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  1. #31
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevinroc View Post
    Even though MJ wasn't physically there, she still had a presence in the book since Aunt May first threw out the idea of Peter going out with her. She was first mentioned in ASM #15. That's only ONE issue after The Green Goblin first showed up. And it's also the same issue that saw Kraven the Hunter first appear.

    (And it seemed, for a time, that Aunt May's whole role in the book was getting Peter to go out with the neighbor's niece.)
    Most people seem to feel like MJ is pretty foundational to the Spider-Man mythos.

    That could change with mainstream audiences, I suppose, given that neither the Webb films nor the MCU has used her yet. (Unless you count the "my friends call me MJ" line in Homecoming.)

    But I don't see it changing with comics fans anytime soon.

  2. #32
    Mighty Member whiteshark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miles To Go View Post
    Both work just as well as the other
    I liked much more the stories of Spider-Man while he was single up intil Amazing Spider-Man Annual:21 and after the start of BND that i liked the stories of Spider-Man during the marriage years.
    Just because that there were writers that did wrote great stories with Peter and Mary Jane married does not mean that this SQ was better that the single SQ.If i compare the stories of while Spider-Man was single to the stories with Peter and MJ were married there are lots more stories that i enjoyed from the single quo that i liked from the married SQ.

  3. #33
    Really Feeling It! Kevinroc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    Most people seem to feel like MJ is pretty foundational to the Spider-Man mythos.

    That could change with mainstream audiences, I suppose, given that neither the Webb films nor the MCU has used her yet. (Unless you count the "my friends call me MJ" line in Homecoming.)

    But I don't see it changing with comics fans anytime soon.
    That is very true. (It's still weird that MJ is going to be in the upcoming PS4 game.)

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    That could change with mainstream audiences
    Yeah, they seem hell bent on letting people know Gwen is more essential, even if all the other versions of her act the least like the original

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    Marital complications can range from still together but emotionally estranged, to separated but trying to work things out, to divorced and all the shades in between. There's not really a lack of options there. Spouse gets their dream job in another city and they're trying to make it work long distance, for instance. Or because it's comics, hero was presumed dead and spouse moved on, then hero turns up alive and well. Or hero was captured and spouse was unwittingly living with a clone! I mean, you know, comics.
    None of which sounds like great Spider-Man comics and all of which sounds like trying to work around the marriage - which is what most of the storylines involving Peter and MJ as a couple were. They weren't so much about exploring the emotional life of a married couple (understandable as it's not the priority of an action-orientated superhero book) but about finding ways to separate them in order for stories to happen.

    Peter's love life is fun when it complicates his dual lives in funny and/or heartbreaking ways. The marriage was less an interesting complication that fed into stories and more like having a gigantic piece of furniture in the middle of the room that you can't budge and you have to keep walking around and that makes everything that happens in that room a pain in the ass.
    Last edited by Prof. Warren; 06-12-2018 at 07:56 AM.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    Most people seem to feel like MJ is pretty foundational to the Spider-Man mythos.

    That could change with mainstream audiences, I suppose, given that neither the Webb films nor the MCU has used her yet. (Unless you count the "my friends call me MJ" line in Homecoming.)

    But I don't see it changing with comics fans anytime soon.
    The only supporting cast member that is truly foundational to Spidey's mythos is Aunt May (and, in spirit, Uncle Ben).

    Everyone else, no matter how popular or how long they've been in the book, can be removed without damage to the core.

    Girlfriends, best friends, colleagues, co-workers...they're all in Peter's orbit, some closer than others, but they can all be swapped out.

    Aunt May and Uncle Ben are the core foundation. Everything else is an add-on.

  7. #37
    Mighty Member whiteshark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob/.schoonover View Post
    Absolutely agree with the first part - I think Cunningham makes it clear he has a problem w/Peter, specifically, being married for what he considers a foundational part of Spider-man stories (the soap opera - which, if you think about it, makes MJ having been a mediocre soap opera actress pretty funny). Inferring anything about Superman is a bit of a stretch (Lois Lane is absolutely foundational to Superman's mythos in a way that Gwen or MJ are not), especially since it seems clear to me that Lois missing is not a precursor to Lois being gone - it's more that she's out of the picture for a specific story reason that hasn't been revealed yet.

