Okay, I know from time to time, maybe like once a week, I go off on Marvel. From their pompous politically correct stance on everything which is as deep and sincere as whichever way the wind is currently blowing, to their lack of loyalty to their original characters and the fans that love them. It is because of the latter that I raise the question; whatever happened to Mary Jane Watson?
In the Spider-Man Universe, with the re-emergence of Gwen Stacy and Silk, Mary Jane has been cast to wayside. Is it because she has no spider powers? Now using the omnipotence of multiple universes Gwen actually does have spider powers and Silk of course, was bitten at the same time and on the same day as Peter Parker but has been kept in hiding all these years.
For some perspective, consider this, Gwen Stacy died in issue 121-122 of the Amazing Spider-man back in 1973. Mary Jane first appeared in 1964 and has been a main character in the Spider-Man Universe until “One More Day” storyline of 2007. That is over forty years as the main love in Peter Parker’s life!
In One More Day, Aunt May lies dying from an assassins bullet meant for Peter Parker who has revealed his identity to the world as part of the larger “Civil War” storyline. Peter and MJ are offered by Mephisto, Marvel’s answer to an all powerful evil (also see Joe Quesada), this chance. He will save Aunt May, change everything so that Peter once again has a secret identity and no one will know he is Spider-Man, in exchange for the love between Mary Jane and Peter. They must sacrifice their love to save Aunt May and protect Peter as Spider-Man. Mary Jane agrees to the sacrifice as long as Mephisto restores not only Peter’s identity and save Aunt May, but promises he will have happiness and not know who she is. In essence, wiping Mary Jane from his memory completely so he will not miss her. Mephisto agrees and takes their love. Mary Jane appears off and on in upcoming books but slowly she is disappearing since 2007 and the re-emergence of Gwen Stacy, strongly due to the popularity of Emma Stone and the Amazing Spider-Man movies. And I can’t argue with the terrific job Emma Stone did with Gwen.
But consider this. What makes Spider-Man so great? Is it the webbing? The endless banter? The blue and red suit? Or did you like the black suit?
No it was not any of these. It was Peter Parker. And there was no one more influential in Peter’s life than Mary Jane Watson. No super powers. Just his Queen. His wife. His love. His love that also gave him and Marvel the longest running comic with a female lead in their books. Mayday Parker. Spider-Girl.
Over fifty years ago Marvel “…hit the jackpot…”. Lets hope they remember that the best comic books were never about super powers, but about the people and how they live their lives with this great power and great responsibility.