Characters : Deborah Whitman

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Attributes
Eyes

Blue

Features

Eyeglasses

Hair

Blond

Height

Unknown

Weight

Unknown

Powers
Abilities

Typing and secretarial

Limitations

Not very self confident

Strength Level

Normal female

Summary
Citizenship

U.S.

Created By

[[Unknown]]

Current Occupation

Unknown

Education

Unknown

Former Bases

Empire State University

Former Occupation

Secretary, student, housewife

Known Allies

Spider-Man

Known Confidants

Psychiatrist

Known Relatives

Ex-husband, Captain Whitman (uncle, seen in Amazing #210-#211)

Legal Status

No criminal record

Major Enemies

Ex-husband

Marital Status

Divorced

Place of Birth

Unknown

Real Name

Debra Whitman

Usual Bases

Unknown

Background

When Peter first met Deborah Whitman, she was working at Empire State University as the secretary of Dr. Morris Sloan. Peter was a teaching assistant for Dr. Sloan and he told Deb to pass along to him that Aunt May had died and he wouldn't be available to teach. (This was, of course, all part of a scheme planned by Mysterio.) (Amazing Spider-Man #196)

Peter walked in on her looking for her shoe in the office one, just in time to see her hit he head on her desk. (Her shoe was on the desk.) She showed him around the office and introduced him to some of the other graduate students. Later, she and the others would be chased out of the building by a swarm of angry killer bees, controlled by Fritz von Meyer. (Peter Parker, Spectacular Spider-Man #36)

Later, the science department was robbed by goons looking for a chemical called neo-atropine. They forced Deb to open the safe and shoved her, Peter and Steve Hopkins inside after they grabbed what they wanted. These thieves were later shown to be working for Belladonna. (Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #43)

Peter was soon on a date with Deborah and they caught a magic show starring Mesmero. They left early, not impressed with the show. Deb suggested they go to a new Indian restaurant and he declined, saying he had an exam the next day. Peter offered to give her 50 cents for bus fare home and she coldly declined. As Dr. Sloan's secretary, she knew that he didn't have a test. She assumed he just wanted to leave her. Later, Peter invited Deb to see "A Chorus Line" in Times Square and she happily accepted. Peter never showed up for the date, as he was busy dealing with Mesmero. A dejected Deb left, saying that it was typical for her to be ditched. (Amazing Spider-Man #207)

After she and Peter returned to her apartment after a date, she invited him in and he declined. He went to investigate a murder of a high society socialite as Spider-Man. The news report he saw claimed that Spidey was a suspect in the murder, which had actually been committed by Prowler II. The next day, Peter was at the science department and Deb said she had a good time the previous night and suggested they do it again. Peter barely acknowledged her, as he was still thinking over the new Prowler. (Peter Parker, Spectacular Spider-Man #47)

She made a surprise visit to Peter's apartment one day and he opened the door in his bathrobe. She was distracted by this and he was busy trying to fix a broken lamp. Soon the light bulb exploded and set fire to a nearby stuffed animal. Deb told him to throw it in his bathtub and he nearly did, until he remembered his costume was in the bathroom. Instead he smothered the fire with his curtains, saying that he was developing pictures in the bathroom and the fire might spread to the chemicals. After the fire was out, they laughed and got some coffee. (Peter Parker, Spectacular Spider-Man #48)

At a later date, they were out for a walk when Deb seemed depressed. Peter asked what was wrong and she said that her uncle, who owned a small shipping business, had been threatened by thugs at the docks. He was an elderly man and she wondered if Peter could use his newspaper connections to help him. He said he couldn't, as he just didn't have time. She said that she wouldn't bother him with it again and walked away. Feeling guilty, he changed to Spider-Man and went to the docks, just as Kraven the Hunter and Calypso Ezili arrived from exile in Africa. Spidey didn't notice them, but Calypso loosened the animals being loaded off the boat to force Kraven to act and draw Spidey's attention. (Amazing Spider-Man #209)

One night while teaching a chemistry class to a group of freshmen, Peter was sent a message by Doctor Strange, who warned him that dire evil was at his Sanctum Sanctorum. Peter rushed out of class and ran into Deb, who was surprised to see him in such a rush. She asked if he was in a hurry to see the band that they had agreed to see and he blew her off, saying that he couldn't talk and couldn't say why. She went to the concert alone, feeling dejected.

