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  1. #1
    Mighty Member Lukmendes's Avatar
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    Default Thread Drift: Mary Jane and Parallel Lives

    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    The MJ thing seems to be the only one that's aged well.
    It's also the only one that was used to develop her character, and her relationship with Peter, because contrary to what Slott says, MJ knowing about it all along meant that she fell in love with Peter, not "just" Spider-Man, although if Parallel Lives is any hint, she did seem to care more about Spider-Man more because he was "free", but since you see her point of view and Peter's, it's quite obvious that she was romanticizing Spider-Man and had no idea of what he had to go through.

    So yeah, I don't like that retcon, but it did more favors to her character than anything.

  2. #2
    Invincible Member Digifiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukmendes View Post
    Seems to be a thing about Spidey love interests, like when MJ revealed she knew Peter is Spidey for years (I still think that was a lame ass cop out, even worse when they revealed she learned it during Amazing Fantasy#15),
    That can't be right. She didn't know who Peter was in AF#15 (she hadn't been introduced yet and we know they only meet properly in the "Face it Tiger, You Just Hit the Jackpot" panel) and thus could not have figured out he was Spidey that early.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukmendes View Post
    It's also the only one that was used to develop her character, and her relationship with Peter, because contrary to what Slott says, MJ knowing about it all along meant that she fell in love with Peter, not "just" Spider-Man, although if Parallel Lives is any hint, she did seem to care more about Spider-Man more because he was "free", but since you see her point of view and Peter's, it's quite obvious that she was romanticizing Spider-Man and had no idea of what he had to go through.

    So yeah, I don't like that retcon, but it did more favors to her character than anything.

    In the Parallel Lives comic book,
    Mary Jane was avoiding meetings with Peter because of his being Spider-Man.
    She made up being sick to avoid meeting Peter for the first time.

    She was aware of the dangers that Peter faced as Spider-Man.
    She did know that Ben got murdered


    Remember that there was a story that she saw Peter running into the house after he found out that Ben was killed and came out of his bedroom window as Spider-Man.
    I am sure that her Aunt Anna explained to Mary Jane what happened to Peter's Uncle Ben.
    In the comic issue, she noted that she was in Aunt Anna's house when May was brought in crying,hysterical.
    Then she saw Peter talking with a cop. Then she saw him rush inside the house and come out of his bedroom window as Spider-Man


    All that romanticizing about Spider-Man and admiring him for his freedom took place before that fateful night

    After that fateful night, Mary Jane found out that her Aunt Anna tried to set her up up on a date with Peter and she protested against meeting him. She even compared Peter to her father who she had issues with.

    She noted that she felt suffocated by the idea of dating Peter.
    She felt suffocated and terribly, terribly afraid.

    Remember that Mary Jane was only 14 at the time.




    There are a few comic panel , Mary Jane thinking about Peter
    It's when she's an adult living on her own



    Mary Jane noted:
    By Sunday, I'd forgotten my dinner date with Aunt Anna and the Parkers.
    I guess I wanted to forget.

    Mary Jane picks up a Daily Bugle newspaper and sees the front page "Spider-Man stops Rhino Rampage" and throws the newspaper away.


    Mary Jane thinking:

    Who are you, Peter?

    Peter Parker -- Calm, reliable, sensitive and kind

    --Or Spider-Man , wild , free and irresponsible

    Which is the real you?

    Are you a fraud--like my father?

    Or are you just hiding yourself -- like me?

    How can I find out without getting hurt?

    Why am I so drawn to you? Why do you frighten me?

    What should I do?

    What should I do?


    That was all before her finally meeting Peter.
    Parallel Lives showed that Mary Jane was very conflicted about Peter.
    It wasn't like she was very enamored with Spider-Man and fell in love with Peter because he was Spider-Man.
    She was afraid of Peter because he was Spider-Man.
    She didn't want to be hurt by him like her mother was hurt by her father.



    I was reading the comic book as I made this reply.
    Last edited by Starrius; 12-23-2019 at 01:53 PM.
    I created a thread about Dick Grayson/Nightwing and Koriand'r/Starfire.
    It is to acknowledge and honor their iconic and popular relationship.
    https://comicvine.gamespot.com/teen-...rfire-1975639/

    I created a fan page about Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Mary Jane Watson.
    This page is for all the Spider-Marriage fans.
    http://www.facebook.com/SpiderManMaryJane/

  4. #4
    Mighty Member Lukmendes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digifiend View Post
    That can't be right. She didn't know who Peter was in AF#15 (she hadn't been introduced yet and we know they only meet properly in the "Face it Tiger, You Just Hit the Jackpot" panel) and thus could not have figured out he was Spidey that early.
    She saw Peter while he was talking to the cops, deduced he was Peter because she knew about Uncle Ben being shot, and he was the guy who went to that house, and then Spider-Man leaves.

