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  1. #1
    Incredible Member RD155's Avatar
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    Default How does Marvel feel about the character of MJ?

    Now obviously we know how editorial felt about the marriage at one point or possibly still does....

    My question is how do they feel about the actual character as an individual separate of the marriage? I personally always felt like Marvel didn’t particularly care for the character and they felt that it limited Peter even without them being married simply because the fan base (myself included) associates them together. I might be completely off base with that though.

    They’ve tried in the past to write her off or kill her. Is it solely her immense undeniable popularity that has Marvel keep her around or do they actually care for the character ?

  2. #2
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    I think Marvel have a much more positive outlook on MJ than they did 10 years back.
    For one, she's had her own (short lived) series which was set-up mostly in a special issue of the main Spider-Man title, and they at least acknowledge her and Peter's relationship in multiple comics (I know Abrams Spider-man isn't very popular, but the fact that they were married should at least give us some indication that Marvel also see her and Peter's one true love).

    But I think that's mostly down to Miles Morales which has helped age Peter somewhat. Now Peter doesn't have to be a teenager anymore, he can be an adult. I also believe it's down to the staff being fans of Spider-man during the wedding era. Look at Spencer for example, all of his big story arcs have been sequels to that same 5 year period, with one arc (Hunted) being a sequel to Kraven's Last Hunt, the first comic after the wedding (not including the honeymoon). While I don't know if their marriage will be restored, I'd say it feels like it's going to at least be acknowledged.

  3. #3
    Mighty Member Vortex85's Avatar
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    It's hard to pin down feelings to an entire organization. I think it will very from person to person, from writer to writer.

    I think overall Marvel likes MJ and see her as a great character. The specifics of who MJ should be to Peter, her prominence in his lore, etc, will vary depending on who you ask probably as much as it does on any forum or social media you visit. But I'd like to think most professionals in the industry aren't basing their feelings on just ignorance or lack of understanding that you may see with certain fans who don't understand a lot of comic lore. So they may understand her importance a little more than the average joe.

    I think the BND team saw MJ a little different than the current writer and she was almost a taboo for a while, which as a fan of her character was extremely frustrating to see. I'm glad those days are long behind us.
    Last edited by Vortex85; 10-29-2020 at 07:06 AM.

  4. #4
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RD155 View Post
    My question is how do they feel about the actual character as an individual separate of the marriage?
    Among (some) writers and (some) editors, there's a resentment to Mary Jane because they can't bottle her into being "a" love interest like they can with Felicia Hardy or Gwen. She is the love interest for Peter and there's really nothing anyone can do about it. The drive among some Marvel writers and editors to say Gwen is the true love is an attempt to undermine her status even if there's not much they can do to make Gwen happen. After all if Gwen was the true love and she's dead, that means every relationship Peter has had after Gwen is somehow invalid or rebound and not meant to last...at least that's how writers would have liked that to go down. The fact is they can't and it didn't go that way.

    I personally always felt like Marvel didn’t particularly care for the character and they felt that it limited Peter even without them being married simply because the fan base (myself included) associates them together. I might be completely off base with that though.
    Marvel is NOT a sentient being capable of independent consciousness. It's a corporation, currently owned by Disney, with employees at different levels and spaces, all of them with views that are different from one another and also change in time. Marvel employees in one decade will have different opinions from employees in another. As such the feelings and sentiments of the people currently at Marvel don't matter one jot in terms of validity one way or another. So that's important to keep in mind. We have to separate the executives, the marketers, the writers and editors...and that was Pre-Disney. Now it's probably a bit different. Marketers like Mary Jane a lot hence these variant covers, and Male Gaze-y stuff that J. Scott Campbell put out. Marketers at Marvel are quite aware that Mary Jane Watson is one of their most popular and beloved characters. For instance, the entire Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane series was commissioned in the wake of the success of the Spider-Man films because Marvel execs pointed out she had in effect become the "First Lady" of marvel after the success of the Raimi films. Some writers at Disney Animation cite Mary Jane Watson as a prominent Marvel female character they'd like to spotlight (https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/nycc-d...younger-heroes) placing her, a civilian supporting character, alongside other heroes.

    They’ve tried in the past to write her off or kill her. Is it solely her immense undeniable popularity that has Marvel keep her around or do they actually care for the character ?
    Yeah. Mary Jane's popularity is the main thing that's kept her from being forgotten and shelved. She's made more appearances than any other Spider-Man character in 616, after Peter. She made appearances outside Spider-Man books, Hostess Cakes commercials, and so on. Her popularity renews itself every decade.

  5. #5
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    I think their perspective on her has changed since the BND/Slott era where they seem more comfortable using and promoting her, as both a character and as Peter's main love interest. She's not seen so much as an albatross where they have to keep her around because of how important she is without knowing or wanting to do anything with her.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by FFJamie94 View Post
    I think Marvel have a much more positive outlook on MJ than they did 10 years back.
    For one, she's had her own (short lived) series which was set-up mostly in a special issue of the main Spider-Man title, and they at least acknowledge her and Peter's relationship in multiple comics (I know Abrams Spider-man isn't very popular, but the fact that they were married should at least give us some indication that Marvel also see her and Peter's one true love).

