Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Return of the Jedi

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Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,127
In Reply To
Mr. Knees

Subj: Re: Mary Jane = Girl Next Door?
Posted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 04:33:34 pm EDT (Viewed 129 times)
Reply Subj: Mary Jane = Girl Next Door?
Posted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 01:08:11 pm EDT (Viewed 141 times)

    Hmm. As a loooooong time reader, I don't see MJ as a "girl next door" type - if you go back and read how Stan Lee wrote her, she had a whip smart sarcastic tongue on her. In those early comics, she was always poking fun - giving everyone around her some good natured sarcasm. She was an fun party girl who was not ready to be tied down by anybody. She also seemed way out of Peters league, who was more suited for a quiet girl like Gwen.

A smart sarcastic tongue - like Spider-Man himself and quite a few other characters, including at times Gwen Stacy (who as time wore on became more and more like MJ in looks and way of speaking).

Another way in which MJ resembled from the start Peter was that she got along really way with her aunt. I also think it is safe to say that of Peter's friends of his generation, she got along best with Aunt May, and obviously always was May's favourite prospective daughter/niece-in-law. (Since she visited Anna Watson a bit, and Anna lived next door to the Parkers, MJ also wins the "girl next door" appelation on a technicality ;\-\) )

Also, you could say that Gwen, born with a silver spoon in her mouth, was out of Peter's league. Her high-school boyfriend was the heir of a millionaire, Peter's high-school girlfriend was a secretary. So MJ with Harry and Peter with Gwen were both involved with people "above their station". Also Mary Jane was at least once shown working for money (as a go-go dancer), something surprisingly few of Peter's college friends had to do (didn't Flash have a sports scholarship?).

    Stan found MJ so much fun to write because she was always so lively - he claimed Gwen was just a boring character to write for.

    They added a lot of dimensions into MJ's character since then, alot of this occured in the 80s with DeFalco adding her "broken home" background. Then Gerry Conway wrote that MJ lived next door to Peter and knew his identity from the start, so that they would seem more like soulmates.

At that point they already seemed like soulmates (both hiding their inner hurt beneath a cheerful mask, for instance), adding that detail was just the icing on the cake. Conway had already added quite a bit of dimension to MJ during his 1970s run on ASM.

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