Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #49

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This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Pete and his wife Mary Jane have been separated for a while and are now seeking to make a final decision on whether they stay together or not.

In Detail...

"Bad Connections"
Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #49
Mar 2003 : SM Title
Summary: (#490) Pete and MJ Meet
Editor:  Axel Alonso
Writer:  J. Michael Straczynski
Pencils:  John Romita, Jr.
Inker:  Scott Hanna
Cover Art:  John Romita, Jr.
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Issue
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 Reprinted In: Marvel Tales Flip Magazine #20
 Reprinted In: Spider-Man TPB (Amazing) #4
Articles: Ezekiel

This issue begins with Peter having a conversation with Ezekiel, in the wake of his triumph over Shathra. Ezekiel is trying to convince Pete of his mystical ties once again. He tries to explain that his powers are probably science based, but that the accident was arranged by mystical powers for mystical purposes. Pete doesn't seem to totally buy it and just sits back with tiny spiders crawling over him. Ezekiel also reveals that after Morlun and Shathra, he is likely to be attacked by another bigger, badder, mystical bad guy, simply becuase these sorts of things come in threes (??!?!).

Pete then leaves to go back to New York. As he leaves, Ezekiel has a reflective chat with himself, hinting that maybe he isn't telling Pete the whole truth.

Meanwhile, MJ is on a plane heading to New York so that she can confront Pete and settle the state of their relationship. Back on the African continent (that's where Pete is!) Pete decides to change his ticket and head to Los Angeles to try and track down MJ.

MJ and Pete spend time in the wrong places looking for each other and then give up. They board planes to head back to their respective homes. However, while in transit there is bad weather and both their planes are grounded at the same airport. There they meet coincidentally and decide to talk...

In General...

I really enjoyed this issue. There was no fight scene or momentous struggle, but this issue proved you don't need to have those things to have a riveting read.

The humour this issue shined the most for me. It was mainly based around airline travel and was sort of underplayed. But, it came off so well. This was especially due to John Romita Jr, who really impressed me with some great facial expressions that communicated what was happening. In fact, that statement is true of JR Jr's art for the majority of this issue.

While the coincidences do pile up a bit, it is still enjoyable seeing Pete and MJ on their quests for each other. It leads to some touching and powerful moments, as each discovers a bit about the other's life without them in it. And at the end, you can really feel the emotion as they're reunited (though I really hate the little spider pointing the way).

This issue would almost be perfect except for some of the things that are carried over from the continuing 'mystical spider' storyline that has been happening. The opening scene wasn't too bad and Ezekiel's conversation seems to be leaving the door open for all this mystical spider stuff to disappear, (which I'd like at this point) while still paving the way for it to continue (which is probably the more likely).

The most annoying thing I found was JMS trying to pass spiders off as cutesy animals, that can be handy little helpers and you can have lovingly crawling all over you. This is surely the stupidest thing I've seen so far in JMS's run. I mean last issue he seems to be trying to pass spiders off as noble creatures and now they are cute and cuddly??? What is JMS on? Spiders are creepy creatures, who lurk, trap and kill. They are downright ugly. The only thing cool about them is their abilities. Just picture the first scene with me for a moment, Pete sitting topless with 10-20 of these small, eight-legged, hairy, creepy little buggers crawling all over his chest, face and back. Surely that's not something most people would enjoy. And the fact that we're supposed to buy into Pete becoming some sort of spider Dr. Dolittle is ridiculous!

Anyway, even though this really annoyed, it was only a couple of minor instances and didn't really detract too much for the main Pete and MJ story, which was extremely enjoyable.

Overall Rating...

A great main story, but with annoying trappings.