Zendaya as MJ
I have read several posts on here that some people have said that they don't like Zendaya as Mary Jane. Well, I just discovered that she is not playing Mary Jane. Her character's name is Michelle Jones.share
I have read several posts on here that some people have said that they don't like Zendaya as Mary Jane. Well, I just discovered that she is not playing Mary Jane. Her character's name is Michelle Jones.share
But they she goes by MJ and the people making the movie all insist she is the MCU's version of the character.share
Someone told me Gwen and/or Mary Jane might be introduced in the next movie. But I haven't found any source other than fan speculation.share
Her character name means nothing. Nor does her race.
Zendaya was forced into """fame""" by the Hollywood wizards who transformed her into an activist after Julianna Ransic said that "you can smell the patchouli just looking at her." Before that jab, Zendaya was a big nothing. No one cared about her (still true). But then SUDDENLY patchouli was a racist thing instead of a hippy thing and presto! Your new starlet is born. Her career-spawning reaction destroyed the already reeling Fashion Police (a still funny show).
She is a mediocre actress. She isn't particularly attractive (I've seen one pic in which she looked decent). The role they have given her in these SM movies is an ill fit one. They could and should have done much better. It only went to her because she is a shiny new pawn in the game of identity politics. Like all politics, tedious.
Speak for yourself. Perhaps in your headspace of conspiracy theories the nonsense you wrote makes sense, but meanwhile, in the real world... I'd never heard of her before she was cast as MJ, but man she just nails that character. She's like the comic book Mary Jane come to life on the big screen in all the important ways. And she's a gorgeous woman, so there's that.share
She's like the comic book Mary Jane come to life on the big screen in all the important ways.
Mary Jane was created to be the archetypal modern woman of the mid-1960s. Her defining traits for her beauty, her confident, empowered attitude, and her completely of-the-moment personality. If you mean that Zendaya doesn't act like it's 1967, then sure she's not like the original Mary Jane, but she is exactly what Mary Jane was created to be: the ideal modern woman. Literally the only thing that differentiates her from the comic book character is that the actress is half black. If that's what has you up in arms, say so, but don't try to pretend that she isn't a spot on version of the comic character.share
Sure. MJ was the ideal woman for the classic british/american liberals from the 60s. Every ideology has its own rolemodels and ideal men/women.
You can write MJ as the ideal woman for the current diversitarians (or whatever is called the current trend ideology), I mean: cocky, smirky and not showing skin (which by the way is quite close to the ideal woman in XVIIIth century England), but that's NOT the same as the comics. That's reinterpreting the characters to fit them into a new ideology.
You could put her inside a burka and make her stay home and pray five times a day and that would be ideal modern woman in Afghanisthan, but that wouln't be exactly the same MJ you had in the comics, no matter it's still an ideal woman.
Yes, these people are literally insane.
Because they don't like a movie character?
No, I wouldn't say they are LITERALLY (which is LITERALLY the most overused and misused word currently in the English language) insane. They just have a different opinion. It's weird, I know...someone having a differing opinion. People today have trouble with that.
I think the character of MJ in these new movies is awful. I'm not insane. I also have no idea how her character is in relation to the comics, and I couldn't care less.
She is a preachy, protesting, lecturing bore of everything people hate about millennials.
No, they are literally insane if they think she matches the MJ of the comics. It’s not in the same universe. Like or dislike who you wish, but this silly girl is not the MJ of the comics.
Seems pretty much spot on, exactly the same to me. What differences do you see between comic book MJ and MCU MJ?share
"Conspiracy theory?" I watched Fashion Police religiously (yes, some straight men enjoyed it!) and even though it was on its way out after Joan's death, it was destroyed completely after the event I outlined above. Not a conspiracy. Not a theory. That is what happened. You can easily verify it yourself.
Your love of Zendaya makes you defensive. I'm glad you like her. At least the jarring miscast is pleasing people from your dimension.
I don't know what Fashion Police is, or what happened, but I was addressing your notion that Zendaya is a lousy actress who was forced upon us for political reasons. Then of course you call me defensive in an attempt to invalidate what I wrote. I have no "love of Zendaya," nor am I defensive about her. I'd never even heard of her before Homecoming, and I've never seen her in anything other than the two Spider-Man films.
As a lifetime reader of the Spider-Man comics, what matters to me is that she's perfect fit for the Mary Jane character. She's a convincing actress, she's attractive, and her on-screen chemistry with Holland is remarkable. Beyond those things, I don't really care.
