Comic Book Legends Revealed #420
COMIC LEGEND: Mary Jane Watson’s first name was a sly reference by Stan Lee to marijuana.
I couldn’t let my 420th column go by without a marijuana-related legend!
As you may or may not know, a common slang term for marijuana…
is “Mary Jane.”
The reasoning is simple enough, MariJuana.
Well, over the years, some fans have suggested that the 1965 introduction of Mary Jane Watson (well, here name, at least) in the Spider-Man titles was a sly reference by Stan Lee to the slang term.
Now, even if Stan Lee had never spoken on this topic, I think it would be pretty safe to say that the 42-year-old Lee was not thinking about a drug reference for such an otherwise common name, but amazingly enough, Lee has actually SPOKEN on this topic!
Here’s Stan in a 2002 interview in Maxim magazine…
I swear, I never smoked marijuana. When I named Spider-Man’s girlfriend Mary Jane, it was only after a while that somebody said, ‘You’re pretty nervy giving her the nickname of marijuana.’ I had no idea that’s what it was.
I am sorry if that harshed anyone’s buzz!
Check out some classic Comic Book Legends Revealed related to the origin of characters’ names!
Was one of Moon Knight’s secret identities named after the comic book writer Steven Grant?
On the next page, check out how Neal Adams defended Batman’s honor!