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  1. #1
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Default Thread Drift: Should (movie?) Mary Jane be a reporter?

    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    I think that Marvel editorial / Nick Spencer would be wise to take a cue from the game and have MJ start working at the Bugle as soon as possible.
    I really don't think that could ever work. Comic MJ's personality and interests are too different from PS4 MJ, and I'd rather they just find a way to integrate her in ways that don't involve being a reporter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I really don't think that could ever work. Comic MJ's personality and interests are too different from PS4 MJ, and I'd rather they just find a way to integrate her in ways that don't involve being a reporter.
    I don't think it's that far of a leap for comics MJ... she's had how many different jobs now? She could very easily be a "Lifestyle / Entertainment Reporter" who then grows ambitions for "serious" stories. Especially since Peter is no longer working with the Bugle (I like him being a science teacher or at least TA again), having MJ there is a good way to keep those characters integrated in the story without having Pete juggle 3 careers simultaneously.

    I'm glad that Spencer is investing in her, she's one of the most horribly treated characters in all of comics and definitely deserves to have roles in Spidey stories that don't involve "crying about Spider-Man" or "being mad at Spider-Man for being Spider-Man."

    Her PS4 interpretation was BY FAR the best version of the character to date, and I think the comics need to catch up to it as soon as they can.


    Edit: The other great thing about having MJ as a Bugle reporter is how complementary the role of 'investigative journalist' is to 'superhero' -- that's what I would like to see from MJ / Peter... complementary skillsets with the same goal.
    Last edited by gregpersons; 04-08-2019 at 04:00 PM.

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    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    I don't think it's that far of a leap for comics MJ... she's had how many different jobs now? She could very easily be a "Lifestyle / Entertainment Reporter" who then grows ambitions for "serious" stories. Especially since Peter is no longer working with the Bugle (I like him being a science teacher or at least TA again), having MJ there is a good way to keep those characters integrated in the story without having Pete juggle 3 careers simultaneously.
    I just feel like it would be a stretch for someone whose main jobs and careers have involved the entertainment industry to suddenly jump into journalism when she's previously shown no interest or proclivity towards it.

    Peter juggling too much is part of his character .
    Edit: The other great thing about having MJ as a Bugle reporter is how complementary the role of 'investigative journalist' is to 'superhero' -- that's what I would like to see from MJ / Peter... complementary skillsets with the same goal.
    I won't argue that it's complimentary...but it does feel kind of "been there, done that" as far as civilian careers go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I just feel like it would be a stretch for someone whose main jobs and careers have involved the entertainment industry to suddenly jump into journalism when she's previously shown no interest or proclivity towards it.

    Peter juggling too much is part of his character .
    Freelancing between entertainment and journalism, or advertising, is simply a fact of life for creative types in New York and Los Angeles. Especially now more than ever. So, I don't think that's a good enough excuse. Honestly, I'd argue that being a corporate executive was a bigger stretch than "former industry insider becomes industry reporter."

    Despite the amount of years she's been around, Mary Jane has received so little attention toward her inner life as a character that revealing she's secretly been writing memoirs this entire time wouldn't be a stretch in the least. It would incorporate some of her Ultimate characteristics, which would also be cool.

    I won't argue that it's complimentary...but it does feel kind of "been there, done that" as far as civilian careers go.
    It's all in the execution. PS4 was an excellent demonstration of how nicely the role weaves MJ into the story. It fits in a number of ways, including that it's also Lois Lane's job -- since Spider-Man was always kind of Marvel's answer to Superman, down to the newspaper job. In the Spider-Man stories, though, we've never really had a reporter POV for any prolonged period... Pete's a photographer, not a writer.

    But mainly, you know what's been the most "been there, done that" thing? MJ as dainty dilettante or literal damsel in distress — that's been done to death. Now for god's sake let's see them give her something to do!

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    Freelancing between entertainment and journalism, or advertising, is simply a fact of life for creative types in New York and Los Angeles. Especially now more than ever. So, I don't think that's a good enough excuse. Honestly, I'd argue that being a corporate executive was a bigger stretch than "former industry insider becomes industry reporter."

    Despite the amount of years she's been around, Mary Jane has received so little attention toward her inner life as a character that revealing she's secretly been writing memoirs this entire time wouldn't be a stretch in the least. It would incorporate some of her Ultimate characteristics, which would also be cool.



