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Mary Jane Watson (Earth-616)

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Quote1 Face it, Tiger... you just hit the jackpot! Quote2
-- Mary Jane Watson src
 

Early life

Mary Jane Watson was born to Philip and Madeline Watson. MJ is the second of two children with her elder sister Gayle having been born four years earlier. Due to her family's constant moving (as a result of her father's various teaching jobs) MJ began developing a more extroverted and care-free personality, a trait which helped her make friends as the Watson's moved from one location to the next.

After her mother Madeline left Philip, the Watson women stayed with various relatives. One such relative that MJ was particularly fond of was her Aunt Anna, living in Queens, New York.

On the night of Ben Parker's murder, MJ spotted a frantic Peter running into his house with Spider-Man emerging from an upstairs windows only moments later[1]. At this she deduced that Peter Parker and Spider-Man were one and the same. Confused by the emotions set off by the discovery, she chose to keep this information to herself.

After numerous attempts by Aunt May to pair Peter and MJ together[2], MJ finally paid a visit to the Parker home. Unfortunately, as Spider-Man was fighting the Spider-Slayer robots, he was not at home. Instead, she encountered Betty Brant and Liz Allen, who were both vying for Peter's affections at the time.[3]

Dreaming of a career in either Broadway or film, MJ starred in high school productions such as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, as Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire and in other various plays and productions.

Mary Jane Watson 002

Mary Jane saying one of her catchphrases

When her mother fell seriously ill, Mary Jane gave up her acting at school and took a series of after-school jobs to help support the family. When Madeline died, MJ left home and determined not to sacrifice her dreams of happiness as had her mother and sister.

Arriving at her Aunt Anna's house on a Saturday, MJ and Peter finally met face-to-face when Aunt May and Peter came over for Sunday dinner.

Knowing that Peter was Spider-Man, when a news bulletin about the escape of the Rhino interrupted the music program the pair were watching, MJ suggested they try and see if they could spot the criminal. Agreeing to this, Peter later left her side with the excuse of having to take pictures for The Daily Bugle only to reappear battling as Spider-Man.

Peter soon introduced MJ to his other college friends, Gwen Stacy, Harry Osborn and Flash Thompson. With the entanglement of the relationships, jealousy and rivalry were underlying constants between Stacy, Osborn, Parker and Watson.

During a gunfight at the Gloom Room where MJ worked as a dancer, she was put in danger when a criminal tried to use her as a human shield, but Spider-Man rescued her from the ordeal. It was the first time the pair met while Peter was in his Spider-Man costume.

During a battle between Spider-Man and the Green Goblin atop the George Washington Bridge, Gwen Stacy died from the impact of Spider-Man's attempt to rescue her with his webbing. When MJ tried to comfort Peter, he accused her of not being able to understand what it would feel like even though her own mother died. She stayed to comfort Peter regardless. Gwen Stacy's death had serious consequences for Mary Jane and Peter on-and-off friendship - feisty and carefree party girl Mary Jane, who had been one of Gwen's best friends, eventually became more serious and sensitive, while grief of loss brought Parker and Watson closer together.

New romance

Spider-Man Unlimited Vol 3 10 Textless

Peter and Mary Jane Forever

MJ broke off her relationship with Harry Osborn as he was becoming more and more unstable following the death of his father, Norman. Harry then nearly killed both MJ and Peter as he set off a bomb while flying around as the second Green Goblin[4].

On leaving for a trip to Europe, Peter and MJ exchanged a long and passionate kiss. A kiss that would prove to be the turning point in their relationship as MJ realized the true depth of her feelings for Peter - feelings so strong that even a girl bearing a close resemblance to Gwen could not stop their romance.

She was maid of honor at Betty Brant's wedding to Ned Leeds[5].

Peter proposed to Mary Jane with a box of Cracker Jacks with the real diamond ring inside. MJ turned him down, claiming to be too much of a free spirit to be tied down with marriage and settling down.

Though they remained friends, MJ continually grew upset over Peter constantly risking his life and breaking dates in order to fight various villains and criminals as Spider-Man.

