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* ValuesDissonance: This was always part of what made her popular in the first place, as while she was meant to be what the creators saw as irresponsible only for readers to instead see as relatable and liberated. But to a modern viewer, even things that were at the time seen as negatives by readers look much more reasonable now. When written, MJ's excessively laid-back attitude looked shallow to the writers/readers, but to a modern viewer her dating for fun rather than commitment seems perfectly reasonable for a college girl and hardly a 'flaw'. Similarly, her bailing on Harry when his drug abuse and mental problems got out of hand was treated as a [[MyGreatestFailure mistake she regretted]]. However, to a modern audience, the idea women are supposed to take care of damaged men even at their own expense has became increasingly criticised due to it often leading to abusive relationships, and so MJ deciding to leave Harry (who shortly after became violent and unstable) looks more like her recognising serious red flags and understandably prioritising her own safety. The later reveals about her backstory even adds additional context, as it makes it even more reasonable why she wouldn't want to stay in a relationship with a mentally unstable drug-user.

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* RonTheDeathEater: Quite often gets this, from either people who want Peter to be single or people who [[DieForOurShip wanted him to end up]] with [[ShipToShipCombat Gwen Stacy or Black Cat]] (usually the former); quite often, despite MJ and Gwen having been best friends, their friendship is downplayed to instead depict them as bitter rivals, often sympathising with Gwen on the matter. Interestingly, this plays into the real-life WhatDoesSheSeeInHim that Peter and MJ often get, as people erroneously believe that as a supermodel (something MJ ''never'' was in the first place) would have no reason to date a nerdy everyman like Peter...which seems to assume that simply being a sexy model means MJ is incapable of valuing Peter's kindness and strength of character, and treats it as if trading on her looks ''must'' mean she's too shallow.

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** Another one that's been pointed out after the first issue of 2019's ''The Amazing Mary Jane'', but the aforementioned popular perception of MJ being an unattainable wish-fulfilment character for a GiveGeeksAChance story often ignores that MJ herself is ''pretty adorkable'' herself; her first appearance has her happily, goofily dancing to music on the TV, and her upbeat energy generally gives her a fun weirdo vibe. Again, part of this is adaptations often downplay this to composite her with Liz and Gwen, who ''were'' popular girl types, even as the latter was re-written to be a nerd like Peter in modern updates.

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** In fact Spider-Man/Peter Parker is basically the only guy who fans pair Mary Jane with. (In which the comics/adaptations have only occasionally ever played around with the idea of Mary Jane being with another guy and even then it is rarely if ever treated as serious.) But in recent years people have been pairing Mary Jane with some of the ladies namely Black Cat and to a lesser extent Gwen Stacey. Sure the shipping for Mary Jane & Black Cat (and/or Gwen Stacey) is often played as LesYay since they are both well-known MsFanservice ladies in which some fans use this as a OneTrueThreesome with Spidey while some others use it as a joking TakeThat to Spidey for his infamous actions in ComicBook/OneMoreDay. Though as for Mary Jane & Black Cat, Marvel did have some fun with this in the [[http://i.imgur.com/hIbiHwB.jpg Mangaverse]] in which while Black Cat & Mary Jane try to treat that KissOfLife as NoYay but many fans have jokingly refer to it as sexual tension.


** Does MJ really love "the real Peter" or is she only interested in him because she knew all along that he was Spider-Man. The latter is argued by Dan Slott, controversially, because he believes that it prejudiced her attitude towards Peter before she even met him, while others point out that her knowing Peter explains why she was more patient with him than many of his fellow social circle, and that the TwoPersonLoveTriangle is a pretty dead trope to use to judge true feelings. Likewise, given the fact that Spider-Man is ''the'' HeroWithBadPublicity (unlike Superman who is a charismatic public celebrity), MJ preferring and loyally supporting Spider-Man even when he is unpopular speaks in her favor (especially since that's why many liked her to start with).

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** Does MJ really love "the real Peter" or is she only interested in him because she knew all along that he was Spider-Man. The latter is argued by Dan Slott, controversially, because he believes that it prejudiced her attitude towards Peter before she even met him, while others point out that her knowing Peter explains why she was more patient with him than many of his fellow social circle, and that the TwoPersonLoveTriangle is a pretty dead trope to use to judge true feelings. Likewise, given the fact that Spider-Man is ''the'' HeroWithBadPublicity (unlike Superman who is a charismatic public celebrity), MJ preferring and loyally supporting Spider-Man even when he is unpopular speaks in her favor (especially since that's why many liked her to start with). Adding credence to this is the often-forgotten aspect of ''Parallel Lives'' that notes that MJ actually had a crush on Peter ''before'' he got his powers, where to her he was Aunt Anna's cute, though geeky, neighbour. Finding out he was Spider-Man (whom she also separately crushed on because she identified with his need to wear a mask) merely added a wrinkle to her feelings.


