Comics : Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #16

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This review was first published on: 2007.

Background...

After making amends with Peter, as well as Spider-Man, Mary Jane, after seeing how much in love Peter is with Gwen, has decided to move on herself by giving her ex-boyfriend, Harry Osborn, a second chance.

Meanwhile, Gwen is breaking up with Peter after learning all of Peter and Mary Jane's history with each other. On top of the fact that she feels that it's her fault for getting in the way of Peter and Mary Jane being together, and that Peter is still in love with MJ, is just too much for poor Gwen to bear.

So when one's single, the other's in a relationship, and they seem to trade off their relationship status at precisely the same moment. Will Peter and MJ ever get together? Well, of course they will, we've all seen the movies; it's just a matter of time, so we might as well enjoy the teen drama ride until then.

In Detail...

"The Simple Thing"
Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #16
May 2007 : SM Title
Summary: Firestar Appears
Editor:  Mark Paniccia
Writer:  Sean McKeever
Artist:  David Hahn
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At the re-finished Coffee Bean, while Gwen Stacy sits by herself, Mary Jane, Liz, Harry and Flash sit together reminiscing about times they used to go bowling together. As Flash and Liz get to their usual bickering back and forth, MJ comments on how much she's missed this, while Liz brings up how much no one has missed MJ's avoidance issues. Pretty rough, if you ask me. But MJ just shrugs it off saying that she's done with all the drama, from here on out, while Harry gently places his hand over hers on the sit in between them.

Outside, as the gang is leaving together, Spider-Man sees Mary Jane and Harry walking together. He swings off thinking he now knows where he stands with MJ. As Spider-Man starts feeling bad for himself for being alone, he practically gets side swiped in mid air by the fiery Firestar (yes that sounded just like Stan "the Man" Lee, himself, and I don't care).

Remarking on her new outfit, Firestar mentions that it's actually her old outfit, but Spider-Man thinks she's looking pretty good either way. He then asks her what she's doing around his neck of the woods and she tells him she's there because she hasn't seen him in awhile. Looks to me like it isn't taking Peter too long to get over Gwen and Mary Jane. He's a smooth operator, if you ask me.

At the arcade later, Liz and Mary Jane are talking as Flash and Harry play some video games. Liz, actually being the voice of reason here, asks Mary Jane how dating Harry goes with her "no more drama" plan. MJ says it's simple. She likes him and she has a good time with him; she wants to be more than just friends with him but not too much more. This is where her logic falls apart. Liz brings up how MJ is really still in love with Peter and why that now that he's single, why isn't she, but MJ dismisses that saying that this has nothing to do with Peter. Again, MJ not really making much sense.

While the two girls are talking, Harry and Flash, playing some weird fighting game, start talking about last Homecoming, where Flash proclaimed his love for Mary Jane, who was then dating Harry, in front of their entire class. Flash tries to convince Harry that he was out of his mind when he did that and he's seriously over Mary Jane. The only problem is he tries to convince Harry just a little too much and in the process calls MJ "unsavory". This, obviously, sets Harry off and the two of them start fighting. It doesn't look like Harry isn't taking things seriously. Fighting with Flash over Mary Jane looks pretty serious in my book.

At school the next day, Gwen is still avoiding Peter, and as Mary Jane and Harry walk past Peter all alone, MJ does something that's really crappy. She grabs Harry's arm and snuggles up close just long enough for Peter to see. That's not very nice at all and seems really out of character.

Getting to her locker, Harry asks MJ if she'd like to get together tonight. Mary Jane tries to back out saying that they were just together last night, but Harry says that it's Friday and that they have to do something. MJ sees his point and agrees. She asks him what he has in mind, but he tells her it's a surprise.

That night Spider-Man has met up with Firestar to her help hunt down Paste Pot Pete, the only problem is they can't find any sign of him, or any sign of anyone doing anything illegal. Spider-Man mentions that they could do to Central Park because they're bound to find at least a mugging going on or something.