    It's all in the execution. PS4 was an excellent demonstration of how nicely the role weaves MJ into the story. It fits in a number of ways, including that it's also Lois Lane's job -- since Spider-Man was always kind of Marvel's answer to Superman, down to the newspaper job. In the Spider-Man stories, though, we've never really had a reporter POV for any prolonged period... Pete's a photographer, not a writer.

    But mainly, you know what's been the most "been there, done that" thing? MJ as dainty dilettante or literal damsel in distress — that's been done to death. Now for god's sake let's see them give her something to do!
    Uh, no he wasn't. I have never seen anybody say this.
    “Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.”
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  6. #6
    Better than YOU! Alan2099's Avatar
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    I think that Marvel editorial / Nick Spencer would be wise to take a cue from the game and have MJ start working at the Bugle as soon as possible.
    That's a bit too Lois Lane for my tastes.

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    Incredible Member Jman27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan2099 View Post
    That's a bit too Lois Lane for my tastes.
    yeah I really didn't like ps4 Mj because not only was she a Lois Lane clone she kept being annoying about the partnership

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    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    Freelancing between entertainment and journalism, or advertising, is simply a fact of life for creative types in New York and Los Angeles. Especially now more than ever. So, I don't think that's a good enough excuse. Honestly, I'd argue that being a corporate executive was a bigger stretch than "former industry insider becomes industry reporter."
    I think both are big enough stretches for Mary Jane's character.

    I just don't really see her as the writing type.
    Despite the amount of years she's been around, Mary Jane has received so little attention toward her inner life as a character that revealing she's secretly been writing memoirs this entire time wouldn't be a stretch in the least. It would incorporate some of her Ultimate characteristics, which would also be cool.
    Honestly I think 616 Mary Jane has gotten a surprising amount of focus on her personal life and internal thoughts for a love interest/supporting character.

    If Michelle is really going to be our Mary Jane stand-in, then I hope she gets the same amount of focus even if she's "MJ" in name only.
    But mainly, you know what's been the most "been there, done that" thing? MJ as dainty dilettante or literal damsel in distress — that's been done to death. Now for god's sake let's see them give her something to do!
    Mary Jane is definitely not a dainty dilettante .

    I have no problem with giving Mary Jane more to do, I'd just rather it not be as a reporter.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I just don't really see her as the writing type.
    While I am on-the-fence about MJ being the reporter (I liked it in Ultimate Spider-Man comics and in the game), and I don't think "too Lois Lane" is a problem (not since Lois stole and borrowed a lot from MJ especially the modern version of her, so turnaround is fair play), and so on...I actually do think MJ can be a writer.

    MJ is interested in drama and stuff, so make her a playwright, or a novelist or a writer. Her father was a failed novelist after all, and there's a logic in the fact that all the writing talent and stuff which he never had and which he destroyed his family in a failed pursuit to get, ended up going to his daughter. There's also you know the fact that as a civilian, Mary Jane has arguably seen and experienced and had more life experiences than any other civilian in the Marvel Universe. And you can become a writer at any age. The fact that rather than constantly see Spider-Man's time and career as a hindrance, she could somehow use fiction or art to make it work might be an idea you can explore. Spider-Man and Peter becomes her muse, an idea that some writers explored, including Roger Stern in that sketch he did in The Many Loves of Spider-Man which is the best Mary Jane story in the BND era. And the best part is that it's got an in-built disequilibrium. She can write a good story but it doesn't sell well but some people like it. She works hard, so she can be up till late waiting for Peter and writing can distract her from waiting at the window. Any intense life experience and danger is more fodder for her work. So there's nothing permanent and lasting inherent to it. The thing about MJ is that her life resembles Peter's and parallels it. She's not had a steady lasting job, she's been up and down, she's had successes but never anything lasting and so on. She works in careers, modelling and acting, that's seasonal, unstable, and plateaus early. So even during the marriage, her career never exactly solved all of Peter's problems. So in that respects the marriage worked as the "illusion of change" in that while it was a major change to Peter's career it didn't by itself solve his work/life balance.

