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Mary Jane Watson

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Mary Jane is Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire)'s childhood and high school crush and only sweetheart. At the time, she is dating the high school bully, Flash Thompson (Joe Manganiello), but breaks up with him at their high school graduation ceremony. Desperate to escape her abusive, alcoholic father, Mary Jane begins to pursue a career in acting, but she secretly waitresses at a diner after being rejected at an audition. Parker's friend, Harry Osborn (James Franco), is her first boyfriend after leaving high school, but she falls in love with Parker and his alter-ego, Spider-Man. She shares a passionate kiss with Spider-Man while he is suspended upside down after he saves her from a gang of thugs. Mary Jane begins to grow more distant from Harry, denying his advances. Her feelings for Parker grow when he tells her what he supposedly told Spider-Man about her. After Harry sees Peter and Mary Jane holding hands, he gets angry and breaks up with her.

Harry's father Norman Osborn (Willem Dafoe) knows of Spider-Man's secret identity and finds out about his feelings for Mary Jane from his son. As his criminal alter ego, The Green Goblin, he kidnaps her and holds her over the Queensboro Bridge, telling Spider-Man that he must choose between her and a group of children caught in the Roosevelt Island tram car. Spider-Man saves both Mary Jane and the children, however. At the end of the film, Mary Jane tells Peter that she loves him and they kiss. She states that when she was over the bridge she thought about Peter. Mary Jane realized that he was always there for her. However, Peter shies away from her as he is afraid for her safety, and thus does not want to get involved with her. She is heartbroken by his rejection, but realizes that her kiss with Peter reminded her of the one she shared with Spider-Man and suspects that he is the hero.

Spider-Man 2

Mary Jane wants to start a relationship with Peter Parker, who still resists because he fears for her safety. In her frustration Mary Jane goes on to have a relationship with John Jameson (Daniel Gillies), the astronaut son of Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons). Prior to this, Harry said that she was waiting for him. Much to Peter's delight, he sees her billboard picturing her modeling for a perfume near the pizza place he works at.

Later, Peter decides that being Spider-Man is not what he wants and he attempts to start a relationship with her. Mary Jane pushes him away this time because she is getting married to John Jameson, but secretly does want a relationship with Peter, although she tries to convince herself otherwise. She is also agitated at Peter because he fails to see her star in The Importance of Being Earnest, which John, Harry, and Aunt May have seen, some of them more than once. (Even her father went backstage to ask for money.) When Peter does arrive to see it the first time, a snooty usher (Bruce Campbell) stops him for being late. The second attempt to see it, which is successful, is when he tries to reconnect with her. After Mary Jane kisses John, in a manner that is reminiscent of the upside-down kiss between she and Spider-Man from the first Spider-Man movie, she finds that she may want a relationship with Peter Parker.

She meets Peter in a coffee shop where she asks for a kiss to confirm her belief that he is Spider-Man. She even asks him if he loves her, to which he falsely replies,"I don't", for the sake of his superhero responsibilities and her safety. Just before Peter can kiss her, Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina) kidnaps her and runs away. Doctor Octopus takes her to an abandoned pier where Spider-Man confronts him. Spider-Man pulls his mask off in hopes of getting Doctor Octopus to come back to his senses, and Mary Jane sees that Spider-Man and Peter Parker are one and the same. After Doctor Octopus reforms and sacrifices himself to save New York, Spider-Man and Mary Jane share a moment toegther, where Spider-Man finally admits that he does love Mary Jane, but cares more for her safety.

At the film's end, Mary Jane prepares to marry John Jameson, but she leaves him at the altar, goes to Peter's apartment, and expresses that she loves Peter and is prepared to face whatever risks their relationship may bring.

Spider-Man 3

Both Mary Jane and Harry now know that Peter is Spider-Man. In the film, Peter is intending to ask MJ to marry him. When he reports the good news to his Aunt May (Rosemary Harris), she is delighted and asks Peter to give her engagement ring as a gift to Mary Jane. However, Peter becomes slightly overconfident due to Spider-Man's success. Meanwhile, Mary Jane's Broadway debut takes a turn for the worse when her performance gets bad reviews. Unaware of this incident, Peter accidentally pushes Mary Jane away, thinking he understands her situation. She also begins a rivalry with Gwen Stacy (Bryce Dallas Howard) for Peter's affections. Having been replaced on Broadway by her understudy and then having to work at a jazz club, Mary Jane and Peter's relationship worsens when Spider-Man is unexpectedly kissed by Gwen Stacy in front of a whole crowd of people the same way Mary Jane kissed Spider-Man in the first film. When Peter attempts to propose to Mary Jane that same night, Gwen appears at the same restaurant and flirts with him; Mary Jane leaves, upset.