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* CommonKnowledge: Due to adaptions generally leaving out the more complex aspects of Mary Jane's character, the Raimi films especially, MJ seems to be seen in the general census as a typical cliché superhero love-interest; part popular girl wish-fulfilment fantasy for a GiveGeeksAChance story, part DamselScrappy constantly in need of rescue. In actuality, even before her backstory was expanded upon, her main role was more the comic relief than damsel-in-distress, and though she was pretty and popular with boys, she was ''hated'' by her female classmates, meaning that she wasn't even the popular girl in school (not to mention Peter met her ''after'' he'd finished school and grown out of being a 'geek'). The CharacterDevelopment and expansion on her backstory furthers this, as its established that ''she'' was the one actually chasing Peter but afraid thanks to her insecurities (making it a case of 'Give Self-Conscious Girls a Chance'), and she'd developed into an ActionSurvivor who's more liable to escape and help save ''Peter'' than the other way around when in harm's way, who's also a highly valuable asset to Peter.


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* HeartwarmingInHindsight: Aunt May and Aunt Anna's match-making of Peter and MJ is already sweet now anyway given where it lead, but ''Parallel Lives'' also casts some extra tingles thanks to establishing that while Peter didn't see MJ until years later, MJ ''had'' seen Peter and ''was'' interested in him, though her insecurities kept her from seeking him out on her own. Their matchmaking was actually them recognising MJ's crush and trying to help her.


** While a number of fans assume that MJ's first appearance in media (games/movies/cartoons etcetera) came in TheEighties and TheNineties. Her real first appearance is in ''WesternAnimation/SpiderMan1967'' episode "the Big Brainwasher" i.e. right from the start. Hilariously, while MJ in the cartoon is similar to her appearance in AMS #51 (i.e. as a go-go dancer for one of Kingpin's fronts) she's also made a composite with Gwen Stacy (being Captain George Stacy's niece) and this from an episode that aired before Gwen's death in the comics. In other words, MJ was upstaging and having her character blended with Gwen right from the start and before Gwen's death.

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** While a number of fans assume that MJ's first appearance in media (games/movies/cartoons etcetera) came in TheEighties and TheNineties. Her real first appearance is in ''WesternAnimation/SpiderMan1967'' episode "the Big Brainwasher" i.e. right from the start. Hilariously, while MJ in the cartoon is similar to her appearance in AMS #51 (i.e. as a go-go dancer for one of Kingpin's fronts) she's also made a composite with Gwen Stacy (being Captain George Stacy's niece) and this from an episode that aired before Gwen's death in the comics. In other words, MJ was upstaging and having her character blended with Gwen right from the start and before Gwen's death.


** There are many fans who believe that Mary Jane being portrayed as a helpless DameslInDistress was an invention of Creator/SamRaimi, since from the 80s and onward this has seldom happened to her in the comics. But following the death of Gwen Stacy in the 70s, this actually ''did'' occur on a semi-regular basis. And that includes [[https://static1.cbrimages.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/amazing-spider-man-127-6.jpg?q=50&fit=crop&w=738&h=1097 screaming for Spider-Man to help her]], which at one point [[https://static1.cbrimages.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/marvel-team-up-20-2.jpg?q=50&fit=crop&w=738&h=1108 Spider-Man himself]] [[https://static1.cbrimages.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/marvel-team-up-20-3.jpg?q=50&fit=crop&w=738&h=1104 actually made fun of.]] So the real issue here is simply a generational gap, as Raimi is a child of the 60s and 70s, so this kind of portrayal of Mary Jane is the one he's most familiar with.

