Sunday, July 16, 2006

Profile: Mary Jane Watson-Parker

Mary Jane Watson-Parker
First appearance: approximately late 1965 in Amazing Spider-Man, although she may not have been seen in direct view. It was in mid-1966 when she made her first actual appearance in ASM #42, with the now famous scene where she tells Peter Parker, “Face it, tiger! You’ve just hit the jackpot!” The daughter of estranged/divorced parents, she was a teen woman’s libber, or just a very independent girl who thought for herself, and did her best to rise from the blue-collar existence she first grew up in around New York City by achieving a successful career in acting on stage and in supermodeling.

Current status: married to our friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man since 1987. However, as of December 2007, Marvel EIC Joe Quesada has de facto annulled that marriage out of a peculiar bias.

Was subjected to the following acts of discrimination: editorial bias, you could say. It would seem as though, out of nowhere, there came some anti-MJ bias, by the writers/editors and even by some alleged Spider-Fans, that’s led in recent years to her being subjected to misuse by the writing and editing staff at Marvel. In the Clone Saga of 1994-96, when it's implied that Peter Parker was the clone, he knocks MJ against a wall, causing her to bleed badly, before running out of the room. In the late 90s, she was used less and less in the storylines, and her personality was written as annoying more than a few times. But perhaps the worst misuse was when she was implicated as a liar in the Sins Past storyline concocted by J. Michael Strazcynski in ASM in 2004, a most embarrassing storyline that seems to have been (hopefully) dropped for now. And in late 2007, following the awful repercussions of Civil War, her marriage to Peter Parker has been de facto obliterated.

What’s wrong with how this was done? Regarding her personality, while she may have been written as a cynic in her early years, the fact is that, when it was done at the time, it had what to do with the kind of unhappy background she came from, certainly when looked upon in context of the explanations given as she was developed, hence, the way that the writers (Howard Mackie, Strazcynski) made her grating later on was forced. The Sins Past garbage was even worse. But the aggravated assault on her in during the Clone Saga is probably the most offensive attack on her by far. Terry Kavanaugh, shame on you.

It would seem as though Marvel EIC Joe Quesada and company are trying once again, in the wake of the Civil War crossover, to get rid of her. This hopefully won't last long, certainly not if those who care about Spidey’s world do their best to take action, but, it’s still very irritating and has caused considerable damage to the Spider-World.

I sometimes wonder if, much as I do like the works of Roger Stern, that he might’ve led to some of the “no-MJ” mentality, since he once said in 1988 that he disliked the Spider-marriage. But really, there is nothing wrong with Peter Parker and Mary Jane’s getting married, since, it’s all part of their development as characters just as it is in many other books where couples get married, and of the Spider-world as well.


At 6:18 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really liie yor description of MJ. I misunderstood her and i feel bad about it. I used to believe she was a liar in the Sins Past stryline (the most anoying plot of Spider-Man ever)so i guess it must be true that Gwen did cheated on him,i was one of those who thought that it could change and Gwen never cheats on Peter and those kids are just another way to try to make Spidey nuts.All for now


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