Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #39

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This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Aunt May has discovered that Peter has secretly been Spider-Man and after confronting him is now deciding what to do about it. Plus, what's been happening with MJ, Pete's estranged wife...

In Detail...

"Meanwhile..."
Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #39
May 2002 : SM Title
Summary: (#480) 'Nuff Said - Silent Issue, Mary Jane Appears
Editor:  Axel Alonso
Plot:  J. Michael Straczynski
Pencils:  John Romita, Jr.
Inker:  Scott Hanna
Cover Art:  Kaare Andrews
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 Reprinted In: Marvel Tales Flip Magazine #10
 Reprinted In: Spider-Man TPB (Amazing) #2
Articles: Aunt May Parker

This issue is the 'Nuff Said event issue, which although a couple of months late is still pretty good. We finally get to catch up with MJ and what's happening with her. We find that she is leading a monotonous supermodel life, with no real light in it. We see flash the fake smiles, but when she is alone she seems listless. You get the feeling that she misses Pete.

Meanwhile, Aunt May heads down to the Library to start of her campaign of actively promoting Spider-man and trying to improve public opinion of him. She scans the local papers websites and sends emails to papers who bag out Spidey. She then checks a 'to do' list ticks of the items until she reaches "Keep working to forgive Peter" gets stuck and then leaves the library.

Spidey on the other hand is saving some people from a fire. After that he swings home has a shower, picks up his phonebook, opens to MJ's number. Contemplates then shuts the book. He has dinner with Aunt May. We get a shot of MJ asleep, Aunt May in bed reading "The Psychology of Super Heroes" and Pete asleep with a magazine on the bedside table, the cover of which has MJ, but his Spidey mask is obscuring the photo.

In General...

It's a bit late for the 'Nuff Said issue, but hey it's a great issue, so who cares? My wife read this issue (and boy is she a tough critique), knowing nothing about what the 'Nuff Said meant, found it deeply moving and didn't believe when I told her it was a silent issue. So, that to me means that JMS did a pretty good job of using this event to tell an effective story. Though he did cheat a fair bit at times, with a lot of things appearing in writing. Like when Aunt May is on the net, etc.

Basically, JMS satisfied me on many levels with this issue. I know some think that his characterisation of Aunt May is a little off in comparison to classic Spidey stories. I agree, but she seems a much more interesting character under JMS' pen and I'm willing to buy into the line that she has developed as a person over time. As long as it keeps producing stories like this!

I was very glad that MJ appeared this issue and the revelations about how her and Pete are feeling. I hope this means that she will return soon!

Overall, this was a very touching, character driven comic and it couldn't of been pulled off without John Romita Jr. His pencils this issue are fantastic and convey so many nuances of the story. This comic definitely wouldn't have worked without him.

Overall Rating...

To me JMS is turning some of the best Spidey stories I've read and I hope he keeps going!