    As to the second part, I think calling a lot of super heroes bachelors might understate the degree to which many of them have an off-and-on significant other. Carol Ferris and Hal, Green Arrow and Black Canary, Cap and Sharon Carter, Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor, etc. Sure, they aren't married, but there are significant chunks of those characters' histories in which good stories are told with heroes in long term relationships and the relationship history matters (and it matters to the point that you'd expect that SO to be in a movie as the primary love interest).
    Cunningham was talking specifically about Spider-Man,and what works for one comic book character is not the same to other comic book character.
    Spider-Man right from the start had a very complex soap opera aspect of the stories,the evolution of Peter Parker romantic life was never as simple as were the Super-Man stories with Lois and Clark Kent.
    Considerating the evolution of Peter Parker romantic life, i as a reader would be more surprised (and disapointed)to see the stories always featuring Peter Parker and Mary Jane married that the stories featuring a bachelor status quo that have much more stories tellings possibilities similiar to the first Spider-Man stories.

  8. #38
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prof. Warren View Post
    None of which sounds like great Spider-Man comics and all of which sounds like trying to work around the marriage - which is what most of the storylines involving Peter and MJ as a couple were. They weren't so much about exploring the emotional life of a married couple (understandable as it's not the priority of an action-orientated superhero book) but about finding ways to separate them in order for stories to happen.

    Peter's love life is fun when it complicates his dual lives in funny and/or heartbreaking ways. The marriage was less an interesting complication that fed into stories and more like having a gigantic piece of furniture in the middle of the room that you can't budge and you have to keep walking around and that makes everything that happens in that room a pain in the ass.
    Complications are complications.

    And they needn't involve separation, that's just one possibility among many. And a lot of sub-possibilities fall under that heading. And so on and on...

    No doubt some writers were looking for ways to get around MJ's role in the book, but others enjoyed writing them as a married couple. J M DeMatteis and Gerry Conway, for instance. Michelinie seems to have enjoyed it as well, though I can't remember his personal preference. JMD was all for it from the get-go and Gerry Conway was skeptical until he started writing them and then he loved it.

  9. #39
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    Well, if it's meant to be in 616, they'll marry all over again....until then, I'm enjoying the stories as presented today.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by wleakr View Post
    Well, if it's meant to be in 616, they'll marry all over again.....
    They don't have to, all the world has to do is remember they were married, they never officially divorced.

  11. #41
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miles To Go View Post
    Yeah, they seem hell bent on letting people know Gwen is more essential, even if all the other versions of her act the least like the original
    I think writers are naturally intrigued by the possibility of exploring Gwen and Peter's relationship in more depth than the 70s style allowed. For some of them, it adds to the tragedy of her eventual death. For others, they'd rather avoid killing her off entirely. But there's a lot of blank paper to work with because her personality was never as vivid as MJ's and she never got much of a retroactive history either.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    she never got much of a retroactive history either.
    And whenever she did, they...erm..used it to deflower her all to torture Peter some more.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miles To Go View Post
    It still took them 20 years to back away from it, proving just how viable it proved to be.

    Also Stan and whoever helps him produce the strip has spent the last 31 years also proving how viable a long-term union of the two is.
    31 years is not THAT impressive in a newspaper strip. I mean how many of those would it take to makeup a 22 page comic? For a 3 panel strip, the 1st starts as recap of previous strip, the 2nd moves the plot forward and the 3rd is a cliffhanger. Maybe 6 months of strip to 1 issue? In a format where you can't really develop much? I do like the strip, but it doesn't allow much room for "proving viability"...

  14. #44
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Yeah, a retroactive history is going to be a lot different if the character is still alive to deal with the consequences.

    "Sins Past" was more a mechanism to bring Gwen's kids into play, if I understand correctly. Never actually read the story.

    Whereas MJ revealing to Peter that she ran away from her family responsibilities cemented and complicated their relationship in future stories.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    Complications are complications.

    And they needn't involve separation, that's just one possibility among many. And a lot of sub-possibilities fall under that heading. And so on and on...

    No doubt some writers were looking for ways to get around MJ's role in the book, but others enjoyed writing them as a married couple. J M DeMatteis and Gerry Conway, for instance. Michelinie seems to have enjoyed it as well, though I can't remember his personal preference. JMD was all for it from the get-go and Gerry Conway was skeptical until he started writing them and then he loved it.
    In the book Comic Creators on Spider-Man, Michelinie said he thought it was a mistake to marry Peter, but he wrote it since that was the status quo at the time.

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