Place of Birth
Daily Bugle staff, Jameson News Digest staff, Students of Love
Betty is a highly capable investigative reporter. She has become proficient in martial arts and marksmanship, and is well versed in a variety of firearms.
Betty Brant was raised by a single mother and had an older brother named Bennett. While still in high school, Betty dated university student Gordon Savinski, a fast-living friend of her brother's. Gordon and the Brant siblings were a friendly trio for some time; however, when Gordon and Bennett incurred a huge gambling debt to mobster Blackie Gaxton, Gordon abandoned Bennett, leaving the Brants to face the consequences. Eventually, Gaxton's thugs came to the Brant home, and Betty's mother suffered permanent brain damage in the resultant scuffle. (To learn about Betty's brother, click on the highlighted name above.)
Forced to grow up fast, Betty dropped out of high school so she could work to pay off her mother's medical bills and her brother's gambling debts. Betty's mother had been the personal secretary to J. Jonah Jameson (publisher of the Daily Bugle newspaper). Perhaps out of sympathy for Betty or out of loyalty to her mother, Jameson offered Betty her mother's job at the Bugle. Soon, Betty proved to be one of the very few secretaries who ever managed to meet Jameson's demanding standards while tolerating the publisher's prickly personality. (To learn about the Daily Bugle or Jameson, click on their highlighted names above.)
Over time, a mutual attraction developed between Betty and a young Bugle photographer named Peter Parker. Peter bore a striking resemblance to Gordon Savinski; but unlike Gordon, Parker was quiet, serious, moral, responsible-in short, he seemed safe. Peter first noticed Betty when she stuck up for Spider-man during one of Jameson's anti-Spider-Man tirades. Later, Peter and Betty grew closer when they shared an intimate chat in the wrecked Bugle offices after an attack by the Vulture. Before long, they were a couple, and Betty became Peter's first real girlfriend. (Click on the highlighted names above to learn more about those characters.)
Intensely danger-shy after Gordon, Betty worried incessantly about the hazards of Peter's job, which often required him to photograph criminals and super-villains in action. When the criminal Enforcers came after Betty to collect on the Brant family's remaining debts, Betty tried to protect Peter by leaving town. She then tried to wipe out the last of her brother's debts by recruiting Doctor Octopus to break Blackie Gaxton out of prison. However, when Spider-Man intervened, Gaxton was recaptured, but not before Bennett sacrificed himself to shield Betty from a stray bullet. A devastated Betty blamed Spider-Man for her brother's death, and Peter decided he could never share the secret of his double identity with her. (To learn about the highlighted different villains above, just click on their names.)
Deeply insecure, Betty was often jealous of Peter's female friends, and she sometimes assumed that the oft-absent Peter was two-timing her, or had simply grown tired of her. Betty responded by dating Ned Leeds (a new reporter at the Bugle). For a time, Betty was romantically linked to both Peter and Ned while she tried to sort out her feelings; however, a smitten Ned eventually proposed to Betty. Unfortunately, Betty was still in love with Peter. But, she did crave the stability she thought Ned represented. After stalling for some time, Betty finally saw Peter get injured after an encounter with Doctor Octopus and Betty realized she couldn't bear to love another man who lived dangerously--Betty accepted Ned's proposal. (To learn more about Ned, click on the highlighted name above.)
Engaged for years, Ned and Betty finally got married despite the interference of the costumed criminal Mirage, who tried to rob the wedding guests until he was subdued by Spider-Man. Jameson sent the new couple to Paris on a "working honeymoon" to establish Ned as a European foreign correspondent; however, with Ned constantly off on assignment, Betty grew lonely and bitter. Separating from Ned and returning to New York, she sought comfort with Peter, who was tempted to rekindle their old romance; but, when an angry Ned arrived to fight for Betty, Peter pretended he wasn't really interested in her and declared he never wanted to see either of them again, hoping this might bring the couple back together. Stung, Betty and Ned went away together to rebuild their marriage. (To learn about Mirage, click on his name above.)
Ned continued to throw himself into his work as a Bugle reporter, a situation made much worse when the criminal Hobgoblin (Roderick Kingsley) secretly brainwashed Ned into acting as his accomplice and occasional stand-in. Ned became increasingly angry, violent and unstable. This led Betty to begin cheating on him with an old friend, Flash Thompson. Later, Ned (as Hobgoblin) attacked Flash, and Betty saw Ned unmasked during the struggle. By this time thought, Kingsley had regarded Ned as a liability, and leaked word of Ned's double identity to the underworld. This made the Hobgoblin's criminal rival, Jack O' Lantern (Jason Macendale), hired someone to kill Ned. Betty, already reeling from the revelation of Ned's double life, had a complete breakdown after Ned's death. She became delusional and prone to hallucinations. (Click on the highlighted names above to learn more about those characters.)
The broken Betty was easy prey for the Students of Love (a cult of brainwashed pawns led by the charismatic Teacher--a charlatan and supposed faith healer who stripped his followers of all their possessions). Spider-Man, Flash, and Reverend Tolliver joined forces to free Betty, and the cult was destroyed in a fire. Deprogrammed and restored to relative mental health by Tolliver, but having lost all her belongings to the cult, Betty moved in with Flash.
Betty reached a turning point during the demonic invasion of New York known as Inferno (when demons posing as Spider-Man and the late Ned attacked Flash's home). Betty found new inner strength and used it to save herself and Thompson from the demons, though Thompson's home was destroyed in the process. Later, when the emotion-controlling villain Mister Fear (Alan Fagan) tried to manipulate Betty into killing Spider-Man, she resisted and helped defeat Mister Fear; in the process, she began to understand and overcome the fear of loneliness at the root of her desperate attachments to the men in her life. (Click on the highlighted names above to learn about the invasion and character.)
Soon, Betty and Flash drifted apart. During this time, Betty began gradually reinventing herself. Easing out of secretarial work and into reporting, Brant became an investigative journalist for the Bugle, eventually tracking the killers of her husband. She also studied martial arts and marksmanship, a heavily-armed Betty even managed to hold her own against the Foreigner's forces alongside Spider-Man (this uncovered more details regarding the circumstances of Ned's death in the process--the Foreigner had been the one hired to kill her husband). She even at times worked along side Spider-Man to defeat villains. Betty had a brief romantic interest in Ben Reilly, who was later murdered by the Green Goblin. (To learn more about the above characters, just click on their highlighted names.)
Betty continues to work at the Bugle under the direction of her longtime bosses, Jameson and editor-in-chief Joe "Robbie" Robertson. Her notable friends and colleagues there have included secretary Glory Grant (who took over Betty's old job), city editor Kathyrn "Kate" Cushing and fellow reporters such as Ben Urich, Joy Mercado, Jessica Jones and young Kat Farrell, whom Betty has mentored to some extent. Brant's investigative reporting has helped crack a number of important criminal cases over the years. Her greatest and most personal triumph was exposing businessman Roderick Kingsley as the true Hobgoblin, finally clearing Ned's name in the process. (Click on the highlighted names above to learn more about some of Betty's friends and colleagues. Note: Beware of Grant's and Jones' bio pages; they both are wearing either tight-fitting or revealing outfits.)
After some time, Betty and Flash have renewed their romantic interest in each other.In the aftermath of Peter Parker publicly revealing his secret identity as Spider-Man, Betty proved herself to be a faithful, understanding, and supportive friend to Peter.
To learn more about Betty Brant, click on the following link, http://marvel.com/universe/Betty_Brant.