Comics : Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #12

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This review was first published on: 2006.

Background...

Deciding that the best way to make like Gwen and Peter being together doesn't bother her, Mary Jane commits herself into becoming a party girl, fashion diva. The only problem is with the success of her acting debut in the Twelfth Night, Mary Jane is completely soaking up all the admiration and attention she's getting, especially from all the boys at her school, and avoiding her real friends altogether.

With her newfound popularity, Harry Osborn is more than just a little jealous and when Mary Jane starts blowing him off, it's more than his poor fragile ego can handle.

In Detail...

"The Flirting Thing"
Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #12
Jan 2007 : SM Title
Editor:  Mark Paniccia
Writer:  Sean McKeever
Artist:  Takeshi Miyazawa
Staff Only
Issue
Review

For some reason Harry Osborn is at the school's library when a pretty girl comes over to him and introduces herself as Joy Mercado, a student journalist for the Midtown Magnifier. She explains to him that a poll was given to the student body to vote on who they believed to be the biggest male and female flirt in the entire school and that Harry was picked. She then goes on to tell him that she's going to be writing a piece on flirting and she would like to interview him for her article. Harry agrees and asks her who was picked as the number one female flirt.

In the hallways, as Mary Jane is surrounded by guys, Harry walks over to her to talk about the article and to ask Mary Jane if she agreed to the interview with Joy. Mary Jane tells him no way, but Harry seems to think this is a perfect way for the two of them to start hanging out more so that maybe he can get back together with her. He tells her the only way he'll do it is if she does it too. And who knows, it could be fun. She tells him she'll think about it before walking away. Harry is definitely having a hard time dealing with the fact that he has absolutely no effect on Mary Jane anymore.

In the bathroom, Mary Jane puts her head down saying how exhausting it is going "plastic", Joy comes up behind her and surprises her. Joy asks MJ if she's given her interview anymore thought. Mary Jane believed Joy was going to go on with her article using the girl who came in second on the flirting poll but Joy mentions that she was only bluffing about that and that she really needs Mary Jane for her article to be any good. Without her it just wouldn't be half the article it could be.

At the Coffee Bean Harry is grilling Liz trying to find out why exactly Mary Jane is acting the way she is. Liz almost lets it slip that the reason MJ is acting like a partying socialite is because she's running from her feelings for Peter, but she manages to hold back just enough to just tell him she's only running from her feelings. Harry tries to get more but Liz is holding steadfast, saying if MJ wanted Harry to know what's going on with her, she would tell him herself.

Harry switches the subject to Liz and Flash getting back together. Liz tells him that they are in fact back together; that they worked out what was wrong between them and that Harry and Flash should do the same. If you remember back during the Mary Jane mini-series, MJ was dating Harry back then and during the homecoming dance Flash revealed in front of the entire school that Flash was in love with MJ. Of course this has now put a rift between the once good friends. Harry almost lets his feelings about MJ slip by saying that if Flash didn't open his stupid mouth then he and MJ might still be together. Liz asks him if that's what he really wants and Harry does try to play it off but I doubt Liz is fooled.

During their separate interviews Joy asks both Harry and MJ what are the "hallmark traits of being a flirt". They both sort of say that self-confidence is the key attribute but MJ says it in a much kinder way then Harry does. Harry comes off more like an arrogant jerk who is full of himself, which he is, and Joy completely calls him on it commenting that it might not be self-confidence as much as arrogance. During MJ's interview Joy mentions that Mary Jane's answers all seem to be pretty boring and that she thinks MJ isn't being totally truthful with her responses. Both Harry and Mary Jane are none too happy with where Joy is taking this interview but Joy, apparently doesn't do "fluff pieces". Both Harry and Mary Jane get up and walk out on the interview.

The next day at Mary Jane's locker Joy has the nerve to ask MJ when they can finish her interview. MJ is awestruck by Joy's audacity for asking this especially after Joy went in for the kill on the first half of the interview. Blackmailing MJ, Joy tells her that if MJ doesn't finish the interview then there's nothing left for her to do but write about how MJ stormed off during the interview like a stuck-up diva. There's really nothing MJ can do. Either she blows off Joy and comes off as a pre-Madonna or she completes the interview where Joy will probably make her out to be a pre-Madonna anyway.

