- "My friends call me MJ."
"I thought you didn't have any friends."
- ―Michelle Jones and Ned Leeds
Michelle Jones, also known as MJ, is a student at Midtown School of Science and Technology who greatly enjoyed mocking all of her fellow students there, which included Peter Parker. Despite keeping her distance socially, MJ eventually was given the opportunity to take over from the departing Liz Toomes as the head of the Decathlon Team, and began to open up more with her fellow teammates, which included Ned Leeds and Parker.
MJ was a victim of the Snap in 2018, but along with all other victims, was resurrected in the Blip five years later. Her affections were sought out by Parker and Brad Davis during Midtown Tech's trip to Europe. When she deduced Parker's identity as Spider-Man, MJ had helped discover Mysterio's fraudulence by exposing that he staged the Elemental crises. Shortly after their trip to Europe, MJ and Parker began dating. On their first date, Peter as Spider-Man uses his webs to swing and hold MJ. MJ is horrorstruck when The Daily Bugle showed a modified video of Mysterio and Spider-Man, claiming that Peter was responsible for the casualties during the Battle of London.
2016-2017 Academic Year
Michelle Jones is a student at Midtown School of Science and Technology. She is a classmate of Peter Parker, and is a member of the school's Academic Decathlon team. Jones called Parker and Ned Leeds losers for staring at Liz Toomes for too long. When Leeds asked why she sat at their table, she replied that she didn't have any friends, and returned to reading her book. Jones also read the On Human Bondage throughout the entirety of gym class, even while she was supposed to be doing curl-ups.
Liz Toomes' Party
- "I can't believe that you guys are at this lame party."
"But you're here too."
- ―Michelle and Ned Leeds
A member of the Academic Decathlon team, Liz Toomes, threw a party at her house. Jones attended, but when Peter Parker and Ned Leeds arrived, she called them losers for attending. When Leeds pointed out that she was attending the party as well, she just gave them a quirky look and asked, "Am I?".
Field Trip to Washington D.C.
Jones joined the Academic Decathlon team for the field trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in the finals. She questioned Mr. Roger Harrington on the timetable for the trip because she wanted to get in some light protesting while in the nation's capitol. She correctly answered the last question of the Decathlon, winning the competition for the team.
On the way to Washington, Parker and Leeds noticed increased activity around the damaged Triskelion structure, with Jones explaining that the Department of Damage Control was still cleaning up the mess after Captain America caused the Helicarriers to crash for seemingly no reason. While Leeds stated that he did it to save them, Jones rebuffed him and declared that that was what they wanted the public to think.
Much to team's annoyance, Parker did not attend the Decathlon and Jones had to replace him. However, she managed to answer the last question and Midtown team won the Decathlon. After the Decathlon, Harrington took them to the Washington Monument. Jones refused to go up to the top, not wanting to visit a building that had been built by slaves. While she waited at the bottom, an explosion at the top trapped her teammates in the monument's elevator. When Spider-Man arrived, Jones informed him that her friends were in the elevator. Spider-Man successfully saved the trapped Decathlon team.
- "Why are you here? You don't even have detention."
"Oh, I know. I just like to sketch people in crisis."
- ―Wilson and Michelle Jones
Jones sat next to Peter Parker when he was issued a detention for attempting to skip class. After Parker left, Wilson asked Jones why she was there, as she did not have detention. Jones answered that she enjoyed sketching people in crisis, and showed him a drawing she'd made of him.
Back to School
- "I don't know who he is. But I have my suspicions."
- ―Michelle Jones
Following the revelation that Liz Toomes' father was Vulture, she was forced to move to Oregon with her mother. In the wake of her leaving, Jones was made captain of the Decathlon team. She told her teammates that her friends called her "MJ." When Peter Parker received a message and had to leave, MJ looked at him with suspicion and asked what he was up to. She then laughed and told him she was just kidding and that she did not care. Shortly after that, she was interviewed by Betty Brant, an anchor on the school's news team, as to who she thought Spider-Man might truly be. MJ replied that she was not sure but that she had her suspicions.
Death and Resurrection
In 2018, when Thanos collected all of the Infinity Stones and snapped his fingers, MJ crumbled into dust. When Hulk snapped his fingers in 2023 to bring all the Snap victims back to life, MJ re-materialized with the rest of Thanos's victims.