She found him there after Wong had told Spider-Man that Strange had left a clue to his whereabouts: CBGB. Spidey recognized those letters as the club that he had meant to take Deb to that night. As Peter searched for the Doc, a woman started flirting with him, just as he ran into Deb. She left and he followed her, saying that he had been looking for her. She didn't buy it, until he said that was meant to take her to the best steak house in New York. Unfortunately, a group of possessed concert goers walked past them and Peter's spider sense warned him of danger. He went to follow them, leaving Deb behind. Eventually, he found that Doctor Doom was behind the kidnapping of Doc Strange and the possessed people. (Amazing Spider-Man Annual #14)

Somehow he convinced her to still see him and she told him that she was seeing a psychic named Madame Web. He was amazed that the hard nosed Deb Whitman would go and see a psychic. He had to leave her, as he had an appointment at the Daily Globe. (Amazing Spider-Man #210)

Peter invited Deb on a date one night, after he was invited to lunch with his aunt and her fiance, Nathan Lubensky. At the restaurant, Mysterio and his gang disguised as aliens kidnapped Peter after he said that he knew where Matches Malone hid his treasure. (Peter Parker, Spectacular Spider-Man #50)

Deb and Nathan took May back to her nursing home, Mysterio's men kidnapped Deb, hoping to make Peter more cooperative. Spider-Man showed up after Deb arrived and Mysterio tried to hold a gun to her head, but she smashed his helmet with a film prop. His cracked helmet blurred his vision and Spidey clobbered him. Deb ran to call the police and when she got back, she found Peter waiting in captivity. (Peter Parker, Spectacular Spider-Man #51)

He ran into her at ESU, where she was worrying about her elderly uncle again. He was going to captain a ship to fulfill a contract that no one else wanted to do, to keep his company from going under. He offered to help her if he could, but he secretly thought it would be too much of a disruption. After talking with Aunt May, he decided to help Deb's uncle after all. He arrived at the docks as Spider-Man just in time, as the sailors were unhappy that Mr. Whitman couldn't pay them a bonus for the job. Spidey agreed to help the crew, which turned out to be lucky for them, as Namor showed up after they set out to sea. (Namor had been destroying experimental generators that were placed underwater and declared war on humanity for what he saw as a trespassing of his territory. Once Namor explained that the generators had been interfering with the power generators of Atlantis, he suggested a new position for them and left. (Amazing Spider-Man #211)

After returning to dry land, Peter called Deb and asked her to help him with a photography assignment. He met her at the Daily Bugle, where he met with J. Jonah Jameson, who wanted to tell him about an assignment. Jonah, surprisingly, was quite charming to Deborah. They were interrupted by Robbie Robertson, who mentioned that there had been reports of a water man looking for Spider-Man. Peter had to leave Deb and went after Hydro-Man. (Amazing Spider-Man #212)

He had another date with Deb, but she wasn't on his mind. A new woman had moved into his apartment building and simply saying "Hello" to him made Peter momentarily forget Deb's name. Peter was happy all night with Deb, but only because he was thinking of the new tenant. Deb noticed how happy he seemed and thought it was because of her. She kissed him and he was surprised at the passion behind it. She offered to make sandwiches for them and he declined, saying that he had laundry to do. He was surprised at her kiss, thinking "to me she's a nice kid. Period." She later called to say what a good time she had with him and he let her go when the new tenant came to the door. She came to discuss a renters strike. Peter was happy to attend. (Amazing Spider-Man #213)

Spidey soon took a beating from the Frightful Four (Wizard, Trapster, Llyra and Sandman) and ended up at Deb's for medical attention. He collapsed on her couch and when he woke up fourteen hours later, she had made him a breakfast of pancakes, ham, bacon, home fries, an apple pie and coffee. He asked how long he had been asleep and when he fond out he left to check on the new woman. (Her apartment had been attacked by Namor and then the two vigilantes had been attacked by the Frightful Four.) He casually thanked Deb for breakfast, saying he would call in a few days. (Amazing Spider-Man #215)

After taking another beating from the Frightful Four, he went back to Deb's apartment for her TLC. When he got there, he found her with a new man named Biff Rifkin, from her home town. He left them alone, thinking about the kiss she had given him the other day. (Amazing Spider-Man #216)

Peter ran into Deb and Biff at a movie theater. He wasn't happy to see her with Biff and when she asked if he was going to see the movie, he sarcastically replied that he was there to add to his stale popcorn collection. Biff went on to say that the movie was intellectually stimulating "for mere entertainment, that is." He then gave away the ending and Peter walked away fuming. (Amazing Spider-Man #217)

When Peter tried to talk to her at the office, she had called in sick. (Peter Parker, Spectacular Spider-Man #54) When he did finally see her again at the office, she blew him off, saying that her illness was nothing serious and when he tried to apologize she answered "That's all right, Peter. I'm sure you had your reasons. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a lot of reports to type." (Peter Parker, Spectacular Spider-Man #55)

When Peter learned that the Scorpion had escaped from prison, he rushed to change to Spider-Man. Deb noticed that he ran off when he heard about Scorpion. (Marvel Team Up #106)