    From Parallel Lives:

    https://i.imgur.com/UfBWmAr.png

    https://i.imgur.com/mOvEnTS.png

    Keep in mind this was never retconned away, since Untold Tales kept it, and no other story changed it.

    Untold Tales#16:

    https://i.imgur.com/k056iTw.png

    https://i.imgur.com/PgthcZz.png

    And MJ knowing who Peter is before ASM#42 is fine, they still only properly there, the retcon only means she saw him from a distance back then.

    The problem with the retcon is that you have to ignore every single time she blatantly wonders what's up with Peter or who Spidey is, can't even be a case of "She was just saying stuff to cover up for him", since those were thought bubbles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starrius View Post
    In the Parallel Lives comic book,
    Mary Jane was avoiding meetings with Peter because of his being Spider-Man.
    She made up being sick to avoid meeting Peter for the first time.

    She was aware of the dangers that Peter faced as Spider-Man.
    She did know that Ben got murdered


    Remember that there was a story that she saw Peter running into the house after he found out that Ben was killed and came out of his bedroom window as Spider-Man.
    I am sure that her Aunt Anna explained to Mary Jane what happened to Peter's Uncle Ben.
    In the comic issue, she noted that she was in Aunt Anna's house when May was brought in crying,hysterical.
    Then she saw Peter talking with a cop. Then she saw him rush inside the house and come out of his bedroom window as Spider-Man


    All that romanticizing about Spider-Man and admiring him for his freedom took place before that fateful night

    After that fateful night, Mary Jane found out that her Aunt Anna tried to set her up up on a date with Peter and she protested against meeting him. She even compared Peter to her father who she had issues with.

    She noted that she felt suffocated by the idea of dating Peter.
    She felt suffocated and terribly, terribly afraid.

    Remember that Mary Jane was only 14 at the time.




    There are a few comic panel , Mary Jane thinking about Peter
    It's when she's an adult living on her own



    Mary Jane noted:
    By Sunday, I'd forgotten my dinner date with Aunt Anna and the Parkers.
    I guess I wanted to forget.

    Mary Jane picks up a Daily Bugle newspaper and sees the front page "Spider-Man stops Rhino Rampage" and throws the newspaper away.


    Mary Jane thinking:

    Who are you, Peter?

    Peter Parker -- Calm, reliable, sensitive and kind

    --Or Spider-Man , wild , free and irresponsible

    Which is the real you?

    Are you a fraud--like my father?

    Or are you just hiding yourself -- like me?

    How can I find out without getting hurt?

    Why am I so drawn to you? Why do you frighten me?

    What should I do?

    What should I do?


    That was all before her finally meeting Peter.
    Parallel Lives showed that Mary Jane was very conflicted about Peter.
    It wasn't like she was very enamored with Spider-Man and fell in love with Peter because he was Spider-Man.
    She was afraid of Peter because he was Spider-Man.
    She didn't want to be hurt by him like her mother was hurt by her father.



    I was reading the comic book as I made this reply.
    Yeah, sorry I worded it poorly, I meant before she learned Peter is Spidey, since she kept watching his shows and loved how "free" he was, and that he also used a "mask", she had somewhat of a crush on him back then for very superficial reasons of how much they had in common, and that very quickly goes away, as you pointed out.

  5. #5
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukmendes View Post
    The problem with the retcon is that you have to ignore every single time she blatantly wonders what's up with Peter or who Spidey is, can't even be a case of "She was just saying stuff to cover up for him", since those were thought bubbles.
    That's not a big problem.

    For one thing, it's a famous fact that with one exception (ASM#96, Part 1 of the Drug Trilogy), there's not a single thought bubble of Mary Jane during the entire Lee-Romita era.

    There are thought bubbles in Gerry Conway's and Wein's and so on, but the significant moments with MJ (such as the Epilogue at the end of ASM#122) has her silent. And it's not a big deal there.

    The most significant thought bubble MJ had was in her last issue with Wolfman where she thinks aloud about her parents' divorce (which unintentionally laid the seeds for Mary Jane's transformation and character development, setting her on the road to marriage).

