Marvel Confirms MJ’s & Spider-Man’s Romance is Officially Dead (& That’s Good News for Her)

Spider-Man loving Mary Jane may be a multiversal constant, but that doesn't mean she has to love him back. While the two remain excellent friends, Mary Jane's recent Jackpot one-shot as part of the Marvel "Gang War" event shows how she's moved on from Peter Parker – and how her hero career is flourishing as a result.

Celeste Bronfman, Joey Vazquez, and Edgar Delgado's Jackpot (2024) #1 sees Mary Jane suiting up as Jackpot once more to help quell the Gang War raging throughout New York City. Paul is behind her 100 percent, acting as her "man in the chair" while sparks fly in Jackpot's furious duel with Electro.

The pair work in perfect sync with each other: Paul monitors and guides Mary Jane through her headset while Mary Jane handles the crisis on the ground. Together, they're able to keep Electro's damage to a minimum.

MJ's Superhero Career Shows Her Dynamic With Spider-Man Was Flawed

While Mary Jane has long been a positive influence on Spider-Man's life, the same cannot be said for Spider-Man's effect on hers. Their relationship has been held hostage for the sake of drama far too often, whether in the form of a supervillain threat or Spider-Man's superhero responsibilities leading him to neglect Mary Jane's wants and needs. This does not devalue their love for each other, but it does emphasize that their relationship has rarely been on equal terms: too often, Mary Jane has been written solely to prop up Spider-Man while getting little in return.

By contrast, Jackpot (2024) #1 takes great care to show how Paul and Mary Jane work to support each other. A subtle theme throughout the book is how Mary Jane has grappled with feelings of powerlessness in the past: the loss of her adopted children, certainly, but this can also be extrapolated to her having to rely on Spider-Man for the majority of her publication history. This issue shows how she and Paul rely on each other, whether it be through grief counseling or unhesitatingly working as a team to clear civilians out of the streets as the Gang War erupts. Paul gives Mary Jane the support and validation she never had with Spider-Man, making a return to the old status quo highly unlikely.

Mary Jane Shines As Jackpot – Without Spider-Man

Fans of Mary Jane and Spider-Man are not left destitute: in the rebooted Ultimate Universe, Spider-Man and Mary Jane are still together with children of their own. Back home in Earth-616, however, Mary Jane is living her best life as Jackpot, coming out of Spider-Man's shadow to reclaim her sense of power and agency – something that she could not do without Paul. Like it or leave it, but the end of Mary Jane and Spider-Man's romance has helped Mary Jane flourish like never before.

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