Spiderman is undoubtedly one of Marvel’s most recognized and iconic superheroes. In the film, he has been portrayed by Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and, most recently, by Tom Holland in Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Spiderman: Homecoming directed by Jon Watts.
The Debut of MJ
What is most interesting about Watts’ Spiderman: Homecoming is one creative liberty he took: introducing MJ, who is not Stan Lee’s Mary Jane Watson. Well, if that’s not who she is, then who is she, and why is she important?
Michelle “MJ” Jones (Zendaya) is a student at the Midtown School of Science and Technology and Peter Parker’s classmate. She is highly perceptive and observant and exercises these traits on Parker and eventually deduces that he is Spiderman.
Her interest in him is rendered obvious by the prodigious amount of attention she focuses on him: tracking his absences, sitting across from him and Ned Leeds at the lunch table despite calling them losers, and imposing detention on herself just so she could have an opportunity to sketch him.
While MJ certainly exerts a force on Parker, his love interest is Liz Allan (Laura Harrier), a senior whose paternity comes as a shock as it spells danger for Parker. Subsequent to her father’s arrest, she leaves town, leaving the possibility of a new romance open.
MJ is an interesting addition to Peter Parker’s life. While her initials are reminiscent of Mary Jane, her character is completely fresh. Viewers familiar with the Mary Jane of the comics are bound to note the distinctions between her and her replacement. MJ’s brand of romance is not sappy, and she effuses self-assurance. Her appearance is unconventional, and her ways are confident and unpredictable.
Should Peter Parker and MJ emerge as a couple in the forthcoming Spiderman: Far From Home, we will see that her intellectual prowess perfectly complements Parker’s physical prowess. She might be the deviation of the Spiderman storyline needed.