When MJ finally finished college, she left New York to help her Aunt Anna settle down in Florida. It was also a chance for MJ to escape from the dual life of Peter Parker and Spider-Man.

After a heated apartment battle between the Puma and Spider-Man, which she witnessed, MJ revealed to Peter that she had known of his dual identity for quite some time. Shortly after opening up and telling Peter of her entire life story, Peter decided that he could trust MJ with his secret and the two vowed to stay friends and confidantes.

As time passed, Peter and Mary Jane realized that they were deceiving themselves about the depth of their feelings for each another and that they were very much in love.

Peter proposed to Mary Jane for a second time. She did not immediately accept. Leaving for Pittsburgh, where her sister, Gayle, had been sent to prison, Mary Jane helped the police arrest the real culprit, her father, Philip. Mary Jane reconciled with Gayle after years of tension. Mary Jane then accepted Peter's proposal of marriage.

Peter and Mary Jane got married on the front steps of New York City's City Hall [6], with her uncle, Spencer Watson, a judge, presiding over the ceremony. They spent their honeymoon in France and made their home in a condominium apartment that Mary Jane was able to afford thanks to her highly successful modeling career. As the wife of Spider-Man, however, things were hardly ever easy.

After their honeymoon, Spider-Man was captured, drugged, and buried alive in a mound of spiders by Kraven the Hunter, who was attempting to best him before his inevitable death. Wearing a cloth version of Spider-Man's costume, Kraven hunted and killed criminals, even saving Mary Jane from one, although she easily saw through his disguise. However, no villain scared her more than the symbiotic Eddie Brock, known throughout the world as Venom. She was so terrified with her encounter that she begged Peter to not wear his black costume, as it reminded her too much of the monstrous villain.

Jonathon Caesar, a multi-millionaire, became obsessed with Mary Jane and even held her prisoner for a time. MJ regained her freedom and Caesar was sent to prison. Caesar took his revenge for being rejected by Mary Jane by having her and Peter evicted from their apartment. Moreover, Caesar used his influence to blacklist Mary Jane from getting modeling jobs, and even went so far as to purchase companies to prevent them from hiring her. Her savings frozen due to legal matters, Mary Jane and Peter moved into the home of May Parker for a time. She got a role on the soap opera "Secret Hospital," but was unhappy with her character's air-headed and mean personality. Although she successfully petitioned her boss to adjust her character's personality, a deranged fan tried to kill Mary Jane out of hatred for the actions of her soap opera character. Mary Jane quit her job out of fear for her own safety.

Due to this stress, the recent death of Harry Osborn, and the seeming return of her husband's parents, Mary Jane began smoking (a habit she had quit in high school), only increasing the tension between her and Peter. When his parents were discovered to be fakes, Peter was unable to cope with the knowledge and disappeared for a time. Mary Jane visited her sister Gayle and her father for the first time in years, and finally reconciled with them. Meanwhile, Peter overcame his problems on his own. When she and Peter reunited, both were happier than they had been in a long time.

Shortly afterward, Peter's clone Ben Reilly returned, marking the beginning of the Clone Saga. Mary Jane discovered that she was pregnant. While she experienced some complications in her pregnancy, Reilly's scientist friend Seward Trainer helped her. Peter and Ben were told by Trainer that Ben was the real Peter Parker, and Peter was the clone (which later proved to be a lie). Peter, acting on hypnotic suggestion by the Jackal, attempted to kill Mary Jane, but was prevented by Ben Reilly (as the Scarlet Spider), his teammates the New Warriors, and Kaine. Later, while arguing with Ben, Peter accidentally struck Mary Jane. After this, he decided to quit as Spider-Man, because the stress of his double life was endangering his wife and unborn child.

Peter and Mary Jane left New York and moved to Portland, Oregon. They lived there peacefully for several months, adapting happily to normal life. However, they missed New York City and their friends, and moved back. During the Onslaught crisis, Mary Jane was scanned by a Sentinel robot, who detected genetic abnormalities in her fetus.

