Mary Jane Watson strapping on an armored suit in Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #5 may have been more than just mere fan-service.Because Marvel has announced she’s leaving Spider-Man’s supporting cast…to join up with Iron Man.
According to press release at Marvel.com, Peter Parker’s long-time redheaded love interest and former wife will become “a regular member of Tony Stark’s supporting cast in an unexpected new role” starting with Invincible Iron Man #4. According to Bendis, the reason for this is because no one had any plans for her. As he said in the press release:
“We were at one of our glorious Marvel publishing retreats and certain characters got brought up, sometimes almost accidentally, and I found out that nobody had anything going on with Mary Jane…I sat with that for a while and I always go to this place in my head where I [wonder] what the most interesting thing I would like to see that character do now and it fell right into the ideas I was already cooking for Tony Stark.”
Moreover, Bendis also made a reminder that Mary Jane and Tony have met before during J. Micharl Stracynski’s run on Amazing Spider-Man:
They know each other…She used to live in Avengers Tower. But that’s all I’m going to say for now because what kind of relationship they end up having is a big part of what I would like people to buy the book for. But what I can tell you is that it is new territory for both Tony and Mary Jane. And that is pretty exciting to write.
“I [have] spent most of my time at Marvel writing the teenage version of Mary Jane [in ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN]…This is a grown-up woman who has been through a lot. She seems like one of those characters that went down certain paths that may not have panned out the way she hope; and she’s ready for a kick ass second act.”
Believe or not, I really do understand the logic here. Ever since “One More Day” erased Peter and Mary Jane’s marriage, Marvel has been stuck in a rock and a hard place as far their on-again, off-again romance is concerned. Even though she’s a popular character with Spider-Man fans, there was no way Marvel would put her and Peter back together after all the trouble they went through in breaking them up. As Amazing Spider-Man writer, Dan Slott, even admitted in an interview with Comic Vine admitted writing MJ wasn’t “fun” because “[her and Peter’s] relationship is not going to go anywhere.” So, taking her out of Spider-Man and making her a supporting character in a different comic series would allow someone, like Bendis, to use her in his stories.
However, if the “unexpected new role” for Mary Jane in Invincible Iron Man is that she’s becomes Tony Stark’s new love interest, it would be a monumental mistake for Marvel. First, given how MJ told Peter in Superior Spider-Man #31 she no longer wanted to be part of his life was because she wanted something “normal” on her own terms, her becoming the girlfriend of another superhero–one with a public identity, no less–turns her into a massive hypocrite. Moreover, Marvel would be sending the message that Iron Man needs Spider-Man characters in order make him the new “flagship character” they want him to be with the “All-New, All-Different Marvel” relaunch. If anything, fans of both Spider-Man and Iron Man might resent the idea of MJ becoming Tony’s new squeeze and turn away from both comics.
In any event, we shall see what Mary Jane’s role will be when Invincible Iron Man #4 hits stands this Decemeber. In the meantime, Spidey fans, let’s hear your thoughts on this news, and whether you’ll be picking up Invincible Iron Man now that Peter’s old flame is with ‘ol Shellhead?