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  1. #1
    Extraordinary Member Prime's Avatar
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    Default Can MJ and Ben Reilly be fixed?

    Given the complete character assassination both characters have suffered is there anyway to be able to fix this?

  2. #2
    Extraordinary Member Jman27's Avatar
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    yes start by reverting then back to their original positions and just keep them there
    "He's pure power and doesn't even know it. He's the best of us."-Matt Murdock

    "I need a reason to take the mask off."-Peter Parker

    "My heart half-breaks at how easy it is to lie to him. It breaks all the way when he believes me without question." Felicia Hardy

  3. #3
    Mighty Member Garlador's Avatar
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    It might take some time, effort, and talent, but it'll get there eventually.

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  4. #4
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    Bishop commited genocide in the billions and he's a hero again. MJ and Ben did nothing of the sort.

  5. #5
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    MJ is easy. Just have her dump Paul and get together with Peter again.

    Peter and Ben are more difficult. Peter’s original sin remains the OMD deal, and I think as long as that’s status quo he can never be 100% fixed. He can have good runs like with Nick Spencer, but he’s still not whole. He will always be a selfish man-child stuck in his mid 20s until that’s resolved. Ben is… well, between NuJackal, PAD’s edgelord SS run, and Chasm, his return is so tortured, convoluted, and full of character assassination, it’s best just to dust him again and start over with Kaine as Peter’s “brother.” But they’d probably ruin him too.

  6. #6
    Incredible Member Daibhidh's Avatar
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    Everything about Ben can be blamed on extra-dimensional gloop.

    Mary Jane is harder and I'm not sure I can see a way out of it that isn't cheating. By cheating I mean something like it's not really Mary Jane or it's all a dream or so on.
    Petrus Maria Johannaque sunt nubendi

  7. #7
    Ultimate Member Tendrin's Avatar
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    MJ will be fine.

  8. #8
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    MJ stopping being Jackpot is simple enough, I think the bigger question is whether writers want to address all the problematic stuff relating to MJ's relationship with Peter and Paul or just sweep it under the rug like Spencer did with all the relationship issues from Slott's run.

  9. #9
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    Anyone can be 'fixed... Ben, have him become heroic and the Scarlet Spider again would be a good start. Not forget the Jackal and Chasm stuff, but let him decide he won't let his past dictate him and his future anymore.

    MJ? It's easy to say ditch Paul and get back with Peter... but I think there's some things with the character that need to be dealt with beyond simply that. Same with Peter... I'm not simply referring to OMD, either.

  10. #10
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Yes.

    It may be a bit complicated for Ben Reilly because he's gone back and forth so many times. He came back as a bad guy in Clone Conspiracy. Then he was still crazy in Peter David's title. Then he came back as a good guy in Beyond, but it ended with him as the antagonist.

    His turn occurred as a result of stolen memories, so it seems enough to do a story that ends with him accepting the truth. Afterwards, the best way to sell his return to the good guys to the audience would be a few years of stories where he's a good guy, sometimes trying to atone for the bad things he did and sometimes not having it up in the course of the story.

    I think MJ didn't do anything wrong. She was sent to another dimension, and tried to wait for Peter. She found two children, and starting taking care of them. She fell in love with someone who helped her care for the children, after spending years with him. It's not exactly a standard romantic betrayal.

    It would be in character for Peter to take her back.

    The oddest change is her stint as a superhero, though it could be something that gives her insights later, even if it doesn't last (and it probably shouldn't last).
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  11. #11
    Spectacular Member MisterTorgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    Yes.

    It may be a bit complicated for Ben Reilly because he's gone back and forth so many times. He came back as a bad guy in Clone Conspiracy. Then he was still crazy in Peter David's title. Then he came back as a good guy in Beyond, but it ended with him as the antagonist.

    His turn occurred as a result of stolen memories, so it seems enough to do a story that ends with him accepting the truth. Afterwards, the best way to sell his return to the good guys to the audience would be a few years of stories where he's a good guy, sometimes trying to atone for the bad things he did and sometimes not having it up in the course of the story.

    I think MJ didn't do anything wrong. She was sent to another dimension, and tried to wait for Peter. She found two children, and starting taking care of them. She fell in love with someone who helped her care for the children, after spending years with him. It's not exactly a standard romantic betrayal.

    It would be in character for Peter to take her back.

    The oddest change is her stint as a superhero, though it could be something that gives her insights later, even if it doesn't last (and it probably shouldn't last).
    It's not really unreasonable that she didn't wait 4 years for Peter but I never saw a good reason for why she always seemed to be so awful to him after he rescued them and brought them back. That's what I always found really off-putting. It probably wouldn't take much to explain it away (something along the lines of "I still loved you and it was too hard to see you blah, blah, blah", or what have you) but it would say bad things for Pete's self-esteem to just take her back if it wasn't addressed somehow.

  12. #12
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    I think the issue for a lot of people for MJ is that it wasn't 4 years. It was less than 1 before the MJ + Paul relationship started to develop, and although people may get over a partner after a year in real life, comic books aren't real life.