Soon afterward, when Mary Jane's baby was already past due, she was poisoned by Alison Mongraine, an agent of the Green Goblin. Mary Jane's baby was stillborn (or seemed to be, as Mongraine apparently took the sedated infant away with her. The baby has not been seen since in the normal continuity). Ben Reilly died at the Green Goblin's hands the same night.

After this tragic turn of events, Mary Jane begged Peter to quit being Spider-Man. He was happy to do so for several months, but soon felt the tug of his great power and great responsibility to be a hero. Mary Jane returned to college and majored in psychology, but eventually became bored and decided to return to modeling, where she reached new heights of success. Peter became Spider-Man again behind Mary Jane's back, which put strain on their marriage yet again. At the same time, she began receiving lewd and threatening phone calls from an unknown man.

This mysterious stalker revealed to be telepathic mutant. He had connected to Peter in some way, and wanted to take over his life. He kidnapped Mary Jane as part of his plan and held her hostage for several months. The stalker, however, killed himself after finally gleaning enough of Peter's personality and morality to discover that he had done terrible things. Peter and Mary Jane were reunited.

However, the stress of her captivity drove Mary Jane away. She moved to Los Angeles and immersed herself in acting. Although MJ missed Peter terribly, after he failed to meet her flight, she refused to talk to him. However, when the villainess Shathra claimed to have had an affair with Spider-Man, Peter's first act was to call Mary Jane and assure her it was a lie. Each of them tried to visit his soulmate and talk about tensions and problems, but they crossed - Peter went to L.A., and MJ to New York at the same time. However, unexpected meeting in Dallas Airport helped fix the things - Mary Jane and Peter ended their separation.

Later MJ along with Peter and his Aunt May moved into the Avengers Tower after one of the Spider-Man enemies destroyed their Queens home. Mary Jane was glad to live in luxurious rooms with her beloved and made friends with some fellow superheroes, something she had long wanted to do. During this time the pair found stability (Peter even asked MJ if she wanted another baby, but she said "not now"[7]). Although the Civil War events forced him to stage a secret transfer of Mary Jane out of Stark Mansion[8], feeling that with the loss of his secret identity and his doubts about Tony Stark's ideas, Mary Jane had become some kind of hostage. MJ remained supportive about the whole ordeal, acting as an understanding wife and partner.

One More Day

Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 601 Textless

Red-Headed Stranger

Later, Peter was on a quest to save the life of his Aunt May, who had fallen from a sniper's bullet intended for him. He sought the help of Dr. Strange, finding that even magic couldn't help him save Aunt May's life, though after appealing to Tony Stark, Jarvis was sent with $2 million to pay the hospital fees and give her the best care possible. Mary Jane spent most of the time sitting next to May's bed or invigorating Peter.

In despair, Peter was soon approached by Mephisto and told that there was a way to save Aunt May's life. Assuming it was his soul, Peter refused. Mephisto said that he was done with trying to take heroes' souls, as they were less fun to torture, knowing they did something right by damning themselves for eternity. He explained that he wanted to take away the love that Peter and Mary Jane shared, as that sort of unconditional love only occurs once a millennium - it would mean he got one over on God and would enjoy listening to the small part of Peter and Mary Jane's souls that did remember the love. The demon gave them 24 hours to make the choice - save the dying Aunt May or let her die.

Mary Jane asked Peter if it is time to let May go. Peter said in response that he is not ready to live without his aunt. The two spent all day and night in silence holding each other, as the final minutes of their destiny were coming to an end. Eventually Mephisto came to the couple once more. Mary Jane whispered some conditions to Mephisto before agreeing, as well as making everyone forget that Peter Parker was Spider-Man. Much to his own dismay, Peter agreed also. Satisfied, Mephisto revealed the truth behind the deal - the little girl Peter had met earlier was in reality the couple's daughter from their future. However, it was too late now to regret about it since the final choice had been made. With only seconds left, a crying Mary Jane swore to Peter that no matter what Mephisto did, they would be together again. Peter and Mary Jane said "I love you" to each other and kissed, while Mephisto rearranged history. Their marriage was erased from the current continuity; Spider-Man's secret identity was restored; MJ was now Peter's ex-girlfriend after a messy break-up and now their relationship was considered frosty, at best. The encounter with Mephisto never happened.

