Jun 18, 2011

Superman to Break Up with Lois Lane; People Think Spider-Man and Superman Are the Same Guy for Some Reason.

It's pretty much all but confirmed at this point. The DC Comics Reboot is making it so not only is Superman not married to Lois Lane, but they were never married at all to begin with.

I'm a fan of the Lois Lane/Clark Kent marriage, for many reasons. But I can't say I'm really surprised — writers have been trying to break them up pretty much since the marriage happened, the most prominent example of which is featured in the much lamented SUPERMAN 2000 proposal by Grant Morrison, Tom Peyer, Mark Waid, and Mark Millar. The basic argument is that the Clark/Lois/Superman love triangle is an essential part of the Superman mythos and that Lois being a wife is too limiting to storytelling. I don't personally agree with either, and I could talk about why, but in the end, it's a matter of taste, and I certainly respect the decision the writers come to. Whatever helps them tell better stories, I say.

What I do take issue with is the argument bandied around (even on websites such as Newsarama [see reason number 4 here]) that Superman and Lois Lane are breaking up, and it's because of the fact that back in 2008, Marvel broke up Spider-Man and Mary Jane Watson in the story "One More Day." For fans of the breakups, they're also adding in the fact that the dissolution of the Spider-Man marriage "worked" and "helped sales." For haters of the break-ups, they're adding in the fact that the dissolution of the Spider-Man marriage "divided fans" and "hurt sales."

I take issue with this argument, even though I myself prefer Spider-Man single (as explained here), because it gets some facts wrong, and its foundations are shaky.

First of all, Spider-Man sales were not helped, nor were they hurt, by "One More Day." You can see it just by looking at the sales charts. This past May, the highest-selling issue of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN came in at number 10 on the charts (see here). AMAZING SPIDER-MAN is Marvel's best-selling solo superhero and is also the best-selling title of anything that's gone over 100 issues.

Five years ago, in May 2006, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN came in at number 14 on the charts (see here). If you count all of DC's weekly series 52 as one book, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN would have come in at number 11. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN was Marvel's best-selling solo superhero (he was outsold by WOLVERINE: ORIGINS, a Wolverine special, but sold better than Wolverine's actual main title).

ICv2's numbers are flawed estimates, as they only take into account preorders. And of course, the comics industry has massively declined since 2006, so we can't really take the reported numbers as gospel. What we can do is just look at their positions on the charts, and what do their May 2006 and 2011 positions tell us? It tells us that we cannot, as outside spectators here, say that Spider-Man is selling any better now than he was when he was married. Only Marvel can tell us for sure. And even then, so much has changed in the market that it's actually impossible and ridiculous to credit it with the dissolution of the marriage.

And remember — I say this as a fan of a single Spider-Man.

Second of all, fans are always divided. Some people preferred a single Spider-Man when the married one was around; it's just that they didn't troll the message boards bitching about it, and now that Superman is breaking up with Lois, you have defenders of that particular stance coming out and saying they support it. It didn't divide fans; it just made them more vocal.

My other big problem with this whole piece of logic is very simple. It assumes that what works for Spider-Man will work for Superman.

No. No, it doesn't. Pay attention here, guys. THESE ARE NOT THE SAME GUY.



For one thing, the argument is that it makes Spider-Man more relatable, so it makes Superman more relatable, too, for younger readers.

Superman is not meant to be relatable. He was never conceived as such. Superman was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster to be pure escapism — to see the evils in the world and do something about it, no questions asked. The only thing relatable about him is the aspect of Clark Kent, a weakling who takes off his glasses and then turns into the power fantasy known as Superman. And even that is not "relatable"; it is an escape.

The whole point of Spider-Man is that he was "the superhero who could be you." He has an ailing aunt, he can't go on dates without them getting ruined, and his boss hates a part of him that he can't really reveal — basically, his problems are things we can relate to. This is not true with Superman, as originally conceived. Superman's biggest problem is not letting anyone find out he's Clark Kent. That's it. Spider-Man is meant to be a relatable superhero. Superman, of all the superheroes ever created, is the ultimate escape.