    In any case the period you are talking about i.e. MJ blatantly wondering who Spidey is, is a fairly small part of her publication history, little more than fifty issues far less than 100, and then she was removed out of the titles for 40+ issues before returning in Roger Stern's run, around ASM#238. Stern's run already reconfigured with her backstory (albeit not the element of her knowing Peter's identity), but nothing really contradicted it. The one issue where Stern delves into Mary Jane's psyche, in fact the issue that really did so, is ASM #246 "The Daydreamers" and if you read that, it works if you get that MJ knows Peter is Spider-Man just as well as if you think she doesn't. Then Tom Defalco came in 10 issues later with the reveal in ASM#259, and more or less Mary Jane has remained the character she was in ASM#259, having never gone to any earlier period than that.


    So in the long run, it's not a problem. The retcon doesn't fill every gap but in terms of Lee-Romita era, the epilogue of Night Gwen Stacy Died, a lot of Conway's run. It does that well. And for the little that there isn't, it's not such a big stretch that it sticks out.

    More importantly, on a character level, even when she was dating Peter, she never really had too many issues with the Spider-Man side of things. She didn't hate Spider-Man unlike any of his girlfriends from before. So there was never any big significant moment where Peter being Spider-Man was an issue with their relationship. So there's not even a tiny elephant in the room to address.
    Last edited by Revolutionary_Jack; 12-24-2019 at 07:03 AM.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    That's not a big problem.

    For one thing, it's a famous fact that with one exception (ASM#96, Part 1 of the Drug Trilogy), there's not a single thought bubble of Mary Jane during the entire Lee-Romita era.

    There are thought bubbles in Gerry Conway's and Wein's and so on, but the significant moments with MJ (such as the Epilogue at the end of ASM#122) has her silent. And it's not a big deal there.

    The most significant thought bubble MJ had was in her last issue with Wolfman where she thinks aloud about her parents' divorce (which unintentionally laid the seeds for Mary Jane's transformation and character development, setting her on the road to marriage).

    In any case the period you are talking about i.e. MJ blatantly wondering who Spidey is, is a fairly small part of her publication history, little more than fifty issues far less than 100, and then she was removed out of the titles for 40+ issues before returning in Roger Stern's run, around ASM#238. Stern's run already reconfigured with her backstory (albeit not the element of her knowing Peter's identity), but nothing really contradicted it. The one issue where Stern delves into Mary Jane's psyche, in fact the issue that really did so, is ASM #246 "The Daydreamers" and if you read that, it works if you get that MJ knows Peter is Spider-Man just as well as if you think she doesn't. Then Tom Defalco came in 10 issues later with the reveal in ASM#259, and more or less Mary Jane has remained the character she was in ASM#259, having never gone to any earlier period than that.


    So in the long run, it's not a problem. The retcon doesn't fill every gap but in terms of Lee-Romita era, the epilogue of Night Gwen Stacy Died, a lot of Conway's run. It does that well. And for the little that there isn't, it's not such a big stretch that it sticks out.

    More importantly, on a character level, even when she was dating Peter, she never really had too many issues with the Spider-Man side of things. She didn't hate Spider-Man unlike any of his girlfriends from before. So there was never any big significant moment where Peter being Spider-Man was an issue with their relationship. So there's not even a tiny elephant in the room to address.
    The idea that Mary Jane always knew that Peter was Spider-Man changed the context of many of their scenes together.

    John Byrne liked it because it explained why Mary Jane would be interested in a schmuck like Peter.

    There are quite a few scenes that read weird if Mary Jane knows that Peter is Spider-Man, including when she's flirting with Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #59 or her response to his flu-ridden confession in Amazing Spider-Man #87, when she's asking if he's a criminal or a lunatic.


  7. #7
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    The idea that Mary Jane always knew that Peter was Spider-Man changed the context of many of their scenes together.

    John Byrne liked it because it explained why Mary Jane would be interested in a schmuck like Peter.

    There are quite a few scenes that read weird if Mary Jane knows that Peter is Spider-Man, including when she's flirting with Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #59 or her response to his flu-ridden confession in Amazing Spider-Man #87, when she's asking if he's a criminal or a lunatic.

