Tag Archives: Marvel

Pepper Potts v. Mary Jane Watson

This was the main Wikipedia picture for Mary Jane. Its an update of the original appearance of Mary Jane.

The is the main picture for the Pepper Potts Wikipedia article. She's like a thinner, more mature Mary Jane.

Comic nerds have many attractive women to fulfill various fantasies. Looking at the costumes of many members of the X-Men, one would think that they were specifically designed for the sake of titillating young wangs and egos. However, one fetish seems to rise about the rest: Mary Jane Watson. The literal Little Red-Haired Girl Next Door serves as a promise to high school nerds that even the Peter Parkerest among us can attract a pretty girl. Furthermore, given the ubiquity of the Spider-Man mythos in comics, movies, and cartoons, cartoons,  cartoons that looked good at the time but now suck, weird cartoons that sucked at the time, cartoons where Neil Patrick Harris voiced Spier-Man, and great cartoons that will probably be cancelled before their time, and Mary Jane’s central role in the overarching Spider-Man plot, it is no question that for the Marvel Universe, this red-headed spitfire is girl number one.

However, with the rise of Iron Man and the release of Iron Man 2, another sprite challenges Mary Jane’s throne: Pepper Potts. So, given the question of Pepper Potts v. Mary Jane, who wins? I asked the question on Facebook, and it resulted in a much more heated discussion than I intended:

Rey Valdez

Mary Jane Watson just chases power; the captain of the football team, the richest boy in town, Spiderman. That’s why she loses.

Evan Mintz

But the richest boy in town chased her. Plus, she chased Peter Parker before she knew he was Spider-Man. Then again, she could have been chasing the smartest guy.
And Pepper isn’t chancing power?

Rey Valdez

Yeah, but while she wouldn’t look at the rich kid in school (where he was a nerd) she notices him after graduation. She is also in love with Spiderman after he saves her from Green Goblin (who knocks Harry unconscious, thus he cannot save her). Then, when she finds out who Spiderman is she says, “Somehow I always knew” indicating that she knew that Peter was not only her emotional savior, but also her physical savior Spiderman.

Also, Pepper stayed by Tony even after the embarrassing thing with the kiss and the dance and even unto his lowest point. I give her high marks for that.

Evan Mintz

Pfsh, you’re going by the movies. And yeah, but that is Pepper all the way. But if you take comics into account, or even cartoons, MJ is a much more redeemable character. And way hotter.

Rey Valdez

Eh, I thought I would go through the more publicly known medium. I agree, MJ is way hotter in the comics.

Robert Camaj

I can’t believe this is even a contest. I like strong, intelligent women at the top of their field. Pepper Potts is smart, sexy, witty, and confident. All MJ has going for her is that it takes you quite a long time to figure out that you’re whipped.

Reasons why Pepper Potts is the bees knees:

1) Pepper Potts is a whiz at accounting.

2) The cybernetics in her chest will prevent her from ever losing her figure.

3) Pepper Potts is not offended by sexual harassment (which is definitely a sign of confidence).

4) Pepper Potts is feisty and self-assured. She a woman to be conquered, not manipulated. She’s a woman who realizes that 49 “No’s” and a “Yes” equals a “Yes.” Pepper Potts leaves trails of worthy men dead in her wake. And she understands that being fucked raw against the wall is way more sexy than gentle love-making on the bed.

Rey Valdez

Also, never read Iron Man comics.

Robert Camaj

Men who like Mary Jane are merely poor romantics who search for “good girls,” those petite, salad-eating, shy bitches who men assume don’t have baggage and will play fair and will not cheat. It’s assumed that the girl next door requires little confidence to ensnare and little effort to keep. All men learn the frightening truth eventually:

As a great woman once said, “There are no good girls, only bad girls found out.

Mary Jane Watson is a flighty harpy who took that whole women’s lib thing too seriously. Her fear of commitment caused her to turn down Petey’s first proposal, which would be fine in itself, except that, after giving him the runaround, finally did marry him. After they get married she gets a psych degree (A PSYCH DEGREE!!–just farce clothed in substance) and forces Peter to quit vigilantism, only to move to Los Angeles and be a whore.