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** There are many fans who believe that Mary Jane being portrayed as a helpless DameslInDistress DamselInDistress was an invention of Creator/SamRaimi, since from the 80s and onward this has seldom happened to her in the comics. But following the death of Gwen Stacy in the 70s, this actually ''did'' occur on a semi-regular basis. And that includes [[https://static1.cbrimages.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/amazing-spider-man-127-6.jpg?q=50&fit=crop&w=738&h=1097 screaming for Spider-Man to help her]], which at one point [[https://static1.cbrimages.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/marvel-team-up-20-2.jpg?q=50&fit=crop&w=738&h=1108 Spider-Man himself]] [[https://static1.cbrimages.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/marvel-team-up-20-3.jpg?q=50&fit=crop&w=738&h=1104 actually made fun of.]] So the real issue here is simply a generational gap, as Raimi is a child of the 60s and 70s, so this kind of portrayal of Mary Jane is the one he's most familiar with.


** The recent complaints about Joe Quesada and Dan Slott writing MJ out of character isn't the first time this happened to MJ. It was done by Stan Lee and John Romita Sr. themselves when in an effort to resolve the triangle between Peter, MJ and Gwen in favor of the latter. They sought to make MJ ugly [[https://www.cbr.com/mary-jane-spider-man-bad-haircut/ with a ridiculous haircut]], had her PutOnABus (something that later writers and editors also did), and in one issue even colored her blonde by mistake ([[https://www.cbr.com/spider-man-mary-jane-blonde/ here]]). Even during the marriage the writers put her through phases of this, particularly the mid-to-late 90s, when she was more portrayed as a WetBlanketWife that completely disregarded her usual spunky attitude.

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** The recent complaints about Joe Quesada and Dan Slott writing MJ out of character isn't the first time this happened to MJ. It was done by Stan Lee and John Romita Sr. themselves when in an effort to resolve the triangle between Peter, MJ and Gwen in favor of the latter. They sought to make MJ ugly [[https://www.cbr.com/mary-jane-spider-man-bad-haircut/ with a ridiculous haircut]], had her PutOnABus (something that later writers and editors also did), had her [[TookALevelInJerkass take a level in Jerkass]], and in one issue even colored her blonde by mistake ([[https://www.cbr.com/spider-man-mary-jane-blonde/ here]]). Even during the marriage the writers put her through phases of this, particularly the mid-to-late 90s, when she was more portrayed as a WetBlanketWife that completely disregarded her usual spunky attitude.


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** There are many fans who believe that Mary Jane being portrayed as a helpless DameslInDistress was an invention of Creator/SamRaimi, since from the 80s and onward this has seldom happened to her in the comics. But following the death of Gwen Stacy in the 70s, this actually ''did'' occur on a semi-regular basis. And that includes [[https://static1.cbrimages.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/amazing-spider-man-127-6.jpg?q=50&fit=crop&w=738&h=1097 screaming for Spider-Man to help her]], which at one point [[https://static1.cbrimages.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/marvel-team-up-20-2.jpg?q=50&fit=crop&w=738&h=1108 Spider-Man himself]] [[https://static1.cbrimages.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/marvel-team-up-20-3.jpg?q=50&fit=crop&w=738&h=1104 actually made fun of.]] So the real issue here is simply a generational gap, as Raimi is a child of the 60s and 70s, so this kind of portrayal of Mary Jane is the one he's most familiar with.


** Tom [=DeFalco=] was the one who wrote the issue where MJ reveals that she knows Peter is Spider-Man, and he was the one who wrote her family background dealing with her troubled childhood as well as the issues setting up the marriage, when she accepts Peter's proposal. However, he drew on details and ideas suggested by Marv Wolfman (who revealed in Issue #192, that her parents were divorced) and especially Creator/RogerStern (who implied that Mary Jane had a broken home and in Issue #246, in a daydream sequence introduces her sister Gail and her children and buried guilt about her past).

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** Tom [=DeFalco=] was the one who wrote the issue where MJ reveals that she knows Peter is Spider-Man, and he was the one who wrote her family background dealing with her troubled childhood as well as the issues setting up the marriage, when she accepts Peter's proposal. However, he drew on details and ideas suggested by Marv Wolfman (who revealed in Issue #192, that her parents were divorced) and especially Creator/RogerStern (who implied that Mary Jane had a broken home and in Issue #246, in a daydream sequence introduces her sister Gail and her children and buried guilt about her past). past), which is ironic as both Wolfman and Stern have gone on record to state that they were highly opposed to Mary Jane's CharacterDevelopment and eventual marriage to Peter that this helped bring about.