Fair enough but I question your "lifetime reader of the Spider-Man comics." With the exception of a chunk of the 90's and the past 3 years, I have been collecting comics for 44 years. Not always picking up SM but quite a bit of it. Read all 4 titles of SM during the first Secret Wars, half of Ultimate, assorted era' like Scarlet & Superior, and have touched it on and off for lo, these many decades. I know SM very well. I know MJ very well. Zendaya is unlike MJ in every single way. I can understand you having your own opinion and love of an actress (I don't fault you, we simply disagree) but I do not understand your claim "that she's perfect fit." That is outside of the realm of taste as she is fundamentally different.share
Clearly we've both been reading for a long time-- I started collecting Spider-Man comics in 1978-- issue 186 was the first one I read, and I bought them religiously from that point on. I collected Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man as well, and as I got older I began back-collecting and eventually had a complete run of PPtSS, and a complete set of Amazing Spider-Man from issue 10 on, except for #14. It sounds like you've been reading even longer, but clearly we're both Spider-Man fans.
When I think of Mary Jane, I think of her defining traits as
2. fun to be around
4. confident in her self
She was created in the '60s era as with a sort of go-go dancer look, but she's evolved over time. What hasn't changed has been the four things I associate with her. So when you say Zendaya is a jarring miscast, I'm lost. Is it because she's half-black? Is it imperative to you that because she was created in an era when all main characters in comics were white, that she must be played by an all-white actress? Do you think she needs to dye her hair red? What is it about her portrayal of Mary Jane/MJ that doesn't seem like a spot-on adaptation of the character from the comics?
'Beautiful, funny and self-confident' can be applied to most of female main characters in popcorn series and movies.
Comic's Gwen Stacy was beautiful, funny and self-confident. Johansson's Black Widow is beautiful, funny and self-confident. Gwineth Paltrow's Pepper Pots is beautiful, funny and self-confident. Evangeline Lilly's The Wasp is beautiful, funny and self-confident. Back in the 60s the witch Samantha in Bewitched was beautiful, funny and self-confident. Eve Kendall in North by Northwest is beautiful, funny and self-confident. Back in the 30s Della Street, in Perry Mason's novels, was beautiful, funny and self-confident. Agatha Christie's Miss Marple was beautiful (for her age), funny and self-confident. Back in the XVIIIth century, Jane Austen's female characters used to be beautiful, funny and self-confident. Oscar Wilde's ones used to be beautiful, funny and self-confident. Alexander Dumas ones used to be beautiful, funny and self-confident. Back in the XIVth century, female characters in Tales of Count Lucanor were beautiful, funny and self-confident. The same can said from female characters in The Book of Good Love, again, XIVth century.
'Beautiful, funny and self-confident' for main female characters in movies is like Astrological descriptions for real people: it can be applied to almost anybody.
You're only pointing out that Mary Jane is not a ground-breaking female character, not offering any reason why you think Zendaya is incapable of playing the part. My point is that for the first time, we have a Mary Jane in film that is just like the Mary Jane in the comics. Why do you think she's not?share
I didn't say that Zendaya was incapable of playing the part. She's able to play the part. But the 'part' is NOT the MJ from the comics.share
Please explain how the part is different.share
Did I miss where you explained before? You went off on a tangent listing various females of fiction, but what is it about MJ in the two recent films you think differs from MJ in the comics?share
Did I miss where you explained before?
I don't know who or what a Diversitarian is, but I think we agree in our disagreement. I think it would be weird to have Zendaya acting like a typical 1960s girl in a film set in 2019. 2023, actually. I think what makes Mary Jane Mary Jane is that she is always portrayed as the ideal girl of her time. As time passed, so changed Mary Jane's behavior. The MJ of the films acts like what the typical male of the present day seeks in a girlfriend. Obviously not EVERYONE wants the same thing, but outliers aside, she's the modern day MJ. No?
One thing you've not touched in is why you feel Zendaya is miscast. It's one thing to say the role she was given isn't written the way you'd write MJ, but the beginning of this discussion was over the statement that Zendaya is a "jarring miscast" for MJ.
I think what makes Mary Jane Mary Jane is that she is always portrayed as the ideal girl of her time.
Let's take your Sherlock Holmes example... Doyle introduced him to the world in the 1880s. If I were making a move set in 2019 that featured Holmes, I'd sit down and consider what I feel to be his defining traits. He's be a brilliant deductive reasoner, he'd be fixated on his abilities as a detective, always studying cigar ash, regional mud, and whatever he felt a mastery of could aid his skills as a sleuth. He'd be curt, arrogant, and awkward around women. The list would go on, but I'd come up with my idea of the core traits of the character.
