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America’s top bachelor: Spider-Man

Spider-Man fans are scratching their heads in disbelief after a plot twist in a recent installment reversed one of the series’ longstanding narrative pillars: Peter Parker’s 21-year marriage with Mary Jane Watson. According to the Guardian, Parker, Spidey’s nerdy alter ego, and Mary Jane make a deal with the arch-villain Mephisto

which sees the clock turned back and their marriage annulled in return for saving the life of Peter’s Aunt May, who has been in a deep coma. Suddenly, Peter is once again young, nerdy and living with his aunt, and his marriage has been erased from everyone’s memory.

Veteran fans of the series are reacting negatively to the news “ not for any sentimental reasons, but because Mephisto’s motivation in messing with Parker’s marital life is extremely shaky (presumably, a supervillain has bigger fish to fry). According to one Marvel executive, the annulment was made with an eye to attracting new readers, not narrative consistency.

Marvel claims that a married Spider-Man made life difficult for the comic’s writers and has been a source of regret ever since the couple’s big day in 1987. According to Marvel Comics’ editor-in-chief Joe Quesada in an interview with Comic Book Resources:

“At the end of the day, my job is to keep these characters fresh and ready for every fan that walks through the door, while also planning for the future and hopefully an even larger fan base.”

No word yet on how Spider-Man will be spending his bacherlorhood, but Quillblog has received unconfirmed reports that his profile is now circulating on Lavalife.