2023-2024 Academic Year
Since the Snap occurred before the 2017-2018 school year at Midtown School of Science and Technology was complete, MJ and her fellow revived classmates had to retake their junior year from 2023-2024. In that time, the world steadily returned to normalcy, and MJ improved her overall social skills and relationships with the also-restored Ned Leeds and Peter Parker. In this time, MJ also grew more suspicious that Parker was living a double life as Spider-Man, which she'd considered since the Washington Monument rescue. Still insecure about her feelings for him, she told herself that she only paid attention to him to see if this theory was correct. Unbeknownst to her, Parker also developed a crush on her over the course of the school year. Along with Parker, Leeds, and some other classmates, MJ also planned on attending a school-sponsored trip during summer break to Venice, Italy and Paris, France to visit various museums and sites of interest.
Summer Class Trip
Before the plane ride, MJ defended Peter Parker from his rival Flash Thompson by telling the airline stewardess that since Thompson had been a Snap casualty, he was sixteen, not twenty-one. Parker himself had planned to tell MJ how he felt about her during the trip, but grew envious when his attempt to sit next to her on the flight resulted in her instead seated next to Brad Davis, a Snap survivor who, according to Leeds, was the most charming student in the school. During the flight, MJ and Davis watched some in-flight movies together, while an upset Parker watched on from his seat next to one of the chaperones, Roger Harrington.
After the plane landed in Venice, MJ and her classmates explored the city together, posing for some pictures with some Venetian pigeons in front of Saint Mark's Basilica for Brad Davis. She also took a liking to an Italian slang word, "Boh", that could be defined as "Nothing", "I don't know", or "Leave me alone". As she chatted with Peter Parker as they explored the city, she noticed a small package he had bought and asked him what it was. She smiled appreciatively when he answered "Boh".
Roger Harrington realized too late that he had forgotten to book the museum for the students to tour, and the students were permitted to do some more exploring. At the docks of the Grand Canal, MJ noticed that the waterway's crabs seemed to be hurrying out of the water. Seconds later, a giant water monster emerged from the canal. MJ rushed away and reunited with her classmates and chaperones, but noticed that Parker was no longer with the group.
MJ and her class went to spend the night at the Hotel DeMatteis, where the teenagers watched a news broadcast about the water monster's attack and the strange new superhuman who defeated it. She doubted a story Ned Leeds found online that claimed a man named Morris Bench had recently been infused with water-related powers, and translated the broadcast's description to her classmates as "l'uomo di misterio", Italian for "the man of mystery". From this, Ned Leeds and Betty Brant took to calling the new hero "Mysterio". When Flash Thompson dismissed their rescuer as an inferior hero to Spider-Man, MJ questioned him why he idolizes Spider-Man so much. Thompson admitted that he saw Spider-Man as a personal role model, while also insulting Parker, who had caught up with the group. Parker and MJ shared a quiet moment together in which he told her that he was looking forward to their arrival in Paris, specifically to see the Eiffel Tower. MJ noted that she was also looking forward to it, as the Eiffel Tower was a personal favorite landmark due to the conspiracy theory that it was built as a mind-control device.
The following morning, Roger Harrington and Julius Dell abruptly announced that they had spoken with the travel company and upgraded the group tour; Paris had been canceled and the students would instead be traveling to Prague in the Czech Republic. Unknown to the chaperones and students, the "travel representative" Harrington and Dell had spoken to worked for S.H.I.E.L.D. and had redirected the group to Prague because they wanted Spider-Man's help in defeating an Elemental projected to appear there soon. After a quick rest stop in Austria, Brad Davis tried to show MJ a photo he had taken, but was interrupted by a series of odd interjections by an unusually worried Parker. By the time the odd episode had calmed down, the photo had vanished from Davis' phone, and the class made their way to their new hotel, where they were told that the would soon be attending a regional festival.
However, that was also subject to an abrupt change when Dell and Harrington announced that the travel agency had given the entire class free tickets to a four-hour opera, much to the class' collective frustration. In the nearly empty opera house, Parker and MJ again made small talk. After playfully teasing Parker about a perceived gendered double standard in a compliment he paid her, MJ asked Parker if he would like to sit with her. He sent a mixed message that he would like to, but would not be able to for whatever reason. She then followed him out of the opera house. As she wandered the streets of Prague looking for him, she suddenly came face-to-face with the fire Elemental. She fled as Mysterio and an apparently new hero fought the creature, but in the process, she discovered an especially odd piece of debris - a small black camera covered in Spider-Man's webs.
