In recent stories, Spider-Man has once again found himself estranged from Mary Jane Watson and instead turned to one of his other significant love interests, Black Cat. The pair have gone this route before, but it’s clear that Peter Parker wants to treat her with more overt respect – actually inviting her over for dinner instead of just relying on their typical vigilante superhero flirtations.
There are plenty of fans excited to see the couple reunited, but in some realities of the Marvel Multiverse, Black Cat and Spider-Man take the plunge and formalize their relationship, which only complicates things for both of them – and in What if…? #20 and #21 (by Danny Fingbroth, Jim Valentino, Christopher Ivy, Tom Vincent and Janice Chiang), one of them was even killed.
The reunion of Spider-Man and Black Cat
On Earth-901220, a brief battle with a Spider-Slayer took a darker turn. In this universe, the Spider-Slayer nearly murdered Mary Jane right in front of Spider-Man just before their wedding day. Left more distressed by the danger he had put her in, this variation of Peter Parker called off the wedding – leaving Mary Jane heartbroken and their loved ones furious. Increasingly isolated from everyone in his orbit, Spider-Man began spending more time with his new employer Silver Sable and his old flame Black Cat, the latter becoming his crime-fighting partner, while reviving their old romance.
Black Cat’s ability to fight for herself prompts Spider-Man to propose to her, and the couple marry. But Black Cat’s cruel revelation to Mary Jane accidentally exposes Spider-Man’s identity to a petty crook, who sells the information to Vulture. The vulture quickly performs a Daredevil: Born Again– style assault on Peter’s personal life, approaching the murder of Aunt May when he burned down the Parker residence. After defeating Vulture and narrowly saving Black Cat’s life, a furious Spider-Man ends his relationship with her. Afterwards, Black Cat murders Vulture in cold blood, prompting Silver Sable to hunt down Spider-Man thinking he committed the crime.
How Spider-Man ends up losing everything
Mary Jane arrives to defend the Wall-Crawler, as does Black Cat – but in the ensuing chaos, the Armed Paladin takes down Black Cat while she tries to help Mary Jane escape the battle. The story ends on a tragic note, with Spider-Man’s attempts to be with someone who can protect himself exploding in his face. Mary Jane also turns away from Peter once and for all, exhausted by the superhero community and the deaths that come with it.
Spider-Man’s reunion with Black Cat was a fun development for both of them, especially in light of Black Cat’s return to more heroic motivations after a long time as the “Queenpin” of New York. She has also grown a lot as a person beyond her former more combative personality. But it’s important to remember how a simple rash decision doomed the Black Cat from a reality – and the main version of the character could suffer the same fate if she and Spider-Man weren’t careful.