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  1. #1
    Moderator Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Default Was One More Day to Mary Jane what Amazing 121 was to Gwen Stacy?

    There's the argument that Amazing Spider-Man #121 transformed Gwen Stacy into something she had never been before. Perhaps if she hadn't died, she just would have eventually become one of Peter's ex-girlfriends, like Betty Brant. Instead, she became a symbol of innocence and of slight controversy, with most questions devoted to one storyline, and the wisdom of reversing it.

    I'm wondering if One More Day did the same thing for Mary Jane. An obvious difference is that The Night Gwen Stacy Died is widely considered one of the best Spider-Man stories, while One More Day's flaws are acknowledged by many of those who think retconning the marriage was a good idea. This is also a situation in which the readers remember something the characters don't.

    But looking at the Mary Jane Appreciation thread, a lot of what people like about the character is based on either an idealized version, or what could have been. It's the legend of Mary Jane, rather than what was on the page.

    For example, this illustration by lone_wolf is beautifully done, but doesn't reflect anything that happened in the regular comics.


    There was also a gag based on the idea that Gwen and MJ were in love with Peter in high school, when they never went to high school together. That sort of stuff.
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  2. #2
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    I am not sure that she is idealized based on something she never was, you would have to give examples. You picture doesn't work as its more an idealized Status Quo than a specific characterization of a character.

    Though I will say it did have a certain permanent effect on the character. It firmly entrenched MJ as the love interest of Peter, by mistake or design I don't know. I think that it was a mistake in that they were just trying to give the event importance by playing up the relationship before ending it, but it manages to do more than that.

    Edit: Though I guess you are talking about an ideal SQ as well, but the problem with that is we actually had that sort of (in the clone saga) and there was a spin-off where it did happen. Plus its not a fair comparison to say that a married dude might have kids while a guy that dated a girl and college are soul mates is a little more out there.
    Last edited by charlesthehammer; 02-02-2013 at 09:29 PM.

  3. #3
    Post Editing OCD Confuzzled Mutie's Avatar
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    Well, people actually keep giving examples and scans of in-story moments to illustrate why MJ is great in her appreciation thread, so I don't see how that is "idealized" if she has displayed those praised traits and character aspects before. Even the illustration you showed isn't completely imaginary as charleshammer pointed out, it did take place in at least one alternate universe and could have happened in 616 too if it hadn't been for Norman Osborn and later OMD.

    I agree that OMD did do something positive for MJ, like for example, I don't know whether she would be beating J. Jonah Jameson in popularity polls if OMD did not happen. Hey, but MJ has always been incredibly popular. Just a year after her debut, she won the 1967 Alley Award Popularity Poll for Best Female Supporting Character beating the likes of Lois Lane and Gwen herself. So while OMD may have done a lot to strengthen MJ's status as most popular Spidey supporting character over the likes of icons such as JJJ, Aunt May and Uncle Ben, she was the love interest for decades before the story took place. Unlike Gwen who got lionized as one of Peter's greatest loves only when she died while still being in a relationship with him.

  4. #4

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    The thing is Mary Jane and Peter do make sense. They will always be what the other needs them to be at a certain moment, whether a lover or a friend. And well, Gerry Conway himself basically said he killed Gwen off because she was boring.

  5. #5
    一匹狼 lone_wolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    There's the argument that Amazing Spider-Man #121 transformed Gwen Stacy into something she had never been before. Perhaps if she hadn't died, she just would have eventually become one of Peter's ex-girlfriends, like Betty Brant. Instead, she became a symbol of innocence and of slight controversy, with most questions devoted to one storyline, and the wisdom of reversing it.

    I'm wondering if One More Day did the same thing for Mary Jane. An obvious difference is that The Night Gwen Stacy Died is widely considered one of the best Spider-Man stories, while One More Day's flaws are acknowledged by many of those who think retconning the marriage was a good idea. This is also a situation in which the readers remember something the characters don't.

    But looking at the Mary Jane Appreciation thread, a lot of what people like about the character is based on either an idealized version, or what could have been. It's the legend of Mary Jane, rather than what was on the page.


    There was also a gag based on the idea that Gwen and MJ were in love with Peter in high school, when they never went to high school together. That sort of stuff.
    LOL, why is my illustration used for this debate? Sorry I thought it was hilarious. I even found my art on tumblr used as a weird meme hahahaha!

    Anyhow, yeah it's true. When I created this, I didn't have the 616 Universe in mind. I was using the MC2 universe.

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by lone_wolf View Post
    LOL, why is my illustration used for this debate? Sorry I thought it was hilarious. I even found my art on tumblr used as a weird meme hahahaha!

    Anyhow, yeah it's true. When I created this, I didn't have the 616 Universe in mind. I was using the MC2 universe.

    Wolfie
    That's beautiful, you have a real talent.

