Stan Lee’s 25 Greatest Comic Book Creations

24. Mary Jane Watson (The Amazing Spider-Man #42, 1966 – First full appearance)

Co-creators: John Romita Sr., Steve Ditko

Every great superhero needs a love interest to humanize them and create some personal stakes, and Stan Lee created one of the most memorable ones when he introduced Mary Jane Watson into Peter Parker’s life in 1966. She was the complete opposite of Peter: outgoing, loud, and rambunctious. Their opposite mannerisms soon started to benefit one another as their relationship blossomed.

The combination of the infectious personality that Lee gave her, and the drop-dead-gorgeous penciling by Romita, is what separated Mary Jane from the dozens of other superhero girlfriends out there. Eventually Peter and Mary Jane married, and became the company’s most endearing couple. Then, of course, the devil came along and dissolved their marriage in a Faustian pact to save the life of an elderly Aunt May. Because, ya know, comics.

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