If Spider-Man is "the superhero who could be you," Superman is "the superhero you want to be."

Nor are they the same in their characters and personalities. With the exception of being orphaned white males who do good in red and blue spandex, they're almost nothing alike. Spider-Man is motivated by guilt and tragedy, and Superman, while having undergone a tragedy, just does good because it is the right thing to do.

Perhaps most importantly though, is that entrenched in this disparity between the two characters is the gigantic difference between their significant others. Lois Lane and Mary Jane Watson are not the same characters. They are not even the same property. They are the two most successful supporting significant others in comics, but they are just not the same.


Lois Lane is an icon. She has been in four big Hollywood movies, and has been in every single incarnation of Superman. Ever. There was a TV show in the 90s named after her. It was called Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. Let me emphasize that — in a show with Superman, it's Lois Lane that got top billing.

Granted, I probably wouldn't give Dean Cain top billing.

She's been in every Superman cartoon, and even in the JUSTICE LEAGUE cartoons, she was the sole recurring character from the Superman and Batman universes. (Alfred showed up all of once.) Even in the Smallville TV show, when people were being teased with the possibility of Clark Kent ending up with Lana Lang, everyone knew it was a star-crossed romance, and wondered when Lois would show up. Lois eventually did show up in the show's fourth season, and the series ended recently with Lois and Clark getting married.

In addition, Lois Lane has had her own comic book series, which lasted 20 years.


Perhaps more importantly, Lois Lane's first appearance was in ACTION COMICS #1. In other words, she was made to be with Superman.

Mary Jane Watson, while not a slouch, doesn't really compare. She wasn't in any of the Spider-Man cartoons (all three of them) until 1994, where she played Peter Parker's main (not only) love interest. She was in three Spider-Man movies, all of which really blended her more with Gwen Stacy than depicted her as an actual adaptation of Mary Jane. And perhaps more importantly, she wasn't in the Japanese TV show where Spider-Man had a robot.



Just kidding. Perhaps more importantly, she first fully appeared in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #42, by Stan Lee and John Romita Sr. She wasn't even co-created by the co-creator of Spider-Man.



Mary Jane wasn't created to be Spider-Man's one true love, and you'll get a whole lot of debate from people when you actually ask who fits that role. You don't get that debate with Lois Lane. Everyone knows who Superman ends up with. And that's actually part of the whole thing — Spider-Man and Mary Jane were broken up because the writers wanted Spider-Man and Mary Jane to take on different roles; part of which is seeing other people. Currently, they are friends. They started out as friends. There is the possibility of Peter Parker meeting other people and staying that way.

Superman and Lois Lane, on the other hand, are being broken up because they are "re-examining their relationship," which is "essential to the mythos." Even if DC pairs up Superman with Wonder Woman, Lana Lang, Lori Lemaris, or anyone else, everyone knows who he's ending up with. And that's one of the big differences between the two situations. Lois Lane and Clark Kent are romantically intertwined, and have been since day 1. You cannot say the same thing about Mary Jane Watson and Peter Parker. And that's actually one of my problems with breaking up the Super-marriage - while I can see the additional value of breaking up Spider-Man and Mary Jane, which is the possibility of them seeing other people and all the drama involved with that, I don't really see Superman and Lois Lane seeing other people and not ending up together. It reeks of false drama to me, by which I mean drama that's being put in that you can't really buy because you know how it ends.

So let me reiterate this: Spider-Man and Superman are not the same characters. Nor are Mary Jane Watson and Lois Lane. What works for Character A will not necessarily work for Character B, not even if they're Selina Kyle and Felicia Hardy.

