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Spider-Man and MJ have turned into one of the most recognizable couples. Zendaya and Tom Holland date as Peter and MJ in Spider-Man: No Way Home. In the Sam Raimi trilogy, Kirsten Dunst played Tobey Maguire’s Mary Jane Watson. In deleted scenes from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, director Marc Webb cast Shailene Woodley to star opposite Andrew Garfield. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 also featured Felicity Jones playing Felicia Hardy, who Marvel Comics fans know as Black Cat, a romantic rival of MJ. However, despite both caring deeply for Spider-Man, the two never formally teamed up until January 2022 with Mary Jane & Black Cat: Beyond.

A cosplayer as Mary Jane Watson from 'Spider-Man,' and romantic rival to Black Cat
A cosplayer as Mary Jane Watson from ‘Spider-Man’ | Ollie Millington/Getty Images

Marvel has tried branching Mary Jane and Black Cat out from relying on Spider-Man

While it might be a long time before Zendaya or another actor sees a solo MJ movie (although some rumors think Zendaya and Jacob Batalon could appear without Holland’s Spider-Man), Marvel has tried giving her solo comic series in the main Marvel Universe.

In 2019, Marvel released the first issue of Amazing Mary Jane. It followed MJ leaving Spider-Man to work on a movie, which she discovered was directed by Mysterio. She even had to deal with the Vulture, Scorpion, and more Spider-Man foes.

Meanwhile, Black Cat also saw her first solo outing in the main Marvel Universe in 2019. It focused on her status as a moral cat burglar with a crew and a mission to secure something valuable.

Sony planned to use Black Cat in a movie before canceling it and Andrew Garfield’s Amazing Spider-Man 3.

While Marvel redhead Mary Jane and Black Cat play very important roles in Spider-Man’s life, they rarely interact for more than a moment. However, Marvel decided to shake things up in Mary Jane & Black Cat: Beyond.

What is ‘Mary Jane & Black Cat: Beyond’ and the Spider-Man ‘Beyond’ storyline?

Mary Jane & Black Cat: Beyond picks up partway through a larger story. If fans thought the Willem Dafoe Green Goblin in Spider-Man: No Way Home posed a terrifying threat, then they have not heard of Kindred.

The second Green Goblin, Harry Osborn, turned into a vengeful force in Peter Parker’s life called Kindred. After several fierce battles with Kindred, Spider-Man tried pushing himself to fight more foes but ended up hospitalized in a coma. 

Mary Jane and Black Cat stayed by his side until Mary Jane & Black Cat: Beyond. A villain with ties to Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil, held both Peter Parker and MJ at gunpoint when Black Cat arrived.

The villain called The Hood wanted his equipment back. He intended to hold Peter and MJ, but Mary Jane would not just sit by like a damsel in distress.

Not that she really ever was one (Shailene Woodley could have brought one of MJ’s most iconic moments to life in The Amazing Spider-Man 2).

The two Spider-Man love interests had a long-overdue heart-to-heart about their history with Peter Parker

Mary Jane Watson and Black Cat had very different relationship dynamics with Spider-Man. While Mary Jane fell in love with Peter Parker, Black Cat fell in love with Spider-Man.

They both struggled to connect with the opposite identities of the man they loved, but at the end of Mary Jane & Black Cat: Beyond gave the Spider-Man love interests a long-overdue heart-to-heart.


‘Spider-Man’: The Case for Felicia Hardy AKA Black Cat to Join the Marvel Cinematic Universe

After MJ impersonated Black Cat, she admitted to having fun playing ‘the bad girl’ for a night. However, this hit Felicia Hardy more than she expected. Felicia admitted that she felt like she was just part of Spider-Man’s past sometimes, the ‘side girl’ until MJ came along.

However, MJ admitted to feeling the pressure of living up to Gwen Stacy’s memory. Fans remember how much chemistry Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone had in The Amazing Spider-Man. Living up to her memory has affected MJ.

The comic brings the two Spider-Man love interests together in a way that has not really been done before in Marvel Comics. As fans whisper about Black Cat possibly appearing with Tom Holland’s Spider-Man or Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker in the MCU or Morbius, hopefully, they can see her unique dynamic with Mary Jane Watson.