Mary Jane, feeling alone and despondent, calls Harry, who recently lost his memory and hatred of Spider-Man after being defeated in an aerial battle as the New Goblin. They renew their bond, and in a moment of joy, Mary Jane kisses Harry. Realizing what she is doing, Mary Jane quickly leaves; the emotional turmoil restores Harry's memories and his mission to destroy Spider-Man as the New Goblin. He confronts MJ in her apartment, and threatens to kill Peter if she does not break up with him. Following Harry's orders, she breaks up with Peter. Peter, heartbroken and upset, refuses to tolerate these tragedies, and turns to the symbiote suit, which enhances his aggression.

One night, Peter decides to go to Mary Jane's jazz club with Gwen. He shows her up on stage by playing the piano, and makes a big show of dancing with Gwen. Gwen, realizing that she is being used as a prop to make Mary Jane jealous, apologizes and leaves. Mary Jane is still visibly shaken when Peter confronts her at the bar, and he is assaulted by two of the club's bouncers. A fight ensues, and Mary Jane tries to stop Peter. Thinking she is another bouncer, Peter strikes her. Peter, realizing what the evil symbiote is trying to do, leaves the club.

Peter tears the symbiote off his body at a church bell-tower. During the struggle, it falls on Eddie Brock, Jr. (Topher Grace) standing below and creates Venom. At his apartment, Peter fears that even though the symbiote was responsible for current events, he may not be able to put Mary Jane first, and gives his wedding ring back to Aunt May, who convinces him that if he tries his best, he can put things right. Peter then goes to Harry in desperation, because he needs help against his new foe. Harry turns him down, but changes his mind after his butler reveals that Norman Osborn had in fact killed himself. Meanwhile, Venom kidnaps Mary Jane, holding her hostage at a construction site, where a climatic battle takes place between the team of Venom and the Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) against Spider-Man and Harry Osborn, a.k.a. the New Goblin. During the fight, Harry defeats Sandman, but is impaled by Venom with his own glider. After Spider-Man defeats Venom, he goes over to the mortally wounded Harry, alongside whom Mary Jane is also present. Harry dies in Mary Jane's arms, mending his friendship with Peter in his dying breaths.

After attending their friend's funeral, Peter and Mary Jane renew their relationship.

Television

Spider-Man (1967)

In Spider-Man (1967 TV series), Mary Jane appears in the episode The Big Brainwasher (Based on The Amazing Spider-Man 59-61). Unlike her comic book counterpart, she is the niece of George Stacy.

Spider-Man (tokusatsu)

In Tokusatsu Spider-Man, Mary Jane Watson was called Hitomi Sakuma (played by Rika Miura).

Spider-Man: The Animated Series

In Spider-Man: The Animated Series, Mary Jane Watson first meets a 19-year-old Peter Parker in "The Return of the Spider-Slayers" (Season #1 Ep #4), where May Parker set Peter up on a date with her without Peter even knowing who she was (making it as Peter put it, "a blind date"). He didn't look foreword to meeting her, commenting "A blind date is like the lottery, you have a one a in million chance of hitting the jackpot." Left completely speeches when seeing her for the first time, Mary Jane tells him "Face it tiger, you just hit the jackpot." Over the course of the series, Mary Jane slowly supplants Debra Whitman and Felicia Hardy as his primary love interest. She was played by Sara Ballantine. She is last seen in season three finale "Turning Point," in which the Green Goblin discovers Spider-Man's true identity. In a nod to "The Night Gwen Stacy Died", he takes her to the George Washington Bridge. Spider-Man tries to save her, but she falls into a dimensional portal created by his stolen time dilation accelerator (due to censorship, no one in the show could die - she is forced into limbo and Spider-Man doesn't know what happened to her). Prior to her fall, Mary Jane awakes thinking she had heard Peter's voice, not Spider-Man's; this is a subtle nod to her knowing Peter's secret. As with the "Gwen Stacy" storyline, Norman Osborn is vanquished when he is impaled by his own glider and sent into limbo himself, but would soon resurface to influence his son Harry into becoming the second Green Goblin

