The MCU’s Aunt May has been criticized as too young in the Spider-Man trilogy, but No Way Home bravely justifies her youth.
Spider-Man: No Way Home finally used Aunt May’s childhood in the MCU to her advantage. Much has been said about the character from the comics, which declines in age groups, such as Andrew Garfield’s The Amazing Spider-Man started this trend by casting a younger looking Aunt May, Sally Field. The MCUs Spider Man story followed by choosing Marisa Tomei as May, who was in her early fifties when Spider-Man: Homecoming was released but portrayed the character in a younger and more modern way.
The first two movies of the MCU Spider Man trilogy gave no reason why May was so youthful in the universe. No way home changed that by really getting her involved in Spider-Man’s mission. May is at the center of the action by fighting Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin alongside Spider-Man showcases, in turn justifying her youth, as an older May might struggle with the physical exertion. It allowed her to participate more in Spider-Man’s story and defend her cousin, even though it led to her death from Green Goblin’s glider.
How old is Aunt May in the MCU?
Tomei was 52 when she first debuted in Captain America: Civil War, and the MCU never stated her age in any of the movies, so it’s safe to assume she’s in her early 50s. Since that movie took place in 2016, and Spider-Man: No Way Home took place in 2024, which would have made May about 60 years old before her death. Peter visited Aunt May’s grave at the end of the film, but the years on the gravestone were partially blocked by flowers. However, it is likely that May was born in the same year as Tomei, 1964. May was part of the population living during the Avengers: Infinity War. This means she was gone for five years and didn’t age during that time, effectively turning her 55.
Why Aunt May’s No Way Home Death Didn’t Work
May’s death felt more like a plot to push Tom Holland’s Peter Parker down a dark path, rather than a satisfying conclusion to the character’s arc. May of the MCU rarely appeared as a major figure in this trilogy, as there were few emotional moments of concern or motivation between her and her cousin. She was built to be Peter’s moral compass in No way home, told Peter to help the villains rather than send them back to their deaths, but the film eventually moved that role of guidance to the Spider-Man variants after her passing. Despite her death being an emotional event, it undermined her character’s role in the film.
The flip side of this argument, however, is that May’s death allows Peter to grow and mature on his own. Regardless of her character’s ending, Tomei’s May finally got some justification for her childhood in Spider-Man: No Way Home, giving her the chance to fight side-by-side with Spider-Man. It’s a shame she won’t be a part of Peter Parker’s life in future movies, but it means Peter will really start over.
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