Mary Jane is the sort of woman who would talk about a relationship as if it were a third person, begging for commitment while fearing monogamy–projecting her insecurities onto those pitiful boys who happily take her abuse because they believe they don’t deserve her.

Evan Mintz

Mr. Camaj makes a convincing argument.

Robert Camaj

Yeah, I got on a roll.

Evan Mintz

No MJ defenders? I’m in Rey’s camp, I don’t know enough about Pepper to take her down, and the Spider-Man comic plots are so entangled and confusing, especially when considering Mary Jane.
However, I can give MJ a defense using her character from the cartoon, Spectacular Spiderman.
That universe focuses on early Spider-Man while he is still in high school. MJ enters the plot late, as almost an outside character. She has little interest in Spider-Man, but focuses more on her personal acting career and in Peter Parker, whose outsized self-confidence and wit intrigues her. However, despite the waves of high school social drama, she is slave to no drama nor man. She is an individual, knows what she wants, and will go after it without concern. Like Peter, she has an outsized self-confidence, yet does not develop a big head or high expectations over it. And unlike Peter, she does not have radioactive spider blood to justify it, only her talent (and I supposed good looks).
While Pepper tolerates her boss’ insulting and even harmful shenanigans (possibly out of a money-driven hope of inheriting the company, which eventually comes to fruition) MJ does not take such abuse. Pepper sits and follows orders like a spoiled child, waiting for her father’s inheritance. MJ makes it on her own.

Robert Camaj

Hating Pepper Potts because she comes from money? C’mon now. MJ ain’t no prole princess.

Robert Camaj

Furthermore, Pepper Potts emphatically does NOT take Stark’s abuse. She gives as good as she gets, without question.

Evan Mintz

I’m not hating her because she comes from money, I’m hating her because she didn’t go earn her money, even if she supposedly had the talent. Like her boss, she stands on daddy’s shoulders and thinks she’s tall. But at least Tony made something himself. What does Pepper have to show besides the ability to sit and wait?

Robert Camaj


Evan Mintz

There may be equal footing there.
Pepper is definitely thinner, but MJ has more curves. Subjective test?

Robert Camaj

I come from working class folk, so naturally I prefer aristocratic girls.

As for body type, I defer to your judgment. It’s been a while since I’ve read either comic.

Evan Mintz

A quick google images answers all
I come from Jewish sit-com folk, so I prefer a woman who will constantly inform me when I’m wrong and remind me that she could be with someone else.
A Google Images search, indeed!

This is the first appearance of Mary Jane's face in the Spider-Man comics. It may just be me, but whenever a girl says "You hit the jackpot, Tiger," instant orgasm.

Pepper! I'd like to thank all the people on DeviantART for making slightly pervy pictures of comic book characters. So thanks shibamura-prime for this one!

All this, and she's a CEO!

If I remember my nerd history, this collectors statue of Mary Jane washing a Spider Suit created a bit of scandal because it was overly objectifying. Because comics don't objectify women, or anyone, ever.

Oh how pervy! Is there some sort of odd cross-dressing fetish here of a girl wearing her guy's clothes. I guess its only really cross-dressing if a guy wears women's clothes, because third wave feminism dictates that women can do whatever they want. Its all about choice. Guy's don't have this option. But that's a discussion for later after I've had a lot to drink. I mean, I don't want to wear women's clothes, I just want to know that I had the option. If I wanted. Which I don't....

Kirstin Dunst was possibly the worst choice ever for Mary Jane. MJ was supposed to be the party girl who consoles Peter Parker after his first girlfriend, Gwen Stacy, dies in his arms/web. Rather, she played her as an annoying wanna-be actress.

This is probably a way better casting job. Though both of their faces look like they spent too much time sucking on lemons.

In conclusion, there is a veritable debate here. Thoughts, concerns, commentary? Does anyone actually read this far. I mean, I assume most people will get caught up on the pictures. Admittedly, there were a lot more Mary Jane pictures than Pepper Potts. But like I said, Spider-Man is a lot more popular and Mary Jane has a lot more exposure. Give it a bit more time, and maybe a better Iron Man cartoon than the crappy CGI one on Nickelodeon, and maybe she’ll have the same impact on the developing sexual identity of a bunch of pre-teen and teen boys who watch cartoons.

