A supporting character published by Marvel Comics. Aunt May first appeared in Strange Tales #97.

Little is known of May Parker before she married Ben Parker. It is known that while she and Ben were dating that she was also seeing a man with ties to organized crime. May was torn between this man and her fiance Ben, but when she found out about his life of crime, she spurned him and gave her heart to Ben.

May Parker soon after married Ben Parker. Ben's brother and his wife were agents of the U.S. government and when they were killed in the line of duty, their young son, Peter Parker became his ward.

May, or Aunt May as Peter (and pretty much everyone else) called her, became a fixture in young Peter's life. Supportive and loving of Peter and understanding of his problems, the Parkers did their best to raise Peter. They often times shielded young Peter from things trying to protect him from the difficulties in the world.

During a field trip to a science lab, Peter was bitten by a radioactive spider and gained amazing powers. Peter did not reveal his new abilities to his aunt and uncle, but instead used them to become somewhat famous as a wrestling star. The fame and glamour of professional wrestling went to Peter's head and he soon became arrogant and proud. Due to this pride, Peter did not stop a thief who robbed the television station. When the same thief broke into the Parkers home and killed Ben Parker, Peter brought the thief to justice and decided to use his powers to help people rather than personal gain.

Peter's Aunt May took the role of primary caregiver of Peter and the family after Ben's death. The family constantly had money problems, which forced Peter to take pictures of himself as Spider-Man and sell them to the local paper the Daily Bugle. Also, May's frail health played a major role in Peter's early life, forcing him to keep his identity as Spider-Man as secret as well as playing into many of his early adventures:

Plot Summary: Aunt May lies dying in the hospital as Spider-Man races to locate (fill in appropriate villain here) who has stolen the only (machine/chemical/medicine/element) that can reverse her condition.

Aunt May's love life has also provided Spider-Man with a number of adventures over the years. The most famous of these adventures was the almost marriage between Aunt May and Otto Octavius, the evil, mad scientist and villain also known as Doctor Octopus. The depth of May's loneliness is evident in this story considering that she is willing to marry a guy with four mechanical arms, a penchant for mayhem, and really bad fashion sense rather than be alone.

As Peter grew up and out of her home, May Parker continued to be a major influence in his life. Their relationship has been an up and down affair, often time influenced by Peter trying to protect her from the secret of his double life. May's life was not static during this time, however, she opened up her home as a boarding house and brought in a number of other elderly people. One of them, Nathan Lubinsky, became May's love interest for a while. Nathan was a elderly man with a problem with gambling. Nathan died due to a run in with the Vulture, one of Spider-Man's villains.

During the mid-90's, a storyline was introduced in which Aunt May died, revealing as she did so that she had known for years that Peter was Spider-Man. This touching story was later made irrelevant through revisions to the story by another writer. The woman who had died was not May Parker, but an actress who had been modified genetically to look exactly like May. May was actually held prisoner by Mysterio another Spider-Man villain, in an attempt to get a valuable treasure that had been hidden in the Parker house years before.

Of late, the relationship between May and Peter has taken another turn, in that she has actually found out that he is Spider-Man. She has confronted him with her knowledge and is working through the issues involved in finding out this information.

May Parker is also the name of the daughter of Peter Parker and his wife Mary Jane. In the present timeline, the child has been secreted away by the Green Goblin and believed go be dead by her parents. In a future timeline, May will become Spider-girl and in an alternate timeline, she will be taken over by the Venom symbiote (see Earth X).

Thanks to Chris-O for the reminder about Aunt May's namesake.

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