In season four, a clone of Mary Jane, created by Miles Warren, appears, and after the death of Mysterio at the end of the ninth episode of season four, Spider-Man reveals his secret identity to her; They subsequently marry in the first episode of season five. This marriage is portrayed as significantly different from that in the comics, which had no intervention from super-villains. In this episode, the wedding is attacked by the Green Goblin (Harry), the Scorpion, and Alistair Smythe's Spider-Slayers. Later, this Mary Jane's true nature is revealed and she (and a clone of Hydro-Man) dissolve due to their unstable cellular structure. By the series finale, after Spider-Man saves all reality from Spider-Carnage, Spider-Man's mystic advisor, Madame Web, promises they would find the real Mary Jane (as she promised when she took Spider-Man from Earth after the Mary Jane clone died before the Secret War, which was a test to see if Spider-Man could stop Spider-Carnage). The "true" Mary Jane is never seen again in this series, but is shown to have been reunited with and married to Peter in the sequel, Spider-Man Unlimited. Jennifer Hale provided her voice. John Semper, producer of the previous show, revealed if he had continued the show, Mary Jane would have been found in Colonial England.

Spider-Man: The New Animated Series

Mary Jane appears in Spider-Man: The New Animated Series (where she was voiced by Lisa Loeb), taking place shortly after the events of the first live-action movie. In Mind Games: Part 1, like in the second movie, Mary Jane discovers that Spider-Man is Peter Parker, but it was revealed to be a dream sequence.

The Spectacular Spider-Man

Mary Jane, voiced by Vanessa Marshall, appears in The CW 4Kids's The Spectacular Spider-Man. She is first mentioned in the fourth episode, "Market Forces", by Aunt May, in her attempt to have her and Peter meet. Peter of course declines after May's insistence that MJ has a "wonderful personality". Later, Peter goes to visit Harry and receives an E-mail inviting him to the school's Fall Formal. Peter jokingly suggests he could bring Mary Jane Watson, as he is dateless. A running gag occurred when Peter (and on one occasion, Harry as well) shuddered every time "wonderful personality" was used in reference to Mary Jane.

MJ finally appears for the first time just before the Fall Formal, when Peter, sulking because Betty Brant turned him down, is told by Aunt May that Anna Watson's niece will be arriving any second. Peter is shocked to discover that May planned to have Peter attend the formal with Mary Jane all along. When he answers the door he is stunned to find her gorgeous, not at all what he was expecting. She looks at him with a sly smile and says her famous line, "Face it Tiger, you just hit the jackpot..."

Peter and Mary Jane attend the dance where she shocks the crowd by showing up with Pete and playfully flirts with the boys. When Gwen sees her, she becomes upset, believing Peter lied about not going to the formal because he'd rather go with Mary Jane than her. Peter receives a call from the Daily Bugle demanding he go across town to photograph an event hosted by Tombstone where the new villain, Green Goblin, has just attacked. Mary Jane is very understanding of Peter ditching her, hinting that, like in the comics, she may be aware of his dual identity. When Peter foils the Goblin's plans and returns to the gymnasium, he finds the students emptying out and Mary Jane dancing with Hobie Brown. He sighs, believing he blew his chances with the beautiful redhead by leaving, but Mary Jane tells him she saved the last dance just for him, and the two share a slow dance in the empty gym.

In the episode "Reaction", she is seen cheering on Midtown High at a football game, sitting next to new friend Glory Grant. Peter squeezes between them and nervously tries to talk to her about the state of his and her relationship. Mary Jane assures him that they're just friends, and that the dance was simply for fun. Peter is shown to be slightly disappointed at her interest in Flash. Later, when Doctor Octopus attacks Peter and his friends at the Coney Island Carnival, Gwen trips and falls in the chaos, and Mary Jane goes back and helps her up. Spider-Man rescues both girls from Octopus' clutches. That night Flash and Liz break up, and Peter, ready to comfort Liz is held back by Mary Jane who says "Not now Tiger."

