“Peter Parker Dating A Supermodel Is So Ridiculous!”
“What next, a man being bitten by a radioactive spider and getting some sort of spider-powers? Or dressing up in a costume to fight crime? Or fighting crime in the form of a huge guy dressed like a rhino, or an old guy dressed like a vulture, or an electric guy dressed like a lightning bolt?”
Can we retire this argument once and for all? First off, Mary Jane Watson being a supermodel is not integral to her character. If it’s that troublesome, you could ‘course-correct’ it to her being a struggling actress (AS HAS BEEN DONE), or a Sears catalog model, or a Suicide Girl, or a realtor… whatever (although making her look like Shailene Woodley is a bit much). It’s not part and parcel of her character the way Lois Lane being a reporter is; though the parallels between Peter ‘acting out’ as Spider-Man and Mary Jane having a career as an actress are fun.
Second, people do realize that in real life, beautiful people are not always married to equally beautiful people? There’s not, like, a sorting algorithm where tens get with tens, nines get with nines, and so forth down the line. Christina Hendricks? Ridiculously beautiful woman? Her husband looks like this.
Third, I guess people think it ruins the mystique of Peter being an ‘everyman’ for him to be married to someone hot? Which goes out the window anyway once he moves into Tony Stark’s place with his best friends the Avengers (you’re telling me he couldn’t live comfortably for the rest of his days off the change in Tony’s couch cushions?), but yeah, sure, the wife’s the problem. The thing is, Peter isn’t just some average nerd. In real life, he’d be pretty much in the top one percent of nerds. He is:
1. Possessor of “quirky good looks,” to put it in terms of a bad screenplay.
2. A minor genius, and this is in the context of the Marvel Universe, where guys like Reed Richards and Tony Stark can drink a cup of coffee and come up with a million-dollar patent.
3. Has a charming personality. Yes, women do like jokes, just not Dane Cook routines.
4. Oh, and he’s been a superhero, risking his life to save people with no (okay, very little) thought of reward ever since he was fifteen.
Imagine this conversation:
“She’s going out with him? What’s she see in that guy?”
“Well, he ran into a burning building to save a bunch of kids.”
Now imagine that times a million. Unless you think all women are insanely shallow (Bronies), why wouldn’t they be interested in someone who could give Jesus lessons on being a sweetheart?
Fourth, these arguments are usually made by people who’d prefer Peter with Gwen or Felicia. Felicia is a sexy cat burglar and I love her, but c’mon, that doesn’t even exist.
And Gwen, as of late, is a literally saint-like girl with supermodel good looks (‘A-ha!’, you say, ‘but she’s not actually a supermodel!’ Fine, just played by the girl who promotes Revlon with OLIVIA WILDE) who is also as smart or smarter than Peter (who, again, is only not the biggest brain in New York because there are people living there that can talk to God). So which is less realistic: a supermodel married to a combo firefighter/policeman/humanitarian, or the equivalents of Leonardo Da Vinci and Isaac Newton going to the same high school? Oh, and Isaac Newton also happens to look like a supermodel. But is not one.
Fifth, it’s the 21st century. Fellas, have you seen fandom? Folks like Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, Matt Smith, Hugh Laurie, and Colin Morgan (sorry to pick on you, Britain, thanks for exporting all your actually hot people here to play superheroes) are seen by straight women as ridiculously hot and not, ya know, kinda funny-looking. And that’s for just pretending to be selfless heroes. Imagine if Robert Downey Jr both made wiseass quips and saved lives in an emergency room. He’d suffer a concussion from all the room keys being thrown at him.
Sixth, and I’m going to wrap this up before the next ill-conceived Spider-Man “shake-up” comes out, if this argument isn’t advanced by Peter/Gwen shippers, it’s done by people who want a swinging bachelor Spidey. And I’m just never sure how saying “hey, that guy got lucky and snagged one single supermodel” is so much worse than saying “hey, that guy got lucky and is dating a succession of women who might as well be supermodels (BUT ACTUALLY AREN’T! TOTALLY DIFFERENT!)”. And I highly doubt Spidey’s started dating women who are ‘in his weight class.’ I mean, I haven’t been following the Spider-Man comics since rape started being a bigger plot element than, say, the Prowler.
But you guys would tell me if Parker started dating someone who looked like Abed Nadir in a wig, right? And not, you know…