Horrified that their kids had been at ground zero for two different monster attacks, the students' families called for the trip to be canceled. The itinerary changed once again for a flight to the United Kingdom and some limited sight-seeing before a return to the United States. As this would be their last night in Europe, Parker asked MJ out on a walk through the city. On the "date", Parker tried to confess his feelings for her, but she interrupted him, presuming he was about to reveal his secret identity to her. Parker was flummoxed, but admitted she was correct when she revealed the webbed-up camera. While she'd speculated about this for some time, the confirmation still came as a shock, and the social quagmire of the situation led her to indicate that her interest in him was purely to see if her theory was true. This devastated Parker, but before they could continue to discuss this, they accidentally activated the projector and an air Elemental emerged. Parker and MJ deduced that it was actually an elaborate hologram, and that Parker's mentor and friend Quentin Beck, otherwise known as Mysterio, had deceived him and was the true mastermind behind the Elemental Attacks.
Parker and MJ raced back to the hotel, where Parker changed into his stealth spider suit as he and MJ explained the situation to Ned Leeds. Parker was headed to Berlin, Germany to warn Nick Fury about Beck's true nature, while MJ and Leeds told the teachers, class, and Parker's aunt May that he would be staying with family there. MJ was uncomfortable with the elaborate lie, but stood by her friend and handed him the tell-tale piece of evidence against Beck, the hologram projector.
While Spider-Man went to Germany, MJ and the rest of the students flew to London, England the next morning, with the intent of returning to the United States after some brief sightseeing. After their arrival, Brad Davis interjected. In a bid to make himself look like a better romantic option for MJ than Parker, he again brought up the photo he had taken in the Czech Republic, in which he claimed that he had seen Parker in the bathroom with an older European woman. However, MJ and the rest of the class found it strange that Davis would take a picture of Parker in the bathroom, and doubted his story. This effectively ended Davis' pursuit of MJ for the rest of the trip.
Unfortunately, Mysterio was already in London and staged a fifth Elemental attack in which all the previous monsters fused into one and wrecked havoc on the city. Knowing that Mysterio discovered MJ and Ned Leeds knew the truth, they ran to lead the villain away from their classmates, where they were joined by Flash Thompson and Betty Brant. The four teenagers met Happy Hogan, who introduced himself as an ally of Spider-Man's here to protect them while Spider-Man took on the villain. After Hogan's jet was destroyed, the five hid in the Tower of London Museum. However, they were tracked by Mysterio's E.D.I.T.H. drones. The group did what they could to fight back, with MJ even grabbing a mace from one of the museum's displays and using it to bludgeon one of the machines. However, they were overwhelmed and backed into a corner, with only a museum vault door between the drones and them. Fearing that she was about to die, MJ confessed that she regretted her brutal honesty and poor social skills, and how she had isolated herself from potential friends.
Elsewhere in the city, Spider-Man had defeated Mysterio and used the E.D.I.T.H. glasses to exterminate all of the drones. Once the drones were down, Hogan handed MJ the contents of that small package Parker had in Venice - a necklace with a small glass pendant in the shape of her favorite flower, the black dahlia. With the necklace in her pocket and the mace still in hand, MJ went back into the city, where she found Parker on the Tower Bridge. She hugged him, and while he was dismayed that his gift for her was damaged, she didn't mind and said she liked it better this way. Timidly, MJ confessed to Parker that she had misled him in Prague; she genuinely was interested in him for reasons not related to his double life. At this, MJ and Parker had their first kiss.
Return to New York
After awkwardly returning the mace to the museum and boarding the flight with her class, MJ and Spider-Man arrived back to New York City as a couple. As an early date, Parker decided to take MJ for a swing around Manhattan with his webslinging. Once she decided to get up on Spider-Man, MJ was overwhelmed by the speed of Spider-Man web swinging, what was intended to be a fun adrenaline rush became a harrowing experience. Once she was back on the ground, MJ plainly told Parker that she never wanted to do anything like that again.
However, their date took an unexpected turn when they noticed a newscast on the Madison Square Garden MegaVision, reporting on a video published by the controversial news site TheDailyBugle.net. Speechless, MJ watched in shock and horror as the Bugle's host, J. Jonah Jameson, played edited footage of the Battle of London, a dying message from Mysterio claimed that Spider-Man was responsible for the attacks and had murdered Mysterio. To make matters worse, Mysterio concluded the message by revealing Spider-Man's face and real name, Peter Parker.