* DeathOfTheAuthor: Roger Stern is still widely liked and respected as one of the best writers of Spider-Man but a lot of fans have criticized him for his statements saying that Mary Jane wasn't right for Peter and that she had been written into a different character by later writers.[[note]]Although he was far from the first to say something like this, Marv Wolfman had said the same as a justification for why he had Mary Jane PutOnABus.[[/note]] An argument used by Dan Slott and others to defend the Post-OMD status quo, while Stern who wrote a short comic about MJ in ''The Many Loves of Spider-Man'' claimed that he had [[CharacterRerailment rerailed her character]] by making her into a fame-obsessed girl again by [[WriterOnBoard throwing out all the character work done by writers who came after him]]. The problem, as many point out, is that Mary Jane's backstory (having a broken home, guilt about leaving her sister) was all created by Stern himself who first outlined it and hinted at it in "The Daydreamers". Later writers who followed developed her character based on his work the same way he had built on the work done by earlier writers and many question both his claims when in fact his story repeatedly featured ShipTease between Peter and MJ and likewise showed that both of them have similar yearnings for acceptance and neurosis.

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* DeathOfTheAuthor: Roger Stern is still widely liked and respected as one of the best writers of Spider-Man but a lot of fans have criticized him for his statements saying that Mary Jane wasn't right for Peter and that she had been written into a different character by later writers.[[note]]Although he was far from the first to say something like this, Marv Wolfman had said the same as a justification for why he had Mary Jane PutOnABus.[[/note]] An argument used by Dan Slott and others to defend the Post-OMD status quo, while Stern who wrote a short comic about MJ in ''The Many Loves of Spider-Man'' claimed that he had [[CharacterRerailment rerailed her character]] by making her into a fame-obsessed girl again by [[WriterOnBoard throwing out all the character work done by writers who came after him]]. The problem, as many point out, is that Mary Jane's backstory (having a broken home, guilt about leaving her sister) was all created by Stern himself who first outlined it and hinted at it in "The Daydreamers". Later Daydreamers", even if it was Gerry Conway and Tom [=DeFalco=] who fleshed it out. They along with other writers who followed developed her character based on his work the same way he had built on the work done by earlier writers and many question both his claims when in fact his story repeatedly featured ShipTease between Peter and MJ and likewise showed that both of them have similar yearnings for acceptance and neurosis.


* DeathOfTheAuthor: Roger Stern is still widely liked and respected as one of the best writers of Spider-Man but a lot of fans have criticized him for his statements saying that Mary Jane wasn't right for Peter and that she had been written into a different character by later writers. An argument used by Dan Slott and others to defend the Post-OMD status quo, while Stern who wrote a short comic about MJ in ''The Many Loves of Spider-Man'' claimed that he had [[CharacterRerailment rerailed her character]] by making her into a fame-obsessed girl again by [[WriterOnBoard throwing out all the character work done by writers who came after him]]. The problem, as many point out, is that Mary Jane's backstory (having a broken home, guilt about leaving her sister) was all created by Stern himself who first outlined it and hinted at it in "The Daydreamers". Later writers who followed developed her character based on his work the same way he had built on the work done by earlier writers and many question both his claims when in fact his story repeatedly featured ShipTease between Peter and MJ and likewise showed that both of them have similar yearnings for acceptance and neurosis.

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* DeathOfTheAuthor: Roger Stern is still widely liked and respected as one of the best writers of Spider-Man but a lot of fans have criticized him for his statements saying that Mary Jane wasn't right for Peter and that she had been written into a different character by later writers. [[note]]Although he was far from the first to say something like this, Marv Wolfman had said the same as a justification for why he had Mary Jane PutOnABus.[[/note]] An argument used by Dan Slott and others to defend the Post-OMD status quo, while Stern who wrote a short comic about MJ in ''The Many Loves of Spider-Man'' claimed that he had [[CharacterRerailment rerailed her character]] by making her into a fame-obsessed girl again by [[WriterOnBoard throwing out all the character work done by writers who came after him]]. The problem, as many point out, is that Mary Jane's backstory (having a broken home, guilt about leaving her sister) was all created by Stern himself who first outlined it and hinted at it in "The Daydreamers". Later writers who followed developed her character based on his work the same way he had built on the work done by earlier writers and many question both his claims when in fact his story repeatedly featured ShipTease between Peter and MJ and likewise showed that both of them have similar yearnings for acceptance and neurosis.


** Among long-time Spider-Man writers and editors, MJ being a party girl but secretly putting on a facade is debated. Creator/GerryConway and others see her that way, and wrote MJ with HiddenDepths but others point out that the thought bubbles in the early issues are largely consistent with MJ's ManicPixieDreamGirl behavior. Roger Stern for instance saw her as party girl and believed that the MJ who married Peter was basically written into an entirely different character, even if, ironically enough, he was the one brought her back from being PutOnABus, which led to her backstory being created and giving her more depth and sentiment.

