Comics : Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #17

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This review was first published on: 2007.

Background...

It seems that these kids switch romantic interests way too often and at the most inopportune times. Gwen, after learning that she got in the way between Peter and Mary Jane being together, leaves Peter once she figures out that he's still in love with her.

Well that should solve Mary Jane's problem and now Peter is free for her to get close to him, only she has started to date Harry Osborn again, under the strict guidelines that they keep everything as un-serious as they can. She took him back before learning of Gwen and Peter's breakup, plus she's still trying to avoid drama as much as she can at the moment and going to Peter would just be too much right now.

Since Peter is now single the only thing left for him to do is to start going out with another super hero in his Spider-Man persona. Meeting up with Firestar (Pete seriously has a thing for the red-heads), sparks start flying all over town between the two teenaged do-gooders.

Missing a clear opportunity to get together, both Peter and Mary Jane go on to other people. It's going to be a long ways away before the two of them finally do get together, but really, why rush to that huge storyline in this series when there's so many other people, and drama to deal with first?

In Detail...

"The Guarded Thing"
Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #17
Jun 2007 : SM Title
Summary: Felicia Hardy appearance
Editor:  Mark Paniccia
Writer:  Sean McKeever
Artist:  David Hahn
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There's a new New Girl at school, Felicia, and she's not making any new friends very well. People are talking about her behind her back, that she's a thief, that she got kicked out of her last school, that wherever she goes bad luck follows. Yup, sounds like the makings for the Black Cat to me. And to make matters even worse she's been hitting on Flash Thompson, trying to make him lose the "whiny blonde", even right in front of Liz Allen without so much an iota of regard for her. There is now the making of Liz having her very own arch-nemesis. Before, no one dared to stand up to her, or to get in her way.

At the Coffee Bean, Mary Jane sees Gwen sitting alone, and mustering up enough courage, starts to make her way over to talk to her, but Liz jumps in, grabs her arm and pulls her aside. Needing some advice with what to do with Felicia, the only thing Liz can think of is that she's going to have to fight her to prove to Flash that she's worth staying with. Mary Jane sees things a bit differently and tells her to just ignore Felicia. She's probably doing it all for the attention and drama anyway, and if Liz pays her no attention, then Felicia will just go away. The only problem is that Felicia comes out of no where, having listened to their conversation, and tells the two girls she's not going anywhere.

Meanwhile Spider-Man and Firestar have finally taken down Paste Pot Pete, and while the action is winding down, the action between the two heroes is just "warning" up (sorry, I couldn't help myself). Things are really getting serious between the two, especially when Firestar reaches for Spider-Man's mask and starts to remove it. Spidey freaks but Firestar tells him she was just going to uncover his mouth because she really didn't want to kiss him through his mask. She then questions if he really likes her in that way and when he tells her he does, she still wonders what is up with him.

Back at the Coffee Bean Felicia tells Liz flat out that she wants Flash for herself and if she has to beat the crap out of Liz to get him, then so be it. Mary Jane, being the voice of reason, tells them how stupid it is to think that Flash is going to pick who his girl-friend is based on who wins a fight between them. Felicia agrees but says she wants to fight her anyway; tomorrow after school. Liz is left sitting there with the realization that she's going to have to be in a fight, something I doubt she's ever had to do before.

At the school's library Peter sees Gwen studying and approaches her saying that he could help her. Gwen immediately questions if the only reason he is there is because Mary Jane is now no longer single and Gwen's Pete's backup plan again. Pete tells her she was never his backup plan and that he really wants to be friends with her, but she replies that she really just needs space from him right now.

Passing Peter in the hallways, Mary Jane and Harry are talking about this new gossip between Flash, Felicia and Liz. MJ asks him if he thinks that Flash would really dump Liz for Felicia just because he won a fight, and Harry, being pretty stupid, says no, he wouldn't dump her but he might cheat on Liz with Felicia. He then goes on saying that Felicia is hot and if she's persistent enough, Flash wouldn't be able to help it and he would cave. Mary Jane can't stand it and asks Harry if he'd do that same thing to her. Harry says of course he wouldn't, but it's too late, he's already revealed another side to Mary Jane that he was trying to hide. Harry doesn't understand why MJ is getting all upset anyway seeing as how they're not supposed to be all serious and everything.

At cheerleading practice, Liz is really ripping into all the other cheerleaders to work harder, letting her stress over what's happening with her and Felicia come out on all the girls in her squad. Flash comes over and tries to get Liz to back out of the fight, saying that no matter what happens he's not going to leave her. Liz takes this as him trying to protect her because he really thinks she won't win, and Flash flat out tells her she won't. Before they can really get into this, the Coach calls flash back over to practice, leaving Liz go over back to the other cheerleaders.

Meanwhile Firestar is off battling the Beetle and making short work of him, when Spider-Man makes an appearance. Firestar mentions that she's surprised to see him so soon after what happened earlier, and then they flirt back and forth for awhile, before Spidey mentions that he has something for her. Telling her to close her eyes, he lefts his mask up off his mouth and kisses her. Now Firestar is even more surprised seeing as how he acting the last time she tried to do this. Asking him what has made him change his mind in the last 24 hours, they fly off together as he tells her absolutely nothing.

After school, Felicia is talking smack about Liz because Liz is a little late. Felicia is telling everyone that Liz is really a chicken and that she knew she wouldn't show up, but Liz appears surprising everyone, especially Felicia, who backs out herself saying that she wasn't really going to fight her anyway, she just wanted to see if Liz was strong enough to step up. Plus Felicia lays into Flash pretty good, saying he's really nothing special anyway, pretty stupid in fact, and that she didn't really want him in the first place. This sets Liz off and she charges in only to be stopped by Mary Jane. Felicia and everyone, knowing that there isn't going to be a fight, all disperse, leaving Liz and Mary Jane. Liz looks at Mary Jane saying how she can't believe that all this was for nothing. As they walk off together, they see Flash watching them, and Mary Jane says that it wasn't really all for nothing.

In General...

Another new girl in school and man is this one causing trouble wherever she goes. I guess it's the hairdo. Anyway, she's not making friends anytime soon, but she sure is good at making enemies. Going after Liz Allen's boyfriend and right in front of her no less isn't going to win her any brownie points. Felicia finally baits Liz into a fight but when Liz shows up, Felicia takes off. Yeah she makes Liz furious in the process by belittling Flash, but really it looks like Felicia is all talk and no walk.

It's great seeing Spider-Man and Firestar getting close with each other. With all the problems Peter Parker has with women, maybe a nice anonymous relationship with another costumed hero is just want the doctor has in order.

I'm liking Harry less and less with each passing issue. It seems that every time he opens his mouth he's either saying something awful or he's just acting nice to get what he wants. It'll be nice to see him fall and fast. I want nothing more than to get Mary Jane away from him as soon as possible.

I feel bad for Gwen who has been alienated from the small group of people she was getting close to. She can no longer be around Peter and she definitely can't be around Mary Jane without having all of those bad emotions come rushing to the surface. It seems that poor Gwen is destined to always be on the outside looking in. Peter does want to still be her friend, but I somehow doubt that it'll be any time soon that Gwen comes around to him.

Overall Rating...

Another solid issue in a long line of solid issues. This is definitely one, if not The one, of the best Spider-Man titles out there now. Yes, it is more character driven then action packed, but we still get some fight scenes every now and again, plus I'm much more interested in watching everyone interacting with one another, than I am with seeing Spider-Man punching the latest villain of the month. I'm not saying that that's bad, it's just that if I want to see fights I have a whole pile of Spidey comics to choose from. When I want something with a little more substance to it, I come here.