This week, we travel back to an issue of What If that Joe Quesada had wanted to exist for like, fifteen years. It’s also the first two-parter we’ve ever had in an issue of What If so that’s pretty weird too. How will this differ from our usual columns? Let’s all find out together.
Back in the day, Peter Parker was desperately trying to make an honest woman out of his main squeeze, Mary Jane. Hopefully before an asshole in a Halloween costume dropped her off a bridge. MJ refused for a variety of reasons until an attack by Spencer Smythe and his Spider-Slayers convinced her that Spidey could take care of both her and himself. Now, an infant baby? Not so much but that is a story for another day. Like, a LONG time from now. The two get married and stay that way for… a pretty long time anyway.
But there are other realities, Uatu tells us for the eighteen million billion time. Like, okay, what if Mary Jane got kind of hurt during that fight with the Spider-Slayer and even though it still convinced MJ that Peter was marriage material, it convinced Spidey that he couldn’t take care of a lady in his life. And what if he brooded on it and then didn’t say anything until the fucking wedding which was probably really expensive and had relatives coming to New York from all over the place and Mary Jane’s dress ALONE was not cheap at all and you’ve broken poor Aunt May’s heart and WAY TO GO, Parker.
Peter takes MJ up to the roof of the church so he can tell her that it’s over and they shouldn’t be together anymore and MJ leaves because she isn’t going to beg him even though he PROPOSED THREE FUCKING TIMES AND THEN CHANGED HIS STUPID MIND, DAMNIT, PETER. MJ leaves and Peter gets REALLY into Spider-Maning.
Criminals live in constant fear, as the lamp posts outside police headquarters hang heavy with bundles of captured crooks. Spidey even hooks up with Silver Sable and her Howling Silverandos in an effort to beat more people up. It’s good work but it also has absolutely nothing to do with our ongoing story so I have no idea why it is featured here.
After a week or so, Peter heads back to Queens for a visit with Aunt May. He’s expecting a guilt trip but she’s mostly pretty level headed, telling him that she respects his decision for whatever reasons he had but she hopes that just because this marriage didn’t work, it won’t sour him on love.
“Hmm,” Peter thinks. “Aunt May is right. I HAVEN’T gotten my dick wet in a week or so. I should really get back into the dating world.”
He still doesn’t want to endanger Mary Jane though so he writes the only other woman he knows a letter. It’s the Black Cat and she arrives exactly fourteen days later to rock his spidery world and also take a bite out of crime. Also she totally gets in on MJ’s racket. Like, this is probably not the way to endear oneself to a new lover. On the other hand, it totally works so good job, Felicia, I guess.
The new Spider/Cat team does a pretty kick-ass job of continuing to really hurt the criminals of New York, even if Felicia is a little too… enthusiastic about the ass kickings she lays down.
“Stop punching that mugger, Cat!” Spidey will be heard to remark. “We’ve already defeated him!”
“Alright, Spider.” She replies. “You tell me exactly how many times is proper to hit this guy and I’ll try to work within that quota.”
Luckily for the new couple, Peter’s Spider-Sense cannot detect sarcasm.
The Cat proves herself incredibly useful over the next few months, helping to save Spidey from the insane and disgusting Kraven the Hunter, last seen a couple weeks back in this very column eating spiders by the handful. Dude is gross. I’m glad he keeps getting beat up.
Meanwhile, Mary Jane has been reading about the Spider-Cat Connection in the newspaper and realizes that she’s been left in the dust for the new hotness. She gives Peter a call but the Cat answers and hangs up on her. Not cool, Felicia. Not cool.
In fact things get even not cooler when Peter fucking proposes for what I count to be the fifth time this year and Felicia says yes. And then she celebrates in the traditional manner: arriving at her fiancee’s ex’s apartment in full costume and waving the ring right in her face. Jesus, Felicia. They oughta call you the PETTY Cat. Actually, no. That is worse than terrible. Never mind.
Anyway, all of this is witnessed by some bearded asshole who quickly puts two and two together and thinks he’s maybe found a way to net a cool million dollars and we get our first TO BE CONTINUED. Which we probably could have done without if we’d skipped three pages of flashbacks and all that Silver Sable garbage, thanks a lot, Uatu.