Brand New Day

Mary Jane returned as the girlfriend of Hollywood actor Bobby Carr, and was later attacked by Paperdoll[9]. Concealing herself in the panic room, she observed a battle between Spider-Man and Paperdoll, and communicated with Spider-Man over the intercom. When asked by Spider-Man if they knew each other, Mary Jane told him they met "in another life". Peter did not learn that Mary Jane was the girlfriend of Carr nor that she was the voice on the intercom. Mary Jane contemplated making a phone call to Peter, but was hesitant to do so. She was asked for an autograph by Sara Ehret, an associate of Jackpot. Mary Jane told her she did not know when she would return to New York. Recently, she left a message on Peter's machine but he accidentally cut it off before she could say anything.

Mary Jane reappeared in New York at Aunt May's wedding with Jay Jameson, and later tried to rekindle her friendship with Peter. It was a conversation in which the pair finally discussed their unsuccessful wedding day (since the history was changed by Mephisto, Peter unwittingly didn't show up to this day). Also some flashbacks about their further joint life were shown, including Civil War events, Aunt May's apparent death after being shot and Peter's successful attempt to revive her by CPR.

One of these flashbacks revealed that MJ agreed to stay with Peter, but with some conditions - he will never propose her again and they won't have a baby because his life as crime fighter is far too dangerous. Another one, post-Civil War era flashback told how Kingpin's mercenary (ironically, it was the same guy who messed their wedding up years ago) attempted to kill Mary Jane. Peter saved unconscious MJ, but was forced to turn for the help to Dr. Strange. The Supreme Sorcerer began to cast a powerful spell, "deleting" all memories about Spider-Man's secret identity in process (the work originally done by Mephisto). At the last moment however Peter, still deeply in love with Mary Jane and thus unable to lose her, didn't let Strange to change her memories too.

Learning about what Peter have done, Mary Jane was hurt from having knowledge of a time of great emotional pain and pressure. She felt that she is not so strong to cope with such a burden, ended the relationship and left New York. Back to present day, Peter and Mary Jane promised each other they would remain best friends and try to be happy for one another and whoever they chose to be with.

Mary Jane Watson (Earth-616) from Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 648 0001

Mary Jane today

MJ moved back to Big Apple and started a TV hostess career. Once Peter had nowhere to live and he came to MJ. As soon as she pointed out that they will live under the same roof again, both laughed out loud as if it was a joke. She was in New York when Spider-Island occurred. MJ was slightly immune to the spider-virus, due to her time with Peter. After she received spider-powers while every other citizen was turning into giant spiders due Second Mutation fase, she helped the resistance fight the arachnids and defend the Empire State Building when Spider-Man was using Doctor Octopus' helmet as an antenna to command Octobots and spread the cure. In the middle of the chaos she whispered "I love you" to Peter, but he couldn't hear her. In the aftermath, Peter gave her the cure to the spider-virus.

After a while Carlie Cooper came to talk to Mary Jane about Peter's double life since red was another ex who knew his secret. Though there were earlier hints about MJ's jealousy towards Carlie, she managed to overcome it for the sake of Peter's happiness[10] and even befriended with Carlie. During Ends of the Earth event, Peter confessed to Silver Sable (who tried to tell Spidey about her feelings towards him) that there are girl who waits him and "it'd just about take saving the world to be worthy of her" (referring, of course, to Mary Jane). At the same time in New York, MJ decided to buy night club to throw a homecoming party for Peter as she was sure that Peter won't fail her and will come back as a winner.

One day Peter realized that despite so much long history between the two of them, they were still not together. Intending to rectify that and restart their relationship, he went to MJ's night club and offered her to take her to dinner. Mary Jane seemed to be a little surprised, but first she wanted to visit recovering Aunt May in hospital.

In the hospital, Peter asked MJ about a date one more time, but he was interrupted by his Avengers I.D. card. Mary Jane covered for him and kissed him on the cheek, and told him she was proud of him. As Peter left, Aunt May whispered to Jay that she might finally get some grandchildren after all.