    Things like soul mates and true loves are real and have been used to describe the Peter + MJ relationship, and I think that if they just ignore this run for a lot of people there will forever be asterisk on their love in that no matter what a future writer may claim there relationship can no longer be considered this eternal bond that even the devil set out to destroy.

  13. #13
    Really Feeling It! Kevinroc's Avatar
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    The problem is the Paul relationship has some serious Stockholm syndrome subtext that makes the entire thing seriously uncomfortable and nobody wants to touch. She was also forced to take care of children that she found and she ends up in a situation she has expressly stated she never wanted out of life. A loveless relationship for the sake of children that were foisted upon her. (And yes, those children were foisted upon her. Leaving small children to die in a post-apocalyptic setting is a monstrous action. The fact that the children were never "real" is irrelevant to the overall point.)

    But the series treats Paul as some dude MJ met at the coffee shop and chose over Peter.

    The series could deal with these unfortunate implications, but they continue to choose not to. (Meanwhile we never actually see Paul and MJ kiss, in case they're waiting for some last minute reveal that they were never actually romantically involved.)

    At this point the way to "fix" MJ is to reveal she and Paul were never intimate, but were emotional support trauma buddies who took care of some kids they found. And the kids magically bound Paul and MJ to watch over them, and so she pushed Peter away when he came to rescue her.
    Last edited by Kevinroc; 10-29-2023 at 01:27 PM.

  14. #14
    Mighty Member Garlador's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lifetap View Post
    I think the issue for a lot of people for MJ is that it wasn't 4 years. It was less than 1 before the MJ + Paul relationship started to develop, and although people may get over a partner after a year in real life, comic books aren't real life.

    Things like soul mates and true loves are real and have been used to describe the Peter + MJ relationship, and I think that if they just ignore this run for a lot of people there will forever be asterisk on their love in that no matter what a future writer may claim there relationship can no longer be considered this eternal bond that even the devil set out to destroy.
    This is the crux of the issue.

    I've stated before, what they did with Mary Jane would never be allowed or tolerated if the roles were reversed. If Peter spent 4 years in another dimension, and the next issue has him coming home after Mary Jane saved him and telling her "I'm ditching you for Paula, my new partner, and the two kids we found there. Please don't call me or bother us", nobody would accept it.

    We have expectations for how the characters should act and behave, and beyond that we have certain aspirational and heroic traits we give to these characters - Mary Jane included - given all that they've gone through together.

    RIGHT NOW, DC is still doing their "Superman: Lost" story, a story where Clark is separated from Lois and his old life for TWENTY YEARS - only hours to Lois - and he comes home a changed man, struggling to pick up the pieces of his life.

    After Superman is called away on a routine Justice League mission, Lois Lane awakens to find a complete stranger standing in her living room. The Man of Steel, home much sooner than expected, reveals he has, in fact, been lost in space for 20 years. Nothing and no one seem familiar to him anymore, and the timeless bond between them has been severed...or has it? Can love conquer all?
    Sound familiar?

    It's revealed that while he was trapped in that other universe, he recreated a life for himself - a new "Kansas" with a kid he took under his wing, and another woman who was the "sole survivor" of her planet named "Hope", and that she spent years growing close to him and trying to get him to give up his old life and start fresh with her as a couple together.




    In over TWO DECADES, Superman doesn't give up on his partner back home, no matter how tempted he is to believe he won't see his home again, no matter how much of a "new life" he builds for himself. He stays faithful to his partner.

    This is reinforced in so many other stories, what a true "soulmate" is for him.


    So readers can't help but compare Mary Jane unfavorably to characters who spent FAR LONGER than she did in the SAME situation and NEVER GAVE UP on their partner back home. Call it "unrealistic", the point remains we have multiple male heroes spending years away from the people they love and staying loyal and faithful, but Marvel didn't have the same level of care or respect for Mary Jane when she was put in a similar situation. It sucks, and the response from Wells and Lowe continues to insist they don't see any problem with it.

    It's a problem. It's a big problem.

    It's one I don't think they're capable of fixing, and it's a problem I don't envy the next creative team in trying to fix.

    It'll get there, but the fact this story was approved and written and defended the way it has been has been disappointingly regressive, sexist, and disrespectful.
    Last edited by Garlador; 10-29-2023 at 01:42 PM.
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  15. #15
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MisterTorgo View Post
    It's not really unreasonable that she didn't wait 4 years for Peter but I never saw a good reason for why she always seemed to be so awful to him after he rescued them and brought them back. That's what I always found really off-putting. It probably wouldn't take much to explain it away (something along the lines of "I still loved you and it was too hard to see you blah, blah, blah", or what have you) but it would say bad things for Pete's self-esteem to just take her back if it wasn't addressed somehow.
    I started a thread on the question of whether MJ did anything wrong. My sense was no, but that's a minority opinion here.

    I think for the most part readers are swayed by their parasocial relationship with Peter Parker, and reading stuff into comics that isn't there.

    https://community.cbr.com/showthread...ary-Jane-wrong
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

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