Tuesday, August 13, 2013

and since we're linking to The Atlantic

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2013/08/-i-the-spectacular-now-i-and-the-problem-with-geek-girls-on-film/278529/

Rumors were that Shailene Woodley was cast as Mary Jane Watson for the new Spiderman franchise but that her scenes were cut (apparently more than just rumor).  If there's a female role as the prize to be won by the underdog nerd guy in all of comics it would be hard to top Mary Jane.  She's so far up the top of the totem pole of prize female that Spiderman buffs want Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy to die already so MJ, the "real" prize female, can show up already. 

But if the character is so strong a character then wouldn't she have some identity independent of her love interest?  It remains to be seen what Marc Webb and company do with Mary Jane but, so far, they've managed to give us a Gwen Stacy who can plausibly be thought of as having an identity and things to do and values she cherishes apart from Peter Parker.  Similar things could be said about any of the more memorable superhero wives and girlfriends (and boyfriends and other sorts of significant others) but then ... how many of them do we really remember? 

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