- "I don't really have much luck when it comes to getting close to people. Um... so I lied. I wasn't just watching you because I thought you were Spider-Man."
- ―Michelle Jones to Peter Parker
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, Jones was eventually given the opportunity to take over from the departing Liz Toomes as captain of the Academic Decathlon Team, and began to open up more with her fellow teammates, which included Ned Leeds and Parker.
Jones 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, Jones helped discover Mysterio's fraudulence, by exposing him as the one who staged the Elemental crisis. Shortly after their trip to Europe, Jones and Parker began dating. After their first date, Jones was horrified when The Daily Bugle showed a modified video of Mysterio and Spider-Man, claiming that Parker was responsible for the casualties of the Battle of London.
Michelle Jones was born on June 10, 2001. Little is known about her life before high school, but she had a difficult home life and Jones and her mother had not heard from her father in years by the time she had concluded her junior year in high school. Jones developed a sarcastic, guarded demeanor as she grew, preferring to read her books and often had difficulty when trying to establish friendships.
2016-2017 Academic Year
Michelle Jones was a student at Midtown School of Science and Technology and a member of the Academic Decathlon team. At lunch, Jones was reading a sizable collection of novels while drinking tea. She called her classmates, Peter Parker and Ned Leeds, "losers" for staring at Liz Toomes for too long. When Leeds then wondered why she always sat at their table, Jones simply replied that she didn't have any friends, and returned to reading her book.
- "He already quit marching band and robotics lab. I’m not obsessed with him, I'm just very observant."
- ―Michelle Jones to the Decathlon Team
At Academic Decathlon practice, Jones continued reading while the team studied for Nationals, with Toomes quizzing them. When Parker revealed he was dropping out of the team to focus on his internship with Tony Stark, Jones pointed out that he had already quit robotics lab and marching band. When her teammates were surprised at her knowledge of Parker's activities, Jones quickly denied paying any special attention to him, insisting that she was just very observant. After practice, Jones watched as the Decathlon team failed to convince Parker to come with them to Nationals.
Liz Toomes' Party
- "I can't believe that you guys are at this lame party."
"But you're here too."
- ―Michelle and Ned Leeds
Jones attended a house party held by Liz Toomes, the captain the Academic Decathlon team. When Peter Parker and Ned Leeds arrived, she called them losers for attending while preparing a meal for herself. When Leeds pointed out that she was attending the party as well, Jones just gave them a quirky look and asked, "Am I?" before walking off.
Field Trip to Washington, D.C.
Jones joined the Academic Decathlon team for the field trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in Nationals. 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. On the way to Washington, Jones approached Parker and Leeds as they noticed increased activity around the damaged Triskelion structure. She explained 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 Captain America did so to save them, Jones rebuffed him and declared that was just what the government 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 correctly and Midtown team won the Decathlon. The team was ecstatic and embraced Jones, much to her delight. After the competition, 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 frantically 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."
- ―Andre Wilson and Michelle Jones
Jones sat next to Peter Parker when he was issued a detention for attempting to skip class. After Parker left, Andre 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, Jones looked at him with suspicion and asked what he was up to. She then laughed, claiming that she was just kidding and did not care. When Parker left however, Jones stared after him. Shortly after, Jones was interviewed by Betty Brant, an anchor of Midtown News, as to who she thought Spider-Man might truly be. Jones replied with one statement: although she was not sure, she had her suspicions. Secretly, Michelle was suspecting Parker to be the wall crawler.
Death and Resurrection
In 2018, when Thanos collected all of the Infinity Stones and snapped his fingers, Jones crumbled into dust. When Hulk snapped his fingers in 2023 to bring all the Snap victims back to life, Jones re-materialized with the rest of Thanos' victims.