    Her flirting with Spider-Man makes more sense via the retcon, the original idea was that she was some airhead who would flirt with Spider-Man than behave normally. With the reveal it’s her awkward way of showing support. And again Spider-Man in that time is a publicly despised character so she is going against the grain of society in showing warmth to Spider-Man. The usual idea of not knowing the real Peter and so on doesn’t make sense with a character like Spider-Man.

    In the second instance, she is obviously making fun of Gwen’s overreaction to the idea of Peter’s double identity. That again makes more sense with the retcon because there’s a knowing and teasing sarcasm there. Likewise if you look at her body language later in the same issue you can interpret it as disbelief that her friends once again bought one of Peter’s ruses.

  8. #8
    Mighty Member Lukmendes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    That's not a big problem.

    For one thing, it's a famous fact that with one exception (ASM#96, Part 1 of the Drug Trilogy), there's not a single thought bubble of Mary Jane during the entire Lee-Romita era.
    Her thought bubbles were scarce, but they existed before that, and her very first one has her thinking Peter and Spidey are different people:

    ASM#43:



    There are thought bubbles in Gerry Conway's and Wein's and so on, but the significant moments with MJ (such as the Epilogue at the end of ASM#122) has her silent. And it's not a big deal there.

    The most significant thought bubble MJ had was in her last issue with Wolfman where she thinks aloud about her parents' divorce (which unintentionally laid the seeds for Mary Jane's transformation and character development, setting her on the road to marriage).

    In any case the period you are talking about i.e. MJ blatantly wondering who Spidey is, is a fairly small part of her publication history, little more than fifty issues far less than 100, and then she was removed out of the titles for 40+ issues before returning in Roger Stern's run, around ASM#238. Stern's run already reconfigured with her backstory (albeit not the element of her knowing Peter's identity), but nothing really contradicted it. The one issue where Stern delves into Mary Jane's psyche, in fact the issue that really did so, is ASM #246 "The Daydreamers" and if you read that, it works if you get that MJ knows Peter is Spider-Man just as well as if you think she doesn't. Then Tom Defalco came in 10 issues later with the reveal in ASM#259, and more or less Mary Jane has remained the character she was in ASM#259, having never gone to any earlier period than that.


    So in the long run, it's not a problem. The retcon doesn't fill every gap but in terms of Lee-Romita era, the epilogue of Night Gwen Stacy Died, a lot of Conway's run. It does that well. And for the little that there isn't, it's not such a big stretch that it sticks out.

    More importantly, on a character level, even when she was dating Peter, she never really had too many issues with the Spider-Man side of things. She didn't hate Spider-Man unlike any of his girlfriends from before. So there was never any big significant moment where Peter being Spider-Man was an issue with their relationship. So there's not even a tiny elephant in the room to address.
    Her liking or disling Spidey isn't really the issue here, it's just that like everyone else, she acted like she doesn't know Peter is Spidey, and it's just cheap to say "I knew all along" when nothing before that supports it.

    To compare with a case where that worked better, we have George, when he dies in ASM#90, he suddenly reveals he knew Peter is Spidey, but it mostly works with him because actively had an interest in Spidey, and a few times it's hinted he knew more than he was letting on, MJ has nothing like that.

    Of course, George also has the issue of thinking Peter isn't Spidey in ASM#87, since after "Spider-Man" shows up and explains his connections with Peter, George's thought bubbles make it look like he suspected Peter is Spidey, but that event confirmed to him they aren't the same person, so him dying 3 issues later and saying "I know you're Spider-Man" is, really, really dumb, and just a few thought bubbles caused this dumbass problem.

    And sure, the MJ thing is not really problematic as a retcon, the contradictions it causes are minor, specially compared to how much this reveal helped to develop MJ, since like I said before, it did more good than bad, but I just don't like retcons like that on the principle that they're colossally lazy from a writing perspective, and the contradictions, while small, they annoy me anyways lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    John Byrne liked it because it explained why Mary Jane would be interested in a schmuck like Peter.
    That honestly makes me wonder what kind of view Byrne has on relationships, we got plenty of people who are dating someone who's "out of their league", if MJ didn't know, she was just another who does that.

    There are quite a few scenes that read weird if Mary Jane knows that Peter is Spider-Man, including when she's flirting with Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #59 or her response to his flu-ridden confession in Amazing Spider-Man #87, when she's asking if he's a criminal or a lunatic.
    I'd say ASM#59 is a case where it somewhat works, because she was interested in Peter, so it makes sense she'd also flirst with his alter ego.

    If you overthink it then it could cause issues since it could make him think that MJ just gets interested in anyone randomly, and weird that she'd do that when she's supposed to pretend she doesn't know.

