave his bedroom to Parker, as he slept on a recliner in the living room.
When Peter started his senior year, May looked out for mail from colleges regarding applications. Each time there was a new one, she excitedly brought the letters to Peter.
Meeting Norman Osborn
That fall, May started helping out at F.E.A.S.T.. In November, she was informed by Peter about the universe-displaced people having entered their universe, much to her surprise that the Multiverses was real. When a homeless man named Norman Osborn came inside the shelter, May deduced that he was one of the universe-displaced people that Peter told her about. She brought Osborn to the kitchen as she gave him some clothes to hide the green armor that he was wearing along with a box of donuts and coffee. After calling Peter to come to F.E.A.S.T., Parker sat with Osborn and talked with him while they waited for her nephew to arrive.
When Peter arrived, Parker introduce Osborn, who looked at her and the young teenager in confusion, to her nephew and explained to him that the latter wandered into the building. After hearing Osborn's problem, Parker told Peter that the latter was mentally ill in the mind. Hearing that the other universe displaced people also had their own mental and physical issues, Parker encouraged Peter to help them as they had the means to do so, rather than send them off to their universes. However, Parker was bummed that Peter wanted to send them back as he believed that Doctor Strange knew best and they weren't his responsibility. Although, Parker accepted Peter's request to help clean his upgraded suit.
Helping Multiversal Visitors
Later, after Peter changed his mind about helping the universes displaced people, May returned to the Sanctum as she picked up her nephew, Norman Osborn, Doctor Octopus, Sandman, Lizard, and Electro with the F.E.A.S.T. truck. She brought them to Hogan's condominium and let them inside, but only Osborn, Doctor Octopus, Marko and Dillon decided to come up as Connors told her that he wanted to stay in the truck.
While her nephew prepared Doctor Octopus's cure, she asked him if he wanted freshwater or saltwater to drink, as she thought he was part octopus. When he acted confused, she changed the subject. Shortly, her nephew finished the Neural Inhibitor Chip and placed it in Doctor Octopus. May watched as he was healed and became proud of her nephew, as Doctor Octavius placed the nanites back on the Spider-Man Suit. Afterwards, May went upstairs.
Her nephew then suddenly called out for her and she came downstairs, asking him what was wrong. She realized that he had sensed something with his Spider-Sense and witnessed the Green Goblin persona come out. She then ran in and grabbed a device, just as her nephew told her to run.
May ran out to the elevators. However, when Electro used his powers to shut off the electricity within the building, the elevators stopped working and the lights flickered, before going out. Thus, May was forced to take the stairs. She ran as fast as she could. When she made it to the lobby, she saw the Green Goblin attacking her nephew. She ran to the Goblin and punctured him with the antidote and ran in front of the entrance.
The Goblin laughed and grabbed her nephew, threatening him, as May glared back, ready to defend her nephew. Before she could, the Goblin Glider soared into the entrance and stabbed May in the side, causing her to fall. As she lay injured, the Goblin deployed two Pumpkin Bombs before leaving, causing mass destruction with the entrance hangar crumbling to the ground.
After being hit, May collapsed onto the ground. Peter Parker found her and hugged her. May struggled to stand up and walk away, eventually falling onto the ground. As Peter knelt down to comfort her, she told him "You have a gift... And with great power there must also come great responsibility". She then told Peter that she needed to catch her breath. Peter noticed that he had her blood on his hand and immediately realized she was in fatal condition.
He called out to the United States Department of Damage Control agents outside to get an ambulance but it was too late and he tearfully broke down when Parker passed, her body shedding one last tear as he was forced to flee when DODC agents fired on him.
- "When you help someone, you help everyone."
- ―May Parker's epitaph[src]
In December 2024, one month following the Spider-Man Multiversal Crisis and May Parker's demise, her surviving nephew Peter--now with his secret identity completely restored as the world has forgotten his civilian persona, visits her grave to pay tribute. Whilst there, he is joined by another friend of May's, Happy Hogan, who is likewise completely oblivious to ever associating with Peter Parker, simply being introduced to him as someone who similarly knew May through Spider-Man. Hogan recounts to Peter events that led him to losing another friend of his sometime prior, and how May's death carried a similar significance to him. He pondered that remembering what a person like May stood for may never be preserved again now that she had passed on.
Peter, remembering May's contributions to New York's community through her work at F.E.A.S.T. and her selfless acts as an individual, reassures Happy that everyone who was helped by her would continue her work, indirectly alluding to Peter himself experiencing an epiphany to become a more responsible and self-sufficient hero in an effort to honor his aunt's dying words.
Sometime after parting ways with Hogan, Parker would move into an apartment and begin respecting May's wishes by loaning a GED (General Educational Development) textbook to complete his lost secondary academics in addition to buying a sewing machine, creating a new Spider-Man Suit from scratch as he would resume his efforts as an independent vigilante, exiting his apartment through the window one night in response to being notified of an incident through police communications. As he swung past the Rockefeller Center, he would reassert his personal vow to uphold May's mantra of "with great power, there must also come great responsibility".
May Parker cared deeply for and was very protective of her nephew Peter, having to raise him alone after the death of her husband. She was seen as Peter's confidant and friend as well as his guardian, helping him prepare for his date with Liz Toomes and later, asking out Michelle Jones. May constantly worried about Peter and gave him advice, including that she believed Tony Stark's "internship" may not have been the best thing for him; May was personally wary of Stark since his mentoring seemingly left Peter distracted and tired, which took away from his school life. However, she seemed to have let go of this resentment by the Blip, attending Stark's funeral after his sacrifice.
