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  1. #1
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    Default Mary Jane Watson/Parker Appreciation 2019

    2018 brought MJ back into Peter's orbit and back as a prominent love interest. What has 2019 got in store for her?

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    We're already off and running...MJ showed up in the daily strip today, looks like she'll be partnered with Luke Cage to help free Peter from the grip of the Purple Man

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    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miles To Go View Post
    2018 brought MJ back into Peter's orbit and back as a prominent love interest. What has 2019 got in store for her?
    Hopefully great things! Like...marriage! (Okay, that is almost certainly not happening, but I can dream! And at least Newspaper MJ is still married to Peter!)
    "We're the same thing, you and I. We're both lies that eventually became the truth." Lara Notsil, Star Wars: X-Wing: Solo Command, by Aaron Allston
    "All that is not eternal is eternally out of date." C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves
    "There's room in our line of work for hope, too." Stephanie Brown, Batgirl, by Bryan Q. Miller
    Stephanie Brown Wiki, My Batman Universe Reviews

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    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    I think MJ's fortunes will depend on

    1) Chip Zdarsky's LIFE STORY, the story of what-if Peter Aged. What is going to be the story's attitude to the Peter/MJ love story?

    2) Tom Taylor's run on FNSB. Taylor is a fan of Mary Jane and he wrote Clark and Lois well in Injustice comics flashback issues, and other couples.

    3) Wherever Spencer's run goes with them back together.

    2018 confirmed that Mary Jane is the most profitable supporting character and most prominent love interest. She was the playable character in Spider-Man PS4 and that was the fastest selling PS4 game, and there's a new generation of Peter/MJ shippers thanks to that game, since a lot of people loved that version of MJ and that romance with Peter. ITSV also showed the Adult Spider-Man for the first time in any movie and both Peters are married to Mary Jane and that movie last I checked did 200 million dollars on a 90million dollar budget.

  5. #5
    Astonishing Member Restingvoice's Avatar
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    I first saw Mary Jane in Web of Spider-Man. Out of all redhead childhood crush, she's the hottest, often drawn in a mini dress while hanging out in their apartment.

    bab2e9c9ba2402645c06ea8058822921._SX1280_QL80_TTD_.jpg

    Later on, during the McFarlane era, they also like to write and draw a glimpse of their sex life, and her dress gets racier, which as a kid/preteen I was surprised that's it's included in a comic. Just like most parents, mine thought comics are just for kids.

  6. #6
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Restingvoice View Post
    I first saw Mary Jane in Web of Spider-Man. Out of all redhead childhood crush, she's the hottest, often drawn in a mini dress while hanging out in their apartment.

    bab2e9c9ba2402645c06ea8058822921._SX1280_QL80_TTD_.jpg

    Later on, during the McFarlane era, they also like to write and draw a glimpse of their sex life, and her dress gets racier, which as a kid/preteen I was surprised that's it's included in a comic. Just like most parents, mine thought comics are just for kids.
    Peter and MJ getting married was often an excuse used by writers and artists to make MJ this sex object and so on, since they can use marriage to deal with all kinds of sexy stuff and fairly believable reasons why she would be in nighties and so on around Peter (since you know they're married and it's in the Bible that a married man can have sex with his wife so it passed the moral test). On one hand that's pretty male gazey, but on the other hand it did make married life look great and awesome (albeit idealized), and that's something that no superhero comic ever did before.

    Compare that to Superman and Lois, where even after they got married you never got a sense of sexiness in their home life, whereas that was always part of Peter and MJ's love story. I mean canonically, MJ is the woman who deflowered Peter at the end of ASM#149. Even Post-OMD, in Spider-Island, the real reason why MJ got Spider powers and lasted so long was the fact that as Slott had Reed said, she and Peter "shared a toothbrush" since during their (long live-in relationship Post-omit, which sounds stupid every time I see it and makes no sense), they had so much sex that she acquired immunity from...contact with him (which seems to be a joke at Spider-Man:Reign).

    Ta-Nehisi Coates said it best (https://www.theatlantic.com/entertai...love/384860/):

    His marriage was a rejection of the macho ideal of romance—which reigns even among nerds—and it mirrored and confirmed my own budding sense of what love was at a very young age.