So please, folks, if you're going to argue for or against this move by DC, take it by DC's standards and use what would be DC's logic, which I highly doubt is "Marvel did it." If DC actually is doing something to their main character based on what happened with Marvel's main character, it would betray the fact that they had no idea what to do with their main character. And as much as I've been skeptical of DC lately, I still give them too much credit to actually say that.

As for who would win in a fight, Lois Lane or Mary Jane, I place my money on the reporter.


13 comments:

Kid said...

Personally, I'm glad they're both going to be unmarried. Comics started to decline in sales when writers who had read them as kids started to slant them towards adults, and tried to make the characters hip and cool. How can any nerd who is awkward with girls relate to Peter Parker when he was married to a hot young actress and model? How could any gawky kid bullied at school take solace from the idea that within him lurked a Superman, when Clark Kent was a regular, popular guy who didn't reflect their own situation? Sure, it's overestating the case, but most kids these days can't relate to superheroes in the same way we used to be able to.

Duy said...

Good points! I can't really say that Superman is very relatable to me - he's always been my ideal, but I didn't really like the football player incarnation of the late 80s, probably for that reason.

For me, with Spider-Man, there should be a feeling of isolation, which is not there when he's married. They try to manufacture it, but it doesn't work. It's less important with a grown and experienced Superman.

Anonymous said...

I Think the real issue is character growth. Can Spidey be isolated forever? I would hope not! I'd imagine all those kids relating to him would want to someday move on to being resonably successful adults, maybe even marrying the pretty girl. His arc should be one that moves the character forward, from awkward isolated teen to well adjusted adult (with the good and bad that entails).


I hear the Gwen Stacy was originally created to be Peter's perfect girlfriend... but then she got killed off? How tragic is that? Yet, that happens sometimes, your true love dies and you rebuild your life and move on. In this case to another love, MJW. All this was character growth.

Regardless, I fear the real reason behind all these breakups are corporate structures thinking some cheap 90210 drama will spruce up sales. Sadly, so long as the writing and directions of the books in question don't changethe sales they hope for will simply not happen.

Duy said...

Fair points, but I've always found the married Mary Jane to be an unbearable character, whereas I found Lois Lane much more entertaining when she wasn't trying to find out who Superman was all the time.

Anonymous said...

I think the trouble writers had was they kept trying to fit MJ into girlfriend plots (not even fiancee plots, more like on/off again girlfriend) when they really needed to figure out a new way of handling the character. She was living proof things could get better if you don't give up trying, you won't always have to be lonely kid no one hangs out with! She should've been treated as an integral part of Peter's life, I would even say she could ocationally don a mask and save Peter in a little role reveral to show how amazing she was. Sadly, for a variety of reasons *bad writers/editors**cough* *cough* that just wasn't in the cards.

waps said...

okay so this has absolutely nothing to do with MJ or Lois, but WTF is up with those freaking costumes???

Superman looks like a member of the freaking Village People! They might as well give him a boyfriend if they're going to split him up from Lois. Robin's costume makes him look like a total sphincter. Superboy literally has a piece of paper stuck to his back by scotch tape, black canary in latex fishnets? OHCOMEON! Voodoo and Grifter now part of mainstream DC? And i don't want to say anything about Wonder Woman's costume that is complimentary. Why the hell are they doing this? What the hell is with the Number 52. Is the head honcho in DC some sort of weird cosmologist who believes that characters who used to work fine have to be reinvented so that they hit a wider demographic?

Well, if that's the case, why don't they turn the whole DC universe into a f***ing cesspool of emo shoegazers and drug-addled know-it-alls who can barely be parted from their iPhones and PSPs? AND THEN UPLOAD ALL THAT CRAP INTO THE PIRATE BAY SO THAT SOMEBODY ACTUALLY TAKES THE TIME TO GET THAT CRAP AND WIPE THEIR DIGITAL ASSES WITH IT! Gosh. I don't even know what my main point is anymore. I hate you, DC. You used to be about the cosmic shit. Now you're all about strange leotards and Geoff Johns ruining everything.