Having been an implied rebel in her youth, May was a lively woman with a playful, witty disposition, encouraging her nephew not to grow up too fast and enjoy being a teenager. May had been a subject of attraction to both Stark and Delmar, which is further evident when a waiter at Prachya Thai flirted with her and gave her free food, though she seemed fairly oblivious to this. However, May was very perceptive and sharp-minded; she was able to deduce that there was something else going on with Peter due to him keeping secrets, skipping class and sneaking out, but couldn't quite put her finger on it until she learned his secret identity. May was also an avid reader, based on the many books seen in her apartment.
After her husband's death, May had started getting really protective of her nephew, who was reluctant to tell her about him being Spider-Man in fear of putting his aunt under more stress than she was already in. Contrary to Peter's concerns however, May proved to be very supportive of her nephew's activities as Spider-Man after she witnessed him wearing the suit. May encouraged Peter to continue his heroics in the wake of Stark's death and helped with Spider-Man's publicity at charity events, both to give Peter exposure and bring awareness to the less fortunate.
May was very kind, devoted and selfless. She was an empathetic human being who cared for everybody around her regardless of their past as shown when she talked to Norman Osborn, a megalomaniac criminal in his own universe under the moniker of Green Goblin, only to realize that he wasn't really a bad person in the inside, it's just that he had been corrupted by the powers he received from the Goblin Formula. This made her encourage her nephew to save all of the villains to send them back as reformed human beings, knowing there was still good in them.
Throughout her life as a human being, May had developed a high sense of responsibility to help those who were in need if she had the power to do so, which was why she allowed her nephew to continue doing what he was doing, as she knew his powers weren't a gift for him, but everybody around him too. This was a lesson she had passed onto her nephew within her dying moments after being attacked by Green Goblin, telling him "with great power, there must also come great responsibility," so that her nephew would never stop helping people.
|This section requires expansion|
- Parker Residence: The Parker Residence was the apartment home to May and her nephew, Peter. When Tony Stark was required to bring Captain America and his team into custody, he told May that Peter had applied for a "grant" and was going to Germany. After Spider-Man's battle at the airport with the Avengers, May tended to Peter's bruises in his room. Two months later when Peter returned home from school to the residence, Peter then discovered that Stark had returned his suit. Spider-Man put on the suit again, only for a shocked May to discover him in it, unmasked.
- F.E.A.S.T. Community Center: To be added
- Happy Hogan's Condominium: To be added
|Appearances for May Parker|
In chronological order:
- Differently from the comics, May Parker is Italian-American like Marisa Tomei, the actress who portrays her.
- May's relationship with Happy Hogan, a Stark Industries employee in the MCU, is similar to the relationship her mainstream universe counterpart once had with Tony Stark's butler, Edwin Jarvis, in the comics.
- May's license plate reads AMF-1562. AMF is Amazing Fantasy, 15 is the issue number, and 62 is 1962, the year Spider-Man first appeared.
- The epitaph on May Parker's gravestone in Spider-Man: No Way Home reads: "When you help someone, you help everyone." This quote was taken from the 2018 video game Marvel's Spider-Man, where it was also written on her gravestone.
Behind the Scenes
- May Parker in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the fourth live-action incarnation of the character, following incarnations portrayed by Jeff Donnell, Rosemary Harris and Sally Field.
- The casting of Marisa Tomei as May Parker received some backlash on social media, with some claiming that she was too young and attractive to play the character, who has previously been a much older woman in various other incarnations. Stephen McFeely explained that this change was made to fit with Marvel Studios' approach to Spider-Man, as they had found it unrealistic for a teenager to have such an elderly aunt: "We were all in lockstep pretty early on to make him as naturalistic as possible, in addition to being as young as possible. So what is it really like for a 15-year-old kid? Where does he live in Queens? That’s partly why his aunt isn’t 80 years old; if she’s the sister of his dead mother, why does she have to be two generations ahead?"
- According to co-writer Jonathan M. Goldstein, May Parker had a boyfriend in an early draft of the script for Spider-Man: Homecoming: "We loved the idea of a cool aunt. In an early draft we actually even had her dating a guy, and part of her relationship with Peter was this inappropriate frankness."
- Following the release of Avengers: Infinity War, Joe and Anthony Russo revealed that May Parker was one of the people who survived Thanos' snap. However, the Russos' statement was later retconned by Jon Watts in the lead up to Spider-Man: Far From Home.
- Dana Jones, Kelly Bellini and Colby Lemmo were stunt doubles for Marisa Tomei in the role of May Parker.
- Grace Marie Williams was a stand-in for Marisa Tomei in the role of May Parker.
- Jennifer Finley was a photo double for Marisa Tomei in the role of May Parker.
- Captain America: Civil War
- Spider-Man: Homecoming
- Translates from Spanish to: "Beautiful Italian woman"
- Spider-Man: Far From Home
- Spider-Man: No Way Home
- Marisa Tomei’s Aunt May Confirmed As Victim Of ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Snap
- Avengers: Endgame
- Twitter backlash after 'too hot' Marisa Tomei cast as Spider-Man's Aunt May
- How Spider-Man saved 'Civil War' from being too predictable
- Spider-Man: Homecoming writers answer some burning questions
- 'Avengers: Infinity War' Directors Reveal Who Died And Survived Off Screen