Saturday, January 05, 2008

Spider-Man: Jackpot and A Brand New Butt

In response to my post regarding Jackpot's butt, "Brand New Day" editor Stephen Wacker has made a request to me for equal time -- pointing out that Phil Jimenez had already depicted Spidey's butt on the cover of "Amazing Spider-Man: Swing Shift":

Curiously, it has also been pointed out to me by "D the G" that "Jackpot" makes her first appearance in May 2007's "Swing Shift," a Free Comic Book Day issue written by "Brand New day" scribe Dan Slott:

Could Jackpot really be Mary Jane?

This of course brings me to Firestar. "Firestar?", you say? What does her butt have to do with anything?

Legend has it that originally Mary Jane was supposed to be Firestar (originally called "Heatwave") in the 1980s "Spider-man And His Amazing Friends" cartoon:

This model sheet looks curiously like MJ, doesn't it?

So the question remains: if Jackpot is indeed Mary Jane, is "Brand New Day" an attempt to marginalize or spotlight her? If there have been complaints in the blogosphere regarding Mary Jane's passivity, would Mary Jane-as-superheroine go far to dispel that?

More news as it develops...


  1. What I'm wondering is if Spidey has to strike her in the course of trying to bring her to justice, would that be considered "hitting the Jackpot"?

    But regarding the Mary Jane thing, I'm pretty sure that's who she is, and Spidey readers will get a contrived Batman/Catwoman kind of relationship. Remember the immortal line:

    "Face it tiger, you just hit the jackpot!"

  2. To me, Jackpot is the biggest sign that they've already got plans in place to push the re-reset button and bring back the pre-OMD status quo. Just doesn't seem like the kind of thing they'd do if they're trying to get back to basics.

  3. So...did MJ whisper "I wanna have powers?"

    Anyhow- making MJ Firestar would be a clever & interesting thing to do in Ultimate Spider-man. Heck, I really like the Ultimate Universe for JUST THAT REASON.

    I think, & I have been thinking for a little while, that this is going to be part of the Ultimate Smash-up or whatever they are calling it. Ultimate Secret Confrontation Of Infinity. That thing.

  4. Also kudos to Wacker. Dialogue, baby!

  5. Who the Hell even cares? Jackpot could be Aunt May from Trouble and it would still be terrible. I think Jackpot is actually Mephisto in a very clever disguise. That was Spidey and his BFF Satan could team-up and Satan could help out his pal Spidey every time Spidey is faced with learning some inconvenient life lesson.

    Anyway, awesome line Johnny B. Now you have me wondering if Peter has sex with MJ if that's also "hitting the Jackpot."

    I don't care if this is some huge gotcha. I simply don't. I'm done with all superhero books not written by Brubaker, Faction, or Ellis and I'm perfectly happy with that.

    I think it's sad how Wacker is in a really bad spot here. If I were in his spot, I'd also try hucking it up and try winning people over with charm and humor.

    I'm hoping this is finally the end of the Big Two as comic publishers. Just become IP farms for licensing and leave the storytelling to Hollywood.

  6. Anonymous1:35 PM

    I must agree with Steve. They want MJ in there (she's a huge part of the movie canon, after all!), but Peter was too square, bein' married to her and all. So they'll just have them dance around it for another 20 years. You know, until they get married again.

  7. I don't know that there's actually been a problem with Mary Jane's passivity. The days of her lying around the apartment in her underwear worrying about Peter are long gone, and even that period in the 90s was a diversion from her typical characterization. She's long been a strong woman who could think on her feet and stand up for herself, and her husband. She's even taken out a supervillain or two. (I'll be heartbroken if I ever learn that her beating the Chameleon with a baseball bat is no longer in continuity.)

    The thing is, if she actually is Jackpot, which seems highly likely, then MJ's lost a lot of what made her special. I don't envision the Spider-Man/Jackpot relationship being much more than a rehash of the Spider-Man/Black Cat relationship, only without the tension that made it interesting. Of all the things the are introducing with this reboot, this one seems the most doomed. I do think it's being done as a nod to the fact that MJ is a very popular character who needs to be a part of the story for the book to remain successful, but it's very misguided. The back-up story with Greg Land art doesn't help either. At the very least, Mary Jane deserves to be traced from something other than the same old porn he uses for everything else.

    As for Firestar, I always suspected that, when they couldn't use the Human Torch for the cartoon, they just decided to give Mary Jane powers.

  8. I refuse to believe that Jackpot is not MJ!

    Maybe, just maybe, she'll somehow help Peter redeem himself from the douchery we saw in the first two pages.
    I don't believe in supporting Quesada, but I believe in the two of them.

  9. So... Spidey needs butt implants? He'll never make it in the Green Lantern Corp with an ass like that, I'm afraid.

  10. Shouldn't there be a slight bit of outrage over the fact that Quesada and thus Marvel (as he is their face) is putting the majority of the "dealing with the devil" blame on Mary Jane's shoulders? Not only does she agree to a deal, she then pushes Peter into it.

    A little too "C'mon Tiger, try some of this apple..." for my taste.

  11. I am just confused.

    Do the editors they put in charge have any writing cred? I read another blog where a commenter quoted what J. Michael had said Joe Q. best summed up as "it's magic and that explains everything." Course, it is all hearsay, but with the way the story seems to be playing out, it sounds valid. J. Michael had issues with that attitude and so do I. It goes back to what I'm learning as a writer who wants to be published, the reader is not stupid and demands a consistency to the world. Joe Q. does not sound like he understands this principle.

    I suppose I should leave a link to that blog: Websnark: Retconning. Sorry, I don't think I'm all the way awake yet.

    And I guess another thing that confuses me is why they think it's necessary to do a reboot in the comic series. Character really doesn't change; what makes the superheros heroic shouldn't change. Superman's a Boy Scout, but that's why we love him. I can understand updating the art to match our real world (typewriters vs. computers, better cameras for Peter, etc.) but that doesn't effect the story really. Right?

    Like I said, it has me puzzled. Maybe because I just enjoy the art and read the dialogue and follow the plot and don't tear the art apart. I don't buy and read DC and Marvel unless it's a graphic novel or a collected trade with a storyline that does interest me, so I get my comic fix from webcomics. I still love all these characters, but decided I should stick to the DC animated universe and movies for decent stories. And I can understand reboots there for the greater audience. (And Batman Begins just kicked ass.)

    I still feel like I'm invested because I love the characters, but the editorial choices I read about make me glad that writing these characters is not my passion.

    All that said, and because I thought they wimped MJ up horribly in the third movie, I'm on the Jackpot is MJ side even though I'm confused as to why they would want to go there. What's wrong with a normal girl who still willing to pick up a pipe and hit the super villain who kidnapped her? Is there now a new code that says superheroes can only date other superheroes?

    Stopping my confused babbling now.

  12. Owesome is right. It is a job requirement to have an awesome butt in order to be in the Green Lantern Corps.

  13. Sally & Owe are right-- Sinestro might have wanted Bats, but the GL are all about hot-shower-scene Nightwing.

  14. Spider-Butt, Spider-Butt, does whatever a spider... umm...

    ...what rhymes with butt?

  15. Anonymous4:23 PM

    i think that making mary jane a superheroine would be a good twist to her boring life because all she does is whine about peter and how hes not there all she does that is fun is have sex well i dont think thats a problem but she would get her powers from radiation to a chemical and her powers would cause tension in her marriage because she feels like she can take care of herself and that spidey wont have to worry about her well being.