|So, as someone once said, --- Up --- Up --- and AWAY! - Peter Parker
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| Mary Jane Watson
|Full Name:||Mary Jane Watson|
|First Appearance:|| Amazing Spider-Man #25 (Face obscured)|
Amazing Spider-Man #42 (Full appearance)
|Created by:||Stan Lee, John Romita, Sr.|
|Place of Birth:||Montoursville, Pennsylvania|
|Base:||New York City, New York; formerly Chicago, Illinois|
|Affiliations:||formerly Stark Industries, Jackpot, MJ's|
|Powers/Abilities:||Mary Jane Watson-Parker is an accomplished professional actress, dancer, and model. Has moderate experience in hand-to-hand combat, she has had many trainers one of whom is Captain America.|
|Height:||5' 8" (1.72 m)|
|Weight:||120 lbs (54 kg)|
"Face it, Tiger... you just hit the jackpot!"
In most incarnations of the Spider-Man universe she is Peter Parker's main love interest.
Mary Jane was the younger of two girls born to Philip and Madeline Watson. She was born four years after her sister, Gayle. Her father was a respected professor, but he wanted to write. He blamed his failure on the girls though, and began switching jobs, forcing the family to move several times. As a result of switching schools so often, Mary Jane found it difficult to make friends, though she really wanted the other kids to notice her and like her, leading her to become "a bit of a class clown."
As things grew worse between her parents, MJ's father continued to see the family as "anchors holding [him] down." Finally, he slapped Gayle one day, "SWAK!", and Mary Jane ran from home. A few weeks later, Madeline gave up, and discretely slipped out of the house with her two girls, forced to move in with family, again shuffling from one home to another. MJ's favorite relative to visit was her Aunt Anna, a neighbor of May Parker.
When she was around thirteen years of age, Mary Jane first laid eyes on Peter Parker, who was just starting high school. She claims that their "aunts were always trying to get [them] together," though Peter managed to put off meeting her for years.
Early LifeIn the graphic novel, "Parallel Lives" and and comic series, Untold Tales of Spider-Man Mary Jane first discovered Peter when she noticed Spider-Man climbing out of Peter's bedroom window. Early issues of Amazing Spider-Man featured a running joke about Peter dodging his Aunt May's attempts to set him up with "that nice Watson girl next door", whom Peter had not yet met and assumed would not be his type, since his aunt liked her (in Parallel Lives, an identical scenario is shown between Mary Jane and her Aunt Anna). Mary Jane made her first actual appearance in Amazing Spider-Man, where her face was obscured. It is not until Amazing Spider-Man #42 that her face is actually seen. Peter finally meets her, and he is stunned by her beauty even as she speaks him, "Face it, Tiger... you just hit the jackpot!" Peter begins to date her, much to the annoyance of Gwen Stacy. However, her apparent superficiality proves to be irritation to Peter that her rival did not share, Peter subsequently chooses to date Gwen. Mary Jane, who becomes Harry Osborn's love interest and girlfriend and remains a close friend to Peter and Gwen.
Despite her enjoyment in life, her friendships, and dating, Mary Jane refuses to be tied down for too long. When her relationship with Harry Osborn comes to an end, which has significant impact Harry and drove him to a drug overdose. This in turn creates a boomerang effect, driving his father, Norman Osborn to the brink of insanity, temporarily restoring his memories as the Green Goblin. Mary Jane realizes the true consequences of her lifestyle when she learns of Harry's predicament.
Later, when the Green Goblin murders Gwen, MJ stays with Peter during his mourning; though he initially tells her to leave him alone, he becomes interested in her as he recovers. Their relationship had a few hurdles, such as MJ's hot temper and Peter always dashing off to be Spider-Man. Following the events of the original clone saga, Peter realizes that he loves Mary Jane and the two begin dating.
Despite loving Peter, MJ does not wish to be tied down, and when she allows the relationship to progress too far, she is left with a difficult decision when Peter proposes to her. After taking a short time to consider, she turns him down. Following a series of traumatic experiences involving Peter's absences and his costumed alter ego endangering his Aunt May, MJ leaves New York for several months. Meanwhile, Peter dates other women, most notably Felicia Hardy.