During a party Harry approaches MJ asking if she can believe Joy being such a viper. He tells her that they should make a complaint to Joy's editors at school and maybe get the story canceled; only it seems MJ has already finished the interview. Harry asks her how she could have done that and then asks her what she told her. MJ pretty much told Joy what she wanted to hear, how MJ is really just an attention-hound and all that. Harry can't believe Mary Jane would do that saying why play into Joy's game, but Mary Jane was really more interested in just getting Joy off her back.

Mary Jane starts walking away from Harry saying that it's a party and she really doesn't want to talk about the interview any more, when Harry grabs her by the arm and pulls her into a dark room. Inside Harry starts to ask MJ if she might still have any feelings for him, and then goes in to try and kiss her. Mary Jane backs off and laughs off Harry's advances as she returns to the party. Harry just leaves.

Later that night on a park bench, Harry has met up with Joy to finish his interview, with one exception, Harry will only finish as long as he has complete control over what is printed from MJ's interview, saying that whatever he tells Joy will be so much juicier than anything Joy might have coerced out of MJ. Joy starts the interview.

Harry answers Joy's questions pretty honestly but the interview isn't really going anywhere until Harry starts pushing the interview where he wants it to go, when out of no where Harry pulls out his charm that he's known for and completely makes Joy weak in the knees. As he gently pulls her face closer to his, when Joy is ready to start kissing him, he leans in and whispers in her ear that the reason why he is such a ladies man is because he can. Joy is devastated and storms off leaving Harry sitting in the cold.

Back in the library, an announcement is made over the loud-speaker asking Harry Osborn and Mary Jane Watson to come to the front office. Before Harry gets up it's revealed that what he's actually studying in his notebook is a photo of Harry and MJ together back when they were dating.

In the front office the school paper's photographer tells them that Joy has decided to not finish her article about them, but that he still needs to take their picture together, just in the off chance that they do end up actually running the piece. It takes the photographer some coaxing but he finally manages to get MJ and Harry together to take a funny, friendly photo.

In General...

Mary Jane and Harry Osborn have been voted as the school's biggest male and female flirts and because of this a student named Joy has decided that she wants to do a heavy hitting article about them in the school's newspaper. During their separate interviews things take a turn for the worst for both of them, which causes them to leave the interviews before they are finished. Only they are not as finished as they'd like to be. Joy blackmails both MJ and Harry to try to get them to finish their interviews so she can finish her article. If they decide not to finish, then she has no other choice but to slam them both in the paper, letting everyone in the school know how much Mary Jane and Harry think of themselves.

Harry decides that if he and MJ stand together they might be able to get the school's paper to cancel the article, but it appears that MJ has already finished her interview and told Joy everything Mary Jane thought Joy wanted to hear. Knowing that if Joy goes ahead and prints all of MJ's responses it's going to make MJ look really, really bad, so Harry takes it on himself to make sure that the article will never be finished. Telling Joy that he'll finish the interview, they meet up and, during the interview, Harry really sticks it to her by showing her how much his charm can affect her. He crushes her by acting like a Casanova one second, making her think he really likes her, to acting like a real jerk by telling her that the reason he's being so sweet to her, making her fall for him, is really just because he can. Joy storms off and decides not to run the article.

Overall Rating...

Even though Mary Jane is still going through her whole party girl phase where nothing gets her down, it's downplayed in this issue a lot more then it was in the previous issue. We were able to see more of the real Mary Jane under her "plastic" surface.

I still think Harry Osborn is a complete jerk and the only reason why he wants to get back together with Mary Jane is because she's the most popular girl in the entire school and that she's not interested in him at all anymore. It was still nice to see him do something incredibly cruel to Joy to protect Mary Jane from looking badly in the school's paper. I guess the ends justify the means. Yes he did something awful but it was for good reasons, that didn't include him getting something he wanted.

Again, another solid issue from a series that deserves more credit than it gets. The only real problem I have with the series as a whole so far is the name. "Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane" is just begging to be put on a pro-drug t-shirt.

Footnote...

The end of this issue had a request for more letters from the series' fans. It seems that no one has been sending in any letters so they didn't have anything to print. I, for one, since I do love this series, will start to send some letters their way. I'd hate for this series to be canceled just because it doesn't star Spider-Man, since it is one of the better Spider-Man books out there. So if you're like me and actually like this comic, send a letter or two.