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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.

  3. #3
    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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    Peter Scott/Scott Peter SpiderClops'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."

    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.
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    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.

  7. #7
    Better than YOU! Alan2099's Avatar
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    1) It provides a direction that gives MJ character growth, is consistent with her history, but also opens up a lot of potential new stories in the future
    I really don't see how being a reporter is consistent with her history.

  8. #8
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    If Mary Jane is a vampire, then she will have fangs to bite Peter with. I don't think he would mind this. In fact, quite the opposite.
    heroine addict we love you come back

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    Mary Jane should apprentice under Betty and they should have their own book.

    And then become vampires.
    heroine addict we love you come back

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member boots's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post

    **MJ, a writer? Not believable! But Peter Parker's girlfriend is a supermodel AND he's also relatable everyman with money troubles? *shrug*... hey, it is what it is!
    there may be a difference between "not believable" or "not desirable" from sections of the fan-base. it may or may not be due to subconscious or inherent sexism. you're close to crossing over to ad hominen country.

    on the believability front; plenty of social media influencers are also bloggers or go on to write articles for thought catalogues and internet media. almost every actor i know has also written a screenplay. whether they're any good or not, is another matter.
    troo fan or death

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    People generally seem to be comfortable comparing/contrasting Superman with Batman, but if you compare Superman with Spider-Man, it's almost like.... sacrilege? Is it because of fanboy/publisher loyalty stuff? I don't really get why the comparison is dismissed so effusively.
    It's part of the tendency to infantilize Spider-Man and so on. Superman for instance is an adult and fully formed hero, or at least that's how everyone sees him, but comparing Spider-Man to Superman requires people to accept him as an adult. So that's why you tend to get in some cases, very violent reactions. If you compare Peter to Jimmy Olsen for instance it doesn't matter because a group of fans feel that Spider-Man is a sidekick and below "everyone else's paygrade". Even if the first and greatest crossover, Superman vs. TASM, directly equated them and made them of equal stature and importance.

    Spider-Man's stories tend to resemble Superman's. In both cases, you have characters where the hero and his supporting cast is far more interesting and important than the hero and the rogues gallery. IN Batman for instance, the main drama is Batman's relationships with the enemies.

    but in the comics, she has been relegated to the sidelines for most of her published history.
    That's inaccurate. Mary Jane Watson has made more than a thousand appearances, and along with Jameson (just a little above her) is the most frequently recurring and featured supporting character. And basically she and Jameson are the most important supporting characters in 616 Publication History. Aunt May hasn't even clocked 1000 appearances by comparison.

    If we made a list of her highlights, what would those be?
    ASM #42-43, #47 (the MJ Gwen dance-off), MJ in the Drug Trilogy (the all-time best "diss" when she insults Harry Osborn), the end of The Night Gwen Stacy Died, several appearances throughout Conway's run, including the Kiss at the airport in ASM #142-143, her and Peter slow-dancing to "Kung Fu Fighting" (I kid you not), and then her return in Roger Stern's run and continuing into Defalco's run, and ASM #246, and ASM#259 where she plays a huge part, and in the latter she is totally the protagonist (the first time any supporting character took over entirely from Peter without any rogue or bad guy in the story), are both all-time classics. There are several more. And MJ didn't cry all the time either. Not any more than Peter does (who is also not shy about his emotions or ashamed of crying you know).

    It's ironic that there is this notion that MJ shouldn't be anything like Lois Lane, one of the few supporting/love interests who has been shown to be competent/strong-willed of her own volition, but nobody has an issue with MJ being another damsel in distress (seriously, how many bridges has she been thrown off of?)...
    I don't know what you know about Lois. But for the longest time Lois Lane was a joke, and she still is in some circles. She got the worst character assassination in the 50s in a bunch of comics where she was presented as a crazy-cat-lady type who wants to hitch with Superman. Then there's the jokes about how she doesn't know Clark is Superman and so on. And that version is not by any means dead. Witness "Superman Truth", a story so bad, that they rebooted the New 52 and killed off those versions of Superman and Lois just to get past it.

    Heck Mary Jane Watson for the simple fact she knew Peter was Spider-Man while he thought he was Mr. Smart Guy for lying to people about his double life is a good reason why MJ was so valued as a character. As Mark Ginocchio and Dan Gvozden pointed out, she was a major step up from "the silver age girlfriend".

    You are right in asking for more to be done with MJ and so on...but the fact is that a lot has been done in the past and done well, and Mary Jane has been pretty well served compared to Lois and others. I mean as bad as OMD-OMIT was, it's better than what Miller and later Kevin Smith did to Karen Page, better than Superman Truth, and better than those '50s Lois Lane comics. And her marriage with Peter was far better written and served than Reed and Sue in the Lee-Kirby and Pre-Byrne era, and Hank and Janet, or Jean and Cyclops.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiderClops View Post
    Uh, no he wasn't. I have never seen anybody say this.
    Follow-up posts on this question have been moved to a new thread.

    https://community.cbr.com/showthread...er-to-Superman

    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    Well, right.... I mean, yeah, that's what I'm saying! Being an actor/model does not preclude MJ from also writing. It's neither inconsistent with her character, nor unbelievable. Since Peter is already kind of a "gig economy" sort of person, it stands to reason that MJ could be, too.



    On that front, I'm curious how conservative fans reconcile liking a character who is literally a social justice warrior. Like, I can understand liking characters who only protect their self-interests like Venom or Punisher, but... Spider-Man is purely about selflessly helping other people, so how does that square up? (Edit: I mean, I know Ditko was famously libertarian, and there's a certain amount of that in the character, but it's not his dominant theme)

    It's gotta be the eyes. Everybody loves the Spidey eyes.

    Edit:
    Follow-up posts on Spider-Man and Social Justice have been moved to a new thread.

    https://community.cbr.com/showthread...Social-Justice

  13. #13
    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.

  14. #14

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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.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I think both are big enough stretches for Mary Jane's character.

    I just don't really see her as the writing type.

    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.

    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.
    Yeah, it's all "no"s from you when you're looking at possibilities to expand a female character... so, you'd rather have MJ be "the girl" then, because she's not "the writing type." Nothing wrong with the status quo in your eyes. Heck, they oughta keep her in the kitchen making wheatcakes with Aunt May when she's not crying about not getting more attention.

    Edit: 616 Aunt May would also benefit from incorporating some of the more interesting and vital characteristics she's received in alt-universe portrayals so that 616-May can do more than just always be dying. (Again in FNSM!!)
    Last edited by gregpersons; 04-10-2019 at 02:27 AM.

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