MJ eventually returns, her behavior showing a marked change with her abandonment of her false front. Following an attack on Puma, she breaks down and admits her knowledge of Peter's secret identity, claiming that she had simply "figured it out". After learning of her own family history, Peter finds a new respect for her and begins to truly understand her. MJ makes it clear to Peter that knowing his identity changes nothing about her feelings, and that she only loves him as a friend.
After another period of reconsidering his priorities in life, Peter contemplates letting go of the Spider-Man mantle, with Mary Jane backing the decision, but his relationship with Felicia Hardy soon resumes. Peter feeling lost and guilty, visits Mary Jane and apologizes with an awkward kiss before heading to Berlin with Ned Leeds. Following Ned Leeds' murder at the hands of the Foreigner, a changed and bitter Peter returns to New York, where his lack of direction in life was not helped when Ned is framed as the Hobgoblin, Felicia elects to leave Peter behind as she is. Mary Jane returns to Peter, presumably to patch things up, but Peter surprises her with a second proposal of marriage, which MJ again turns down. She returns to her family to settle old debts with her father, with Peter following her. After aiding her sister in having her crooked father arrested, and aiding Peter against a Spider-Slayer, Mary Jane agreed to become Peter's wife.
MarriageIn spite of Peter and Mary Jane's mutual worry that they were marrying, Peter's concern for her safety, and her unwillingness to give up her "party girl" lifestyle, they decided to get married. She was attached to Peter's surname to her own, making her Mary Jane Watson-Parker. Spider-Man wore his black costume around this time, but after Mary Jane was frightened by a stalking Villain, she convinced him to change back to his old costume.
Mary Jane continued to model, but was stalked by her wealthy landlord, Jonathan Caesar. When she rejected his advances, he had her blacklisted as a model. She got a role on the soap opera "Secret Hospital", but was unhappy with her character's air-headed personality. Although she successfully petitioned her boss to adjust her character, a deranged fan tried to kill Mary Jane out of hatred for the actions of her soap opera character. Mary Jane quit her job out of fear for her own safety and returned to modeling. This, alongside with Peter's role as Spider-Man, triggered a growing divide and she briefly flirted with an actor called Jason Jermome, which almost tempted her into a secret affair after he kissed her twice; but she eventually rejected his advances.
Due to this stress, the recent death of Harry Osborn, and the seeming return of her husband's parents, Mary Jane began smoking, only increasing the tension between her and Peter. Peter convinced her to stop smoking when he tricked her into visiting Nick Katzenberg suffering heavily from lung cancer (he presumably died) When his parents were discovered to be fakes, Peter was unable to cope with the knowledge and disappeared for a time. Mary Jane visited her sister Gayle and her father after many years, and finally reconciled with them. Meanwhile, Peter overcame his problems on his own. When Peter reunited with her, both were happier than they had been in a long time.
During the "Clone Saga" storyline, Peter's clone, Ben Reilly, appeared. Mary Jane discovered that she was pregnant. While she experienced some complications in her pregnancy, Reilly's scientist friend Seward Trainer helped her. Peter and Ben were told by Trainer that Ben was the real Peter Parker, and Peter was the clone. After conducting the tests themselves (tests which Seward rigged) they confirmed Seward's story. A disbelieving Peter, while arguing with Ben, accidentally struck Mary Jane. After this, he decided to quit as Spider-Man, because the stress of his double life was endangering his wife and unborn child. Peter, acting on hypnotic suggestion by the Jackal, attempted to kill Mary Jane, but was prevented by Ben Reilly, his teammates the New Warriors, and Kaine. Later, Peter and Mary Jane left New York and moved to Portland, Oregon. While there, he lost his powers in a lab accident. They lived there peacefully for several months, adapting happily to normal life. However, they missed New York City and their friends, and moved back. Peter became unexpectedly ill, but regained his powers. During an Onslaught crisis, Mary Jane was scanned by a Sentinel robot, who detected genetic abnormalities in her fetus.
Soon afterward, when Mary Jane's baby was already past due, she was poisoned by Alison Mongrain, an agent of the Green Goblin. Mary Jane's baby was a miscarriage.
