Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #13

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This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Peter and Mary-Jane have been drifting apart recently. She, with her modelling career, and he with his seeming inability to stay out of that red-and-blue super-suit. Still, they're clearly still in love, and both want to find away to make it all work.

In the last issue, Mary Jane defeated her stalker... the lollypop sucking mystery man, most recently posing as a taxi driver, who seemingly perished in an explosion after Mary Jane gave him a face full of Mace. Or did he?

In Detail...

"Time Enough..?"
Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #13
Jan 2000 : SMURF 454.500 : SM Title
Summary: New Rocket Racer, MJ's Plane Explodes
Editor:  Ralph Macchio
Plot/Pencils:  John Byrne
Writer:  Howard Mackie
Inker:  Al Milgrom
Cover Art:  John Byrne
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Articles: Aunt May Parker, Mary Jane Watson-Parker, Rocket Racer

Let's deal with the mystery villain sub-plot first. Some crook has stolen the (recently reworked) costume of the previously reformed Rocket Racer, and is now intent on Villainy... Nuff said.

Mary Jane can't wait any longer... she's off to the airport for a photo shoot. She and Peter were supposed to talk before she left, but where is he...?

Peter, as Spider-Man, is on his way to meet her... but civic responsibility keeps rearing its ugly head, in the form of armoured car heists, muggings, and suicide victims. He races against time to the airport, as Mary Jane struggles with her desire to abandon the trip and stay with Peter.

Business sense prevails (barely) over emotional instinct, and Mary Jane boards the plane - where a gentle old man offers her a lollypop to calm her nerves. Peter arrives a little too late, as usual, and returns home without success. What he doesn't yet know is that some time later, flight 9171 with MJ aboard has exploded at 32,000 feet.

In General...

This is great stuff. New villains in classic outfits, new baddies armed with evil subterfuge and hidden motives. The struggle of duty against desire, emotional pathos. Who could have written such great material...?

What? Script by Mackie? Story by Byrne? But... Mackie just brought us Webspinners #13-#14? Byrne is writing the drivel which is being sold to unsuspecting readers as a 'comic' called Spider-Woman! Reading ahead, we see the laughable effort which is Amazing #14. What the HECK is going on here? I'm totally confused. I keep wanting to write Spider-Man off, but this is just playing with my head.

Regardless - clearly MJ isn't dead yet. Hey, the stalker survived the bomb in the taxi, so presumably he is behind this one, and survived it too. It's also pretty obvious that his intent in't to kill MJ, and hence he has arranged for her to survive also. Maybe it's the lollypops? Maybe they're teleporto-pops?

Anyway, I wouldn't shed any tears for MJ just yet. Aunt May is 96, has had two funerals, and still won't go away. MJ is made of much sterner stuff!

Overall Rating...

I don't get it at all. Spider-Man is flip-flopping from ghastly, to great, and back again. This issue is worth a 4.5 web pat on the back. I just wish that the Spider-Team could keep things consistent.