In a recent Tangled Webs column, I considered the question of whether Mary Jane is pregnant. This expanded on points I’ve made in this blog.
I did not have the impression from the story that Mary Jane was meant to be pregnant. From the issue, there was no reference to the future child having already been conceived, something a villain like Mephisto would have enjoyed gloating about. Nor was there any indication that Mary Jane was aware of any pregnancy. She could easily have just been grunting due to the stress of a difficult decision. An upset stomach has also become visual shorthand for that. She may also have just been sobbing, which people often do in difficult situations.
It seems pretty clear that this wasn’t a result that the reader was intended to come to, considering how it was never clearly stated. If it was meant to be a plot point, it would have been easy enough to construct a few lines of dialogue making that explicit. Currently, for this fan theory to pan out, the reader would have to connect several dots to understand something that seems to be rather important to the story. In the numerous interviews post-One More Day, this is also something that Joe Quesada and J. Michael Straczynski did not bring up, which suggests that it’s not something readers are supposed to pick up on.
One More Day does have a poor reputation, so there is a potential argument that the typical measures for how to interpret a story don’t apply here. One could say that in a good story, something that is essential to understanding the ramifications of the characters’ decisions would usually be stated clearly, but that we shouldn’t assume that One More Day has any attributes of a good story. Although there is the counterpoint that a bad story is where you’d expect to find significant misunderstandings.
More at the link.