    I wouldn't argue that the Parker-Watson marriage was always well-written and well-drawn. The "super-model" angle felt unnecessary, as did some of the porno-lite art. (It's good to see Kubert, here, depicting Watson the way women actually tend to look.) I won't defend the '90s, which were not a good period for the writing in the Spider-Man books. But in a genre aimed at young males, it is very hard for me to come up with a more mature, and I would say healthy, vision of what a marriage should look like.

  7. #7
    Astonishing Member Restingvoice's Avatar
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    Interesting read, but... what is the macho ideal of romance?

    Although MJ was very clearly an object to the male gaze, reading it back as an adult, or even back then as a teen, I never really feel she's objectified in the way that is offensive, maybe because it makes sense in context of their marriage as you said, and also because I find Peter Parker sexy.

    He has a great body and often drawn shirtless or in his underwear in their home, and he also suffer from clothing damage while in battle. So I guess they really did make an ideal fanservice that's not random.
    Last edited by Restingvoice; 01-03-2019 at 07:49 AM.

  8. #8
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    The idea that marriage is some ball and chain. That single life is more adventurous than marriage. You know that cliche of married dudes getting together and complaining about their wives. Peter Parker never once complained about marriage or did that wife jokes thing. He loved his marriage and was worried about it because of being a superhero but for the most part he saw it as the best thing that ever happened to him (and it really was).

    Even before his marriage, Peter was always the guy who was closer to his girlfriends emotionally than he ever was to his male friends. Harry Osborn was never as close to him as Gwen and MJ were or are. That is actually one of his most unique qualities which separated him from Superman (who in the Silver Age had a girls=cooties attitude) and Batman (who is emotionally closer to male figures, surrogate Dads like Gordon and Alfred, or the robins, or you know the Joker...than he is to girls). It also brought a notable female readership to Spider-Man. None of this was conscious or intentional on the part of the writers, but it just accidentally worked out that way.

    Peter's a complicated man and nobody understands him but his woman.
    Last edited by Revolutionary_Jack; 01-03-2019 at 07:52 AM. Reason: change

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member DragonPiece's Avatar
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    It's been great reading as Peter's love interest again this past year, just makes me care about Peter and his world all the more knowing a stable love interest is there backing him up and wanting him home.

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    MJ is more than that. She's his best friend, the one person who knows him better than anyone...his oldest confidant (the first member of his long-time supporting cast to know his secret and decipher it) and the love of his life.

    More than that, Mary Jane Watson is the emotional and optimistic center of the comics. She represents the bright future and hope for one in the comics. The major reason BND was terrible and huge chunks of Slott's run is that it lost sight of that, and made the books depressing as a result.

  11. #11
    Extraordinary Member John Ossie's Avatar
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    2018 ended on a bit of a high with MJ being in ASM more, as well as getting back with Peter in the comics. Also with her being a playable character in the game I'd say she had a good end to 2018. Here's hoping that her 2019 features her just as strongly as the second half of 2018 did

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    Newspaper MJ actually ended 2018 with her big movie proving a critical bomb, but rather than be down over it, she shakes off the setback and makes plans to go on holiday to Australia.

  13. #13
    Astonishing Member Restingvoice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    The idea that marriage is some ball and chain. That single life is more adventurous than marriage. You know that cliche of married dudes getting together and complaining about their wives. Peter Parker never once complained about marriage or did that wife jokes thing. He loved his marriage and was worried about it because of being a superhero but for the most part he saw it as the best thing that ever happened to him (and it really was).
    Oooh, that. Yeah yeah. That marriage means you have to be loyal for one partner so it's a sign he can't be a stud and sleep around anymore. That having kids mean you have to take care of them and you're not free to have fun anymore.

    I haven't heard that kinda view since the early 2000s.

  14. #14
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Restingvoice View Post
    Oooh, that. Yeah yeah. That marriage means you have to be loyal for one partner so it's a sign he can't be a stud and sleep around anymore. That having kids mean you have to take care of them and you're not free to have fun anymore.

    I haven't heard that kinda view since the early 2000s.
    It's a very baby boomer attitude, and it's an attitude that Quesada and others projected on to Marvel when they read and discovered the comics then. And it underpins Slott's run.

    That's why millennials largely liked the Spider-Marriage and it was part of our childhood growing up.

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    I linked to the studio version of this (over on Bandcamp) over in the old thread, but here is a live take of "Unmasked" by Leslie Hudson, with backup by S.J (S00j) Tucker (bass) and Betsy Tinney (cello), complete with Leslie's thoughts on Mary Jane Watson and why she's awesome.



    Lyrics and studio version.

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