After her mother Madeline left Philip, the Watson women stayed with various relatives. One such relative that MJ was particularly fond of was her Aunt Anna, living in Queens, New York.
On the night of Ben Parker's murder, MJ spotted a frantic Peter running into his house with Spider-Man emerging from an upstairs windows only moments later. On this she deduced that Peter Parker and Spider-Man were one and the same. Confused by the emotions set off by the discovery, she chose to keep this information to herself.
After numerous attempts by Aunt May to pair Peter and MJ together, MJ finally paid a visit to the Parker home. Unfortunately, as Spider-Man was fighting the Spider-Slayer robots, he was not at home.
Dreaming of a career in either Broadway or film, MJ starred in high school productions such as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, as Blanche DuBois A Streetcar Named Desire and in other various plays and productions.
When her mother fell seriously ill. MJ gave up her acting at school and took a series of after-school jobs to help support the family. When Madeline finally died, MJ left home and determined not to sacrifice her dreams of happiness as had her mother and sister.
Arriving at her Aunt Anna's house on a Saturday, MJ and Peter finally met face-to-face when Aunt May and Peter came over for Sunday dinner.
Knowing that Peter was Spider-Man, when a news bulletin about the escape of the Rhino interrupted the music program the pair were watching, MJ suggested they try and see if they could spot the criminal. Agreeing to this, Peter later left her side with the excuse of having to take pictures for The Daily Bugle only to reappear battling as Spider-Man.
Peter soon introduced MJ to his other high school friends, Gwen Stacy, Harry Osborn and Flash Thompson. With the entanglement of the relationships, jealously and rivalry was an underlying constant between Stacy, Osborn, Parker and Watson.
During a gunfight at the Gloom Room, where MJ worked as a dancer, she was put in danger when a criminal tried to use her as a human shield. Rescuing her from the ordeal it was also the first time the pair met while Peter was in his Spider-Man costume.
During a battle between Spider-Man and the Green Goblin atop the George Washington Bridge, Gwen Stacy died from the impact of Spider-Man's attempt to rescue her with his webbing. When MJ tried to comfort Peter, he accused her of not being able to understand what it would feel like to have her own mother died. MJ stayed to comfort Peter regardless.
MJ broke off her relationship with Harry Osborn as he was becoming more and more unstable following the death of his father Norman. Harry would then nearly kill both MJ and Peter as he set off a bomb while flying around as the second Green Goblin.
On leaving for a trip to Europe Peter and MJ exchanged a long and passionate kiss. A kiss that would prove to be the turning point in their relationship as MJ realized the depth of her feelings for Peter. Feelings so strong that even a girl bearing a close resemblance to Gwen could not stop her forging ahead with their relationship.
Peter proposed to Mary Jane with a box of Cracker Jacks. Inside, a real diamond ring.MJ turned him down, claiming to be too much of a free spirit to be tied down with marriage and settling down.
Though they remained friends, MJ continually grew upset over Peter constantly risking his life and breaking dates in order to fight various villains and criminals as Spider-Man.
When MJ finally finished college, she left New York to help her Aunt Anna settle down in Florida. It was also a chance for MJ to escape from the dual life of Peter Parker and Spider-Man.
After a heated apartment battle between the Puma and Spider-Man, MJ revealed to Peter that she had known of his dual identity for quite some time. Shortly after opening up and telling Peter of her entire life story, Peter decided that he could trust MJ with his secret and the two vowed to stay friends and confidants.
As time passed, Peter and Mary Jane realized that they were deceiving themselves about the depth of their feelings for each another and that they were very much in love.
Peter proposed to Mary Jane for a second time. She did not immediately accept. Leaving for Pittsburgh, where her sister, Gail, had been sent to prison, Mary Jane helped the police arrest the real culprit, her father, Philip. Mary Jane reconciled with Gail after years of tension. Mary Jane then accepted Peter's proposal of marriage.
Peter and Mary Jane got married on the front steps of New York City's City Hall , with her uncle, Spencer Watson, a judge, presiding over the ceremony. They spent their honeymoon in France and made their home in a condominium apartment that Mary Jane was able to afford thanks to her highly successful modelling career. As the wife of Spider-man, however, things were hardly ever easy.
