Mary Jane Watson Profile

And you just hit the jackpot!

spider man mary jane
Marvel Comics

Face it tiger, you just hit the jackpot!...In the lottery of biographies about Mary Jane Watson, Spider-Man's true love and occasional sparring partner. Just don't mention Mephisto around her.

BS (Before Spidey)

Mary Jane was initially a running joke. Like Norm's perpetually-unseen and long-suffering wife from the sitcom Cheers, the gag was that Aunt May was forever trying to set her nephew Peter Parker up on a date with that nice redheaded girl from next door, but he never actually got a chance to meet her.

Either he was busy with Spider-Man business, or else his affections were already being attended to by that poor, doomed Gwen Stacy girl.

Raised by a single parent, MJ and Peter had a lot in common: both were raised in unconventional family units (her mother Madeline left father Philip and the two bounced around various Watson family members, her favorite being Aunt Anna in Queens), struggled with teen angst and managed to overcome the traumatic loss of their parents (Madeline eventually died of an incurable illness, despite Mary Jane putting of her dreams of acting on the silver screen in order to support her mother with regular employment). So perhaps it's not a surprise they should have ended up together.

The Golden Years

Whilst Gwen Stacy seemed the love of Spider-Man's life, Cupid didn't reckon with the Green Goblin. After dating on-and-off beforehand, MJ and Peter finally connect properly in the wake of Gwen's death.

Previously fancy free, flighty and seemingly unconcerned with the consequences of her actions, being faced with the reality of mortality brought out a different side in Mary Jane.

Despite trysts with best friend Harry Osborn and former tormentor Flash Thompson, it soon became clear Peter was the only guy for her – especially when she broke down and admitted she had figured out his secret identity years ago, glimpsing Peter running into his house and leaving as Spider-Man on the night of Uncle Ben's murder.

The pair's relationship went from strength to strength – with a brief detour into Spidey dating the anti-hero Black Cat – culminating in their marriage. As Peter continued to scrape a living first as a freelance photographer, and later as a teacher, Mary Jane continued a “party girl” lifestyle as a professional model. The Watson-Parkers both settled down considerably when the revelation that Peter Parker may have been a clone, and had started to lose his superpowers to boot, coincided with MJ getting pregnant.

Tragically, the baby was ultimately stillborn, partly due to Mary Jane being poisoned by an agent of the Green Goblin. Despite this setback, and Peter's return to life as Spider-Man, the couple continued to be happily married. At least, until old Aunt May Parker went and got herself shot as a result of her nephew revealing his secret identity on national television.

AP (After Peter)

Amongst the many fallouts of the Civil War crossover (which saw superheroes divided on the need to register themselves with the government and disclose their civilian guises) was Mary Jane and Peter's marriage. Desperate to save May's life, the two turned to Mephisto, the Marvel Universe's equivalent of Satan.

The demonic being gave the couple a typically dubious offer: Peter's secret identity would be reinstated, and May's life saved, if the two gave up their marriage. After much cogitation, they agree, and basically everything in the previous few paragraphs is undone.

In this new continuity, Mary Jane and Peter previously dated – it just didn't work out. Since then their paths have crossed numerous times, most often as the pair reconnected (sadly nixed by Peter's having his brain swapped with Doctor Octopus, who is a lot less charming a date; it's a long story) and later continued to bump into each other as a result of MJ opening a club in the center of New York.

Not too fussed with dating a superhero, Mary Jane instead starts dating a fireman who helped her during a blaze at the club. She retains her memory of Spidey's secret identity, and frequently asks as sounding board and confidant for Peter's relationship and superhero troubles, but is more interested in building a life for her own than being an audience member/damsel-in-distress for our web head hero.