Comics : Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #10

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This review was first published on: 2006.

Background...

After talking to the school's counselor, Mr. Limke, Mary Jane finally decides that she has to tell Peter, even if it means she might hurt Gwen in the process, being with Peter is all she wants and, once hearing Mr. Limke's advice about realizing what you really want and taking it, she knows what she has to do.

Knowing that Peter and Gwen are at the arcade because earlier in the day Peter asked her to join them there, Mary Jane rushes through town, barges in the door, only to stand there and have to watch as Gwen and Peter share their first kiss together.

In Detail...

"The Right Thing"
Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #10
Nov 2006 : SM Title
Editor:  Mark Paniccia
Writer:  Sean McKeever
Artist:  Takeshi Miyazawa
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Review

In the football team's locker room, some of the players are questioning whether or not they should tell Flash something. They're afraid that if they do tell him, will he rat them out. But if they don't tell him, will he feel like they dissed him for not including him. It seems like a mute point worrying about it, once Flash walks in and asks what it is they're not sure if they should tell him about.

The next day, back at school, Gwen is questioning Peter about what he was doing coming out of the janitor's closet. Peter makes a joke about how he's really Captain America as they bump into Mary Jane in the halls. Gwen asks MJ why is Peter so strange some times and Mary Jane gives her some advice saying that when Peter does something she doesn't get, it's best to just let it go.

After Peter and Gwen leave, Liz shows up asking MJ if she'd really like to bump Gwen off of a bridge. Not cool, but MJ tells her so. Liz starts in on MJ asking if now that she's seen Peter and Gwen kiss, is she just going to forget her feelings for him. MJ freaks telling Liz to keep her voice down before the whole school knows about her feelings for Peter. Changing the subject, Liz tells MJ that she can't meet her tonight at the Bean and that MJ can't be there either. Flash wants to talk to Liz about something and he doesn't want MJ around. Looks to MJ that Flash is still pretty pissed with her.

At the Bean Flash and Liz are sitting at one of their booths talking. Flash tells her how hard this is for him, talking to Liz but that he has to. He then explains that because the play that MJ is starring in opens on Friday, which is Midtown Football's Big game, some of the other players are taking it personally. They think that the drama club decided on that night because it was so special to the football team and because of this they want to trash the stage. Liz flips out but Flash gets her to calm down by telling her he wants nothing to do with it but he doesn't know what he can do about it. He can't tell on them because they're his team, plus tattling would be lame but he can't get them to not do it because they would then rag on him because of the whole MJ thing. He doesn't know what to do. But Liz shows a real sweetness here, telling him that the entire team looks up to him because he's the team leader. All he has to do is lead them to the right decision.

The next day, sitting in class, Mary Jane glances up from her desk to spot Spider-Man right outside the window with a sign asking her to talk after school with him. Her face practically lights up. Up on the roof Spider-Man complains to MJ how he can't catch the Looter. It's not really constructive so I figure that Spider-Man really just wanted a chance to talk to MJ. It seems like the two are so busy that they never have time for each other. Plus I suspect that it's probably easier for Peter to talk to her with the mask on.

After practice Flash and the other players head back into the locker room where the subject of trashing the drama club's stage comes up. Flash tries to get them to promote the play instead of destroying the stage, saying that they can be the bigger person here, but you can just imagine how far that reasoning gets him with his fellow players. Finally realizing that he can't reason his way out of it, he flat out tells everyone that they're not doing it.

Flash, in a moment of clarity tells them that most of the people who'll be going to the play that night over going to their game, were not going to go to their game anyway, even if the play wasn't on the same night. Even though Flash is making sense, one of the players starts laughing at him, saying that even though Mary Jane turned Flash down in front of the entire school, why is Flash still so whipped.

Flash, of course, doesn't take this very well and slams the player up against the lockers. No one can believe what just happened and while everyone on the team is glaring at Flash, Flash looks over at Utah and tells him he's now the first string quarterback as he walks out of the locker room.

Back on the rooftop Mary Jane asks Spider-Man how does he know the difference between what's right and wrong. Spidey goes into how you're given some morals and taught what's right and wrong, but really what it comes down to is how your heart feels. Deep down you just have to make the best decision you can and live with the consequences.

Asking her if this has something to do with the guy she likes, Mary Jane says that she really likes him but now she really likes the girl he's with and she really can't do anything now, especially after seeing him kiss her at the arcade. This is all Spidey needs to hear to finally figure out that he's the one she really likes and not Harry.

Before Spider-Man can really react to this news, the Looter comes charging at them from across the roof. Spider-Man flips out of the way and snags the Looter on a web strand pulling him away from MJ. Getting tired of this whole mess, Spider-Man snags another web line, this time to the Looter's mask and pulls it off to reveal Mr. Limke, Mary Jane's school counselor.

Webbing up the defeated Looter, Mr. Limke looks over at Mary Jane and tries to explain why he did it. Wearing the mask just made it so much easier to not have to look at himself in the mirror. Even though he knew what he was doing was wrong, he didn't care. The powers he was given made him feel like he was somehow above his own morality. Telling her he needs to take him to the authorities, Spider-Man also mentions that they really need to finish their conversation (yeah, no kidding).

Later at home, Mary Jane is still thinking about Mr. Limke's advice he gave her about doing whatever you had to do to make yourself happy. Seeing that there was still some truth to his words even after it was discovered that he was a crook, Mary Jane decides that it either now or never and makes her way over to the Parker's. With Peter opening the door to find MJ standing there on his door step, MJ starts to explain to him that there's something really important she needs to tell him.

In General...

So what is the Right thing to do? That's pretty much the theme of this issue and it plays off of the plot perfectly. We see a new side of Flash actually doing the right thing by standing up against his fellow teammates by not participating in the vandalism of the drama club's stage, and actually leaving the football team as a result. He did need a little nudge from Liz Allen, of all people, to help him realize what the right thing to do was, but he was still the one that did it.

Then we have Mary Jane who is still struggling with what the Right thing to do is concerning Peter and Gwen. She really likes Peter but she also really likes Gwen now. Does she try to go for her own happiness with the risk of alienating and hurting Gwen. Plus what happens if things don't work out between her and Peter, now all three are messed up.

And on the other side of the fence we find out that the Looter is none other than Mr. Limke, Mary Jane's school counselor who was advising her to strive for whatever makes her happy no matter the cost. Here we have someone who isn't doing the right thing. He gained some super powers and does he go out and help people in need? No, he does the wrong thing and only looks after himself, committing crimes just to make himself happy.

And of course, we have Spider-Man, who does the Right thing no matter how hard it might be or how much it might put others' needs over his own. Spider-Man is the epitome of what it means to do the right thing. And surrounding Spider-Man are all these other characters who are fighting their own personal battles. Yeah, Flash isn't going toe-to-toe with the Looter or anything but he still is standing up for what he knows is right, and in that way, all of the characters in the issue are heroes, even though they might not wear a costume.

Overall Rating...

This has been the best issue of the series for me. I loved seeing from different points of view all of the characters' struggles with doing the right thing. We see Flash really take a hit to his popularity by standing up against the rest of the football by not helping them destroy the drama club's stage and by quiting the football team altogether. We also have seen Mary Jane's own struggle with what she should do about Peter and Gwen.

I loved that this issue had a solid theme and that that theme was explored throughout the plot. It really gave the issue some depth that is severely lacking in most comics you'll find on the selves these days. I said it before and I'll say it again. Pick up this book. If you're not reading this series by now, you're really missing out on something special.