Best Spider-Man girlfriend?
Emma Stone. Yowza.
Ahem. Going by the comics, there’s really only four options: Betty Brant, Gwen Stacy, Mary Jane Watson, and Felicia Hardy. Liz Allen was never really more than the Veronica to Betty’s…well, Betty, and once you get into the Carlie Coopers and Debra Whitmans of it all, I’m out of my depth if I’d even care at all.
Black Cat’s out right away. Felicia Hardy’s fine, but she’s Catwoman, right? That’s the sum total of her deal as far as her relationship with Spider-Man goes? She’s been around for almost 40 years and obviously has picked up plenty of her own characterization in that time, but I feel reasonably fair in saying that archetype has still always formed the foundation of her relationship with Spider-Man, and I think it’s one that’s more interesting against a stoic type like Batman, rather than desperate Peter Parker who’s obviously super-into it until it turns out she’s bored by his civilian life. In any case, she didn’t have a multi-year run by the likes of Brubaker, Cooke and Stewart, so she’s always going to suffer by comparison there.
Gwen started off promising as the woman who just would not take Peter Parker’s shit, but turned before long into the Sinless Martyr of Marvel everyone remembers, which wasn’t nearly as interesting. Stone did great stuff with her in ASM, but - like the rest of those two movies - I think that had less to do with the actual writing nearly so much as the ability and chemistry of her and Garfield. Betty Brant was really effective as a sort of reverse Lois Lane to his early days pseudo-Superman, despising the life of adventure of his superheroic self and pining to live a quiet life with the studious nerd he was in fact growing out of being, but there’s no denying a lot of her characterization came down to the sexism of the time (“I want a man who has a good, steady job–who comes home each night, to his pipe, and his paper–and to me!”), so she doesn’t exactly match up in the pantheon of great comics love interests.
Mary Jane really is the only pick, I’d say. She’s got a fun, outsized personality that fills the room, and the truth about her - that she affects an over-the-top public persona in the same way Peter does as Spider-Man - turns a potentially rote “nerd got the girl” story into one of two incredibly miserable people (both saved by their aunts no less) seemingly living lives most would kill for who end up finding each other and showing each other the truth of who they are, becoming each others’ rock in the process. Throw in To Have And To Hold on top - the last Spider-Man story I’d call capital-G Great - and you have something that really works.