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MJ and Peter

Mary Jane: "I will take this man—this very special man—to be the most important thing in my life. Because that's exactly what I've realized, he already is."
Peter Parker: "She knows better than anyone else what she's getting intoand she still wants me! How could I possibly turn down someone like that? I do."
— Their Wedding Vows, Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21, written by David Michelinie.

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Peter Parker: "It's funny, though. Giant Monsters versus awkward social situations? I'd go for the former nine times out of ten. The Spider-Man stuff, well...I can't say it's easy. But it makes more sense than the Peter Parker stuff. Or, at least, my instincts are better."
Mary Jane: "I think the Peter Parker stuff is working for you."
Peter Parker: "You're my wife. You're legally required to say that."
Mary Jane (punches him playfully on the shoulder): "So you're saying you were bitten by a radioactive stand-up comedian, too?"
Peter Parker (laughs): "No. But thanks for the nightmares. I guess I just thought that at some point the normal everyday social stuff would be easy. You make it seem easy."
Mary Jane (holds his hand): "Maybe some of us are just better at faking it. And maybe I am a little biased on the subject...but I think Peter Parker's instincts aren't half-bad."
Renew Your Vows, Issue #19, written by Jody Houser.

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"Sometimes being a swinging bachelorette isn't all it's cracked up to be. Sometimes it's so hard to keep on my happy-go-lucky face all day...it seems like a hubby, a house, and 2 to 3 kids would be just the ticket. But you had a shot at that didn't you, M. J.—and you couldn't have asked for a better catch than Peter Parker. There was only one problem: I figured out that Peter was really Spider-Man—and once I realized that, I knew I could never marry someone who I never knew for sure would come home from work alive!...Oh, why does he have to have such a darn high sense of responsibility?...If only he were less altruistic — I would've accepted his proposal on the spot. But if he was different...he wouldn't be the same guy you loved, would he, M. J,? Face it, lady: Peter Parker and Spider-Man—two sides of the same coin."
— M.J.'s thought bubbles, Web of Spider-Man, Issue #6 Vol. 1, written by Danny Fingeroth.

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The fact of the matter is I've got a good life...I'm married to the greatest man in the world — even if he does like to spend half the night swinging around New York in his underwear.
Mary Jane Watson-Parker, Spectacular Spider-Man #250, written by J. M. DeMatteis.

Peter Parker: When Marla Jameson died, I just couldn't take it anymore. I made a vow. When I'm around, no one dies.
Mary Jane: Peter Parker, I think...that's the stupidest thing you've ever said.
Peter: Hey!
Mary Jane: That's Impossible.
Peter: What? I'm impossible. I walk up walls. Bend steel in my bare hands.
Mary Jane: You forget to water the plants and can't parallel park. Yes, sweetie, you're super...but you're still human. People make mistakes. And that vow of yours? No one could live up that.
Amazing Spider-Man #688, written by Dan Slott.

MJ: You seem to have a lot of women in your life lately.
Peter: And all of them challenging. Except for you, of course.
MJ: Huh. (beat). You don't think I'm challening?
Peter: Uh...no. Unless you want me to think you're challenging. In which case you have to challenge me. In all the right ways.
MJ: (Laughs). Okay. Well done.
Peter: Thank you.

"I used to dream of a life where we could just be us, you know? With no Green Goblins or Venoms making everything such a horror show. But here's the thing—that wouldn't be us, would it? Because it wouldn't be you. As much as it might scare me or frustrate me or, yeah—even endanger me—I can't change that. I don't want to change that. The guy I'm in love with is a hero. He puts on a costume and risks his life to help other people for no reason other than it's the right thing to do. And, yes, that burden he carries around is why I kept pushing him away, but now I'm starting to realize—it's also why I kept coming back to him."