It seems if you were making a 2019 film about Holmes, you'd make sure to have him live in a boarding house with a full-time maid, ride about London in a horse and buggy, and smoke a pipe. You're confusing core character traits with arbitrary traits associated with the era in which he was introduced.
Characters are created, and they have core traits, but they also have traits that are a byproduct of their time. Just as Captain Nemo shouldn't be piloting a battery-powered submarine in 2019, Mary Jane Watson shouldn't be a hippie chick or a go-go dancer. One of her primary, core traits is that she embodies her era, and if we drop her into a new era, but have her act like it's 1968, her core trait suddenly becomes that she mysteriously acts like a Baby Boomer even though she's Gen-Z.
if you were making a 2019 film about Holmes, you'd make sure to have him live in a boarding house with a full-time maid, ride about London in a horse and buggy, and smoke a pipe.[...] Captain Nemo shouldn't be piloting a battery-powered submarine in 2019, Mary Jane Watson shouldn't be a hippie chick or a go-go dancer.
I used your exact words. "Characters can be created according to some popular archetype in a period. But ONCE created, they, their relationships, their stories, are defined. It's who they are."
You explained in detail that Mary Jane needs to remain a 1960s girl, as originally created, and updating or altering her in any way is disallowed.
Both Homes and Watson (Mary Jane, not John), have immutable core traits that should be kept intact in order to preserve the nature of the character. Absolutely none of those traits have been altered in Zendaya's portrayal of the character. Nothing has been 'updated' to become a SJW/Diversitarian ideal model. I won't second-guess your motives, but based on previous posts you've made elsewhere on this site, it seems obvious that you're making that up to avoid saying "She isn't Mary Jane because Mary Jane isn't black." That's literally the only difference between MJ in the comics and MJ in the MCU. Otherwise, she's exactly what MJ was created to be-- the typical girl of the day.
As the day changes, so too does the happenstance of what makes her typical. Just as it was typical for Holmes to ride a horse and buggy in 1890, but would ride in a car in 2019, so too has typical teen behavior changed in the past 50+ years.
 «I used your exact words: Characters can be created according to some popular archetype in a period. But ONCE created, they, their relationships, their stories, are defined. It's who they are.»
No. You assigned to me words I didn't say. I was NOT referring to those ones. I quoted exactly which ones the comment above. You ignored it. I can't say that surprises me.
 «Absolutely none of those (core) traits have been altered in Zendaya's portrayal of the character.»
Core traits of the character of Zendaya have been altered to accomodate to SJW/Diversitarian ideology. I explained how several comments above. But since you were so busy assigning to me words I didn't say, I guess you missed the words I actually said.
Nothing about Mary Jane has been altered to accommodate anyone, unless you mean her race. Is that what your made up word "Diversitarian" signals?
Zendaya the actress isn't white. She's half black. That's a meaningless trait when it comes to Mary Jane, because her race had nothing to do with who she is. It seems that to you, it's the only trait that matters. Kirsten Dunst acted and spoke nothing whatsoever like Mary Jane, but she's white. Plus, they dyed her hair red. Nailed it!
I agree. Kirsten nailed it. Was pretty easy. :Dshare
Nothing about Mary Jane has been altered to accommodate anyone, unless you mean her race.
I'm not ignoring anything. I'm also not a SJW, or a "Diversitarian," or a Nazi, or in the KK or Ultra-Christian, or whatever other term you want to throw at me. You have some grand theory about fantasies and two sides, and are so convinced that you're right that I must have los the ability to read and comprehend-- do you see the irony there?
That aside, Zendaya's MJ is identical to the character in the comics in every way except that the actress is half black. That is a meaningless attribute when it comes to MJ, because her race is of no consequence. There are no psychological differences. You may feel better about yourself for saying so, so you don't have to admit that her being played by a non-white actress is the only difference, but that doesn't mean they are there.
This is a fascinating discussion. . .for no other reason than you two have managed to say the same exact thing in different ways, yet come away with two COMPLETELY opposing viewpoints.
It seems that way. You'd think he agrees with me from what he writes, but...
All kuku seems to come up with is that in the comic book she's white, and in the movie she's part-black, but he doesn't want to come out and say it for fear of sounding racist. Instead, he says she's different in a way that appeals to "diversitarians," some word he presumably made up to mean "people who don't care about the race of an actor."