On the night of the Halloween Fair in the streets of Manhattan, Mary Jane, dressed as a vampire, searches for Peter in hopes of telling him she now attends Midtown High thanks to her acceptance by its theater magnet. Later that night, when Flash makes a move on her, she tells him she likes him, but that "this redhead's a free agent". When Peter appears at the Fair dressed in his Spider-Man garb, MJ smiles and tells him he fills out the costume nicely. The next day, Peter makes his way to school when he hears Mary Jane call him over from the water fountain in the school's courtyard. She informs him of her enrollment at the school and that she meant to tell him last night but he had disappeared once again. Gwen then arrives and tells the two that Harry has taken a leave of absence with his father (which Peter secretly knows is because of Harry's addiction to the Globulin Green Formula and his subsequent stint as the Green Goblin).

Later when the Sinister Six attacks Spider-Man (who recently bonded with the Venom Symbiote), Aunt May has a heart attack with Anna Watson nearby. Mary Jane is then the one to notify Peter of his aunt's condition, and she later informs his friends as well. Later, when Peter arrives at school and his friends attempt to console him, Peter (under the symbiote's influence) verbally dejects everyone, including Mary Jane. He apologizes the next episode though, and Mary Jane warns him about Eddie's growing hatred towards him, as he tried to hurt Peter by using her.

She is seen at the Thanksgiving Day parade with Flash. As before, she continually dodges his advances. Nonetheless, Spidey is understandably annoyed. It is Mary Jane who initiates the assistance in helping Gwen from dangling from a float after being endangered by Venom. Interestingly, When Venom makes mention of his plans to go after the one Peter truly loves, he dashes to the parade and seeks out Mary Jane, believing it was her who Venom spoke of. Once he sees she is not in any danger, he notices Gwen is speaking to Eddie Brock.

Novels

Romance novelist Judith O'Brien wrote two novels featuring a teenage Mary-Jane in 2003 and 2004. They featured illustrations by Mike Mayhew. They don't fit into any of the comics' continuity, although it claims to be 'inspired' by Ultimate Spider-Man.

The first novel is a basic retelling of the origin story from Mary Jane's point of view. She is depicted as a shy, insecure girl who knew Peter Parker from elementary school. She deals with such problems as anorexia and peer pressure.

At a field trip to Osborn Industries, Peter is bitten by a spider, which grants him powers. It is later revealed that Norman Osborn had injected a super drug known as OZ into the spider, which he later uses as a sports drink which he sells to Mary Jane's classmates. (The use of OZ is the only real connection to Ultimate, but even that is drastically different from the way it's portrayed in the original comics.) As Peter suits up to become Spider-Man (his origin with Uncle Ben is only hinted at), Mary Jane sets out to expose Norman with Peter's help.

The novel was successful with teenage girls who weren't familiar with the comics, but was met with criticism from the core fans due to its characterization of some of the characters (most notably Harry Osborn, who is portrayed as manipulating Peter into doing his homework while treating him horribly) and changing continuity.

The second novel, Mary Jane 2, deals with the continuing relationship of Peter and Mary Jane, and the emergence of Gwen Stacy. In this continuity, Gwen is an 'ugly duckling' who Mary Jane gives a 'makeover'. However, Gwen soon has feelings for Peter. Harry Osborn reappears and is made more sympathetic than he was in the previous novel; with his father in jail, he is now poor and has to live without a life of luxury.

Toys

  • Two action figure of Mary Jane were released by ToyBiz based on her appearance in Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
  • A scale action figure and a scale doll of Mary Jane were released to coincide with the 2002 Spider-Man film. Both were based on the likeness of Kirsten Dunst and wore the Asian-inspired red dress she wore in the film. These figures were released by Toy Biz.
  • A scale version of Mary Jane from the movies Spider-man 2 and 3 has been released from Hasbro. This figure includes a "build-a-figure" part of a large Sandman figure from Spider-Man 3. The dress on this figure is like the one she wore in Spider-Man 2.
  • A Barbie version of Mary Jane was released by Mattel in 2005. The doll's clothing was based on the wedding gown she wore in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21, 1987.
  • Mary Jane has two figures released in the Minimates small-scale figure series, the first a comic themed convention exclusive, the second a Spider-Man 3 themed chase figure, both times in a two-pack with Peter Parker.
  • Art Asylum produced a full-body statuette of Mary Jane based on her appearance in the early 1970s, identical except for its paint application to a simultaneously-released statue of Gwen Stacy.
  • Moore Collectibles produced an bust (actually from the knees up, nearly a full statue) of Mary Jane based on her first full appearance.
  • Sideshow Collectibles produced a "comiquette" statuette designed by Adam Hughes showing Mary Jane discovering Peter Parker's Spider-Man costume in his washing. Even though Hughes clarified that Mary Jane was not doing Peter's laundry, the statuette has received a fair amount of criticism over her pose. The statuette's first line sold out rapidly.