    But I think that's mostly down to Miles Morales which has helped age Peter somewhat. Now Peter doesn't have to be a teenager anymore, he can be an adult. I also believe it's down to the staff being fans of Spider-man during the wedding era. Look at Spencer for example, all of his big story arcs have been sequels to that same 5 year period, with one arc (Hunted) being a sequel to Kraven's Last Hunt, the first comic after the wedding (not including the honeymoon). While I don't know if their marriage will be restored, I'd say it feels like it's going to at least be acknowledged.
    I agree with you 100% about Miles. If you go back to two of the worst stories in Spider-Man history ( Clone Saga and OMD/BND) they happened for the exact same reason: Fear of what will happen if Peter grew up and of course the financial implications of it. With the success of Miles ( including an Oscar), Marvel and their Disney Corporate Patent no longer need to worry about this. There is room for both Peter and Miles ( as well as their supporting cast ( MJ included)), and they can continue to make lots of money off of Spider-Man, which is priority #1.
    Last edited by NC_Yankee; 10-29-2020 at 08:52 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by NC_Yankee View Post
    I agree with you 100% about Miles. If you go back to two of he worst stories in Spider-Man history ( Clone Saga and OMD/BND) they happened for the exact same reason: Fear of what will happen if Peter grew up and of course the financial implications of it. With the success of Miles ( including an Oscar), Marvel and their Disney Corporate Patent no longer need to worry about this. There is room for both Peter and Miles ( as well as their supporting cast ( MJ included)), and they can continue to make lots of money off of Spider-Man, which is priority #1.
    I never understood why BND is always included in the "OMD is bad" rant?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by PCN24454 View Post
    I never understood why BND is always included in the "OMD is bad" rant?
    BND starting with that horrible cover is the beginning of Peter as a “Man Child.”

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by PCN24454 View Post
    I never understood why BND is always included in the "OMD is bad" rant?
    It's purely down to BND only exists because of OMD. It was meant to be a reboot of the Character with a new rogue's gallery, supporting cast etc.
    One More Day can exist without Brand New Day, but Brand New Day can't exist without One More Day.

    (I personally see them as two separate entities, OMD is just a story arc while BND is an entire era which was a bit hit or miss).

  10. #10
    Incredible Member RD155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PCN24454 View Post
    I never understood why BND is always included in the "OMD is bad" rant?
    BND and OMD are synonymous with each other. When fans think of OMD they usually bunch BND in with it. BND suffered to me because of the insistence of writing Peter as a man child. I had no desire to see him revert back to that and have them strip layers of development away from him.

    OMD opened the door for BND. They will always be connected because of that.

    Also I never cared for the usage of MJ during BND. I felt like OMD tried to put a nail in her and then BND decided to drag her through the mud. Her characterization through out just never stuck with me.

  11. #11
    Incredible Member RD155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FFJamie94 View Post
    It's purely down to BND only exists because of OMD. It was meant to be a reboot of the Character with a new rogue's gallery, supporting cast etc.
    One More Day can exist without Brand New Day, but Brand New Day can't exist without One More Day.

    (I personally see them as two separate entities, OMD is just a story arc while BND is an entire era which was a bit hit or miss).
    More miss then hit lol.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RD155 View Post
    More miss then hit lol.
    Oh yeah, I remember reading it and Slott's first issue pissed me off to no end.
    I've liked stuff by him since, but that first issue was rough.

    (It was all down to a moment where Peter didn't change into Spider-Man to stop a robber because he believed Jonah would sell papers off his name, which is something that Peter would NEVER do).

  13. #13
    Incredible Member RD155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I think their perspective on her has changed since the BND/Slott era where they seem more comfortable using and promoting her, as both a character and as Peter's main love interest. She's not seen so much as an albatross where they have to keep her around because of how important she is without knowing or wanting to do anything with her.
    I agree with this.

    It seems like Marvel finally has a direction they want the character to take. Much like you said it seemed like they had little to no idea of what to do with her. Now it’s become more and more evident that Spencer likes working on the character and is using her as an instrumental part of Peters life, even if they aren’t married......yet.
    Last edited by RD155; 10-29-2020 at 09:12 AM.

  14. #14
    Incredible Member RD155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FFJamie94 View Post
    Oh yeah, I remember reading it and Slott's first issue pissed me off to no end.
    I've liked stuff by him since, but that first issue was rough.

    (It was all down to a moment where Peter didn't change into Spider-Man to stop a robber because he believed Jonah would sell papers off his name, which is something that Peter would NEVER do).
    Slott doesn’t have a good voice or feel for the character. He never did as far as I’m concerned. He also at times came off as overly sensitive towards fans when they would criticize his work at times. It’s interesting because I was a huge fan of his work with She Hulk. Absolutely love that run in its entirety. So believe me, I was excited to see him work on my favorite character. It just never clicked for me and I also didn’t like what he did with MJ at all.

  15. #15
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RD155 View Post
    I agree with this.

    It seems like Marvel finally has a direction they want the character to take. Much like you said it seemed like they had little to no idea of what to do with her. Now it’s become more and more evident that Spencer like the character and is using her as an instrumental part of Peters life, even if they aren’t married......yet.
    And it's not even just the comics. PS4 game had her involved in a major way and as Peter's one true love, she's his wife in the Spider-Verse movie, and even the Marvel's Spider-Man cartoon, which was originally designed around a lot of Dan Slott stuff, ended up including her in the final season and using her as Peter's love interest (which is especially notable considering how little romance there is in Marvel cartoons).

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