Comics Reviews

How Spider-Man Started Dating Rambo

Today, we look at how Betty Brant had one of the more ridiculous moments involving a gun and a headband in the 1990s (and considering how many guns and headbands the 1990s went through, that’s saying a whole lot).

In Remember to Forget, we spotlight comic book stories that I wish I could forget, but I can’t, so I instead share them with you all, so you’re stuck in the same boat as me!

As I’ve mentioned a few times over the years, I typically mark thing down in an online notepad whenever I think of something interesting, because as I’m sure you all know, ideas are fleeting and if you don’t write something down, you might not think about it again. My notepad is really long and I don’t get around to a whole lot of them, but I’ll occasionally revisit older notes for ideas. Anyhow, in my notes since early 2019 was a note that said simply, “Betty Brant, Rambo.”

A friend of mine mentioned the story this is referencing to me the other day and I thought, “Oh man, I really have to do this one now, don’t I?” So prepare yourself for Betty Brant getting weird…really weird.

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When we first Spider-Man’s first real love interest, Betty Brant, she was J. Jonah Jameson’s secretary and what stood out the most about her was how she DIDN’T stand out, in the sense that she was charming in a laid back sort of way. It was an interesting approach, like this delightful encounter between Peter and herself in Amazing Spider-Man #7 (by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee)…

A few issues later, though, she was starting to worry about Peter and you could tell that something in her background was behind her outlook on life…

This led to the revelation that her beloved brother was a crook who was trying to protect her and not get too caught up in crime, but events were making it very difficult…

Spider-Man got involved due to Peter meeting up with Betty and learning of her predicament, but in the process, her brother was killed and she, of course, blamed Spider-Man…

This led to a rocky patch for the romance that never really fully recovered. Eventually, Betty met a reporter, Ned Leeds, and they were soon engaged for one of the longest engagements in comic book history, finally marrying in Amazing Spider-Man #156 (by Len Wein, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito)….

The 1970s seemed to be going okay for Betty, but things would take a turn. First, Betty and Ned’s marriage almost fell apart (and I’m pretty sure she slept with Peter while still married to Ned) but Peter pushed her back to her husband. Then, in Spectacular Spider-Man #109 (by Peter David, Rich Buckler and Brett Breeding), she was almost killed by the Sin-Eater…

Luckily, he missed her with his first shot…

And Betty showed some strong survival instincts in fighting back against the villain…

It was long enough for Spider-Man to show up and save her life…

Not long after that, though, Ned was killed…

and as we saw in Amazing Spider-Man #289 (by David, Alan Kupperberg and Tom Morgan), Betty basically kind of snapped…

and she hadn’t even found out yet that Ned was the Hobgoblin!

Okay, he wasn’t ACTUALLY the Hobgoblin, but that was a later retcon.

All of this trauma eventually sent Betty into the waiting arms of a cult in Web of Spider-Man #40 (by David, Alex Saviuk and Keith Williams)…

Betty got out of the cult, though, and turned her life around and became a strong reporter for the Daily Bugle in her own right.

RELATED: See How Disturbing The 1968 Batman/Lois Lane/Superman Love Triangle Was


In Web of Spider-Man #115 (by Terry Kavanagh, Alex Saviuk and Don Hudson), Betty begins to become interested in an intriguing rich guy, but, well, she has bad history with men, so she goes out of her way to look into him…

And, well, a new bad guy called F.A.C.A.D.E. didn’t like that, and she was nearly killed in her own apartment!

Instead, Betty escaped to the fire escape and was doing her best to survive by climbing to other buildings…

Spider-Man showed up to save Betty, but he was kind of annoyed that she wouldn’t, you know, run away. However, this is the NEW Betty Brant, so she had other plans…

At the end of the issue, Spidey was in a bad situation against F.A.C.A.D.E., but luckily, the next issue opened with…Betty saving the day dressed as Rambo?!

I’m totally supportive of Betty having a secret arsenal. That’s just logical with how much she’s been kidnapped and attacked. Again, she has seen some things. But the fact that she CHANGES INTO A “COOL” OUTFIT BEFORE ATTACKING is just INSANE! Complete with ridiculous headband! Oh MAN, that’s stupid.

Bad ass Betty even spouts out cliche action lines like “I believe in payback” as she sprays the bad guy with her machine gun…

I certainly don’t want Betty Brant to remain stuck in 1964, but come on, what a silly take on the character. Luckily, Rambo Betty was not a long-lasting change for the character and she evolved into an even better reporter in the years since (she also got to learn that her dead husband WASN’T the Hobgoblin, so that was nice for the ol’ self esteem).

If you have a suggestion for another comic book plot that is probably best forgotten (but it is fun to revel in how much we can’t help but still remember it), drop me a line at

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