“MJ, are you gonna have his Spider-Babies?”
It’s a good question.
When Spider-Man: Homecoming introduced Zendaya’s MJ to the MCU, fans everywhere wondered if she was going to be the new face of the iconic Mary Jane Watson – Peter Parker’s long-standing romantic interest in the comics. However, as we now know, “MJ” stands for “Michelle Jones”. Or as No Way Home finally reveals, “Michelle Jones Watson”.
This preface serves to answer a pivotal question for the MCU’s arachnid hero: will Tom Holland’s Peter Parker and Zendaya’s MJ have “Spider-Babies” in the MCU?
To answer this question, we should take a look at Spidey’s complicated issues with parenting in the history of Marvel Comics.
In the comics, it’s not unusual to see Peter married or engaged to Mary Jane. The couple is one of the most recognizable in Marvel’s extensive publication history. No matter which version of the Multiverse we’re looking at, Spidey can always be seen alongside either Mary Jane or Gwen Stacy.
Funnily enough, even though Peter and Mary Jane have been married on more than one occasion, the couple has never had children of their own – at least not in Marvel’s mainline continuity, known as Earth-616.
The only instance where Peter became a father happened in the pages of Marvel’s What If…? #105. This comic was so influential for the larger Marvel Comics universe that it developed into its own, secluded continuity: Earth-982.
In this alternate future, Peter and Mary Jane have not just one, but two kids: May Parker (Spider-Woman,) and Benjy Parker. From then on, some other writers have tried their hand at showing alternate futures where Spidey becomes a father.
The point is that there’s history that proves that Spider-Man can have children with Mary Jane. In most cases, these “Spider-Babies” inherit their father’s amazing powers, becoming web-crawlers on their own accord.
Of course, the future doesn’t always look too bright for Spidey and MJ’s kids. Take, for example, the infamously nasty Spider-Man: Reign. In this dystopic horror tale, an elderly Peter Parker mourns the death of his beloved Mary Jane. However, things get darker pretty quickly when it is revealed that Mary Jane died of cancer as a consequence of being exposed to Spidey’s radioactive sperm for years. So… yeah, no Spider-Babies to see in this future.
That said, there are no other stories that say anything about Spidey’s lethal love. As far as we know, this awful conclusion was made up by writer Kaare Andrews, and it has never been mentioned in any other Spider-Man comics ever since. What this means is that there’s little to no chance to see this plot point get mentioned in any future MCU films.
— Hiddles Tigress (@hiddlestigress) August 20, 2016
Whatever the Future Holds
Spider-Man: No Way Home is set to break Peter Parker’s status quo for good. This is the MCU’s chance to rewrite the story of Tom Holland’s Spidey to turn him into a completely new version of the character.
There are some rumors about a possible “college trilogy” of Tom Holland Spider-Man films on the horizon, so we could be seeing what happens to Peter and MJ’s relationship sometime in the future of the MCU. Maybe there are Spider-Babies incoming.
Let’s also keep in mind that Tom Holland and Zendaya are dating in real life so that increases the chances of seeing them staying together for the rest of the MCU’s foreseeable future. Let’s just hope that we don’t get another Gwen Stacy/Green Goblin situation in the next Spider-Man film.