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No Way Home Finally Justified The MCU’s Young Aunt May

Spider-Man: No Way Home finally used Aunt May’s youth in the MCU to its advantage. A lot has been said about the character from the comics decreasing in age across franchises, as Andrew Garfield’s The Amazing Spider-Man started this trend by casting a younger-looking Aunt May, Sally Field. The MCU’s Spider-Man story followed suit by choosing Marisa Tomei as May, who was in her early 50s 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 didn’t give a reason as to why May was so youthful in the universe. No Way Home changed that by truly making her involved with Spider-Man’s mission. May being at the center of the action by battling Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin alongside Spider-Man showcases, and in turn justifies, her youth, as an older May might struggle with the physical effort. It allowed her to participate more in Spider-Man’s story and defend her nephew, even though it did lead to her death by 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 specified her age in any of the movies, so it’s safe to assume that she’s in her early 50s. Since that movie took place in 2016, and Spider-Man: No Way Home took place in 2024, that would have made May around 60 years old before her death. Peter visited Aunt May’s grave at the end of the film, but the years on the tombstone were partially blocked by flowers. However, it’s likely May was born the same year as Tomei, 1964. May was part of the population that blipped during Avengers: Infinity War. This means that she was gone for five years and didn’t age during that time, actually making her 55.

Why Aunt May’s No Way Home Death Didn’t Work

May’s death felt more like a plot device to push Tom Holland’s Peter Parker down a dark path, rather than a satisfying conclusion to the character’s arc. The MCU’s May rarely appeared as an important figure in this trilogy, as there were few emotional moments of concern or motivation between her and her nephew. She was built up to be Peter’s moral compass in No Way Home, telling Peter to help the villains rather than send them back to their deaths, but the film ultimately moved that role of guidance to the Spider-Man variants after her demise. Despite her death being an emotional event, it undermined her character’s role in the movie.

The flip side to this argument however is that May’s death allows Peter to grow and mature on his own moving forward. Regardless of her character’s end, Tomei’s May finally received justification for her youth 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 moving forward in future films, but it means Peter really is starting anew.

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