Meanwhile, on top of the Empire State building, Harry is apologizing to her for his dating Lindsay Leighton a few issues back when they were no longer dating (Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #3). Harry realized that the only reason she was dating him was to make Mary Jane jealous, he felt bad for the way he treated Mary Jane and he also apologized if whatever happened with Lindsay was what caused MJ to go all "plastic". Mary Jane says its ok but it was really a whole mess of other things that mad her act like that. Harry tells her just how happy that she's back to being herself again, and leans in to kiss her, but Mary Jane pushes him back.

Meanwhile (again), Spider-Man and Firestar are in Central Park but the only good they can do is to help a cat that got itself stuck up in a tree. As Spider-Man is just about to reach the cat, the branch that he's standing upside down on, gives way and he falls into the water. Firestar easily grabs the cat because she can fly and hands it over to a police officer while Spider-Man pulls himself out. Standing in late Fall in his underwear soaking from heat to toe isn't his idea of a good time, but Firestar leans in, hugs him and turns on her heat to warm him up and evaporate the water. There is definitely a moment between them when Spider-Man mentions that this is definitely different from any other date he's been on, when Firestar asks if that's what this is, a date. Spider-Man gets all "squirmy" and tries to backtrack, but Firestar thinks it's cute and gives him a kiss through his mask.

Back atop the Empire State building, Mary Jane asks Harry why he brought her to the place where they had their first kiss together. Harry gives some lame reason and MJ explains that she doesn't want what they had before. It was too serious and things were moving too fast for her, but Harry settles her down and tells her all he wants to do is keep things nice and simple. MJ is pretty relived to her him say that but I still don't really believe him 100%. He gives her a cheesy line, leans in and still gets the kiss he was aiming for before.

In General...

Gwen is still avoiding Peter and even though Mary Jane now knows that Peter is single again, she's still going ahead and dating Harry. It doesn't make much sense to me. Ok, I can see if MJ thinks that Peter is really in love with Gwen than dating him right now might not be the best choice, but if she waits too long than someone else might come along. And sure enough someone does.

What's the deal with Peter having a thing for redheads? Firestar makes an appearance, looking an awful lot like Mary Jane, and she and Spider-Man have themselves sort of a superhero date - combing the city looking for bad guys and people breaking the law, only to find a cat that needs help getting out of a tree. Sparks do end up flying between the two costumed-claded teenagers, so we'll see what happens next issue.

For someone who is now going to be drama free, Mary Jane certainly likes to put herself in the middle of it. First off she has Liz constantly asking her why she's not trying to get with Peter. Yes, this would still be in drama's way, but a lot less than what situation she's putting herself in now with Harry. She's trying to keep everything between them very simple. She wants to date him, but not make it too serious.

Who is she fooling? Does this ever work? Not in my experiences. What's going to end up happening is Harry is going to try to push things too far, too fast and it'll all blow up in both of their faces, or Mary Jane is going to see that he's going to start getting too serious and she's going to break up with him. Now Harry won't talk to her anymore, because who really wants to be friends with a girl you tried to get serious with only to have her break up with you in the process.

Then again, that kiss at the end between Mary Jane and Harry looks pretty serous to me, so maybe things will progress between them even with MJ saying she's not interested in that happening. Who knows?

Oh and when is the top of the Empire State Building ever not completely packed with tourists? Never, that's when. Only in comics and the movies does the cute couple get some alone time together on one of New York City's most visited tourist attractions. The last time I went I had to wait in line for a good hour, only to have to stand packed with everyone else at the top. It wasn't that magical, believe me.

Overall Rating...

A good solid issue. It's going to take a little while to get used to the new penciller, who really shines in some instances, only to lose it in other scenes. Maybe with a couple more issues under his belt, the art work will start to pull together. But then again, this isn't like the first time he's drawn a comic before, so let's just hope that things do end up improving.

I did love seeing the interaction between Firestar and Spider-Man, not really on a date, but it slowly turning into one, completely with a fiery hug and kiss at the end. I did like the whole "spark" thing when Firestar hugs Spidey to heat him up and dry him off after he fell into the water at the park. I'm sure she did more than just warm up his costume, if you catch my meaning.