MJ and others

"You've always been good for a few laughs, Harry — but don't let it go to your head. I'm nobody's girl but my own — and that's the way I like it. See ya around, curly."
— MJ setting clear limits on her relationship with Harry Osborn, Issue #96, written by Stan Lee

Mary Jane: I wish I had it all together like you do, Carol. Sometimes I feel so...out of it.
Carol Danvers: I think once you decide what it is you want, nothing will stop you MJ.
Mary Jane: Yeah. I guess, but that's the hard part.
Carol Danvers: Behind that flighty facade, you've got a first class mind. You'll find yourself, believe me.
—- 'Ms. Marvel #2 (1977), dialogue by Gerry Conway.

MJ: So, in my youth, I was an international runway model...
Amanda Armstrong: You don't have to say that like you're embarrassed.
MJ: I don't. I'm not. It' just a weird thing to say out loud. "Hi, I'm someone who used to trade on her good looks."
Invincible Iron Man #11, (2016), written by Brian Michael Bendis

Tony Stark: Do you like your dad?
MJ: Not particularly.
Tony Stark: Y'have a mean dad?
MJ: Yeah.
Tony Stark: Me too. He was soooo mad at the world. And my general existence wasn't helping him get over it. He sees you standing there and instead of seeing legacy...all he sees are missed opportunities. @#$% you, Howard.
MJ (pause): I left home the second I could.
Tony Stark: So did I.
MJ: Yeah, but you did with a big duffel bag full of cash.
Invincible Iron Man #11, (2016), written by Brian Michael Bendis

About Mary Jane Watson as a character

''This one distinct example of characters taking on a life of their own is what bedevils Marvel Comics to this day. Despite what the Sam Raimi movies have led a generation of moviegoers to believe, Mary Jane Watson was never Peter Parker’s Lois Lane, nor was she supposed to be the love of his life. She was Stan Lee and legendary artist John Romita Sr.’s bemusing attempt at capturing the burgeoning youth culture of the 1960s on the page. MJ was rock n' roll and flower power, Ann-Margret and Beatlemania—she's whatever those kids were listening to these days, man. The entertainment of her being around a square like Peter is that she could see Peter was the most swinging cat in their college friends group, even if he wore suits to class every day...Lee and Romita were never ones for nuance, and they often contrasted...[Gwen Stacy] on the one hand, and a flakey bombshell redhead on the other. The funny thing is that everyone liked the flake better, including Stan Lee and John Romita...Slowly developed by later writers like Marv Wolfman and especially Tom DeFalco, Mary Jane was revealed to be as complicated as Peter Parker, masking her own damaged childhood and abusive father with her outgoing persona. And in 1984, MJ revealed her own big secret: she had known for years that Peter Parker was Spider-Man, having once witnessed him sneaking about in costume...From that moment onward, despite whatever soap opera obstacles thrown their way, she also became the woman Peter had the strongest connection with...Sentimentality aside, there is something charming about how these characters were never supposed to do anything more than flirt, but with almost a will of their own, they kept growing and moving toward each other until Stan Lee finally forced Marvel’s hand and had them married in 1987.
David Crow, Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows & How It Renews Peter Parker, 'Den of Geek', Sep 13, 2015.

"Of course the Peter and Gwen relationship came to a tragically abrupt end when she was thrown off a bridge and killed by the Green Goblin (or was it Peter’s webbing that snapped her neck? Damn it, why won’t anyone ever CONFIRM this?). And that’s the genesis of this very somber, bittersweet moment, where MJ graduates from part-time romantic accessory to a shoulder to cry on and an actual friend to Peter. Up until this moment, you never really got the impression that Peter was friends with any of the women he dated — even Gwen...Now we’re obviously a number of issues removed before Peter and MJ actually become truly romantically linked...But the groundwork is laid here for Peter and MJ to ultimately engage in some kind of mature relationship. We never truly know what is said between Peter and MJ in this scene –- I’m going to speculate that it was a whole lot of silence. But judging by how the two interacted going forward, it was clear that MJ stayed and comforted Peter through all of it...MJ went from “face it tiger, you hit the jackpot” bravado, to stoic, matriarchal comforter. It’s the strongest I’ve ever seen a woman, not named Aunt May, act around Peter. And that’s what made their inevitable courtship, break-up, reunion and marriage all the more rewarding –- the fact that readers saw on this one page, the power and strength and character like MJ brought to the series."
Mark Ginocchio, "Reading Experience: Peter and Mary Jane Grow Up", December 12, 2011, 'Chasing Amazing Blog'