After their honeymoon, Spider-man was captured, drugged, and buried alive in a mound of spiders by Kraven the Hunter, who was attempting to best him before his inevitable death. Wearing a cloth version of Spider-man's costume, Kraven hunted and killed criminals, even saving Mary Jane from one, although she easily saw through his disguise. However, no villain scared her more than the symbiotic Eddie Brock, known throughout the world as Venom. She was so terrified with her encounter that she begged Peter to not wear his black costume, as it reminded her too much of the monstrous villain.
Jonathon Caesar, a multi-millionaire became obsessed with Mary Jane and even held her prisoner for a time. MJ regained her freedom and Caesar was sent to prison. Caesar took his revenge for being rejected by Mary Jane by having her and Peter evicted from their apartment. Moreover, Caesar used his influence to blacklist Mary Jane from getting modelling jobs, and has even gone so far as to purchase companies to prevent them from hiring her. Her savings frozen to legal matters, Mary Jane and Peter moved into the home of May Parker for a time. She got a role on the soap opera "Secret Hospital," but was unhappy with her character's air-headed and mean personality. Although she successfully petitioned her boss to adjust her character's personality, a deranged fan tried to kill Mary Jane out of hatred for the actions of her soap opera character. Mary Jane quit her job out of fear for her own safety.
Due to this stress, the recent death of Harry Osborn, and the seeming return of her husband's parents, Mary Jane began smoking (a habit she had quit in high school), only increasing the tension between her and Peter. When his parents were discovered to be fakes, Peter was unable to cope with the knowledge and disappeared for a time. Mary Jane visited her sister Gayle and her father for the first time in years, and finally reconciled with them. Meanwhile, Peter overcame his problems on his own. When she and Peter reunited, both were happier than they had been in a long time.
Shortly afterward, Peter's clone Ben Reilly returned, marking the beginning of the Clone Saga. Mary Jane discovered that she was pregnant. While she experienced some complications in her pregnancy, Reilly's scientist friend Seward Trainer helped her. Peter and Ben were told by Trainer that Ben was the real Peter Parker, and Peter was the clone (which later proved to be a lie). Peter, acting on hypnotic suggestion by the Jackal, attempted to kill Mary Jane, but was prevented by Ben Reilly (as the Scarlet Spider), his teammates the New Warriors, and Kaine. Later, while arguing with Ben, Peter accidentally struck Mary Jane. After this, he decided to quit as Spider-Man, because the stress of his double life was endangering his wife and unborn child.
Peter and Mary Jane left New York and moved to Portland, Oregon. While there, he lost his powers in a lab accident. They lived there peacefully for several months, adapting happily to normal life. However, they missed New York City and their friends, and moved back. Peter became unexpectedly ill and nearly died, but instead regained his powers. During the Onslaught crisis, Mary Jane was scanned by a Sentinel robot, who detected genetic abnormalities in her fetus.
Soon afterward, when Mary Jane's baby was already past due, she was poisoned by Alison Mongraine, an agent of the Green Goblin. Mary Jane's baby was stillborn (or seemed to be, as Mongraine apparently took the sedated infant away with her. The baby has not been seen since in the normal continuity, but see below). Ben Reilly died at the Green Goblin's hands the same night.
After this tragic turn of events, Mary Jane begged Peter to quit being Spider-Man. He was happy to do so for several months, but soon felt the tug of his great power and great responsibility to be a hero. Mary Jane returned to college and majored in psychology, but eventually became bored and decided to return to modelling, where she reached new heights of success. Peter became Spider-Man again behind Mary Jane's back, which put strain on their marriage yet again. At the same time, she began receiving lewd and threatening phone calls from an anonymous stalker.
He was proven right when her mysterious stalker, an unnamed, telepathic mutant, made himself known. This stalker had telepathically connected to Peter in some way, and wanted to take over his life. He kidnapped Mary Jane as part of his plan and held her hostage for several months. The stalker, however, killed himself after finally gleaning enough of Peter's personality and morality to discover that he had done terrible things. Peter and Mary Jane were reunited.
