The world of comics is home to a multitude of vastly unique characters. Granted, most readers or viewers are more entranced with the characters that have amazing abilities than those who don’t, but within many books, the supporting characters enhance the hero’s story. One of the most famous, and by far one of the most beloved, is Mary Jane Watson.
Peter Parker has known many loves, from the sweet Gwen Stacy to the coldhearted Black Cat, but Mary Jane is special. She’s the one most associated with Spider-Man. And that may be because a great deal of us were introduced to her for the first time via Sam Raimi’s original live-action trilogy where she was played by Kirsten Dunst, but she is far more than a simple love interest. Here are 20 things everyone gets wrong about Mary Jane Watson.
20 She Was Never Spider-Man's First Girlfriend
Many may have been introduced to Mary Jane Watson through Kirsten Dunst’s performance. And it was here, and other subsequent comics, where she was shown as Peter’s next-door neighbor. The two had grown up together and were destined to fall in love.
However, she wasn’t Peter’s first love. That honor goes to Gwen Stacy, whose life would come to a tragic end in 1973.
19 She Wasn't An Entirely Original Creation
Many comic characters are original creations entirely from the minds of the artists and writers, but occasionally, an artist will find inspiration from the real world.
For Mary Jane, John Romita, Sr. based her design on actress Ann Margret, famous for roles in Bye Bye Birdie and The Cincinnati Kid.
18 She Never Tried To Steal Peter
Despite the fact that Mary Jane was crushing on Peter hard, she never once let her feelings get the better of her. It would be understandable. After all, the heart wants what the heart wants.
But more important than her feelings for Peter was her friendship with Gwen. As you can see, she comforted Gwen through tough times in her relationship.
17 Her Party Girl Persona Was Fake
Part of Mary Jane’s appeal over Gwen was how outgoing she could be, which led to her developing a party girl persona.
But this persona would later be revealed to be fake. MJ had a troubled upbringing, with an emotionally abusive father who physically abused her younger sister. And this persona was a way for her to mask that.
16 She Didn't Always Want To End Up With Peter
As it stands, Mary Jane has rejected Peter’s marriage proposal not once, but twice. Though the two were head-over-heels in love, Mary Jane’s reasoning was that she didn’t want to be tied down to one person.
This tied in with her fake persona, and it wasn’t until she sorted through her family baggage (and got her father arrested) that she agreed to marry him.
15 She Was Meant To Appear In The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Andrew Garfield’s outing as Spider-Man saw him dating Gwen Stacy in both movies, but Mary Jane was supposed to appear in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, setting up a future romance for the two after Gwen tragically loses her life.
Shailene Woodley filmed several scenes as the character, but they were cut in order to solely focus on Peter and Gwen’s relationship.
14 She Isn't Just A Damsel In Distress
Sam Raimi’s trilogy was actually quite damaging to Mary Jane’s character. In those movies, she’s mostly shown to be a simple love interest and a damsel in distress. She’s constantly relying on Spider-Man to save her.
Kirsten Dunst spoke out against this. And had she been listened to, it would have been more in line with the comics where she’s taken less frequently.
13 She's A Jack Of All Trades
If you’ve only seen the movies, you might be unaware of just how talented Mary Jane is. In Sam Raimi’s trilogy, she’s an actress.
And while she has been an actress in the comics, she’s also been a model, a journalist, a club owner, and the assistant to one Tony Stark.
12 She Can And Has Saved Spider-Man's Life
It’s not in every comic that the love interest gets to save the superhero, but Mary Jane has saved Spider-Man on more than one occasion.
In The Amazing Spider-Man #309, she shot at two assassins named Styx and Stone who were about to take Spidey’s life. While she didn’t hit them, she did scare them off.
11 She's Been A Superhero Before
Red Sonja is a comic that has been owned by several companies, but she was originally at Marvel in 1973— though she wasn’t part of the main Marvel universe. In 1979, she briefly was when she possessed the body of Mary Jane in order to stop one of her villains.
And in 2007, she did so again during a crossover event while she was owned by Dynamite Comics.
10 She's Defeated A Super Villain Before
Hydro-Man may have made his debut in Spider-Man: Far From Home, but he’s been a Spider-Man baddie for quite some time.
In an episode of the 90s animated series, it was actually Mary Jane who put a stop to him. She distracted him and got him to chase her, but when he began to wear himself out and wasn’t near a body of water, he evaporated.
9 She Can Use Spider-Man's Tech
This is just one of several ways Mary Jane doesn’t have to rely on Spider-Man’s protection. After designing new web-shooters, he gave his old ones to her so she could defend herself.
What’s more awesome, however, is that she has operated the Iron Spider suit before, which made its MCU in-action debut in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War.
8 She Isn't Just A Supporting Character For Spider-Man
As I stated before, Mary Jane recently took up the position of Tony Stark’s assistant, proving that she’s not just a supporting character for Spider-Man.
What’s more impressive is that she’s had some hand-to-hand combat training from Captain America himself. In a world full of dangerous superpowers, one can never be too prepared.
7 She Isn't Always A Supporting Character
Though many may know her as a supporting character, she hasn’t always been that way. She starred in her own manga-inspired series on the Marvel Age imprint called Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, which was geared towards teenage girls.
She’ll also star in her own comic this fall titled The Amazing Mary Jane.
6 She Can Design Superhero Suits
Did I mention how talented Mary Jane is? On more than one occasion, Mary Jane has had to stitch up Spider-Man’s suit after a heated battle with a villain.
But she also designed several herself. The suits for minor characters like Hornet, Prodigy, and Ricochet all came from the mind of Mary Jane Watson.
5 You Could Play As Her In A Video Game
And no, I’m not talking about the brief stealth missions in 2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man. In the original released for the 2002 tie-in game for the first movie, there was a cheat players could input that let them play as other characters, including Mary Jane.
“Original” is the key word. These were actually recalled and patched since it meant players could perform the iconic kissing scene between two Mary Janes.
4 She's Been The Amazing Spider-Woman
Exiles focuses on a group of heroes from various timelines that band together, jumping through alternate realities to stop threats to the multiverse.
And in one of those alternate realities, it was actually Mary Jane who was bitten by the radioactive spider instead of Peter. This version of MJ was also gay.
3 Spider-Man Has Taken Her Life
Spider-Man: Reign is one of the weirder Spider-Man storylines out there, which is saying a lot. It’s set in an alternate future, following an older version of Spider-Man who took the life of Mary Jane.
To be fair, it was completely accidental. He gave her terminal cancer because his semen had become radioactive due to the genetically enhanced spider that bit him. I told you it was weird.
2 She Always Knew Peter Was Spider-Man
Many readers or moviegoers may be aware that Mary Jane has known Peter Parker is Spider-Man for quite some time, but they may also be unaware of just how long it’s been since she found out.
In the 1989 graphic novel Spider-Man: Parallel Lives, it was retconned that MJ saw Peter sneak out as Spider-Man to confront the crook who took his uncle’s life. She just always kept his secret.
1 She Was More Popular Than Gwen Stacy
Gwen’s passing is one of the most iconic moments in Spider-Man history, but that moment was never the plan. Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, and artist John Romita, Sr. actually planned to have Gwen marry Peter.
But MJ proved too likable. She was not only more popular among readers, but among the creators as well. She was more outgoing than the reserved Gwen, which forced them to change their plans.
Sources: therichest.com, screenrant.com, marvel.fandom.com