Rachel Paige
July 10, 2017 10:41 am

Have you had the chance to see Spider-Man: Homecoming? If the answer is no, it is literally playing everywhere right now and has already made so much money, and also I’m about to spoil it. If the answer is yes, then you know that towards the end of the movie, there’s a big character ~twist~.

No, not that ~twist~. Spider-Man actually has not one but TWO characters that reveal themselves to be someone completely different. The first one is the Big Bad of the movie, Adrian Toomes, who — SURPRISE — is not only the Vulture, but also the dad of Peter Parker’s high school bae, Liz. Talk about an awkward first date!! We’ve all been there, Peter!!

The second twist falls on Zendaya’s Michelle. For what has to be the worst kept secret for the past year, Michelle goes by the nickname, “MJ.” As in, Mary Jane Watson. Or Michelle Jane Watson? Who knows. Michelle doesn’t give any explanation other than annoucing to the Decathlon Team that her friends “call her MJ,” before it’s pointed out that she doesn’t have any friends. So, she’s more like a self-dubbed MJ, and don’t we all wish we could self-dub ourselves as an MJ.

Chuck Zlotnick/Sony

Anyway.

This ~twist~ leaked out like…forever ago. Actually, more like 11 months ago when The Wrap got wind that Michelle was really MJ in disguise. At the time, 11 months ago, sources suggested that throughout the movie Michelle dropped subtle clues about her real identity, and then at the end dropped the big MJ bombshell. Since you’re here reading this, you’ve seen Spider-Man: Homecoming and know that none of this happens. Michelle drops nary a hint about her “real” identity, save from what happens litearlly eight minutes before the end of the movie. (I noted it when it happened, okay?)

Needless to say this “big ~twist~ reveal” is…a major letdown. I’ve known it was coming for 11 months, and while all along I knew it was never a major focal point of the film — Peter’s got his eye on another girl, remember — I expected something more. I’m not sure what I wanted, but it wasn’t Michelle awkwardly saying, “My friends call me MJ,” and like, sure, Michelle, you literally just made that up on the spot.

In all honestly, I wish this reveal had been saved for the second Spider-Man movie. That payoff would have been so much better. Who doesn’t love a beloved character in disguise? 11 months ago when I first wrote about this ~twist~ I likened it to Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character in the last Batman movie; we know him has John Blake, and he turns out to be Robin. Pulling a switch-a-roo like that wouldn’t have lessened the impact of the character whatsoever with Michelle-turning-into-MJ and putting it off for a bit would at least have given us time to get to know this Michelle before she turned into Peter Parker’s one true love. (GTFO, Gwen Stacey, #SorryNotSorry.)

Homecoming also, very subtly, establishes that Michelle has her eye on Peter. While there interaction is MINIMAL at best during the movie, there are a few moments when Michelle’s gaze lingers on Peter for a second too long. She’s into him, and now Peter’s going to be looking for a GF who has a dad who isn’t trying to take down the Avengers. We know where this story is going from here, because Peter + MJ = ❤️.

(Also, Tom Holland + Zendaya = ❤️❤️❤️.)

Don’t get me wrong, I loved literally everything else about Homecoming. I just wish I had more of an, “OMG, it’s MJ!” moment rather than, “Oh, that’s MJ?” Here’s to whatever happens next between these two crazy kids, and hopefully it’s not a major letdown. (Please do not be a letdown.)

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