227060 said...

“First of all, Spider-Man sales were not helped, nor were they hurt, by "One More Day."

Not true.

Spider-Man sales went down after OMD and it was no longer in the top 10 like before. In 2016 a hyped up, variant cover laden event series starring Iron Man and the Avengers as a tie into Captain America: Civil War sold LESS than an entirely innocuous JMS ASM arc with no variants from over 10 years before hand despite the comic book industry actually being healthier than it was back then.


Oh and I guess this article looks kinda silly now that DC went all out and reinstated the Super Marriage hardcore huh?

ALso you all need to get over the scapegoat, sexist and oversimplistic "Marriage = BAD" mentality.

Single Superman was such a astronomical failure they had to bring back the OLD Superman to replace him...and sales were BETTER!

227060 said...

“I don't personally agree with either, and I could talk about why, but in the end, it's a matter of taste, and I certainly respect the decision the writers come to. Whatever helps them tell better stories, I say.”

Its more than taste

Nobody cares who Superman is dating unless it’s Lois or Wonder Woman. The former makes an aggressive amount of sense. The latter is objectively idiotic.

Hindsight has proven the Super marriage makes stories better. It’s absence is part of why they were WORSE. So...so....so much worse.


Maintaining a bullshit and pointless and boring love triangle angle that existed for over 50 years AGAIN is bad storytelling. It’s boring storytelling. And the notion that the male hero is more interesting if single is sexist.


“What I do take issue with is the argument bandied around (even on websites such as Newsarama [see reason number 4 here]) that Superman and Lois Lane are breaking up, and it's because of the fact that back in 2008, Marvel broke up Spider-Man and Mary Jane Watson in the story "One More Day." For fans of the breakups, they're also adding in the fact that the dissolution of the Spider-Man marriage "worked" and "helped sales." For haters of the break-ups, they're adding in the fact that the dissolution of the Spider-Man marriage "divided fans" and "hurt sales."

I take issue with this argument, even though I myself prefer Spider-Man single (as explained here), because it gets some facts wrong, and its foundations are shaky.





“First of all, Spider-Man sales were not helped, nor were they hurt, by "One More Day." You can see it just by looking at the sales charts.”

Actually if you look at that chart and take things into proper account sales were hurt by OMD in the long run.


“This past May, the highest-selling issue of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN came in at number 10 on the charts (see here). AMAZING SPIDER-MAN is Marvel's best-selling solo superhero and is also the best-selling title of anything that's gone over 100 issues.

Five years ago, in May 2006, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN came in at number 14 on the charts (see here). If you count all of DC's weekly series 52 as one book, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN would have come in at number 11. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN was Marvel's best-selling solo superhero (he was outsold by WOLVERINE: ORIGINS, a Wolverine special, but sold better than Wolverine's actual main title).”

What a surprise. A special origin Wolverine related thing with a #1 on it outsold big number titles and a lower numbered critically acclaimed WEEKLY seires EVENT book outsold a Spider-Man issue.


“ICv2's numbers are flawed estimates, as they only take into account preorders. And of course, the comics industry has massively declined since 2006, so we can't really take the reported numbers as gospel. What we can do is just look at their positions on the charts, and what do their May 2006 and 2011 positions tell us? It tells us that we cannot, as outside spectators here, say that Spider-Man is selling any better now than he was when he was married.”

Actually you can. He was (and is) selling worse because this is not counting artificial sales inflaters like events and variants into account.

“Only Marvel can tell us for sure. And even then, so much has changed in the market that it's actually impossible and ridiculous to credit it with the dissolution of the marriage.”

Not really people were so angry about that that it was enough to generate an ongoing series.


“Second of all, fans are always divided.”
There is a difference between divided and a broken base.


“Some people preferred a single Spider-Man when the married one was around; it's just that they didn't troll the message boards bitching about it,”

a) Yes they did

b) The biggest trolls existed within Marvel itself

227060 said...

