Happy Birthday To MCU’s Mary Jane – Zendaya!

Today is Zendaya’s birthday, and she turns the very young age of 25! In celebration of her birthday, we wanted to dive a little into her past, her accomplishments and then talk a bit about her MCU character Mary Jane.

Having been born in Oakland, California, Zendaya started acting early in plays in her hometown until landing the Disney show Shake It Up at 14. She started that show with Bella Thorne, who… has had a couple of controversies in her own career. Zendaya has come a long way, but is definitely talented in the craft, here is a list of interesting facts:

Fun facts about Zendaya:

  • Her name means “to give thanks” in the Zimbabwe language of Shona.
  • She was a backup dancer for Selena Gomez in a Sears commercial.
  • Like MCU’s Chris Hemsworth, she appeared on Dancing with the Stars in 2013.
  • She spent two years studying the Hula at The Academy of Hawaiian Arts.
  • When she auditioned for Shake It Up she performed Michael Jackson’s “Leave Me Alone.”
  • And I helped sell her a TV when I worked in retail!
  • Now onto the comics stuff. Mary Jane was never Peter’s first love. However, an unfortunate neck-snapping incident changed all of that. With the death of Gwen Stacy, Peter finally finds love once again with the most iconic of his relationships, Mary Jane. Though their relationship is usually what is thought of when people talk about Spider-Man’s love interest, it’s never really been easy. Even moments of joy and happiness are bookended with tragic events. From deaths to world reshaping events, their relationship has been through the wringer more years than Zendaya has been alive!

    Here are a couple of our favorite stories of the web-slinger and Mary Jane’s relationship!

    Mary Jane – Spider-Man The Animated Series
     
    When I was growing up, my source of Spider-Man content was the illustrious animated series of the 1990s. In this series their relationship lasts until Season 3, when taking a nod from Gwen Stacy’s death the Green Goblin throws Mary Jane off the George Washington Bridge into a dimensional portal. She is presumed dead until the next season where she appears at the spot of her disappearance and continues her relationship with Peter, until Season 5, when it is discovered that she is just an unstable clone of Mary Jane. The series finishes with Madame Web agreeing to send Peter through the multi-verse to find and rescue the real Mary Jane.
    Mary Jane – One More Day
     
    In 2007, the events of Civil War finally took their tole, and Peter Parker’s reveal of his identity placed Aunt May in jeopardy. To save her life, Peter had to sacrifice his relationship with Mary Jane. This major change was actually initiated finally by Mary Jane herself, who added caveats like protecting Peter’s secret identity, and not removing their relationship completely, turning married to a history of dating, in hopes that it would a happy future together in the potential outcomes.
    Mary Jane – The Superior Spider-Man
     
    Back dating prior to the events of The Superior Spider-Man, while their relationship is finally seemingly on track, Peter has his mind swapped with Otto Octavius. Octavius in Peter’s body continues to date Mary Jane but his advances are rebuffed because Mary Jane recognizes that something isn’t right. When their relationship faulters and breaks due to the mind swap, she moves on to build her own life running a successful nightclub. When Peter regains control of his brain he approaches Mary Jane to explain the situation, but she tells him that she can’t let his alter ego affect her life anymore and decides to live her own life.

    Zendaya will return in Spider-Man: No Way Home alongside Tom Holland.

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