At a later date, Peter and Deb were discussing their classmate, Marcy Kane, while really discussing their own problems. Peter said that Marcy had a right to her privacy, while Deb said that trust was more important in a relationship. They were interrupted by a call from May Parker, who was frantic after learning that Bellevue Hospital was under siege from the Jack O'Lantern and Nathan was there for physical therapy. She wanted Peter to come and stay with her until the hostages were freed. Deb offered to go with him, but Peter told her to stay. (Peter Parker, Spectacular Spider-Man #56)

Peter saw Deborah at the Physics Department one day and said it had been a while since they had seen each other. She was surprised that he had noticed and he offered to buy her some coffee. She was about to accept when Biff showed up and took out her out for dinner and a play. They left and Steve Hopkins asked Peter is he was jealous. Pete said he didn't know and it didn't matter. He left and relaxed by doing some web swinging, still not sure how he felt about Deb. (Amazing Spider-Man #218)

Deb attended a charity show attended by Luke Cage, Steve Grant, Matthew Murdock, Danny Rand and Marlene Alraune. She noticed the Purple Man arrive, who had been sent by the Kingpin to kill his enemies. Murdock also noticed the Purple Man and caused a distraction to get her and the rest of the audience out of harms way. (Marvel Team-Up Annual#4)

Peter once went to a country music bar to hear his neighbor, Mr. Pincus, perform. Peter thought Pincus was a terrible singer and went to see how the crowd liked him. Biff and Deborah were at the bar, to Peter's surprise. Biff said that he considered country music to be "ethnic." Peter walked away and Deb thought he looked lost and lonely. She cared for him but he didn't have time for her like Biff did. (Amazing Spider-Man #221)

She invited Peter to dinner and he was surprised to already see Biff there. He mentioned to Peter how much money Deb made, which was more than Peter did. He left abruptly when he saw a news report of the Beetle battling the Gibbon. (Spectacular Spider-Man #60)

After Moonstone attacked the Physics Department looking for Dr. Curtis Connors's "enervator," Marcy Kane was injured. Peter performed CPR on her and when a security guard arrived, he sent the man to get help. Deb and Biff showed up and found an ambulance outside of the department. The paramedic told them that Peter saved Marcy. Deb thinks to herself that Peter is never there for her but saved Marcy. She wondered if Biff would do the same for her. (Peter Parker, Spectacular Spider-Man #61)

As Peter was experimenting with gold, Deb decided to study up on gold to try and understand what he was doing. Goldbug broke in to steal the gold that Peter was working with and Deb was sprayed by his gold dust. Peter found an antidote for her. (Spectacular Spider-Man #62)

She accidentally gave him the name of the Foolkiller after the student arrived at the office looking for Peter. When Peter showed up, Deb tried to pass along the message and he said that Greg had already talked to him. Deb was clearly angry and when Peter asked why, she said that when she told Greg that she didn't know where Peter was he called her a fool and walked out. Peter put two and two together. (Amazing Spider-Man #225)

After he met Felicia Hardy, Peter was in a very good mood, which was noticed by Marcy Kane and Deb. (Amazing Spider-Man #227)

After Adlai Schmidt, a reclusive old man and collector of antique furniture died of many spider bites, the public was allowed to walk through the house and purchase the furniture. Deb took Peter to the house to see the antiques and he was distracted by Schmidt's death, as he had been oddly drawn to the house the night of the death. An arrogant man named Norman Junque snatched an antique quill pen from her, saying that he had bought it and didn't want anyone else to touch it. Junque stormed out and a woman explained that he had been wanting to buy Schmidt's antiques for some time. Peter left Deb to follow Junque, making her wish that he was more considerate of her so she didn't have to date Biff. (Amazing Spider-Man #228)

Peter slept in one day and missed his lab time at the university. When he showed up at the school, he smashed a locker door in frustration and Deb tried to console him and her brushed her off, making her cry. (Spectacular Spider-Man #67) When Biff heard what Peter had done, he went to the university to fight him. Peter gave him a hard slap that knocked him down, which was witnessed by Prof. Sloan, who forced him to give up his assistant teaching position. Deb followed him off campus and to a rooftop, where she saw Spider-Man swing away. (Spectacular Spider-Man #68)

Deb later tried to confront Peter about his losing his teaching position and he told her that she had made up being so upset that she cried. She really did feel conflicted about her suspicion about his secret. (Spectacular Spider-Man #69) She again tried to talk to him but he left when he heard about Cloak and Dagger fighting Silvermane. She was suspicious when he left suddenly and also questioned her sanity. (Spectacular Spider-Man #70)