However, the stress of her captivity drove Mary Jane away. She moved to Los Angeles and immersed herself in acting -- starring as the doomed love interest in the film "Lobster-Man." Although she missed Peter terribly, after he failed to meet her flight, she refused to talk to him. However, when the villainess Shathra claimed to have had an affair with Spider-Man, Peter's first act was to call Mary Jane and assure her it was a lie. After he defeated Shathra, Mary Jane and Peter ended their separation.
MJ, along with Peter and his Aunt May later resided in the Avengers Tower after Charles Weiderman destroyed their home. With a bit of strain at first, a jealous Peter swore to himself that he would find a new home for his family, but when his initial jealousy subsided, the Civil War events forced him to stage a secret transfer of Mary Jane out of Stark Mansion, feeling that with the loss of his secret identity and his doubts about Tony Stark's ideas, Mary Jane had become a hostage in a luxurious house. MJ remained supportive about the whole ordeal.
Later, Peter was on a quest to save the life of his Aunt May, who had fallen from a sniper's bullet intended for him. He sought the help of Dr Strange, finding that even magic couldn't help him save Aunt May's life, though after appalling to Tony Stark, Jarvis was sent with $2 million to pay the hospital fees and give her the best care possible, after breaking several laws and at one point finding Eddie Brock in Aunt May's room, whom then attempted to commit suicide by jumping out of the window.
Peter was soon approached by Mephisto, and told that there was a way to save Aunt May's life. Assuming it was his soul, Peter refused. Mephisto said that he was done with trying to take hero's souls, as they were less fun to torture, knowing they did something right by damning themselves for eternity. He explained that he wanted to take away the love that he and Mary Jane share, as that sort of unconditional love only occurs once a millennium - it would mean he got one over on God and would enjoy listening to the small part of Peter and Mary Jane's souls that did remember the love. After 24 hours of holding each other, Mephisto came to the couple once more. Mary Jane whispered some conditions to Mephisto before agreeing, as well as making everyone forget that Peter Parker was Spider-Man (in case villains came after Aunt May again). Much to his own dismay, Peter agreed also.
“The cycle of life is essential to the very core of existence, to the survival of the universe. To fight that cycle…is to fight the very forces of creation itself. And that power…is not within my grasp. Or yours…. We all die, Peter. You, me, and those we love most dearly. All we can do is whether or not those we love die alone. I do not regret that I loved them, only that, in so many cases, I was not there to do what is perhaps the most important thing of all. I was not there to say goodbye”. -Doctor Strange to Peter Parker in One More Day Brand New Day
Mary Jane returned as the girlfriend of actor Bobby Carr. Mary Jane was later attacked by Paperdoll. Concealing herself in the panic room, Mary Jane observed a battle between Spider-Man and Paperdoll, and communicated with Spider-Man over the intercom. Mary Jane said that Spider-Man knew her "in another life". Peter did not learn that Mary Jane was the girlfriend of Carr nor that she was the voice on the intercom. Mary Jane contemplated making a phone call to Peter, but was hesitant to do so. She was asked for an autograph by Sara Ehret, an associate of Jackpot. Mary Jane told her she did not know when she would return to New York. Recently, she left a message on Peter's machine but Peter accidentally cut it off before she could say anything.
Beyond captivating men with her beauty and charm, Mary Jane possesses no other powers.
Mary Jane Watson-Parker is an accomplished professional actress, dancer, and model. *Has moderate experience in hand-to-hand combat, she has had many trainers one of whom is Captain America.
Mary Jane Watson-Parker possesses a normal human strength of a woman of her age, height and build engages in moderate regular exercise.
Mary Jane carries a gun (although Peter dislikes the idea) which she used against the Green Goblin. When Peter developed organic webshooters, he modified his original webshooters into bracelets that she could wear discreetly, giving her an additional defensive weapon. She also carries a modified spider-tracer with an amplified signal that can be traced over long distances.
Mary Jane was first mentioned in Amazing Spider-Man #15, made a cameo with her face hidden by a lampshade in Amazing Spider-Man #25, and made her first full appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #42.