The couple managed to survive the more tragic turn of events and Mary Jane managed to return to college to major in psychology, but the stress of the ongoing manipulations of Norman Osborn took their toll. After the return of Aunt May, Mary Jane begged Peter to quit being Spider-Man.
He was happy to do so for several months, but soon felt the tug of his great power and great responsibility to be a hero. Meanwhile, Mary Jane was offered a new modeling contract and reached new heights of success. Peter became Spider-Man again behind Mary Jane's back, which put strain on their marriage yet again. At the same time, she began receiving lewd and threatening phone calls from an anonymous stalker. Mary Jane was flying across America when her airplane exploded in midair. Peter was shocked and went into deep denial over her death. Although he was set up with several other women, and his friends encouraged him to move on, he believed she was still alive. He was proven right when her an unnamed, telepathic mutant. This stalker had telepathically connected to Peter in some way and wanted to take over his life. He kidnapped Mary Jane as part of his plan and held her hostage for several months. The stalker, however, killed himself after finally gleaning enough of Peter's personality and morality to discover that he had done terrible things.
The stress of her captivity drove Mary Jane away. She moved to Los Angeles and immersed herself in acting, starring as the love interest in the film Lobster-Man. Although missing Peter after he failed to meet her on a visit back to New York, she refused to talk to him; it took Aunt May to get Peter to visit her in Los Angeles, however the two remained separated. Peter's encounter with a supernatural Spider, Shathra eventually led to the two of them flying to New York and Los Angeles to see each other and reconcile, and despite missing each other at their respective homes, through an fortunate stroke of events they met in an airport in Denver, Colorado where they reconciled after a brief encounter with Doctor Doom and his Latverian terrorists.
During the events of Civil War", Peter and Mary Jane's apartment and Aunt May's house was burned down by Charlie Weiderman, and Spider-Man joins the New Avengers, Mary Jane and Aunt May accompany him to live in Stark Tower. Mary Jane immediately feels at home with the New Avengers and is happy to finally be a part of Spider-Man's world.
Peter swore to himself that he would find a new home for his family, but when his initial jealousy subsided, the Superhuman Registration Act forced him to stage a secret transfer of Mary Jane out of Stark Mansion, feeling that with the loss of his secret identity and his doubts about Tony Stark's ideas, Mary Jane had become a hostage in a luxurious house. Now residing in a cheap motel, her whole life had been affected, from her increasing difficulties in finding a new job as an actress to her being an easy target, along with Aunt May, for the super-powered foes of Spider-Man. Nevertheless, MJ remained supportive of her husband during the whole ordeal.
As the Superhuman Registration Act reached to its conclusion, Peter, Mary Jane, and Aunt May were targeted by an assassin working for the Kingpin. The assassin's primary target was Peter, with MJ and May designated as secondary objectives. When Peter returned to the Parker family's motel and stood in front of a window, the assassin took aim at Peter and fired, but missed which resulted into shooting Aunt May.
"Back in Black"
In "Back in Black", Peter and MJ scramble to save Aunt May's life, rushing her to the hospital while trying to maintain their fragile cover of anonymity. In trying to keep May alive and hidden from Spider-Man's enemies, they truly became fugitives on the run.
She was later arrested by a former acquaintance, now an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., and refused to surrender Peter to the authorities. Fortunately, she was immediately rescued by her spouse, after she signaled him using the Spider Tracer she always carried with her.
"One More Day"
Peter was forced to decide whether he will accept Mephisto's offer to save Aunt May in return for wiping the knowledge and memory of Peter and MJ's life together as husband and wife from the face of reality, which would leave only a single, subconscious piece of their souls to remember, allowing Mephisto to feast on the pain exhibited by those vestiges for eternity.
MJ accepts Mephisto's offer, but only if Mephisto promises to restore Spider-Man's secret identity which he agreed to do without question. She also asks to put his life back as it was and have a chance at happiness. Mephisto accepts these terms, and in return it reset the timeline, MJ and Peter were never married (although they nearly did), but instead "dated seriously for years".
