Favorite Female Characters in Literature # 18: Mary Jane Watson

Favorite Female Characters in Literature # 18: Mary Jane Watson: How can you not love this girl? She's stuck with Peter through an amazing array of bad times, kidnappings, clones, alien invasions, bad editorial decisions, a thousand female contenders for the throne and artists that drew her in 1980's / 1990's fashions.


I think one thing that's interesting about Mary Jane is the evolution of her character change from a girl that just wants to dance and party to a woman that is an anchor in Peter's life, while still being true to her own.

Here's one of the major steps in that evolution of her character. The aftermath of Gwen Stacy's death. Those final panels are brilliantly wordless. Some fantastic storytelling going on here.

Of course, like 35% of all women in comics, Mary Jane is a model. Seriously, what kind of world would it be for women living in a comic book universe? Every woman in college either majors in journalism or modeling, and they all have minors in Kidnap Victim. The above image, incidentally, comes from one of my all time favorite comics projects. Really enjoyed working on this one.

Mary Jane's very 1st appearance is in this comic. Sort of. Her face isn't shown. She was a "mystery" character for a while... talked about, but not really seen. Building anticipation for her real first appearance. As an aside... that cover? J. Jonah Jameson... you creep me out.Â

Mary Jane's "real" 1st appearance. She came knocking on Peter's door at the end of this issue, and her face was revealed for the 1st time, and then she immediately began to talk about the way Spidey is sissy-fighting on the cover.

Mary Jane's first reveal. If only she'd possessed the forethought to copyright her words, she'd never have had to worry about money again.

Another image from one of my projects... this one in tandem with my wife, artist Colleen Coover. I like to think of Pete and MJ's homelife: how she sometimes looks at Peter's secret identity as Spider-Man the same way some women look at their boyfriend's idiosyncrasies, such as a penchant for plaid shirts, or an inability to put the toilet seat down.

I can't decide what I would want more... my very own Mary Jane Wastson girlfriend, or my very own Spider-Scooter.

I can't decide what I want more. My very own Mary Jane Watson girlfriend, or my very own Spider-Man bikini! Uhh... wait. Don't tell anyone I said that.

One of my favorite versions of Mary Jane is the "young love" version in the "Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane" series. Strong storytelling and hardly anybody being eviscerated. I love works where character is more important than how much blood can fit on a page.

For me, reading “Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane” is an up-and-down rollercoaster ride between enjoying the wonderful relationship between the two of them… and wanting to pop Pete in the mouth because I’d like to go out with Mary Jane and HE gets to kiss her and stuff. Dammit.

Ah, Mary Jane. Mary Jane. Wonderful Mary Jane. Sorry that half the online images are of you naked, often with you webbed into strange positions. It's just that some men are weak, and can only think of a woman in sexual terms, rather than the beauty of your character and soul. And hey... speaking of naughty online images, why aren't there any nudie pictures of Lydia from Skyrim? I want to see her naked. POETICALLY naked. Dammit.

But enough of all that. Let’s close out this post with either a long and boring discourse on whether Mary Jane should still be married to Peter Parker, or maybe just some images of Mary Jane dancing. It’s up to you guys. Whichever gets the most votes wins, and voting opens… NOW.

We would like to watch Mary Jane dance, please.

Fair enough. Voting is closed. Here's Mary Jane dancing!


#25: Scarlet Witch

#24: Chance Falconer

#23: Vampirella

#22: Tigra

#21: Jean Grey

#20: Kitty Pryde

#19: Janet van Dyne

#18: Mary Jane Watson


I’ve been thinking about women, lately. Women characters in comics. Women creators in comics. Female characters in literature. And pretty girls riding around on bicycles or walking along the sidewalk, etc, etc. Because of this, I’ve decided to make An Entirely Useless List. Why is it entirely useless? Because it’s my top 25 female characters from comics and literature, and such lists change at whim and at a breakneck pace. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to quantify favorites… the term favorite is far too malleable. A list of my best friends from high school, for instance, would not include anyone with whom I’m currently in contact. Times change. Still… I’m making the list. Why? I suppose I just like thinking about women.


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4 Responses to Favorite Female Characters in Literature # 18: Mary Jane Watson

  1. Dean

    Don’t forget that, for some reason, MJ looks exactly like Red Sonja. Because it’s comics.

  2. John Derrick

    The dancing was great, thanks!

    Still, I’d love to see your thoughts on the Spider-Marriage sometime.

  3. Paul Tobin

    That immediately had me thinking that MJ could cosplay as Red Sonja, and then… a millisecond after that… I realized how sad it is to dream of one fictional character masquerading as another. Man… I need to get out of the house.

  4. Paul Tobin

    My thoughts on the marriage are complex and, frankly, contradictory at times. Maybe someday I’ll combine blogging and whiskey and the topic will burst forth.

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