Video games

Mary Jane appears in almost every Spider-Man video game, but almost exclusively as a victim of kidnapping who must be saved.

  • She is kidnapped in The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin by the Kingpin, and is hung over a tank of acid. She is freed if the Kingpin is beaten in a certain amount of time. If the fight takes too long, she falls to her death and, after Kingpin is arrested by the police, Spider-Man vows revenge.
  • In the Spider-Man game for the Dreamcast, Nintendo 64 and PlayStation, Venom believes that Spider-Man stole something (it is later revealed that Mysterio is the actual thief) and kidnaps Mary Jane in attempt to get revenge. She is held in the sewers and must be rescued by Spider-Man. Jennifer Hale, who voiced Mary Jane in Spider-Man Unlimited, reprised the role.
  • In Spider-Man: Mysterio's Menace, Mary Jane forgets to purchase a fish bowl for her fish and asks Peter to retrieve one for her at the beginning of the game. In the end Peter obtains one for her (Mysterio's helmet) and says "You'll never know the trouble I went through for this."
  • She appears in the 2002 Spider-Man game based on the film. Though she resembled Kirsten Dunst, Mary Jane was voiced by Catherine O'Connor. If the player types in the code GIRLNEXTDOOR, (s)he can play as her.
  • She appears in Spider-Man 2, where Kirsten Dunst reprised the role. In this game, like the movie, she is unaware of Peter's secret identity until the end.
  • In the Ultimate Spider-Man video game, Mary Jane's Ultimate version appears several times in the game, helping Peter research and discover information on the villains he must fight. The game ends with her talking to Peter. In the Nintendo DS version of the game, the player must save an unnamed character who has Mary Jane's clothing and hair color. She's voiced by Andrea Baker.
  • Mary Jane appears in Spider-Man: Battle for New York.
  • Mary Jane appears in Spider-Man 3. Much like in the game based on the first movie, she isn't voiced by Kristen Dunst. Here, she's voiced by Kari Wahlgren. She is suspended 80 stories above the ground held hostage in a taxi cab for Spider-Man to save her.
  • Mary Jane appears in the video game Spider-Man: Web of Shadows. As it takes place in the mainstream Marvel continuity, it is unconfermed whether she is married to Peter. Her role in the game in also unstated.

"Face it, Tiger..."

"Face it, Tiger... you just hit the jackpot!", Mary Jane's first words to Peter, is one of the most famous quotations in superhero comic book history. The quotation is duplicated in nearly every continuity in which Mary Jane appears and repeated in nearly every flashback to their first encounter. It is also often referenced or parodied in other contexts. Appearances of the quotations in Marvel comic books and other Marvel products include:

Notably, this line has never been used in any Spider-Man films, although "tiger" has been used by Mary Jane as a term of endearment.

Outside of Marvel, the line has also been used in:

  • In DC Comics's Supergirl #7, Linda Danvers learns that the date her parents set her up with (similarly to Peter's first date with Mary Jane, set up by Aunt May) is her abusive, Satanic ex-boyfriend Buzz, who says "Face it, tigress, you just hit the jackpot."
  • In Image Comics's The Pirates of Coney Island #6, a girl says the line to Patch, the main character of the series.
  • The line is said in Clerks II by Dante's fiancee when they discuss his coming new life.
  • In Aoi House chapter 7,Carlo a crossdressing man,gets a date with Alex,a main character,and he dresses up like MJ when she met Peter,even using the line,"Face it tiger,you just hit the jackpot!!"
  • The Band The Wedding Present quotes "Face it..." in their song 'Santa Ana Winds'
  • At the end of Amalgam Comics's Spider-Boy #1 Spider-Boy is introduced to Mary Jane Watson -- also known as the Insect Queen. Upon being introduced Mary Jane utters her variation on the famous quotation, "Face it, Spider -- You just hit the jackpot!"

References

References

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