Burn Down David Brooks: 10 Politicians Braver than Lindsey Graham

Today, in one of their sometimes entertaining and sometimes enlightening dialogues that plays like a network commercial designed to fill space between New York Times articles but you just know ends with them doin’ it (or at least Brooks trying and Collins turning him down), Gail Collins and David Brooks discussed immigration reform. In this, Brooks refers to Sen. Lindsey Graham as “the bravest politician in the country, bar none.”

This political discussion is a deviation from his traditional wanna-be philosophy grad student TA columns  that set him apart from other middling, sane Republicans whom he joins in his “you ever notice how people in red states drive like this, but people in blue states drive like this” even though he’s never actually lived in a red state. However, it maintains that same essence of his usual work of not being traditionally disprovable, yet eliciting a stream of contrary arguments.

Thus, here is my list of 10 politicians braver than Lindsay Graham, which I compiled while in the bathroom after copyright class.

1. Oliver Queen

Its like if Batman were liberal

Political position

Mayor of Star City

Who is he?

Oliver Queen, aka the Green Arrow, is a superhero. Much like Batman he has no real powers, but some awesome technology and a lot of money. Unlike Batman, he is not a cryptofascist, but rather a traditional liberal. He began expressing his political opinions as a newspaper columnist. In 1979 he ran for Mayor of Star City but lost. However, he runs again after the events of Infinite Crisis and is elected mayor .

Why is he braver?

Because without any superpowers, he routinely fights and defeats people with superpowers, such as a giant, radioactive, North Korean robot. Also, he stands up to Superman and Batman, ensuring that the Justice League not only protects the planet and universe from the biggest crises, but looks after the weak and downtrodden on earth.

So when is the last time Lindsey Graham stood up to a giant, radioactive, North Korean robot?

2. Congressman John Lewis

He represents Hotlanta

Political Position

Representative from Georgia’s 5th Congressional District

Who is he?

Quoteth Wikipedia: John Robert Lewis (born February 21, 1940) is an American politician and was a leader in the American Civil Rights Movement. He was chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and played a key role in the struggle to end segregation. Lewis, a member of the Democratic Party, has represented Georgia’s 5th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives since 1987. The district encompasses almost all of Atlanta.

Why is he braver?

Lewis helped organize non-violent sit-ins, boycotts and protests during the civil rights movement. Specifically, during the Selma to Montgomery marches, police attacked him and beat him in public, leaving scars that you can still see today.

At the 1963 March on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I have a Dream” speech, Lewis’s own speech included the line “Which side is the government on?” (though that line was cut so as to work with the Kennedy Administration).

However, despite being beaten by government officials and questioning they’re dedication to civil rights and being silenced, he did not fight or resort to violence, but joined the system that seemed to attack him at every turn and tried to change it from the inside.

Perhaps his most amazing moment, Lewis received and accepted an apology on live, national TV from a former Klansman who had personally attacked and beaten him.

3. George Washington

Political Position


Who is he?


Why is he braver?

I’d like to point to one specific event to illustrate Washington’s bravery. In 1791, congress imposed an excise tax on Whiskey. Considering that they had just fought a war over taxing things, many people refused to pay. While the tax protestors were called to appear before U.S. district court, most didn’t and instead rioted, resulting in the Whiskey Rebellion. As Commander-in-Chief, Washington led a ragtag militia group into the rebelling areas of the country. There was no large standing army at the time and Washington very well may have been marching into a trap of armed tax-dodgers.

Now that takes balls. But what Washington did next was even ballsier. Instead of fighting, Washington addressed those who refused to pay by giving a speech. Before staring, he pulled out his reading glasses so he could read his notes, commenting: “My eyes grow weary in service to my nation.”

The crowd broke down in tears and the violent rebellion disbanded without a shot being fired. Imagine if Abraham Lincoln subdued the Confederacy merely with the opening lines of a speech. That’s basically what Washington did.

Now, the facts of the case are somewhat hazy. But there was a Whiskey Rebellion and Washington did march in with a tiny army and ended the rebellion without a single shot. But it doesn’t matter whether the story is true, Judge Blogreader. Its a good story.