"As for Mary Jane, I am sure her creator Stan Lee himself never calculated her potential to be so immense. A character who started out as a playful distraction blossoming into one of the very best supporting characters in superhero comics? Especially a character who was a non-superpowered young girl? Unheard of in the early 70s! And yet, Gerry Conway realized just how much promise MJ Watson—a fresh off the Second Wave take on women's representation in a predominantly male targeted medium, had. He sensed she was too good and unique a personality to be marginalized and made his decision to give her a much more substantial and important role in the Spidey mythos."
— Reader "Eve K.", recorded by Brian Cronin in the commentary for the entry of The Night Gwen Stacy Died in CBR's 50 Greatest Spider-Man Stories, where it is second to Kraven's Last Hunt.

"As long as we're discussing the women Peter's mag, do not ever have Mary Jane Watson fall in love with Harry! Of course M. J. is immature (so is Harry; he's the one on LSD), but that doesn't mean she hates men. She just doesn't want any short-haired, neurotic, spoiled acid-head (or even a well adjusted dude) trying to own her. Keep her independent, but do develop her personality. You people haven't yet gotten over the notion that the way to give a female character personality is to give her a romance. We know M. J. isn't made out of Wonder Bread and mayonaisse like a certain happily-departed blonde-brain, but what is she made of?"
Jane C. Hollingsworth, Letter to the Editor, "The Spider's Web" Column, published in Amazing Spider-Man, #125 (October, 1973), an example of Mary Jane's popularity among female readers of the time.

"Mary Jane is fast becoming my favorite character in the SPIDER-MAN book. This issue [ASM #127] reinforces that...Mary Jane has shown us all that her egotistical, sarcastic self was merely a put-on for a very tender-hearted interior; as Joni Mitchell said, in Clouds, "And if you care, don't let it show..." M.J. isn't as rock-hard as we all thought — she's covering up; she doesn't want to be weak...but she is. I can admire her, because for all her insecurities, she actually gives of herself, and has devoted almost all of her time to Peter in a vain attempt to cheer him up. M.J. is a real heroine, the best Marvel's got. Without her, would there even be a SPIDER-MAN worth reading? Probably not."
Bob Rodi, Letter to the Editor, "The Spider's Web" Column, published in Amazing Spider-Man, #132 (May 1974)

"There was a time when it upset me even to see Peter speak to her, and now I’m beginning to think that if Peter ever unburdened himself (secret identity and all) to anyone, it should be Mary Jane."
Nan Brower, Letter to the Editor, "The Spider's Web" Column, published in Amazing Spider-Man, #139 (December 1974)

"When Tom Defalco established Mary Jane as a runway model. That is a very specific thing. For fashion shows within the industry. He did not intend when he threw that line out there...he did not intend for that to turn into policemen recognizing her as a magazine cover model. Those are two completely different things. But different writers take things in different directions...it ended up with Mary Jane being this hybrid soap opera/actress famous cover model person which people would recognize on the street. The original plan for that was far more modest."
Ron Frenz, Superior Spider-Talk #26: Superior Spider-Man #23 w/ Ron Frenz, by Mark Ginocchio and Dan Gvozden, January 20, 2014. Timestamp 1:22:00 — 1:25:00.

Writing MJ in Brand New Day and in Big Time and Superior. It's very much the relationship that can't go anywhere. Because we always know that they're not getting married. If Marvel went through all this trouble to get them unmarried, you as a fan know they're not gonna get married. So whenever they're together, it's "here's a relationship that can't go anywhere" and that's not fun. It could be with anyone else. But now it's Secret Wars (2015)''...and he's married again. It kind of feels like writing Mary Jane without limits.
Dan Slott, describing Renew Your Vows, Comicvine, C2E2 2015: Dan Slott (Part 1) The Amazing Spider-Man - Renew Your Vows, by Tony 'G-Man' Guerrero | Apr. 28, 2015 9:33 am. Timestamp 03:00 — 03:50.


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