ĐØМ, a poster at Comic Book Resources, suggested that if it weren't for the marriage, Peter Parker would not have refused a good job offer in Kansas in Amazing Spider-Man #302. Proponents of a married Spider-Man often point to lines of dialogue, to suggest that if it weren't for the events of Amazing Spider-Man Annual 21, the character would have made starkly different decisions. And that the stories would have been fundamentally different.
A few readers argued that the marriage should have been preserved, because it was responsible for some of the great Spider Man tales. Rereading the first Venom storyline or Kraven’s Last Hunt (often cited as examples of this) demonstrates that many fans of the marriage exaggerate its role in amping up the tension in those tales. If Mary Jane was just Peter Parker's girlfriend (or friend), would she have tried any less harder to find him when Kraven buried him alive? Would Peter have been any less upset when Venom paid her a visit? Hell, if she didn't know that he was Spider Man, Peter would have different reasons to be pissed at Venom, and she would have new reasons to be afraid.
"I know who your wife is" “Mary Jane worries about Peter’s job” and the "Damsel in Distress" plots have been done before many times, often very well, but there is a need for more types of narratives. The stories could also be done with other characters than Mary Jane.
There is the argument that there are differences between how a girlfriend would act, and how a wife would act in those circumstances. A newlywed finding herself in this predicament may make for a more dramatic situation, than a girlfriend who can dump the guy with more ease. However, if Peter's girlfriend found herself panicking because someone dressed up as Spider Man is going around beating crooks to death, the readers will have legitimate concern that she may use this as a reason to leave him.
Much of the tension in the earlier narratives was also due to Mary Jane and Peter being newlyweds, as both slowly realized what they were getting themselves into. With that gone and all the subsequent stories about how their marriage is strong, that pressure no longer exists and would not be a source for future plots.
Without the marriage, Peter would still have decided that it was better for him to be in New York City than in Kansas. Mary Jane might not have told a SHIELD agent "He's my husband, you're just some guy." But she would have said something similar. Norman Osborn would still have reasons to return to New York City.
While there are a handful of stories that could only be done if Peter & MJ were married, this was rarely explored in the comics. Now let's look at the stories you can only tell if they're single.
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