4. Unnamed President in the X-Men cartoon

I'm sure there is some sort of Gender Studies paper to be written about how the woman president doesn't have a name.

Political Position

President in Marvel Universe Earth-92131

Who is she?

Though unnamed, she served President before the election of anti-mutant Senator Robert Kelly to the office of President.

Why is she braver?

During her time as President, the United States began to confront the reality of mutants, for better or worse. On the worse side, the Mutant Control Agency came to be as a private, yet government-supported, organization created with the supposed purpose of voluntary mutants registration. However, this registration information was actually given to the Sentinel program, which then hunted and captured the mutants.

Upon learning about this program, the Unnamed President immediately shut down the program.

In the face of a rising class of superhumans, a growing and at times justifiable fear among the populace, and political pressure, the Unnamed President accepted the help of the X-Men, even though they had just attacked the government installation that housed the Mutant Control Agency, and shut down the discriminatory program.

She did not give in to fear. She did not give in to cowardice. She did not give in to bigotry. Brave.

5. Arnold Vinick

Baaaaaa, bum bum bummmmmm. baa baa bummmmmmm, ba bum ba bummm (da na na na).....

Political Position

Republican Senator from California

Who is he?

On the West Wing, Vinick ran for President and was defeated by the Democratic candidate Matt Santos. Also, I think he served as a surgeon during the Korean War. Then someone killed a chicken, but it was actually a baby.

Why is he braver

I’ll point to one specific moment that was especially brave. In the West Wing episode King Corn, all the candidates are arranged to speak before the Iowa Corn Growers. While nearly all candidates are told to support ethanol, and nearly all oppose it, only Vinick has the guts to tell the corn growers than ethanol is a bad idea. I can’t find a video online, but its a great scene.

6. Christian X of Denmark

I remember a time when royalty had mustaches. Also, I wonder if he's related to Malcolm X.

Political Position

King of Denmark from 1912-1947 and the King of Iceland from 1918-1944.

Who is he?

As King of Denmark, engaged in conflict with the cabinet concerning reunification of Denmark and other territories after the Treaty of Versailles. Also, he had a mustache and apparently was a jerk.

Why is he braver

While his brother the King of Norway went into exile during Nazi occupation, he remained in the capital as a sign of support to those opposing the Nazis. During this time, he used his powers of being a jerk to fight the Nazis.

For example, on the King’s 72nd birthday Adolf Hitler apparently sent him a really long birthday telegram. The King merely replied with a “My best thanks, the King.” In response, Hitler recalled the ambassador from Cophenhagen and expelled the Danish ambassador.

Furthermore, during the Nazi occupation the King would routinely go on daily horse rides around Copenhagen, without any guard. Supposedly, while on these rides, he would wear the same Star of David that Jews were forced to wear. Brave.

Again, it doesn’t matter whether the story is true (I’m recounting it from having read Number The Stars in 5th grade), its a good story.

7. John F. Kennedy

Ich Bin Ein Rich Playboy

Political Position

Friend of Frank Sinatra, also President or something

Who is he?

JFK originally starred in a TV show about him and his brother as children before one of them would later become president. Kennedy was inspired by the plot and entered politics, laying out his plan for his administration in the feature length film JFK, which led to the spinoff film Thirteen Days. To ensure his continuation after his planned assassination, he had himself cloned. His clone would later go on to date the clone of Cleopatra in the illustrated documentary Clone High.

Why is he braver

While JFK served on PT-109, the boat was attacked by a destroyer and literally cut in half. To seek help, Kennedy swam between tiny islands, carrying people who were injured or couldn’t swim well, all the while fighting off crocodiles and sharks.

To summarize: JFK is brave because he fought a shark.

Again: Kennedy fought a shark and won!

Once more: The President of the United States fought a shark and won.

I believe it looked a little something like this

Or this!

8. Sean McBeath

More Sean McStupid. amirite?

Political Position

President of Martel College

Who is he

Sean is tall and worked for the Thresher but then didn’t but then did and also was President of Martel College or something.

