Comics : Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #8

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This review was first published on: 2006.

Background...

After explaining to Liz why it is that Mary Jane avoids all of her problems, Liz finally talks her into telling Peter how she really feels, but with Peter and Gwen spending so much time together, Mary Jane is finding it extremely difficult to get him alone.

In Detail...

"The Single Thing"
Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #8
Sep 2006 : SM Title
Editor:  Mark Paniccia
Writer:  Sean McKeever
Artist:  Takeski Miyazawa
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Review

In Midtown High's lunch room Peter is regaling Gwen with useless scientific trivia about how the hormone that is linked with hunger is the same one that enhances one's memory, it makes sense studying on an empty stomach. Gwen laughs this off explaining that there's no way she can concentrate with her tummy grumbling at her, but she thinks Peter is very cute for bringing it up anyway. Noticing Mary Jane sitting by herself they go over and eat lunch with her.

Peter remarks that it's not usually MJ's lunch period and she tells him she had to come to this one because she'd be rehearsing for the school play. Gwen chimes in saying that Peter talks about MJ's play all the time and how proud he is of her, which leads to an awkward silence.

Going from one socially awkward moment to the next, Gwen manages to stick her foot right into her mouth by asking why MJ is eating all alone without anyone to practice her lines with. Quickly changing the subject Gwen mentions that she and Peter are going to a Twilight show after school and invites Mary Jane along, but because of the new rehearsal schedule cannot make it.

Later at the Twelfth Night rehearsal Mary Jane is on stage going through one of her scenes when Mr. Tiplady stops her saying that her acting is just horrible. H hopes MJ can get into character before he starts regretting his decision to cast her as the lead of the play, he goes over what her character is suppose to be feeling at the current scene. Touching a personal cord with MJ, he remarks that she should be feeling completely and utterly alone.

Leaving the auditorium MJ notices that Harry is picking up another new girl he's seeing. The next day at school as Harry and his girl du jour leave each other to get to class, Mary Jane approaches Harry, who immediately thinks she's going to flip out at him like the last time she saw him with a girlfriend. MJ slams him with a pretty hard come back about how she's finally over him and it'd be nice if he could get over himself, but she quickly apologizes for it. Harry feels bad for her and gives her a hug just in time for Peter to witness as he's walking by.

During gym class MJ mentions to Liz that it being a conspiracy how everyone she knows is now seeing someone, but at least that means its good news for her and Liz. They are finally single together and can now be on the prowl, only Liz tells her she's not really all that single anymore. She's back to, sort of, seeing Flash again. MJ cannot understand this especially after how Flash has been acting lately, plus the fact that Flash is also seeing some other girl on the cheerleader squad. Liz tells her that Flash and that other girl are not really exclusive or anything and she can't help it. She missed the idiot.

MJ is sitting alone in what looks like a back room to the stage practicing her lines when Spider-Man appears and tries to convince her that, really, he's not stalking her; that he was just in the neighborhood looking for this new bad guy calling himself the Looter. Spider-Man and MJ have a short, very awkward conversation filled with "um's" and "stuff's" and each barely finishing a complete sentence, talking about how they're both cool with each other, what with the last time they were together they were on their date that went horribly nowhere.

Spider-Man mentions that MJ doesn't look all that happy and that he's there if she needs to talk or anything. MJ takes him up on his offer meeting him after school up on the roof, where Spider-Man has made a hammock out of his web for her to sit in. Asking her what the matter is, Mary Jane tells him how it feels to her like everyone is dating someone else and that there's this guy she likes but he's sort of seeing someone else, and how she really feels alone. She really likes this other guy but she's afraid of getting in the way of a possible great relationship he might be having with the other girl.

Spider-Man tells her that there's really nothing wrong with being alone and that maybe she's right in thinking that she might be hindering a great relationship this guy might have, but the only reason why he's telling her this is because he believes the guy in question is actually Harry and maybe if she wasn't pursuing him, Peter might get a chance. Oh that patented Parker luck with the ladies.

Over at the Bean, Liz asks MJ if she has finally talked to Peter about the way she feels for him. MJ just doesn't think it's a good idea (thanks to Spider-Man) because she really doesn't want to get in between Peter and Gwen. And it doesn't matter anyway, Liz just wants her to get together with Peter so that she won't be the only one without someone else seeing as how Liz is now seeing Flash, but Liz breaks in telling her she isn't anymore. Before getting the chance to explain, who should show up at their table but Flash himself, asking if he could talk to Liz alone for a minute.

Off by themselves Liz lays into Flash saying that no matter what he says or does there's no way she's going to get back together with him. She keeps interrupting him until finally he can't take it anymore and tells her to shut it. He says to her that he doesn't want to get back together. He just wants her to know that he's ok with them not being together but that he wants Liz to not feel the need to have to avoid him or anything. He just wants her to be happy. Some times Flash can be a downright nice guy but those times are few and far between.

Back at the table Liz explains to MJ that the only reason she was back with Flash wasn't because she missed him, she only missed having a boyfriend and really that isn't a good enough reason to get back together with the lunk-head. Liz repeats Mary Jane's words from before about how being single isn't the worst thing in the world, plus now that they are both not seeing anyone, they can finally act a little boy crazy.

In General...

Mary Jane is feeling pretty lonely, especially with what seems like everyone around her has found themselves someone special, even the two losers who use to tease her. On top of her loneliness, Peter and Gwen are becoming inseparable, making it difficult for MJ to focus on her lines during one of the practices for the "Twelfth Night", which she's staring in as the leading role.

Running through her lines at school, Spider-Man makes an appearance to "just hang out" for a little bit while he's looking for the Looter. During their conversation, which was filled with the word "stuff" more times then should be used in a span of a few minutes, but I guess that's how teenagers talk, Spider-Man manages, by using his trademark Parker luck with the ladies, to convince Mary Jane that being single isn't all that bad. Spider-Man thinks the guy Mary Jane is really into is actually Harry Osborn and not his mild mannered alter-ego. So it looks like it's going to be a little while before we finally see Peter and Mary Jane get together, but why rush into this all important storyline, when we're having so much fun seeing the teen high-jinks. Oh to be young again.

Overall Rating...

A good solid issue. I would like to finally see Peter and Gwen interacting because really, it's been so long since I picked up one of those early issues of Amazing Spider-Man, but I must remind myself that this is Mary Jane's comic book and she's the focal character. Still it would be nice.

Miyazawa has returned to doing all of the drawing for this issue and it's great. I was getting a little tired of the Flashback artist, but I suppose everyone deserves a vacation now and again. It's just nice to have our regular artist back.

As for the story, since the last two issues dealt with the question of why Mary Jane chooses to avoid her problems instead of dealing with them, I would have liked to see her actually start dealing with how she feels for Peter. I understand that it appears that everyone wants Mary Jane to now be single (Liz, Spider-Man), which I think is strange because it was Liz who told MJ that it's not healthy to ignore her problems and it's stupid for her to not be with Peter, seeing as how they both have feelings for the other. If something does happen between Peter and Gwen then MJ loses her chance, but with everyone telling her to let them be, I think she'd rather lose it then take the chance.