I especially enjoyed the post where he said I'm so caught up in there being always being a right and wrong opinion that I can't comprehend what I read, and if I could I'd know that he's right and I'm wrong. The irony there was priceless. :)
I suspect. . .and this is common on online forums. . .that if you guys were having this conversation face to face at a cafe, the tone would be COMPLETELY different, and you'd walk away w/each other's contact info as buddies, with a connection made. Ah well. My perspective: I disagree w/both of you, for different reasons 😇share
I really don't like to debate about politics or any controversial subject out of Internet. When you crush somebody's beliefs and make them face their self-denial, that hurts them, even at at a physical level. It happens that I'm an extremely empathic person (who'd say, huh?), I can perceive people very easily. Actually, my friends use to trust me when I make a judgment about a person because I'm almost never wrong. Downside of that: I can't debate in real world. But at least I have internet XDDDshare
First of all, very impressive collection. I don't have an entire run of any one title but in the early 90's I could claim to have had over 95% of Iron Man's entire run (I couldn't keep that up because I quit collecting titles when they started sucking). The bulk of what I have is that, FF, Avengers, Daredevil, Nightwing, Teen Titans, Xmen, Flash, Birds of Prey, Defenders. And tons and tons of other stuff as writers I like changed lanes.
Mary Jane was, above all other things, a red head. Her beauty and red hair were her defining traits. The very essence of her simple character is those two things. Writers did whatever they wanted with her over the years (of what I read) but the standard remains: pretty+red hair. I don't find Zendaya to be pretty. And I'll tell ya what MJ never was: dour.
When it comes to race changing characters, I don't mind unless it involves changing what makes the character iconic. For instance, Sammy as Fury is fine because the iconic thing about Fury is his eye patch. Similarly I had no problem with them changing the race of Kingpin, Johnny Storm, the Ancient One, Heimdal, and Deadshot as well as many others.
Now there are situations that have changed my mind. Even though I love Tessa Thompson, I hated that they cast her as Valkyrie. What makes Valkyrie iconic is her milk-maid looks and long blonde braids. She had a low profile in the comic world so her appearance defined her above all. They changed my mind in Thor 3 by making Tessa "a" Valkyrie instead of "the" Valkyrie. Because of this, I could give Zendaya a pass since she isn't actually Mary Jane but some other MJ. My beef is that I don't like Zendaya, even in the alternate role they made for her. Not a fan. Not impressed.
As always, I am open to have my mind changed. Once I see FFH, I will give her a fair assessment. It won't change my mind about how she rode the bullshit train to fame at the expense of PC violators. But if she is better this time, I'll say so.
The red hair seems a bit optional, but if there is anything that Zendaya lacks, it would have to be that. For me, the hair color wasn't a big deal. Mary Jane was an attitude, but one used to cloak an insecure inner self because of childhood abuse. I really see the way MJ uses her gruff exterior to deflect her own insecurities, but in a way that is never angry-- she is very tongue-in-cheek in a faux-curmudgeonly manner, and it really feels to me like a modern-day Mary Jane. Both have a sarcastic streak, and both demonstrate a strong exterior masking a shy interior. I can definitely understand if you came into the film disliking Zendaya that you'd be less than impressed with her work as MJ. I'd probably feel the same if they cast someone I disliked.
Sadly, I had to sell most of those comics awhile back, and now have pretty much only comics from about 2005 or so until the present day. :/
No, Anubis speaks for MANY of us.share
MANY seems to equal a teeny tiny number of people... who exactly is upset with Zendaya as MJ?share
"Upset"? Did you even read what he wrote?share
If not upset, what word would you use?share
Slightly annoyed perhaps, but I'm not going to speak for other people.
You seem a little upset, though, that not everybody is infatuated with your favourite girl Zendaya.
Well, that's where you're wrong. I'd never even heard of her before the Spider-Man film, and have seen nothing featuring her other than the two Spider-Man films. She's far from a favorite. I just think that she, and the screenwriters, really got to the core of who Mary Jane is, and it's refreshing. After the 3 Raimi films, which were fun but cheezy, and only barely recognizable as Spider-Man films, and the 2 crappy films from Marc Webb, at last we have Spider-Man films that feel like the comic books come to life, and Zendaya's MJ is a big part of that. Tom Holland, of course, is the linchpin, but across the board, Feige and co. have nailed the look and feel of the classic Lee, Ditko, Romita, Bendis, Bagley comics.share
Well, and you're wrong accusing people with a different opinion of being upset or conspiracy theorists.