    But then again, the way she talks makes it sound more like playful flirting than anything, since she also wonders if he has brothers in the same scene, so she's either playfully flirting with some guy who just saved her, or playfully flirting with Peter because he's Spidey, works either way.

    Why's this page in black and white?

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    In the second instance, she is obviously making fun of Gwenís overreaction to the idea of Peterís double identity. That again makes more sense with the retcon because thereís a knowing and teasing sarcasm there.
    I mean, pre-retcon or post-retcon logic, her comment is very poorly timed, you don't tease/use sarcasm while the event that is causing someone stress is happening, that's just mean lol.

    Likewise if you look at her body language later in the same issue you can interpret it as disbelief that her friends once again bought one of Peterís ruses.
    I don't see anything that could be interpreted as disbelief, when "Spider-Man" shows up in the room after Peter explained how he isn't Spider-Man, she looks as shocked as everyone else, and she only shows up in two other panels, one where she's smiling, and another where she's in the background and half of her face can't be seen:

    https://i.imgur.com/L26OKkF.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/O2tHm5n.jpg

    Also, I think we should move this to MJ's thread, 'cause MJ talk shouldn't take over a Gwen thread so much like we're doing now.

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukmendes View Post
    Her thought bubbles were scarce, but they existed before that, and her very first one has her thinking Peter and Spidey are different people:

    ASM#43:

    You misread the scene there.

    The thought bubbles in that panel with MJ belongs to Frederick Foswell, reporter of Daily Bugle who also tailed these big events and came close to deciphering Peter's secret a few times. He's the dude in the green colored suit, with purple bow-tie. It's faint but you can make out the bubbles curving in Foswell's direction. The tiny bubble is colored blue on the shoulder of the blue-suited gent behind Foswell.

    Even aside from that, the thoughts don't sound like MJ, for instance referring to Peter as "Parker".

  10. #10
    Mighty Member Lukmendes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    You misread the scene there.

    The thought bubbles in that panel with MJ belongs to Frederick Foswell, reporter of Daily Bugle who also tailed these big events and came close to deciphering Peter's secret a few times. He's the dude in the green colored suit, with purple bow-tie. It's faint but you can make out the bubbles curving in Foswell's direction. The tiny bubble is colored blue on the shoulder of the blue-suited gent behind Foswell.

    Even aside from that, the thoughts don't sound like MJ, for instance referring to Peter as "Parker".
    Ah, right, my mistake, the other bubble that should be pointing out to Foswell was miscolored, so it looked like it was MJ's thoughts since the only other one is closer to her direction than Foswell.

    Her calling him "Parker", I thought it was just an awkward mistake, those happen sometimes, like the infamous one when Otto called Spidey, "Super-Man".

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukmendes View Post
    Ah, right, my mistake, the other bubble that should be pointing out to Foswell was miscolored, so it looked like it was MJ's thoughts since the only other one is closer to her direction than Foswell.

    Her calling him "Parker", I thought it was just an awkward mistake, those happen sometimes, like the infamous one when Otto called Spidey, "Super-Man".
    That comic you selected is poorly recolored. Don't know what printing you got. MJ's jacket should be colored white, since that's the color it was in her famous panel intro.

    She held the jacket in her arm and it's white.

  12. #12
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    I think Mary Jane first had thought bubbles in the Amazing Spider-Man issue of her tending to Aunt May when she was very sick in the hospital.
    They were in a relationship at the time.
    This was before his first marriage proposal.
    I created a thread about Dick Grayson/Nightwing and Koriand'r/Starfire.
    It is to acknowledge and honor their iconic and popular relationship.
    https://comicvine.gamespot.com/teen-...rfire-1975639/

    I created a fan page about Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Mary Jane Watson.
    This page is for all the Spider-Marriage fans.
    http://www.facebook.com/SpiderManMaryJane/

  13. #13
    Invincible Member Digifiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukmendes View Post
    Why's this page in black and white?
    Because it's the original inks, not the final printed page.
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Starrius View Post
    I think Mary Jane first had thought bubbles in the Amazing Spider-Man issue of her tending to Aunt May when she was very sick in the hospital.
    They were in a relationship at the time.
    This was before his first marriage proposal.
    She had a brief thought bubble at the of Amazing Spider-Man #62. It was her only thought bubble in the Stan Lee run.

    This one could work if she knows he's Spidey.


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