Spider-Man fans are at odds about Mary Jane’s Jackpot identity

Christopher Baggett
Mary Jane as Jackpot

The origin of Mary Jane Watson’s new Jackpot identity has finally been revealed in The Amazing Spider-Man. With the story of the new identity and costume also come fans who are split over the change. 

It’s been a rough time for Mary Jane Watson. The past year of comics has dealt with the reveal that Mary Jane had a new beau, Paul, and two kids. Amazing Spider-Man #26’s reveal that those kids weren’t real has, obviously, shaken her to the core. 

There are also the events from Amazing Spider-Man Annual, where Mary Jane’s Aunt Anna is revealed to be a victim of Krakoan medicine being tampered with. MJ is forced to drug her and commit her to Ravencroft Asylum. 

The seeds have been sown for a dramatic change for MJ. Amazing Spider-Man #31 reveals the origin of her new Jackpot identity, but fans are split on what the change means for the character. 

Mary Jane becomes Jackpot with help from Black Cat

MJ becoming the new Jackpot was announced in July, but the beginning of the character ties to the Mary Jane & Black Cat mini-series, which saw the former rivals become close friends. During the series, MJ would occasionally accompany Black Cat on adventures, setting the stage for her to become a costumed heroine. 

In a more immediate sense, the origin stems from MJ’s reaction to the loss of her children. They were revealed to be constructs created by a supervillain who Spider-Man had bested years ago. It was part of a plan to kill MJ so he could complete a ritual to exist in the real world again, but that was thwarted when a shape-shifted Kamala Khan sacrificed herself

The trauma of losing those kids has motivated MJ much the same way Uncle Ben’s death motivated Spider-Man. With a costume she receives from Black Cat, Mary Jane decides to become the new Jackpot, events which lead into a new limited series for the character. 

Unfortunately, Spider-Man fans are less enthused about the change. Many have already expressed distaste for MJ’s grief-stricken origin and the seemingly forced nature of her becoming Jackpot. Others have drawn comparisons to the classic Scarlet Witch story in which Wanda’s children were revealed to be fake, which famously led to her mental break and, eventually, the House of M event that decimated mutants. 

It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Some have expressed interest or even excitement. Others remain cautiously optimistic, especially as different writers are handling Jackpot’s stories. 


Mary Jane is the third character to become Jackpot. The original debuted in the Brand New Day story arc that set up Spider-Man’s status quo after the devil Mephisto reset his continuity. Her design evoked MJ visually enough that fans assumed she was a superhero in the new timeline. 

Jackpot will be far from the first solo title for MJ. She’s she’s had multiple mini-series over the years, including The Amazing Mary Jane, where she moved to Hollywood and made a movie with Mysterio, and Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, an all-ages book focusing on MJ’s feelings for both Peter and Spider-Man during high school.