Unfortunately, Doctor Octavius had swapped their minds, gaining access to Spider-Man's memories, and so took Peter Parker's life as his own. No one saw the trap, and Mary Jane was no exception. One evening she and Dock Ock (in Peter's body) had that long-awaited date. Mary Jane asked Peter if they really were going to try to have a relationship again. He answered "yes" and asked her to tell her catchphrase. MJ smiled, said "Face it, tiger, you hit the--" playfully ripping his shirt open, and... paused in dismay finding his Spider-Man costume underneath. Peter/Ock angrily snapped at her stating that he doesn't understand why she's so surprised. Their talk was interrupted by news reports about Octavius' jailbreak. Understanding what that meant, Mary Jane told Peter he has to go.

After "Spider-Man" told MJ that Peter had flown away to Europe, he put her (as well as other friends, relatives and co-workers of Parker's) in the Avengers tower. While others discussed what was happening, MJ decided to talk over the intercom with Peter, who prepared for Octavius' arrival in the closed lab. When Peter/Dock asked her to leave, MJ answered that he knows her, and he knows she can keep pressing the button all night. When Spidey finally opened the door, MJ tried to support him. But Dock Ock in Peter's body didn't want to listen to her usual "motivational speech", angrily thinking that the whole situation was just wasting his time. He finally asked her bluntly - why was she is still with him? And the answer shocked him. Mary Jane finally admitted her feelings for Peter. She confessed to him that no matter how complicated their relationship was, her feelings would always remain the same - she loves him, all the way down to her soul. After that they kissed ardently[11].

When "Peter" held Doctor Octavius' dying body, Mary Jane called out to "Spidey" to be careful. Real Peter Parker in Doc Ock's body heard her voice and asked the new "hero" to protect all of them - his family, friends, co-workers. Immediately after "Spider-Man" promised to do so, Peter Parker/Otto Octavius died.

Superior Spider-Man

Three days after the incident, Doctor Octavius got a job working at Horizon Labs as Peter Parker. He pondered all of Spider-Man's life through the hero's own memories. Suddenly his cell phone vibrated, showing a message from Mary Jane, who reminded Peter about their Friday night dinner. Octavius noticed that according to Spider-Man's memories, she is the closest person he has ever known; the one woman who knows Peter Parker better than anybody else. And because of that fact Doc Ock started to think about her as a potential threat. Although he was still in awe at how amazingly beautiful she is and what a fool Peter Parker was for breaking up with her.

Sooner or later Mary Jane had to notice distinctly different character traits displayed by Octopus (such as a heavy intake of alcohol or lack of responsibility), so when Otto tried to get more intimate with her and made several advances, she blew him off every time. Instead of further attempts to gain her, Otto just relived all tender moments Peter and MJ had in the past. Now he was convinced "this Watson woman" is not so important after all. But when one of the Spider-Bots detected potential danger for Mary Jane's life, Superior Spider-Man immediately rushed to the rescue, saving her in the last moment. Mary Jane herself prepared to kiss him until Otto stopped her as he realized that he begins developing genuine feelings for her. He said it's time to move on since the life of Spider-Man's beloved is too far dangerous. This revelation surprised both Mary Jane and Peter's consciousness. In the end the hero promised Mary Jane he will be always near protecting her.

Later Mary Jane told Carlie about Peter calling off the relationship and agreed with him, still unaware that Otto is in Peter's body.

Later at work, Mary Jane was caught in a fire created by the Goblin King, and was rescued by a firefighter named "Pedro" instead of Peter, much to her disappointment. As Otto became increasingly angry at everybody around him, Mary Jane finally snapped: she told him they were no longer going to be friends, even. She then got a date with Pedro.

When Otto got possessed by Venom, Mary Jane found him and demanded answers to his behavior. This caused him to summon the symbiote and give her a death threat, much to her horror. Yuri Watanabe subsequently saved her. After being freed, Otto apologized for his behavior, and they reconciled.