Peter and Deb went to a Renaissance fair, which was also attended by the Thing and his girlfriend, Alicia Masters. Deb wanted to see Alicia's art exhibit, which Peter was less interested in. He thought to himself that he just couldn't find himself interested in Deb. She was attractive and nice enough but he couldn't think of her as a girlfriend. Peter eventually met Alicia and when he talked to her more than Deb, Deb said she was leaving to live in Camelot with King Arthur. He said that was nice and she left him. Alicia (who was blind) told him that his date just left him and he went after her. Soon, an inter-dimensional sorcerer named Sardeth arrived and possessed a man dressed as a magician. Spidey and the Thing deal with Sardeth and Deb took Alicia to safety. (Marvel Two In One #90)

At the science department, Deb took a call from Betty Brant, who wanted to talk to Peter regarding her fears about an assignment that Ned Leeds was taking. Deb passed along the call but a call from the Daily Bugle boosted her suspicion of Peter. (Amazing Spider-Man #231)

Peter and another scientist had just made a breakthrough in what they called the Parker-Hochberg process and the rest of the grad students wanted to give them a surprise party. Marcy Kane asked Peter to come with her to the lab but he blew her off. When Marcy told the group that he wasn't coming, it further reinforced Deb's fears about Peter being Spider-Man. (Amazing Spider-Man #232)

Deb began seeing Dr. Bailey Kuklin, a psychiatrist, regarding her fear of losing her mind. (Spectacular Spider-Man #72) Dr. Kuklin had another session with Debra, with Peter secretly listening. Dr. Kuklin asked Peter to masquerade as Spider-Man to make her realize her suspicions were false, but he refused. Peter was referred to Biff by Dr. Sloan to learn what Debra had gone through, and Biff told Peter about her abusive marriage to Mark Whitman. Peter finally went to Deb's apartment as Spider-Man and had her remove his mask. However, when she saw that he was Peter, she decided that he had pretended to help her, and was shocked out of her psychiatric problems. She thanked Peter for being a good friend. The next day, Peter saw Debra off as she set out to the Midwest to divorce Mark and finally start her life over. They shared a goodbye kiss before she got on her bus. (Spectacular Spider-Man #74)

Years later, Peter unmasked himself on live TV as part of the Superhuman Registration Act. When Deb learned that Peter was Spider-Man, she wrote a tell all book called "Two-Faced: How Peter Parker Ruined My Life." When Deb got an advanced copy of the book, she found that changes had been made to it, saying things that she hadn't written. Her publicist said it needed "punching up." She would be leaving for New York later, to attend a book signing. Around that time, Peter found out about her book and felt betrayed. (Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #14)

Before the signing began, Deb was approached by Betty Brant who claimed that she was there for an interview. Betty instead asked her who she thought she was to betray Peter. Deb was stunned that Betty would attack her, as Peter had lied to Betty for years as well. Betty explained that she felt relived to find out that Peter was Spider-Man. Spidey had been a part of her life for years, but he scared her, as she didn't know who he was or why he always seemed to be around her. Knowing that Spider-Man was really someone that she knew and trusted was a relief to her. She told Deb that Peter did what he did out of love, compassion and decency. Then she asked Deb why she wrote the book.

During the book signing, Deb was approached by Flash Thompson who also demanded to know why she wrote the book. Flash was interrupted when Betty saw him, the first time since he was out of his coma. The group was startled when the Vulture arrived, knowing that Peter would show up. Toomes grabbed Deb but was stopped by Betty, who shot at him with her pistol. Vulture quickly disarmed her but was webbed by Spider-Man. The fight between them went outside, where Vulture suffered a heart attack and dropped an unconscious Spider-Man. (Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #15)

As Peter fell, Deb screamed at him to wake up. He did, just in the nick of time, swinging himself to safety. As the fight between Spidey and Vulture continued, Deb swore to herself that she thought they were about to see Peter die in front of them. Flash told her that she would probably have enjoyed that and she slapped him, calling him a "stupid jock." She left in a huff after Betty told her to leave him alone.

Later, Deb showed up at Betty's apartment with a medical bill. She explained that her mother was sick, that she had gone into debt paying her bills and medicare didn't help. When Peter unmasked, Jonah Jameson's people started looking into Peter's past relationships for dirt on him and when they found Deb, they offered her a lot of money to write a book. The publisher changed details of her account to make Peter look worse. Betty recorded her story and anonymously gave it to a rival newspaper of the Daily Bugle, who ran the story. When Jameson demanded she find out who reported that story, she promised him she'd get right on it. (Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #16)

Appears In...

Sep 1979 App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #196
Nov 1979 App: Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #36
May 1980 App: Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #42
Jun 1980 App: Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #43
Aug 1980 App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #207

Here is the Full Appearance List (44 Apps) for Deborah Whitman.

Image Gallery

The assistance of the Marvel Chronology Project is gratefully acknowledged.

Some of the above information is extracted from the various versions of the Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe and the more recent Marvel Encyclopaedias.