    If Michelle is really going to be our Mary Jane stand-in, then I hope she gets the same amount of focus even if she's "MJ" in name only.
    Problem is that MCU Spider-Man is going to be four movies in (Civil War, Homecoming, Infnity War, Endgame) and they established that his bond is with "the Character Formerly Known as Ganke" and Tony Stark. So you've already established Peter Parker in a world where male figures are more important to him, and he's always chasing after some Daddy figure to validate him. So it's going to be very hard to move him into a more romantic place. Far From Home has to do that somehow. Ideally they should have gone full Ultimate. Remove "Ganke", make Michelle into Mary Jane and have her be Peter's best friend, and in the sequel that friendship turns romantic.

  10. #10
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    Mary Jane as an investigative reporter is a bad idea, it's too far removed from her established character. There's no good way to get away from the Lois Lane comparison either, no matter how it's written it would only come across as a cliche or a knockoff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    While I am on-the-fence about MJ being the reporter (I liked it in Ultimate Spider-Man comics and in the game), and I don't think "too Lois Lane" is a problem (not since Lois stole and borrowed a lot from MJ especially the modern version of her, so turnaround is fair play)
    That's a huge stretch. What exactly was borrowed?

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    That's a huge stretch. What exactly was borrowed?
    Mary Jane knew Peter's identity, served as his confidant and friend, and married Peter well before Lois did. Those are all elements of Lois' post-crisis characterization which diverged sharply from the Pre-Crisis trend.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Mary Jane knew Peter's identity, served as his confidant and friend, and married Peter well before Lois did. Those are all elements of Lois' post-crisis characterization which diverged sharply from the Pre-Crisis trend.
    Those aren't character traits, and they're not specific to Mary Jane either. The Flash went in that direction with Iris years earlier.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Problem is that MCU Spider-Man is going to be four movies in (Civil War, Homecoming, Infnity War, Endgame) and they established that his bond is with "the Character Formerly Known as Ganke" and Tony Stark. So you've already established Peter Parker in a world where male figures are more important to him, and he's always chasing after some Daddy figure to validate him.
    No. He has a best friend in Ned. And while Tony has a place in his life, in Homecoming Peter spends more time chasing after Liz Allen than he does talking to Tony.

    And that's not to mention May, who is always the primary person in his life.

    So, no, Homecoming does not establish that "male figures are more important to him."

    You might as well try to claim that, with a cast that included JJJ, Robbie Robertson, and Captain Stacy - all of whom filled the role of father figures in various ways - that Stan and JRSR were saying that Peter was "always chasing after some Daddy figure to validate him."

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    So it's going to be very hard to move him into a more romantic place. Far From Home has to do that somehow. Ideally they should have gone full Ultimate. Remove "Ganke", make Michelle into Mary Jane and have her be Peter's best friend, and in the sequel that friendship turns romantic.
    You know that it's not hard for a guy to have a best buddy and still find time for a girl too, right?

  14. #14
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    I do think I would've preferred Michelle actually fill out the Ultimate MJ role instead of having MCU Peter steal Ganke.
    Quote Originally Posted by Prof. Warren View Post
    No. He has a best friend in Ned. And while Tony has a place in his life, in Homecoming Peter spends more time chasing after Liz Allen than he does talking to Tony.
    I think it's about equal with the time spent talking, thinking, or dealing with Tony stuff.
    And that's not to mention May, who is always the primary person in his life.
    Although not in Homecoming.
    You might as well try to claim that, with a cast that included JJJ, Robbie Robertson, and Captain Stacy - all of whom filled the role of father figures in various ways - that Stan and JRSR were saying that Peter was "always chasing after some Daddy figure to validate him."
    Characters I would say were better implemented compared to Tony.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I think it's about equal with the time spent talking, thinking, or dealing with Tony stuff.
    People act as though Tony is practically a co-lead in Homecoming but the truth is, he's hardly in it.

    There's much more time spent on Peter's relationship with Liz.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    Although not in Homecoming.
    Whether it's directly stated or not, May is always the most important person in Peter's life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    Characters I would say were better implemented compared to Tony.
    That's debatable, of course. But the larger point being that Peter has historically had surrogate father figures in his life. Especially early on. So it's not unusual to see that represented in the MCU. It also doesn't preclude the importance of women in his life.

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