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** Among long-time Spider-Man writers and editors, MJ being a party girl but secretly putting on a facade is debated. Creator/GerryConway and others see her that way, and wrote MJ with HiddenDepths but others point out that the thought bubbles in the early issues are largely consistent with MJ's ManicPixieDreamGirl behavior. Roger Stern for instance saw her as a party girl and believed that the MJ who married Peter was basically written into an entirely different character, even if, ironically enough, he was the one brought her back from being PutOnABus, which led to her backstory being created and giving her more depth and sentiment.sentiment. Marv Wolfman also had very similar feelings, which is why he was the one who put her on that bus to begin with.


** Among long-time Spider-Man writers and editors, MJ being a party girl but secretly putting on a facade is debated. Creator/GerryConway and others see her that way, and wrote MJ with HiddenDepths but others point out that the thought bubbles in the early issues are largely consistent with MJ's ManicPixieDreamGirl behavior. Roger Stern for instance saw her as party girl and believed that the MJ who married Peter was basically written into an entirely different character, even if, ironically enough, he was the one who created her backstory to give her more depth and sentiment.

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** Among long-time Spider-Man writers and editors, MJ being a party girl but secretly putting on a facade is debated. Creator/GerryConway and others see her that way, and wrote MJ with HiddenDepths but others point out that the thought bubbles in the early issues are largely consistent with MJ's ManicPixieDreamGirl behavior. Roger Stern for instance saw her as party girl and believed that the MJ who married Peter was basically written into an entirely different character, even if, ironically enough, he was the one who created brought her back from being PutOnABus, which led to her backstory to give being created and giving her more depth and sentiment.


* FanPreferredCouple: Spider-Man/Mary Jane is possibly the most definitive example. Namely because it remains the most successful example of a fan ship actually becoming one of the first (she and Peter married before Clark and Lois did) and longest running [[OfficialCouple Official Couples]] in comics, over the intentions of both the original writing team and later Marvel editors with Stan Lee admitting the character took on a life of her own. The fact that Marvel broke them with what many in the comics see as Spider-Man's all-time worst story and one of the worst ever in comics, merely ensured that fans will continue to prefer them.

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* FanPreferredCouple: Spider-Man/Mary Jane is possibly the most definitive example. Namely because it remains the most successful example of a fan ship actually becoming one of the first (she and Peter married before ComicBook/PostCrisis Clark and Lois did) and longest running [[OfficialCouple Official Couples]] in comics, over the intentions of both the original writing team and later Marvel editors with Stan Lee admitting the character took on a life of her own. The fact that Marvel broke them with what many in the comics see as Spider-Man's all-time worst story and one of the worst ever in comics, merely ensured that fans will continue to prefer them.



--> "By the mid-1970s Spider-Man’s great plot-lines – The Death of Gwen Stacy, Peter Parker’s ethereal blonde girlfriend, who would haunt him as Creator/KimNovak haunts Creator/JamesStewart in ''Film/{{Vertigo}}''...were well behind him. And Peter Parker had settled for what seemed to us a second-best girlfriend, the dark-haired ‘girl next door’, Mary Jane Watson...My researches unearthed this horrible fact –- [[Creator/GerryConway the Marvel scripters]] who followed Creator/StanLee on the job killed off Gwen Stacy [[DroppedABridgeOnHim because they found her unworkably dull]], [[DieForOurShip a cold fish]]. Red-haired Mary Jane was more approachable, sexier, all along. If I’d known sooner I might have been spared some pining."

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--> ---> "By the mid-1970s Spider-Man’s great plot-lines – The Death of Gwen Stacy, Peter Parker’s ethereal blonde girlfriend, who would haunt him as Creator/KimNovak haunts Creator/JamesStewart in ''Film/{{Vertigo}}''...were well behind him. And Peter Parker had settled for what seemed to us a second-best girlfriend, the dark-haired ‘girl next door’, Mary Jane Watson...My researches unearthed this horrible fact –- [[Creator/GerryConway the Marvel scripters]] who followed Creator/StanLee on the job killed off Gwen Stacy [[DroppedABridgeOnHim because they found her unworkably dull]], [[DieForOurShip a cold fish]]. Red-haired Mary Jane was more approachable, sexier, all along. If I’d known sooner I might have been spared some pining."

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