Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 players are mocking Mary Jane “MJ” Watson for something that is both hilariously silly and professionally questionable: her meek podcast setup.
Minor spoilers for Spider-Man 2 follow below. Read at your own discretion.
If you’ve beaten Spider-Man 2 and the tank that is Venom (who’s taken control of Peter’s bestie Harold “Harry” Osborn), then you’ll know that the trio—Harry, MJ, and Peter—gets broken up. Kind of. MJ and Peter get a loan for their Queens house, and Harry is in a coma after getting the Symbiote dragged out of his body. During the final moments of the game, MJ provides a voiceover about hope and healing in a city rocked by tragedy. It’s revealed that this is the first episode of her new podcast, “The New Normal,” which she starts from home after leaving her gig as a Daily Bugle reporter.
We love independent journalism, especially when the paper’s leadership—specifically J. Jonah Jameson—prioritize clicks over valuable reporting. However, if you paid attention to that ending cutscene, you’ll notice she’s got some work to do when it comes to polishing her podcast.
Not only is MJ recording her voice straight into a tripod-mounted microphone with no pop filter (the black mesh shield used in recording to prevent harsh b- and p-forward noises), doesn’t edit the podcast in any way, hits “publish,” and then watches as her 30-minute-long episode gets uploaded online. It’s absolutely wild, especially since the microphone she’s using looks like a cheap USB-powered one you could probably get off of Amazon for, like, less than $20.
Spider-Man 2 players noticed how rudimentary MJ’s setup is and they’re roasting her for it on Reddit and Twitter/X. Most folks are baffled by her choice to not edit something so incredibly long and, since it appeared to be a string of consciousness, most likely non stop rambling. One Twitter user said they “had to laugh” because she started a podcast, the cliché decision many millennials with an opinion make at one point in their life. Another Redditor said MJ uploading the podcast immediately after recording it gave them “a mini heart attack,” calling her decision to do so “absolutely unhinged.” The most hilarious part, though, as one Redditor put it, is her microphone wasn’t even plugged in, meaning she’s either got a Bluetooth-capable microphone or is recording straight into her computer. Plenty of people online seem to share the same sentiment: MJ’s setup is absolute trash.
Of course, MJ is only just getting started with “The New Normal.” As a journalist, she probably wasn’t making that much money, so it’s not surprising to see such a basic setup used to get the ball rolling. Everyone starts somewhere. Folks recognize that, saying she’ll likely get better equipment over time. The problem isn’t necessarily the gear she’s got, but how she’s currently using it. I mean, who just uploads raw audio without touching it? And who starts a podcast without even considering the listener’s experience? Some amateur mistakes here, no doubt, but I’m sure it’ll improve by the time Spider-Man 3 comes around. Maybe she just needs a few sponsors, or should get a TikTok going or something.
Spider-Man 2 has been a massive success for developer Insomniac Games. It not only reviewed well, capturing the hearts of both critics and fans, it also sold well, becoming the fastest-selling Playstation Studios game ever. That’s quite an accomplishment. Let’s hope the studio can strike a third home run with Spider-Man 3, which will center Miles Morales as the main protagonist.