2023-2024 Academic Year
Since the Snap occurred before the 2017-2018 school year at Midtown School of Science and Technology was complete, Jones and her fellow revived classmates had to retake their junior year from 2023-2024. In that time, the world steadily returned to normal, and Jones improved her overall social skills and relationships with the also-restored Ned Leeds and Peter Parker. However, Jones 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 Jones, Parker also developed a crush on her over the course of the school year. Along with Parker, Leeds, and some other classmates, Jones 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
- "By the way, travel tip: You should probably download a VPN on your phone, just so that the government can’t track you while we’re abroad."
"Smart. Will do."
- ―Michelle Jones and Peter Parker
Before the plane ride, Jones defended Peter Parker from his rival Flash Thompson by telling the airline stewardess that since Thompson had been one of the Snap's casualties, he was sixteen, not twenty-one. Parker himself had planned to tell Jones 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, Jones 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, Jones 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".
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 Elemental known as Hydro-Man emerged from the canal. Jones rushed away and reunited with her classmates and chaperones, but noticed that Parker was no longer with the group.
Jones and her class went to spend the night at the Hotel DeMatteis, where the teenagers watched a news broadcast about Hydro-Man'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, Jones 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 Jones 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. Jones 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 work 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 stop in Austria, Brad Davis tried to show Jones a photo he had taken but was interrupted by a series of odd interjections by an unusually worried Parker. While her classmates were distracted by some baby mountain goats that Parker claimed to have spotted, Jones watched through the seats, and Parker apparently leaped through the bus' overhead window. 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 near-empty opera house, Parker and Jones again made small talk. After playfully teasing Parker about a perceived gendered double standard in a compliment he paid her, Jones 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 Elemental itself, known as Molten Man. 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 Elemental attacks, the students' families called for the trip to be canceled. The itinerary changed once again for a flight back to the United States the following morning. As this would be their last night in Europe, Parker asked Jones 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 the Elemental known as Cyclone emerged. Parker and Jones deduced that it was actually an elaborate hologram and that Parker's new mentor and friend Quentin Beck, otherwise known as Mysterio, had deceived him, and was the true mastermind behind the Elemental Attacks.
Parker and Jones raced back to the hotel, where Parker changed into his Stealth Suit as he and Jones explained the situation to Ned Leeds. Parker headed to Berlin, Germany to warn Nick Fury about Beck's true nature, while Jones and Leeds told the teachers, class, and Parker's aunt that he would be staying with "family" there. Though Jones was uncomfortable with the elaborate lie, she stood by her friend and handed him the tell-tale and only piece of evidence against Beck; Cyclone's hologram projector.
Unknown to Jones, Spider-Man was defeated in Germany and Mysterio redirected the class trip for the third time. Jones and the rest of the students flew to London, England the next morning with the intent of taking an afternoon flight back to the United States; Beck planned to stage his fifth and final attack in the city and use the ensuing chaos as a cover to kill Jones and anyone else aware of the truth about him.
After their arrival, Brad Davis interjected. In a bid to make himself look like a better romantic option for Jones than Parker, he again brought up the photo he had taken in Austria, in which he claimed that he had seen Parker in the bathroom with an older European woman. However, Jones 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 Jones for the rest of the trip.
The fifth and final elemental attack began soon after, in which all the previous monsters fused into the Elemental Fusion, and wreaked havoc on the city. Knowing that Mysterio discovered Jones 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 and was here to protect them while Spider-Man took on the false hero.
After Hogan's jet was destroyed, the five hid in the Tower of London's Museum. However, they were tracked by some of Mysterio's E.D.I.T.H. drones. The group did what they could to fight back, with Jones even grabbing a mace from one of the museum's display cases, and using it to smash one of the machines. However, they were overwhelmed and backed into a corner, with only the Museum's vault door between the drones and them. Fearing that she was about to die, Jones confessed that she regretted her brutal honesty and poor social skills, which isolated hers from any potential friends.