During the Goblin Nation attack, Mary Jane got Aunt May, Jay, and Pedro to safety. Following the defeat of the Goblin Nation and Peter's reveal of his former possession by Otto Octavius, she opted to leave Peter's life along with Carlie Cooper to avoid being a target for Spider-Man's enemies yet again.[12]

Invincible Iron Man

Following the destruction of her club, MJ's, during an unspecified superhuman conflict, Mary Jane decided to move to a city less prone to these type of events. She relocated to Chicago, Illinois, and opened up a new nightclub called Jackpot.[13]

However, this club too was destroyed, this time when Iron Man and Doctor Doom attempted to subdue Madame Masque. Afterwards Tony offered her a job at Stark Industries, as both an apology and out of his necessity for a competent personal assistant,[14] a position which she ultimately accepted.[15]

Power Play

MJ would later have an awkward reunion with Peter when she and Tony attended an event at Parker Industry, which would make Peter very uncomfortable. Later, she catches up with Betty Brant and Harry Osborn and the three discover that businessman is actually the powerful being known as Regent who's imprisoning heroes and villains to add to his own strength. Spider-Man and Iron Man try to stop Regent, but are defeated due to Regent's overwhelming power. With few options left, Mary Jane dons Peter's Iron Spider armor and uses her experience in Iron Man's suit and her brief spider powers in Spider-Island to assist Peter and Tony in battling Regent. During the fight, she, Peter, and Regent appear to retain some memory of the battle of their "Renew Your Vow" counterparts from the alternate Battleworld in Secret Wars. Mary Jane and Tony distract Regent long enough for Peter, Harry, and Miles Morales to release the rest of the prisoners. Mary Jane's attitude towards Peter during her time with him reminds Peter not to let his work take priority over his loved ones. Spider-Man warns Tony not to take Mary Jane for granted as Peter didn't realize he lost Mary Jane until after she moved on [16].

Abilities

Mary Jane Watson is an accomplished professional actress, dancer, and model.

  • Has moderate experience in hand-to-hand combat, as she has had many trainers - one of whom is Captain America. She has been able to fend off attackers of normal strength and skill, including the Chameleon using a baseball bat, and an obsessive stalker using a cue stick.

Strength level

Mary Jane Watson-Parker possesses a normal human strength of a woman of her age, height and build who engages in moderate regular exercise.



Equipment

Mary Jane dons the Iron Spider Armor while facing Regent, while piloting the armor she uses her experience in Iron Man's suit and her brief spider powers in Spider-Island to assist Peter and Tony in their battle with Regent.

Weapons

Mary Jane carries a gun (although Peter dislikes the idea) which she used against the Green Goblin. When Peter developed organic webshooters, he modified his original webshooters into bracelets that she could wear discreetly, giving her an additional defensive weapon. She also carries a modified spider-tracer with an amplified signal that can be traced over long distances.

Mary Jane was first mentioned in Amazing Spider-Man #15, made a cameo with her face hidden by a lampshade in Amazing Spider-Man #25, and made her first full appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #42.

  • Having a kind-hearted and responsive personality, Mary Jane seems to be able to bear with Peter's past love interests. It might be friendship (with Carlie Cooper) or mutual respect (with Felicia Hardy). Gwen Stacy is a special case - MJ and Gwen were close friends, and the death of latter greatly affected Mary Jane, although not even half as much as it did Peter. So when MJ discovered that Peter still writes audio messages for Gwen, she asked him to say "Hello" to Gwen for her and remind that she misses Gwen too[17].
  • Mary Jane has used her fashion design and sewing skills on many occasions to make and repair Spider-Man's costumes. She also designed the Hornet, Prodigy, and Ricochet costumes.
  • She is usually the person who provides first aid when Peter's injured.
  • On one occasion, she was possessed by Red Sonja and battled Kulan Gath, but she has no memory of those events[18]
  • She once borrowed Iron Man's old armor temporarily.
  • Mary Jane was suppose to appear in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (film), portrayed by Shailene Woodley, but she was cut so that the Peter-Gwen relantionship could be the focus of the film.

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