Why is he braver

As part of its traditional letters asking for $$$ donations, the Rice annual fund sent out letters apparently on behalf of the college presidents, including their signatures. However, Sean did not cooperate and instead the Rice Annual Fund used a fake, machine-generated version of Sean’s signature without his permission. Sean, and the Thresher, stood up to the administration, which falsely used Sean’s signature and likeness for monetary gain.

Other college presidents had their signatures faked, too. But only Sean stood up for himself. Brave!

9. Brady Tyson

Political Position

Editor-in-Chief of the Rice Thresher

Who is he?

I don’t know too much about him

Why is he braver

In the Sept. 16, 1948 issue of the Rice Thresher, Tyson wrote the following editor to Strom Thurmond:

The Honorable J. Strom Thurmond:

In the opinion of many of us the recent contest in Harris county was marred by the injection of the racial question into the campaign. Full-page ads that mentioned States’ Rights only as a shield to prevent Federal legislation against segregation were used. Inflammatory points were arefully enumerated. The ads threatened “Negroes in your churches, in your schools, in your colleges, in your swimming pools, in your beauty shops,” unless Thurmond and Wright were supported.

Such support can only eventually hurt the cause of the States’ Rights Democrats. The Christian sense of the people of the South, will, at last, become disgusted by such a hate campaign and will react against the States’ Rights Democratic party. If such a campaign is pursued it will only mean that in the eyes of the people of America those of us who stand for States’ Rights must stand also for segregation; whereas I believe the facts to be that many of us who support the States’ Rights ticket are convinced that segregation is morally wrong, and as such must be eventually eliminated thru education and a return to the principles of Christian brotherhood.

Very truly,


Editor The Thresher

This letter got picked up by national news. At a time when Houston, not to mention Rice, still discriminated against blacks, this guy had the balls to call out Thurmond on his unabashed racism.

Thurmond wrote back:

To the Editor:

While the segregation issue is of vital importance to the South, anyone who is familiar with the States’ Rights issue know that it is not the fundamental question which has aroused the patriotism of Southern leaders. The matter of segregation is merely one of the many fields in which the State is supreme under our United States Constitution. Among other questions are those of police power, control of the ballot, and regulation of all internal matters.

Opinions as to segregation vary in the South as elsewhere. I, myself, believe that sep-aration of the races is necessary in my own State for the welfare of both white and colored. But I am firmly convinced that this question is one for decision by the people of the separate states, and not Constitutionally under the authority of the Federal Government.

I hope this answers your questions.

If you publish my reply, please be kind enough to convey to the people of Houston my sincere appreciation for the confidence they showed in the cause of the States’ Rights Democrats in their Harris County referendum on August 28th.

With kindest regards and best wishes,

Very truly,



Tyson, you’ve got balls.

Also, I’d like to give an honorable mention to some random Thresher EIC from the 1920s who wrote in the Thresher a defense of integration both nationally and on campus. I don’t have the actual article on hand, so I can’t write about it. I do recall that most of the letters in response were basically “WOULD YOU LET A NEGRO DATE YOUR SISTER WAWAWA?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!”

10. Vaclav Havel/Nelson Mandela/whatever

Whatever, you know the deal with these guys. Thats 10.

Burn Down Comics about Politicians, specifically James Baker

Apparently, Rice guy and Student Association Election loser Ruchir Shah makes comics about historical figures.

The Baker Institute is supposed to look like a Mosque. James Baker is a Muslim.

There is no Golden Age Obama, he’s clearly a Silver Age character
I don’t know what the plot to the James Baker comic is, but it has to involve the time he was abducted by Sentinals operated by a rogue political force within the Kremlin, but he escaped on board an SR-71 Blackbird, but the extreme heat and exposure to cosmic radiation imbued him to the Phoenix Force, and he had to destroy himself to both save the Earth from his massive power and heal the M’Kraan Crystal. However, it turns out that James Baker was actually a clone and the real James Baker secretly escaped from capture when he was rescued by Rice President Eric Rupp and his International Rescue Committee. In thanks for Rupp’s brave actions, Baker founded the Baker Institute for Public Policy and School for Youth Gifted at Resume Padding and gave Rupp the M’Kraan Crystal, which currently sits within a granite block in the Herring Hall courtyard.