It’s Valentine’s week and while for most of you that means romance and hot dates with chilli-cheese fries or whatever you’re into, here at The Arcade, to mark the upcoming occasion, we’ve decided to take a look at some of our favourite fictional couples out and around the world and try to explain just why we love them so much. So cancel your dates, sit back and prepare to read about the my favourite celeb couple; Peter Parker (A.K.A The Amazing Spider-Man) and Mary Jane Watson. Your relationship will never be as good as theirs anyway. Forget what you’ve seen on screen, I’m talking comics, pure undiluted source material.
“Face it, Tiger…you just hit the jackpot!” might be the single greatest line in any comic book for they are Mj’s first words to Peter. What’s important to remember about the relationship of Peter and Mary Jane is the deep friendship it grew from. This was hardly a love at first sight situation. Peter was dating Gwen and Mary Jane was dating Harry when they were first getting to know each other. Eventually, over time, the two were able to share their secrets and romance inevitably blossomed.
Early on in the Spider-Mythos Mary Jane is portrayed as a rather one dimensional party girl character and largely just a flirtatious rival to Gwen Stacy. However as time passes we find out Mary Jane’s carefree attitude is just an act and coping mechanism as a result of her growing up in an abusive home with her family forced to move from city to city and her fathers frustration, soon leading to physical violence. Mary Jane created the persona of being fun and carefree in order to mask how she really felt. In this regard she and Peter already have a lot in common with one another but it was only after Gwen’s untimely death at the hands of the Green Goblin (Norman Osborn) In the classic Amazing Spider-Man #122 did we first see the depths of Mary Jane’s character emerge when she stays to comfort Peter in his grief despite his outbursts, finally dropping her facade.
The reality of it is, there is much more depth and substance to Mary Jane and Peter than most people know or give them credit for. Unlike other fantasy couples where everything works, Pete & Mj have always been written to have real world problems like money, careers and marital situations. It’s a truly honest portrayal of their relationship. The Peter & Mj relationship has had its share of up’s and down’s but it’s always been these ‘real’ situations and pitfalls where they overcome challenges and grow closer together as a result. They’ve been married, separated, reunited and endured the loss of a child together and always emerged defiantly stronger in their love for one another.
Without going into the details of the One More Day, Brand New Day and One Moment in Time story lines, their relationship was put to an end by higher ups (don’t get me started) but in the grand scheme of things, none of that matters. Some day a writer will be allowed to put things back to where they should be.
“I can bench press a car. I can climb up the side of a wall. Fight twenty guys to a standstill. Swing across chasms thirty stories deep. Feel a bullet coming my way and move fast enough to get clear. But something in her makes me gentle. Makes me shy. Makes me strong. Makes me happy to be alive. And maybe that’s it. Maybe that’s what it really comes down to. She makes, me. Makes me whole … She completes me.”
These two belong together.