“No. No, it doesn't. Pay attention here, guys. THESE ARE NOT THE SAME GUY.”

No they are not but actually the net results were the same.
The majority of the fan base reacted negatively to Spider-Man AND Superman’s marriages dying and this hurt the creative and financial credibility of both characters.



“For one thing, the argument is that it makes Spider-Man more relatable, so it makes Superman more relatable, too, for younger readers.”

Being single doesn’t make Spider-Man more relatable.



“Superman is not meant to be relatable.”
I’m a hardcore Spider-Man fan and i relate more to Superman than Spidey.


“The whole point of Spider-Man is that he was "the superhero who could be you." He has an ailing aunt, he can't go on dates without them getting ruined,”

Yes he can, he went on multiple dates that never got ruined.


“Spider-Man is meant to be a relatable superhero.”
Reltabale is relative.


“Nor are they the same in their characters and personalities. With the exception of being orphaned white males who do good in red and blue spandex, they're almost nothing alike. Spider-Man is motivated by guilt and tragedy, and Superman, while having undergone a tragedy, just does good because it is the right thing to do.”


Not exactly.


Spider-Man’s tragedy taught him to use his powers selflessly to help others. Guilt was a byproduct of this.

Essentially Superman and Spider-Man share the same beliefs but arrived at them via different paths.

Both do the right thing because it is the right thing to do but Peter learned it the hard way and Clark didn’t need to go through that to grasp that lesson.



“In addition, Lois Lane has had her own comic book series, which lasted 20 years.”

And MJ had her own comic book seires which relatively speaking in context was incredibly impressive despite it’s limited run.


“Perhaps more importantly, Lois Lane's first appearance was in ACTION COMICS #1. In other words, she was made to be with Superman.”




“Mary Jane Watson, while not a slouch, doesn't really compare. She wasn't in any of the Spider-Man cartoons (all three of them) until 1994, where she played Peter Parker's main (not only) love interest.”
Yeah no.

She was in the original 1960s cartoon then skipped the 2 1980s cartoons but showed up in the biggest show SINCE the 1960s one and the first to attempt the character properly. She then appeared in EVERY Spider-man TV show and virtually every video game since then and in some form has appeared in 4/6 movies.

MJ IS an icon. Just not Lois Lane level of iconic but then no one is.


“She was in three Spider-Man movies, all of which really blended her more with Gwen Stacy”

No they didn’t.

They put her on a bridge with a Goblin and that is where the similarities ended.




“Mary Jane wasn't created to be Spider-Man's one true love, and you'll get a whole lot of debate from people when you actually ask who fits that role.”

MJ not being there from day 1 and not being MADE for that role doesn’t matter.

Characters and elements can EVOLVE into prominence over time.

The notion of there being a true ‘debate’ over who Spidey’s one true love is exaggerated. Few poles ever claim it’s anyone OTHER than Mary Jane.

And in-universe it is canon that is is her. Outside media furthers this.

In fact her NOT being designed for the role is what MADE her such a good character and so popular.

I don’t recall seeing a Renew Your Vows style series where peter is with Gwen or Felicia.

MJ’s meagre appearances in IRON MAN sent those issues into second printings.

THAT is how much of a pull MJ has within comic book circles.

Moreover if we’re going to argue that ‘she wasn’t there from the start so she’s not as important!’ then I guess Robin and Alfred and the modern take on commissioner Gordon aren’t that important either.

Nor are Wolverine, Storm, Apocalypse or Franklin fucking Richards.


This is such a stupid line of argument.

227060 said...

“You don't get that debate with Lois Lane. Everyone knows who Superman ends up with. And that's actually part of the whole thing — Spider-Man and Mary Jane were broken up because the writers wanted Spider-Man and Mary Jane to take on different roles; part of which is seeing other people.”