Elsewhere in the city, Spider-Man thankfully defeated Mysterio and used the E.D.I.T.H. glasses to recall all of the drones. Once the drones returned to space, Hogan handed Jones the contents of the 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, Jones went back into the city, where she found an injured Parker on the Tower Bridge. She hugged him, and while he was dismayed that his gift for her was broken, she didn't mind and said she liked it better this way. Timidly, Jones confessed to Parker that she had misled him in Prague; she genuinely was interested in him for reasons that were actually not related to his double life. At this moment, Jones and Parker finally had their first kiss, marking the start of their relationship.
Return to New York
- "You can put me down now! You can put me down now!"
"Whoo… Yeah! Yeah, I'm okay. Just... Never, never doing that again. I'm never doing that again."
- ―Michelle Jones and Spider-Man
After awkwardly returning the mace to the museum and boarding the flight with her class, Jones and Peter Parker arrived back to New York City, now as a couple. On one of their first dates, Parker decided to take Jones for a swing around Manhattan with his web-slinging. Once she decided to get up on Spider-Man, Jones was overwhelmed by the speed of Spider-Man's web-swinging, and what was intended to be a fun adrenaline rush, instead became a harrowing experience. Once she was back on the ground, Jones plainly told Parker that she never wanted to do anything like that again.
Their date took an unexpected turn when they noticed a NY1 newscast on the Madison Square Garden MegaVision, reporting on a video published by The Daily Bugle. Speechless, Jones watched in shock and horror as 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 identity 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, Jones developed a crush on Parker throughout her observations of him, though she perhaps tried to deny it at first, mostly 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.
Jones 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.
Jones is also fascinated by morbid, yet otherwise controversial and macabre topics, with Parker saying that she like black dahlias, due to being fascinated by the Black Dahlia murder, and 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. Jones also possesses a vast amount of knowledge in history, crime and conspiracy theories, given her fascination with morbid and controversial topics.
- Bilingualism: In addition to her native English, Jones understands Italian, and regularly had to correct her chaperone Roger Harrington during the class trip to Venice.
- Mace: During the Battle of London, Jones grabbed a mace from one of the museum's display cases and using it to smash one of the Stark Industries Combat Drones. Following the battle, Jones jokingly (yet sincerely) mentioned to Spider-Man that she would hold on to the mace until she was certain that the fighting was over.
- Midtown School of Science and Technology: To be added
- In the comics, the nickname "MJ" is used by Mary Jane Watson. Kevin Feige described this as a fun homage to Spider-Man's past adventures and his past love in the comics.
- According to Zendaya she wanted the character to be a new version of what Mary Jane represented.
- Jones' birthday being June 10th is a reference to Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1 #25, where Mary Jane Watson made her first appearance and was released on June 10, 1965.
- During the Spider-Man: Far From Home press tour, Zendaya dyed her hair red as a homage to the classic look of Mary Jane Watson, and shared a picture of herself with the caption "Face it, Tiger...", a reference to MJ's most famous line.
- During gym class in Spider-Man: Homecoming, 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.
- Also while the Decathlon team heads to Washington, Jones can be found reading Invitation to a Beheading, which follows the final days of a man who had been sentenced to death, and whose peculiarity had made it difficult to blend into society. This strikes a tone similar to Jones, where her odd nature can make her a bit of a loner.
- Jones' 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 a 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 to Peter Parker and Aunt May offering to give Jones a ride home. Although McKenna and Sommers don't know if the scene was filmed or not, they think that this backstory is alluded to by the many things Jones says in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
- Hayley Ainsley, 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 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Spider-Man: Homecoming
- ↑ The Hollywood Reporter 100: The Most Powerful People in Entertainment 2019
- ↑ Michelle Jones' Passport
- ↑ 'Spider-Man: Far From Home' Team Considered a Donald Glover Cameo
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Spider-Man: Homecoming Deleted Scene
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Spider-Man: Far From Home
- ↑ Avengers: Endgame
- ↑ Joe Russo's Q&A about the plot of Avengers: Endgame in China
- ↑ 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