- "I'm sorry, okay? It's just I'm obsessed with telling the truth even if it hurts other people's feelings."
- ―Michelle Jones
Michelle Jones considers herself to a very observant person in general, noticing things others may not, and usually keeps a close eye on Peter Parker. She was aware of his academic situation, keeping tabs on which classes he'd neglected or which clubs he quit. During the Rescue at the Washington Monument, she observed Spider-Man as the hero climbed up the Washington Monument after notifying him that her friends were up there. Although she publicly deems Parker to be a loser, she chooses to sit with him and Ned Leeds at lunch, chided them for coming to Liz Toomes' party, gave herself detention just to sketch Parker, and gave Parker the middle finger during the homecoming dance. However, despite the other students occupied by the dance, she immediately noticed Parker leaving the dance after apologizing to Toomes, and later questioned Parker where he was going and what he was hiding, before brushing her earlier statements off and declaring that she did not care. As Parker left the library, however, she gave him a glance, watching him leave. Jones was also able to deduce that Parker was Spider-Man by noticing a pattern in his behavior as well as evidence she found or observed, only confirming her suspicions when he confessed.
However it comes clear that after the class' trip through Europe, MJ may have developed a crush on Parker throughout her observations of him and perhaps tried to deny it at first by being mean towards him. Her habit of documenting his schedules and drawing him in detention could just be her showing concern for his well-being and being fascinated by him. This is later confirmed in London where she admits that she like Parker and observed him not just because she thought he was Spider-Man but because of her mutual attraction to him.
MJ is generally a serious person, though she does possess a dry sense of humor, and is nearly always seen reading a book. She is a loner and claims not to have friends, though she soon comes to consider her Academic Decathlon team as friends. She has a tendency to speak out her feelings even if it offends someone, although she is aware of this habit.
MJ is also fascinated by morbid and otherwise controversial and macabre topics, with Parker saying that she like black dahlias due to being fascinated by the Black Dahlia murder, her mentioning a lot of conspiracy theories and propaganda as well as memorizing gruesome historical events and practices from Europe.
- Gifted Intelligence: Jones is a smart, curious and observant individual, using her great intellect to help the Academic Decathlon Team in the Decathlon finals and win the competition. She was later even chosen to replace Liz Toomes as team captain when Toomes moved to Oregon. Jones was also smart enough to notice Peter Parker repeatedly wandering off on more than one occasion, and eventually figured out that he was Spider-Man. MJ also possesses a vast amount of knowledge in history, crime and conspiracy theories, given her fascination with morbid and controversial topics.
- In the comics, the nickname "MJ" is used by Mary Jane Watson. However, both Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal had stated that Michelle Jones is not Mary Jane Watson and the MJ initials were just a fun homage to Spider-Man's s past adventures and his past love in the comics.
- In one scene, Jones reads Of Human Bondage, which follows an orphaned boy who is sent to live with his aunt and has trouble fitting in at his new school. The plot of the story is somewhat similar to Peter Parker's life.
- MJ's favorite flower is the Black Dahlia, after the murder of the same person.
Behind the Scenes
- Director Jon Watts revealed in an interview with /Film that the primary inspirations for Michelle Jones were Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy) from The Breakfast Club and Lindsay Weir (Linda Cardellini) from Freaks and Geeks.
- In regards to Michelle Jones' backstory, Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers originally wrote an scene for Spider-Man: Homecoming which heavily implied that Michelle comes from a bad home, with no one to pick up her after classes or meet her at the bus after returning from Washington, D.C., leading Peter Parker and Aunt May to offer her to give her a ride home. Although McKenna and Sommers don't know if the scene was filmed or not, they think that this backstory is alluded by the many things MJ says in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
- Imogen Leaver and Aja Frary were stunt doubles for Zendaya in the role of Michelle Jones.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Spider-Man: Homecoming
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Spider-Man: Homecoming Deleted Scene
- ↑ Avengers: Endgame
- ↑ Joe Russo's Q&A about the plot of Avengers: Endgame in China
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Spider-Man: Far From Home
- ↑ Spider-Man: Far From Home Mid-credits Scene
- ↑ Spider-Man: Homecoming Producers Say Twist to That Character Not What It Seems
- ↑ SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME'S ZENDAYA PAYS HOMAGE TO MARY JANE WATSON
- ↑ ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Set Visit: Everything We Learned
- ↑ 'Spider-Man: Far From Home' Team Considered a Donald Glover Cameo