Probably, the worst kept "secret" in the comics world as of late has been the outcome of Amazing Spider-Man #545 in which Peter Parker's pact with Mephisto supposedly erases his love affair/marriage with Mary Jane once and for all to save his beloved Aunt May.

We can debate all the reasons why Marvel did it coming and going -- rebooting the character or making the comic better resemble the movie franchise come to mind immediately. Frankly, I'm not crazy about the move -- Aunt May has more lives than the average black cat! -- and Marvel probably expects this kind of reaction from oldtimers like me, but not kids and young adults who may be discovering Spidey for the first time.

My question is a simple one: Is the Spider-Man comic "franchise" better off with or without Mary Jane? Why?

Give me reasons to hope this isn't another desperate move by the "former" House of Ideas merely to grab attention...

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