The following video comes from G4’s Attack of the Show and features Jeff Katz, producer of X-Men Origins: Wolverine and founder of “Geek Week (one of three sites I found with that name, by the way) as well as future comic publisher of “American Original” (are they going to get an actual website soon?), as well as Drew McWeeny, movie editor of HitFix. The topic? Sam Rami and Tobey Maguire are off the Spider-Man movies.
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However, I think something is being missed here, but this is totally personal opinion, born out of what little I think about Marvel, EIC Joe Quesada, and the Spider-Writers. You may know where I’m going with this, but not how I’m getting there. Because this rant is less about Mary Jane…
…and more about Gwen frickin’ Stacy.
I’ve never liked Gwen. Granted, I didn’t grow up with her, and only really “saw her in action” in more recent years, so I never really knew her. That’s why I can’t say I hate her. (I can, however, state that what J. Michael did by having Gwen hook up with Norman Osborn was an insult to the character. Yes, I mean an insult to Gwen!) I know all about her back-story, mostly because the writers lately bring it up as much as they do Uncle Ben’s death. And that’s really part of the problem
It’s not just because I join those who believe that MJ is perfect for both Peter and our favorite Webhead alter-ego, while Gwen sadly was only good for Peter. (You have to really be able to handle both.) It’s that lately, I can’t get away from her. Look at how things are going outside of 616.
- Ultimate Spider-Man: Peter and Mary Jane, who have been friends since they were kids (I think) have broken up (again, last time it was because of Kitty Pride) and Peter is now somehow dating Gwen. Even Peter can’t figure out why.
- Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man: In the regular title, Peter never met Gwen, Harry, or Mary Jane until college. So this other “teen years” continuity not having either of them makes sense. However, Paul Tobin just introduced the character into MA, with her dad learning Peter is Spidey, and Gwen pretty much going insane. Unless Peter really has been cheating on Chat (a character Tobin created for this series, and the best MJ substitute I can cheer on) and even he doesn’t realize it. Which I would almost prefer to Tobin bringing clones into the mix. That never ends well in a Spidey story.
- Spectacular Spider-Man: The former CW For Kids cartoon now airing on Toon Disney Disney XD features Harry and Gwen being Peter’s childhood buddies along with Eddie Brock. (Even Pete and Flash used to be buds.) Last time I checked in, Mary Jane was still around, but she and Peter dated once before she went out with Flash (ending his relationship with Liz Allen) and then Eddie. (Which is fine because she is supposed to still be a party girl here, since she didn’t grow out of it yet like in the comics. Someone tell Roger Stern that is called “character growth”!) Now Peter is in some kind of love triangle with Gwen and Liz (why?) which just became a square because Harry (who used to be the Green Goblin instead of Norman rather than after) is now dating Gwen. Greg Wiseman didn’t give me these kind of headaches when he did Gargoyles.
So I kind of see where things are going here. As a matter of fact, I will throw in Joe and the Spider-Writers’ hatred of the Spider-Marriage, since I’m sure this reboot/regression will play into their hands. If it is a reboot, then Gwen showing up in the third Spider-Movie is only the beginning.
Look, I never knew Gwen Stacey. I grew up during the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends years, so the only girlfriend I ever remember Peter having was that future chick who didn’t have an immune system because they got rid of all disease in her time, so even a cold could kill her. (There was also one episode when he tells Bobby/Iceman that he’s in love with Angelica/Firestar, but that was never heard of again.) I didn’t mind the nod to Gwen in the 90’s Spider-Man cartoon, since the series finale was all about that. (And that showed just how well Peter and Mary Jane were together.) Gwen appearing in the comic version of the Spider-Man Unlimited cartoon (not to be confused with the other comics called Spider-Man Unlimited, and I know there was at least one) bothered me more for the coincidence of there being a Counter-Earth version (along with Reed “the Brute” Richards, Wolverine, and in the cartoon Green Goblin and Electro–oddly no Counter Peter, MJ, or Aunt May) than anything else. But now she’s all over the place, including J. Michael going back and damaging the character to folks who LIKED her.
Can’t we just let Gwen rest in peace? I suspect once the movie reboots (just as Peter and MJ could finally be hitched in the movies–nobody seems to want to let that happen; even the Fox Kids version brought in watery clones), Mary Jane will be booted out of his life in favor of Gwen, and I may just end up hating her after that. So no, Gwen will not be put to rest, and I will never be free of her.
I am not happy with these developments.