And the writers wanted the same thing for Superman. And just like Spider-Man it DIDN’T work.



“Currently, they are friends. They started out as friends. There is the possibility of Peter Parker meeting other people and staying that way.”


Not if written in character there isn’t.

But OMD Spider-Man makes a point of NT doing that.


“Superman and Lois Lane, on the other hand, are being broken up because they are "re-examining their relationship," which is "essential to the mythos."

No they were broken up so idiot fanboys could ship Superman and Wonder Woman and because they hated Lois.


“Even if DC pairs up Superman with Wonder Woman, Lana Lang, Lori Lemaris, or anyone else, everyone knows who he's ending up with.”

Whoops, a post nu52 world makes this sentence look stupid doesn’t it because no they didn’t and no they weren’t going to do that.

They resotred the OLD Superman and OLD Super Marriage to fix what they idiotically broke when they OMDd their whole universe.


“And that's one of the big differences between the two situations. Lois Lane and Clark Kent are romantically intertwined, and have been since day 1. You cannot say the same thing about Mary Jane Watson and Peter Parker.”

No you can’t but that’s also why MJ and Peter are so awesome and again...that doesn’t matter.

Alfred and Bruce are forever intertwined now too.

Wolverine and the X-Men are too.

Not being there from day 1 doesn’t mean you are merely optional.

Mary Jane ISN’T optional. Like Lois she is ALSO the one Spider-Man is supposed to end up with one way or another. She just got there differently.


“And that's actually one of my problems with breaking up the Super-marriage - while I can see the additional value of breaking up Spider-Man and Mary Jane, which is the possibility of them seeing other people and all the drama involved with that,”


There is no drama invovlving that because every relationship is doomed to fail and going to be inferior to what we had before since it didn’t have 20 years of build up.


“I don't really see Superman and Lois Lane seeing other people and not ending up together. It reeks of false drama to me, by which I mean drama that's being put in that you can't really buy because you know how it ends.”

You mean like every Spider-Man relationship ever inevitably ending in him single?



“So let me reiterate this: Spider-Man and Superman are not the same characters. Nor are Mary Jane Watson and Lois Lane. What works for Character A will not necessarily work for Character B, not even if they're Selina Kyle and Felicia Hardy.”

Except RYV and Rebirth seemed to work rather well so maybe they’re more similar than people admit.


“So please, folks, if you're going to argue for or against this move by DC, take it by DC's standards and use what would be DC's logic, which I highly doubt is "Marvel did it."
Again..a post-nu52 world has proved otherwise.

Not to mention the FIRST time they rebooted was entirely to be like Marvel.

“If DC actually is doing something to their main character based on what happened with Marvel's main character, it would betray the fact that they had no idea what to do with their main character.”

They didn’t.

“And as much as I've been skeptical of DC lately, I still give them too much credit to actually say that.”
Hahahahaha...the New 52 must’ve been a nut tap then



“As for who would win in a fight, Lois Lane or Mary Jane, I place my money on the reporter.”


MJ has more combat experience and training than Lois.

227060 said...

@Kid said...

“Personally, I'm glad they're both going to be unmarried. Comics started to decline in sales when writers who had read them as kids started to slant them towards adults, and tried to make the characters hip and cool. How can any nerd who is awkward with girls relate to Peter Parker when he was married to a hot young actress and model?”


By maybe relating to the other aspects of his character, relating to Mary jane in some ways, use parents as a frame of reference and oh yeah you do realise few people have directly related to Peter Parker in decades right?


Or did you thinkall those 11 year olds watching Spider-Man 2 which is about a 20 year old dealing with adult life were ‘relating’ to that?


“How could any gawky kid bullied at school take solace from the idea that within him lurked a Superman, when Clark Kent was a regular, popular guy who didn't reflect their own situation?”

That’s got nothing to do with Superman.

