Spider-Man has struggled with his emotions and beliefs in recent battles, but Aunt May has been there to help him work through it all.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Amazing Spider-Man #59 by Nick Spender, Marcelo Ferreira, Wayne Faucher, Morry Hollowell, Andrew Crossley & VC’s Joe Caramagna, on sale now.

Spider-Man has been through a lot recently. He battled Sin-Eater, while facing opposition from people who liked that he was cleansing villains of their sins and stripping them of their powers. While this made seemingly made several villains harmless,  Sin-Eater took his own life, and those villains regained all their superpowers.

Then, Spider-Man battled Kindred and was killed and resurrected repeatedly, almost driving him mad. When it was over, he was broken and told Norman Osborn he was finished with the Osborn family, and if Harry were ever set free, he would bring their worlds down on them. It seemed Spider-Man had given up on what made him a hero, to begin with. However, Aunt May wouldn’t have it.

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Aunt May in Spider-Man

Aunt May took in Martin Li to help him as he ran from his sins as the villain Mister Negative. The villain’s Inner Demons could. They began to trash the place before Martin Li gave himself up to protect May and save her kitchen from further damage. As he left, Martin Li said that he wanted to do a good thing for once and not be defined by his sins. When this ended, May was down on herself and asked if there was something about helping others that makes her responsible for these kinds of destructive events. Peter was there to comfort her, letting her know that she is not responsible for anything. He told her she is trying to do something “good and selfless,” like she always does, and that takes a lot of courage. That is a trait Spider-Man seems to have lost in his past few battles, and a lesson that should be well ingrained into him by now.

Peter asked Aunt May not to do something like this again, and if someone like Martin Li shows up, she needs to call the police. He said he knows May wants to save everyone, but she can’t trust everyone. That is when Aunt May does what she always does. She tells Peter Parker what he needs to hear when he needs to hear it. She said she has to be trusting, and Peter does too. As she reasoned, if they don’t have hope that people can become better, what hope is there for them?

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Aunt May and Peter Parker

Aunt May, and before her, Uncle Ben, have been the moral compass for Peter Parker and Spider-Man through his entire career. He almost took the easy way out in the beginning, but it was Ben’s comments about power and responsibility that made Spider-Man a hero. People always push Peter to the edge, but it was the people who raised him, Uncle Ben and Aunt May, who ensured that he made the right decision.

Whether this means holding out hope Harry Osborn could find his way back, Norman Osborn could regain his newly found goodness, or a villain like Martin Li could have his moment of heroism, what makes Spider-Man a true hero is that he is always there to ensure everyone has the chance. He needs someone like Aunt May to push him in that direction when he drifts off-course.

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