If you really never heard of Zendaya before, then you don't really know enough to comment on what Anubis said about her career or what other people have said about it.
Luckily, she's not Mary Jane Watson.
I don't give a rat's ass about what the majority thinks or doesn't think...I personally think her character is awful. Really an annoying character. Definitely made for today's kids...I'm sure they love her annoying protests and statements through the whole movie, but I think she's a snobby know-it-all. Nothing against her as an actress. Her character was the worst thing about the last movie to me. As soon as she said she wouldn't go up into the monument because it was "built by slaves", I was done with her. Ridiculous. The rest of Homecoming was really good though.share
It seems your reason for disliking her is that she acts like a modern human being, with a modern sense of humor. To each his own, but the initial complaint was that Zendaya is "jarringly miscast" as Mary Jane, which seems to mean "Zendaya is half-black and Mary Jane has to be played by an all-white actress."share
What do you know about being a modern human being? People are different, you do know that, right? Not all of them constantly lecture other people and protest about everything all day until you want to vomit.
I think her character sucks. She is very unlikeable, and I think people who act similar to her in real life are brutally obnoxious too.
I couldn't care less about her race, as much as that pains you to hear as you attempt to lump me into some specific stereotypical group of people you dislike.
I could understand you liking her but she neither acts or looks anything like the comicbook Mary Jane. Mary Jane was always upbeat in both the original and Ultimate comics. She was always acting positive. The version in these movies is rather the opposite of that. I am getting used to her now but I still wish we could have the actual character of Mary Jane introduced instead of a character that barely resembles her.share
The looks part isn't an issue to me. It's acting. It's film. The best actor won't necessarily look like the picture that the guy drew back in the '60s. What I like about MCU MJ, as opposed to Raimi MJ, is that she matches MJ from the comics in the important ways. You mentioned MJ being upbeat in the comics, and I'd say that Zendaya's MJ is quite upbeat. She isn't an airhead space-case upbeat character as MJ was waaay back in the '60s, but she certainly exudes the upbeat, confident MJ of the more recent comics. It may be a modern, sarcastic, self-aware type of upbeat-ness, but for me it just makes it more realistic. She's comic book MJ with a realistic twist, as are nearly all the MCU characters, which I believe is a key element of the films' successes. They distill the core elements of the characters from the comics, but strip away the surface-level silliness and cheesiness. In much the same way Hawkeye is still Hawkeye in all the key ways, even though he doesn't wear a purple mask, MJ is MJ, even without red hair.share
I'm sorry but I don't see it. Zendeya's MJ is very cynical to me. She maybe your cup of tea but she isn't mine.share
Saw Far From Home today and Zendaya is great, has some good chemistry with Tom Holland.
She is definitely a new character, they’re rather adamant on not reusing anything from the Toby Maguire and Andrew Garfield movies including love interests.
Im going to spoiler this, so if you havent seen the movie, dont look!
If they were adamant about not using anything from the Toby movies then someone fucked up big time in the casting of J Jonah Jameson.
I tend to avoid those conversations because they are focused on things that aren't worth focusing on. "Such and such should not be playing this character because..." and what usually follows is something arbitrary such as race or ethnicity. If the person makes a character work then the person should play the character. Zendaya works well as this character so whats the problem? There isn't any. Its all fabricated to suggest there's an agenda against white people.share
Its crazy, the amount of stuff that people can read into things these days. Kind of hard to tell who has the actual agenda, the person complaining or the media they're complaining about =P
Except often its not, like in this instance.
Not sure if any1 noticed, but shez not white nor a redhead. My friendz call me captain. Captain obvious.share
Zendaya too dark skinned to be called white? Or is it that all MJ's have to be white?
Looks like this MCU version of Peter Parker likes a bit of a swirl in his ladies.
Or is it that all MJ's have to be white?
Is Black Panther an MJ within the MCU or trying to play MJ? I don't think Peter "swings" that way.share
Is Black Panther an MJ within the MCU or trying to play MJ? I don't think Peter "swings" that way.
Thank you for your answer. You made your position about the subject crystal clear.The Subject was MJ. Please explain what MJ has to do with Black Panther? In advance I thank you for your answer. share
He make comparison 2 make his pt. I think it very clear which is when we blacken white charz, it’s diversity but when we whiten blk charz, it’s racism.share
I like her in the role, she doesn't act like a typical "damsel".