Also hindsight has proved you wrong on both counts. Shit those 20 years where new readers and old readers picked up married Spider-Man issue,s enjoyed them and made some of those stories all time acclaimed works proves you wrong.

“ Sure, it's overestating the case, but most kids these days can't relate to superheroes in the same way we used to be able to.”

And yet they’re more popular than ever so you clearly aren’t that enlightened.


@Duy

Good points! I can't really say that Superman is very relatable to me - he's always been my ideal, but I didn't really like the football player incarnation of the late 80s, probably for that reason.

“For me, with Spider-Man, there should be a feeling of isolation, which is not there when he's married.”


How the fuck was there a feeling of isolation during the Romita era when he had a friendship circle or post-OMD when he was a member of the goddam Avengers!

How is there one in Slott’s early works when he has multiple confidants.

“They try to manufacture it, but it doesn't work. It's less important with a grown and experienced Superman.”



The flaw in your ‘logic’ is the idea that Spider-Man needs to have a sense of islation at all.
He doesn’t. Stan recognized that.

That isn’t what Spider-Man is about genius.


227060 said...

@Anonymous

“I Think the real issue is character growth. Can Spidey be isolated forever? I would hope not! I'd imagine all those kids relating to him would want to someday move on to being resonably successful adults, maybe even marrying the pretty girl. His arc should be one that moves the character forward, from awkward isolated teen to well adjusted adult (with the good and bad that entails). “

Yep


“I hear the Gwen Stacy was originally created to be Peter's perfect girlfriend... but then she got killed off? How tragic is that? Yet, that happens sometimes, your true love dies and you rebuild your life and move on. In this case to another love, MJW. All this was character growth.”

Also yes though Gwen was a bad character.


“Regardless, I fear the real reason behind all these breakups are corporate structures thinking some cheap 90210 drama will spruce up sales. Sadly, so long as the writing and directions of the books in question don't changethe sales they hope for will simply not happen.

Accurate!

@Duy

“Fair points, but I've always found the married Mary Jane to be an unbearable character, whereas I found Lois Lane much more entertaining when she wasn't trying to find out who Superman was all the time.”

This is why you fail.

@Anonymous

“I think the trouble writers had was they kept trying to fit MJ into girlfriend plots (not even fiancee plots, more like on/off again girlfriend) when they really needed to figure out a new way of handling the character. She was living proof things could get better if you don't give up trying, you won't always have to be lonely kid no one hangs out with! She should've been treated as an integral part of Peter's life, I would even say she could ocationally don a mask and save Peter in a little role reveral to show how amazing she was. Sadly, for a variety of reasons *bad writers/editors**cough* *cough* that just wasn't in the cards.”

Er...yeah it was.


MJ WAS vital to his life because he needed her to ground him, keep him sane and stable and empower him.

Meanwhile she had her OWN subplots a lot of the time.

Arthur S. said...

I am commenting on this post years later so I have no idea if this is proper or not. I just want to clarify one thing. Mary-Jane Watson was in fact co-created by Lee and Ditko. She is mentioned in Issue 15, and makes teasing appearances in issue 25 and the annual where characters comment on her good looks. While obviously John Romita Sr. created her final look, the basic elements of her...i.e. she's from Queens, the same background as Peter, she's beautiful, and that Aunt May thinks she's right for Peter...were there and set up before Peter met Gwen Stacy, and at the same time that he was dating Betty Brant. What Ditko's intentions about her (or about Spider-Man's future since that guy kept his opinions to himself and most things attributed to him, such as Norman Osborn not being his choice for Goblin, are false rumors that still gather dust) remains a mystery. And obviously Stan Lee himself changed his mind later on about her, going from preferring Gwen to admitting that MJ is more interesting, to getting them married. The fact is that Aunt May chose Mary Jane as the girl for Peter and kept trying for years to bring them together even when he started dating Betty, and on a character level that does give MJ a legitimacy as Peter's "it" girl that none of his other girlfriends can claim.

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