Spider-Man: Return to the Spider-Verse Episode 11: For the Love of MJ

It’s Peter B. Parker’s anniversary with his ex-wife Mary Jane! He’s trying to set things right, but the Master Planner’s forces will do anything to stop true love!

What an episode! Don’t worry, we’ll save THAT part for the end, make sure you watch the ENTIRE EPISODE before you scroll any further True Believers. You don’t want to be spoiled, do you?

Firstly I’d like to thank Face Front newcomer Rhema Thom for providing her voice to the iconic Mary Jane Watson! Rhema seemed like a natural, and delivered me a robust performance unlike any I’ve seen before!

Also for the first time on Face Front is my brother, Justin, who voiced Ned Leeds, with my mom and sister returning as Dr. Kafka and Michelle Jones respectively. Thanks fam!

Xavier Hernandez returns as Spider-Man 2099, and for the first time since episode 3, is actually able to have a conversation with Peter! Imagine that!

And then there’s Eileen Nestman. Not only did she once again provide the voice of Ghost-Spider to perfection, but she (with the help of sculpting artist Ashley Cazier) created the entirety of Aunt May’s house. More on that below. Eileen also pulled double duty in this episode, in a role we’ll discuss later…

But of course, what’s an episode of Spider-Verse without the Easter Eggs? So let’s go over them!

The Handshake 

If you’ve seen any MCU Spider-Man movies, then you know Peter and Ned have a special handshake! I did the best I could to recreate it in figure form, it was actually kind of difficult if you can believe it. 


Um, Ned Leeds is the CEO of… well, if you know, you know. This is a family website!

A Good Dream

Small Easter egg here, but Peter telling Miles this time he was having a good dream is the last line from the comic Spider-Man: Life Story. And yes, the panel makes me cry every single time I read it.

The Photo

The Marvel Legends VHS line Wolverine came with a picture frame that had Scott and Jean in it so fans could recreate the now memed moment from the classic X-Men show. Fortunately, they made the frame so that you can stick any appropriately sized picture in there. So I swapped one redhead for another and recreated the meme with Peter B. Parker!

May Parker’s House

The aforementioned Eileen Nestman provided this episode with way more than just her voice. She and Face Front’s sculpting artist Ashley Cazier worked meticulously to recreate the version of Aunt May’s house seen in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which you all know is above the Spider’s Nest.

Everything from the retro TV to the pictures on the wall, this near 1:1 creation elevated this set to the next level, providing a wonderful centerpiece for the episode!


For those who don’t know, Mary Jane’s first line to Peter in the comics (and last when their marriage was destroyed by Mephisto) was “Face it Tiger, you just hit the Jackpot!” Also, a fun coincidence, the Mary Jane figure used for this episode is basically in the same outfit she was wearing in the comic. A near perfect recreation of Peter and MJ’s first meeting! Well, with the exception of the door being slammed in her face…


When Tony gives Peter the Spider-Mobile and wishes him a happy birthday, Peter corrects him, stating that his birthday is August 10th. This is Peter’s birthday in the MCU, as seen in a deleted scene in Far From Home, and it’s also the day in 1962 that Spider-Man first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15.


Did you notice that when Peter is on Tony’s HUD he’s listed as Underoos? A nod to the nickname Tony gave him in Captain America: Civil War.

Ezekiel Stane

While never appearing in the MCU, Ezekiel Stane in the comics is the son of Obadiah. Ezekiel is a genius, rivaling even Tony, and an enemy of Iron Man. He makes his debut on Earth-84061, taking up the mantle of Iron Monger to avenge the death of his father at the hands of Tony Stark!


Ezekiel mentions he solved several problems on the Iron Monger suit, all of which Tony used to beat Obadiah in the first Iron Man movie, most notably the icing problem. He mentions he picked up an Arc Reactor from Coney Island, which was a result of a plane full of Stark tech crashing there during Peter’s climactic battle with the Vulture at the end of Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Watching You

MJ sneaks into the fight against Iron Monger to observe Spider-Man. At this point, she’s suspicious that Peter is Spider-Man (at least 70% sure) but just needs that last bit of confirmation.

Really Old Movie

Thanks to AV club, Peter has seen a lot of really old movies, which has led to the defeat of foes such as Giant-Man, Ebony Maw, and now Iron Monger! In Robocop, the titular hero is faced with this menacing, unstoppable death machine. However, when he flees down the stairs, the robot trips, falls, gets stuck on its back, and is ultimately defeated.

Goblin Gas

The line about the “odorless, billowing gas” is exactly how Spider-Man described the gas Green Goblin uses to take his Spider-Sense in the comics. The gas that Peter’s been doused with since Episode 9!

The World Will be Yours and Mine

This line Goblin says to Norman is a deep cut. He never said it in the movie, but the old Toybiz chair with the Goblin mask utter the line, along with "Can Spider-Man come out to play?" and the classic Goblin laugh.


Still here?

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Alright, here we go:

The Amazing Spider-Man first found a hint that his Gwen Stacy was alive way back in Episode 2, and has been searching for her ever since. He finally found her, but much to his surprise, it turns out that the love of his life, Gwen Stacy, is the Master Planner.


That felt so weird to type, I’ve been keeping it a secret for years! Finally, the truth revealed! Not only that, but Peter now knows his world is gone! Yeah, sorry if I stopped your heart several times in the end there.

Things are getting real, and with all of the Amazing team-ups done, the Master Planner, aka Gwen Stacy, is preparing to initiate her Master Plan. 

But how is she alive? Why did she become the Master Planner? What is her master plan? All in due time. But this is certainly a twist that (I hope) no one saw coming!

Hats off to Eileen for playing the Master Planner reveal to perfection. And in case you’re wondering, no, she had no idea she would be voicing the big villain of the show! That was a fun script read. She was simply floored, and I hope you all are too!

The next episode is 12. I usually reveal the titles of the episodes, but this one is different. Guess you’re just gonna have to wait and see! Thank you for sticking with me on Spidey’s journey through the Spider-Verse. Needless to say the show is reaching its climax. I just hope you’re ready!

Until then, Face Front True Believers, and I’ll see you in the Spider-Verse!