May Parker, commonly known as Aunt May, is the aunt of Peter Parker who appears as a supporting character in Marvel's Spider-Man. She is also the operations manager of the non-profit organization F.E.A.S.T.
May was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1953. Following the death of her brother-in-law and sister-in-law, she and her husband Ben became the guardians of their nephew Peter. Having no children themselves, they raised him as the son they never had.
In 2010, Ben was murdered, leaving May a widow. May started volunteering at the F.E.A.S.T. homeless shelter in 2013, as a way to "find some light in the darkness" following Ben's death.
At an unknown point, Sandman attempted to rob the F.E.A.S.T. shelter. Telling him that there was nothing there for him, May convinced Sandman to leave peacefully.
The day of Wilson Fisk's arrest also marks the anniversary of May's employment at F.E.A.S.T. Peter helps Martin Li, May's employer, distract May long enough to get all of the preparations ready for her surprise party.
Despite the revelations of Martin Li's terrorist attack on a political rally, May continues her work at F.E.A.S.T, feeling that it is important while also having a hard time believing that Martin was capable of such an act. At Peter's suggestion, she takes Miles Morales, whose father died in the attack, under her wing. They are both at the F.E.A.S.T. shelter when Doctor Octopus unleashes the Devil's Breath upon the city. Despite being among the infected, May continues to help the struggling residents of the city.
While Spider-Man manages to recover the antiserum, the portion is only enough for one usage, and May's condition has progressed too far for her to wait for more doses to be made. May reveals on her deathbed that she knew Peter was Spider-Man for quite some time, telling him how proud she is, and how proud Ben would be, of him. When she realizes that Peter must let her die to stop the plague, she wholeheartedly accepts it, spending her last moments reassuring him that it's the right thing to do. May is buried next to Ben, and a commemorative plaque is placed at F.E.A.S.T. in her honor.
May is an older woman with short reddish-brown hair and green eyes. She dresses simply in a buttoned shirt and blue jeans, and often keeps her sleeves rolled up.
When you help someone, you help everyone. —May Parker, Marvel's Spider-Man
May's kind and selfless spirit serves not only as an inspiration for Peter, but for everyone who knows her. A number of people at the F.E.A.S.T. shelter even feel that she works too hard in attempting to help others. Having lost her husband in a tragic accident many years before, May devoted her efforts to raise her nephew alone, molding him to become the man he is today. Hence, she shares her nephew's penchant for quipping, his trademark sense of humor as well as his innate desire to do the right thing, wherever possible. May, furthermore, is a strong-willed individual, not backing down to Sandman when the latter attempted to rob F.E.A.S.T. years ago.
She is also an optimistic and hopeful woman, shown in her firm belief that Peter and Mary Jane's relationship will work out because she wants them to have children.
May also possesses a strength of character that is not unlike Peter's, with her refusing to stop working to improve the lives of the homeless taking refuge in F.E.A.S.T., even as she coughs out blood from the Devil's Breath ravaging her elderly body.
May and her husband Ben took their nephew Peter Parker in following the death of Peter's parents, and raised him as their own child. Following the death of Ben, May became Peter's only remaining family. She cares dearly for Peter and treats him like her own son. Like the stereotypical mother, May comes off as unintentionally embarrassing, as she keeps Peter's childhood drawings as decorations in her office, including the period where Peter had a fondness for horses and ponies. She, at some point, deduced his secret identity as Spider-Man and wrote positive reviews of him on social media.
May later offers to give Peter money to help him with his rent and tells him to swallow his Parker pride and rely on others every now and then. Before passing away, May reveals to Peter that she knew of his identity as Spider-Man all along and that she is immensely proud of all the lives he has saved.
May met Martin Li when she joined F.E.A.S.T. Their mutual desire to make a difference and help those less fortunate forged a bond and deep trust. Notably after Li becomes Mister Negative, he still professes his admiration for her years of hard work at the shelter, showing his earlier fondness of her was indeed genuine. May chooses to remain at F.E.A.S.T to continue what they started together even after Li's downfall.
Aunt May's first appearance was in Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962).