For a small while, MJ moved to California to become an actress, but continues to visit New York from time to time. She attends a "coming home" party held by Harry Osborn during one such visit, with Peter catching a small glimpse of her before she left.
"Brand New Day"
Mary Jane makes her return as the girlfriend of an actor, Bobby Carr, having been referred to as Carr's "mystery girl." Mary Jane was seen getting into bed with Carr, and is later attacked by Paperdoll. Concealing herself in the panic room, Mary Jane observes a battle between Spider-Man and Paperdoll, and communicates with Spider-Man over the intercom. Mary Jane says that she and Spider-Man made a great team "in another life" and touches a monitor screen showing his face, hinting that she still had strong feelings and misses him.
Peter does not learn that Mary Jane is the girlfriend of Carr nor that she was the voice on the intercom. Mary Jane is seen at the conclusion of the issue contemplating a phone call to Peter, but is hesitant to do so. She is asked for an autograph by Sara Ehret, an associate of Jackpot. Mary Jane tells her she does not know when she will return to New York. She left a message on Peter's machine but it was cut off before she could say anything.
Red Headed Stranger
Mary Jane had been living on the West Coast pursuing her acting career and still seeing Bobby Carr. MJ returned to New York after Carr was found to be taking a Mutant Growth Hormone for a movie role, supplied by the White Rabbit. Carr complained that now she would tell them all about his drug use. His shallowness made MJ walk away from him and take a TV job, which made her come back to New York.
Mary Jane attends at May Reilly-Parker's and John Jonah Jameson's wedding. May tosses the flowers to the sea of screaming female wedding guests when MJ arrived late to the wedding, catches them and asks what she missed, which implies that she will be soon be married "again".
Mary Jane and Peter agreed to meet with each other the following day. However, a drunk Peter does not remember when or where and is further delayed due to his activities as Spider-Man. MJ as it turns out was also drunk (while waiting for Peter to muster his courage in order to talk to her) and while she recalls their meeting she has sadly overslept. As she turns on the TV, wondering how Peter spent his night, she sees Spider-Man rescuing people and comments; "Guess you did nice work, Tiger", hinting that she is aware of Peter's dual identity. Mary Jane recalled a fight with Peter while he was dressed as Spider-Man, where she was so angry that she stated that she did not care where he was and that he had a responsibility to their relationship. Peter begins to explain about his Uncle Ben, but Mary Jane interrupts him to say that he cannot let a single moment define his life.
"One Moment In Time"
Mary Jane whispered to Mephisto that Peter would not agree to the deal unless Mary Jane tells him to make it, and that Mephisto will leave Peter alone forever once the deal was done. Mephisto replies "Agreed, as far as I'm concerned--this never happened." MJ shows up at Peter's door. They talk about how they have been acting towards each other lately and both agree they want to be friends with each other. They started to reminisce about what happened on what was supposed to be their wedding day. On the wedding morning, MJ shows up but Peter does not as he is lying unconscious in an alleyway due to his activities as Spider-Man.
After Peter misses his own wedding, he tries to explain what happened to MJ, but she had already intuited due to his super-heroics, and demands that he retire from crime-fighting career. He refuses and she leaves him. After being urged to reconsider by her Aunt Anna, MJ goes to see Peter, and during the course of their conversation, tells him of the daughter she always envisioned having with him, who she hoped would take after both of them. She says that bearing children to someone constantly in danger as Spider-Man it would not be fair to them, and that they must remain unmarried. They are still together when Aunt May was shot, refusing to accept her death, Peter performs CPR, saving her life.
Wilson Fisk, informed of May's survival by a disguised Mephisto, decides to send a masked hit man after Anna Watson. Mary Jane goes to check on Anna, just in time to stop the hit man, who goes after her. Spider-Man saves Mary Jane and dispatches the hit man. Spider-Man brings the wounded Mary Jane to Doctor Strange, who performs a healing spell on her. Peter insists that Doctor Strange should make people forget he is Spider-Man. Doctor Strange contacts Tony Stark and Reed Richards for advice on the matter, as they were partially responsible for Peter's decision to publicly reveal his identity.
