4. Hitting the Jackpot
"Amazing Spider-Man" #42 was a very cool if not very memorable comic by Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr. It saw Spider-Man take on the suddenly super-powered son of J. Jonah Jameson, a typical series of misunderstandings and plot twists occur and things wrap up pretty cleanly. It was the usual solid effort from Romita and Lee, but what happened at the end of the otherwise fun but forgettable story puts it among the greatest Peter Parker moments. Since the Steve Ditko-drawn "Amazing Spider-Man" #25, there had been a running gag of Aunt May trying to introduce Peter to her best friend's niece, Mary Jane Watson. Trying to avoid the situation (and believing Mary Jane to be a train wreck), Peter dodges the blind date at all costs before finally getting cornered by his doting Aunt upon returning home. This marked the reveal of Mary Jane Watson in all her John Romita, Sr. glory for the first time. Before Romita drew "Amazing Spider-Man," he cut his artistic teeth on romance comics and knew exactly how to depict beautiful women. Mary Jane was his masterpiece and the reveal, with M.J. saying her immortal line, "Face it Tiger, you just hit the jackpot!", became one of the most legendary moments and panels in Marvel Comics history. Following that last page reveal, Mary Jane has become, arguably, the most important supporting character in comics and Spider-Man's one true love. Over the years, Mary Jane became a fully realized character with depth rarely seen by a remember of a solo title's supporting cast. She has gone from vapid party lover to a symbol of strength in Peter's life and it all started with that one brilliant panel of a gorgeous red head with a billion-dollar smile that made Peter Parker and plenty of fans all fall in love.