    Regarding the topic: definitely not. I like Mary-Jane for things she did. I can recall incidents and issues that made me like the character and use them to explain why she was such a good match for Peter. The same cannot be done for Gwen. It's really that simple.

  7. #7
    Moderator Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Confuzzled Mutie View Post
    Well, people actually keep giving examples and scans of in-story moments to illustrate why MJ is great in her appreciation thread, so I don't see how that is "idealized" if she has displayed those praised traits and character aspects before. Even the illustration you showed isn't completely imaginary as charleshammer pointed out, it did take place in at least one alternate universe and could have happened in 616 too if it hadn't been for Norman Osborn and later OMD.

    I agree that OMD did do something positive for MJ, like for example, I don't know whether she would be beating J. Jonah Jameson in popularity polls if OMD did not happen. Hey, but MJ has always been incredibly popular. Just a year after her debut, she won the 1967 Alley Award Popularity Poll for Best Female Supporting Character beating the likes of Lois Lane and Gwen herself. So while OMD may have done a lot to strengthen MJ's status as most popular Spidey supporting character over the likes of icons such as JJJ, Aunt May and Uncle Ben, she was the love interest for decades before the story took place. Unlike Gwen who got lionized as one of Peter's greatest loves only when she died while still being in a relationship with him.
    These would be examples of what I'm talking about.

    Peter Parker didn't meet Mary Jane until he had been Spider-Man for some time.


    They did not go to high school (or even college) together.


    This isn't the Mary Jane who won the 1967 alley award.
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  8. #8
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    The problem I have with your points is it doesn't seem to work. You are posting these images, but they don't seem to illustrate your point without some sort of context to put them in. Is the author just doing it to make something they think are funny (like the last two pics) where accuracy isn't very important? Or are they even doing 616 (like the first image)?

  9. #9
    Spider Powered Time Lord Spider-Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    N'Awww...

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    WOLVERINE: *Growls*
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  10. #10
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    Both stories had polarizing aspects to them depending on how much you were invested in Gwen or MJ but I don't know if I can agree that MJ was highly idealized.

    Granted, not every story she was in was gold nor am I going to say that everyone liked them together but for the most part I think there's an undeniable spark to them that can't just be written out so easily. JMS, Peter David, and Matt Fraction also contributed to some of the best MJ + Peter characterizations I've seen in a while which made the whole OMD, BND, OMIT trifecta all the more painful to read and not in an emotional way, more of a "Ugh, this is ridiculously stupid" kind of way.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will.S View Post
    Both stories had polarizing aspects to them depending on how much you were invested in Gwen or MJ but I don't know if I can agree that MJ was highly idealized.

    Granted, not every story she was in was gold nor am I going to say that everyone liked them together but for the most part I think there's an undeniable spark to them that can't just be written out so easily. JMS, Peter David, and Matt Fraction also contributed to some of the best MJ + Peter characterizations I've seen in a while which made the whole OMD, BND, OMIT trifecta all the more painful to read and not in an emotional way, more of a "Ugh, this is ridiculously stupid" kind of way.
    Am gonna add "Superior Spider-Man #2" to that mix of horribleness, once again Slott's excuse of "As long as I'm Spider-Man, we can't be together" bullturkey.

  12. #12
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    I think the main difference between the two storylines is that Gwen died pretty much as a victim but not without Peter trying to save her while in OMD/BND nobody really died and there was no heroism involved. I think that Gwen's death was an important part in Peter's life in that it advanced the character while MJ's involvement in OMD/BND did nothing to advance either character. With Gwen's death we had Peter striving, but with the deal with Mephisto we Peter and MJ both giving up. I think it defines MJ as a negative presence. Gwen was dead but her character integrity was preserved (at least until the whole sleeping with Norman thing was revealed) while MJ is still alive but with a severe blow in my opinion to her character integrity.

  13. #13

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    I think that the current powers at Marvel Comics have very little respect for women. Otherwise Sins Past and OMD would not have happened at all. The sooner Disney takes a hard look at Marvel's editorial, the better. Send Quesada and Alonso packing.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heroid View Post
    I think that the current powers at Marvel Comics have very little respect for women. Otherwise Sins Past and OMD would not have happened at all. The sooner Disney takes a hard look at Marvel's editorial, the better. Send Quesada and Alonso packing.
    I sort of agree but nothing is going to happen so long as sales are good.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heroid View Post
    I think that the current powers at Marvel Comics have very little respect for women. Otherwise Sins Past and OMD would not have happened at all. The sooner Disney takes a hard look at Marvel's editorial, the better. Send Quesada and Alonso packing.
    Women weren't portrayed negatively in either Sins Past or OMD.

    I actually think that this is probably the best time in Marvel's history for female characters. Three females have their own ongoing, there is a female team book coming soon and several high profile teams have women in pivotal roles where they contribute more than just being kidnapped/abused to complicate the male hero's lives.

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