They decide that no one, including themselves, will remember anything. Peter enters a protective shell to shield himself from the changes. He leaps out of the shield and pulls Mary Jane in with him so she will not forget either. They wake up in the motel and Peter explains what has happened. Back in the present, Mary Jane explains that, although she still loves him, she is not strong enough to be on his side, she tells him he has to move on and find somebody who can be with him.
After being evicted from his apartment, Peter turned to many of his friends for help, including MJ, but when confronted with the idea of living together again, the two found themselves laughing off the situation and declining the option.
Peter soon began a new relationship with Carlie Cooper. Though initially jealous of how happy Carlie was making Peter, MJ decided to support Peter's decision and encouraged him to reveal his secret identity to her, an idea Peter was hesitant to try, as he desired to be loved for simply being "Peter Parker". MJ argued that Spider-Man represented the "real Peter Parker", Peter argued that MJ had the benefit of hindsight since the beginning, and that Carlie didn't have that luxury.
When New York City became infected with a spider-virus that gave its inhabitants Peter's Spider-like abilities, MJ found herself caught in a series of riots across the city. Saved by the intervening Future Foundation, MJ later located Peter and Carlie, the latter having also been granted spider-powers. MJ encouraged Peter to use his civilian persona when displaying his powers and rally the city against the chaos. She would later attain spider-powers herself and would come to the aid of defenseless citizens, her prolonged contact with Peter during their relationship granted her a degree of immunity that protected her from the mutative side-effects of the transformation.As Peter is successfully able to cure all of New York, Mary Jane quietly tells him she loves him. The two later look over the city atop the Empire State Building, happy in each other's arms, relieved that the crisis is over after Peter cured Mary Jane of her powers. Shortly after, Carlie Cooper breaks up with Peter, having deduced his secret identity. Carlie was conflicted over her lingering feelings for Peter, she decides to confide in Mary Jane, and the two begin to bond over their experiences with Peter.
While Peter races around the world to stop Doctor Octopus's latest scheme, Mary Jane has begun to make arrangements for a party once the crisis is over, apparently confident that Peter will defeat his foe. However, she had later bought herself a nightclub.
Dying Wish & Superior Spider-Man
Mary Jane remained in the role of best friend to Peter until Peter begins to take an interest in her romantically again. MJ, still in love with Peter, agrees to start dating him again. Unknown to MJ, Peter has had his mind corrupted/possessed by Doctor Octopus. The real Peter Parker, trapped in his rival's dying body, breaks out of prison and attempts to switch back, only for his body to eventually give out on him before he can complete the procedure. As a last resort, Peter downloads all of his memories and experiences into Octopus' mind, convincing his foe to develop some sense of responsibility, and convinces him to do good as Spider-Man so long as he has control of his body. Octavius continues to date Mary Jane after this, but MJ begins noticing distinctly different traits displayed by Peter, such as a heavy intake of alcohol and his rude behavior towards his loved ones, including herself, most notably when he observed that she was no longer anything more than "the plucky best friend with the one motivational speech". Peter's mind is still active and tucked away somewhere in Octopus' psyche, and he vows to get his body back before his rival can go too far with either an opponent or with Mary Jane.
Mary Jane still dates Otto after he developed his spider-version of his Octo-bots, Spider-Bots, to patrol the city. Otto, intends to get more intimate with MJ and makes several advances, only to be blown off each time. Finally, in desperation and frustration, Otto relives Peter's memories with MJ, which infuriates Peter. After one of Otto's Spider-Bots detect Mary Jane in trouble and saves her from the Vulture gang, Mary Jane herself prepares to kiss him until Otto stops her as he begins developing genuine feelings for her. This surprises Mary Jane and Peter as Otto tells her he's ending their relationship and tells her to move on, but promises Mary Jane he will continue protecting her. Mary Jane tells Charlie about Peter calling off the relationship and agrees with him, still unaware that Otto was in Peter's body.
Powers & Abilities
- Mary Jane was first mentioned in Amazing Spider-Man #15, made a cameo with her face hidden by a lampshade in Amazing Spider-Man #25, and made her first full appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #42.
- MJ first reveals her past to Peter in Amazing Spider-Man #259.