Comics : Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #19

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This review was first published on: 2007.

Background...

Things are really heating up between Firestar and Spider-Man so much that Spider-Man is actually doing his best to try to cool things down. Firestar is pushing Pete's comfort level with her constantly trying to share her secret identity with him, and her actually bringing him to the house she lives in in New Jersey isn't helping matters. Spider-Man is enjoying the time they are spending together, even sharing a kiss or two, but he is definitely not ready to share with her his real name, and because of that, he doesn't want to know hers.

Meanwhile, Mary Jane is still dating Harry Osborn but her plans to keep things as un-serious as possible have fallen apart after seeing poor Harry dealing with his father absence from his life and how it is troubling him. Later we learned that it was all pretty much a show to make Mary Jane let down her guard so that they can get closer to one another. Yeah, Harry is upset that he hardly every sees his father, but he exaggerated his feelings to make it appear to MJ that he's hurting more than he really is.

In Detail...

"The Thoughtful Thing"
Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #19
Aug 2007 : SM Title
Editor:  Mark Paniccia
Writer:  Sean McKeever
Artist:  David Hahn
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Review

The gang is hanging out at the Coffee Bean, ribbing Flash who happens to have his head resting on the table be trying to get a few seconds sleep. Liz is really laying into him about sleeping through class and about being a zombie out on the football field during practice, which causes Flash to flip out, getting up and leaving so that he can get a few minutes quiet.

Out on the street an angry Flash walks into Peter and Gwen without so much as an excuse me. Gwen yells out after him, but to no effect. Once the "walking bicep" is gone, Gwen asks Peter if he's alright, only she not talking about Flash walking into him. Something seems wrong with Peter and she wants to know what it is, but Peter's not talking. Gwen asks if he just can't talk about it, or if he just can't talk about it with her. Peter merely looks away.

At a small diner called the Silver Spoon, Harry and Mary Jane are enjoying each other's company when Harry directs their conversation to more serious and way too mushy subject matter for Mary Jane's tastes, who quickly changes the topic to Flash and what could be wrong with him. Caught off guard by the switch in topics, Harry tries to say that they really shouldn't try to meddle with him. If something was wrong with him, knowing Flash, he wouldn't like it if they tired to find out what it was. Getting ready to leave, MJ spots someone and makes like she wants to stay for a last piece of pie. Harry says he'll join her but she insists that he leave, saying that she only lives around the corner, plus he has to get home anyway. Once Harry takes off, Mary Jane walks into the back room of the diner to find Flash working on the flattop.

Sitting at the counter out front, Flash tells Mary Jane that his dad was laid off. He did manage to get another job pretty quickly, but it doesn't pay as much, so to help out Flash has gotten a job himself. Mary Jane shows some concern over Flash's grades and Flash says he understands that his grades are important. If he can just keep his grades up and keep at football, he's pretty much guaranteed a scholarship to some anniversary, but if he doesn't help out his family right now when they really need him, he doesn't know what'll happen, and right now, his family is more important to him then his future. MJ asks why he didn't tell anyone which makes him laugh. Why bother telling them, so he can get an earful from Liz, or, worst, pity and charity from rich-boy Harry. Getting up and saying that he needs to get back to work, Flash asks MJ if she'll promise not to tell anyone about this.

Walking home, Spider-Man comes out of nowhere as Mary Jane gets to her house saying the he's got tons on his mind and if she minds talking. She apologizes and says she is just emotionally drained and if it can wait until tomorrow after school. Spider-Man, being the nice guy that he is, says sure and swings off.

It doesn't take MJ very long to break her promise to Flash and the very next day at school she tells both Liz and Harry, who both react the exact way Flash called it; Liz gets angry that he kept this from her and Harry offers to give him money. Mary Jane tries to talk some sense into both of them saying that this isn't about either of them but about Flash, who really needs them to be there for him. Even though she did break her promise and told them, she's still a good friend because she sincerely wants to help Flash.

Later that night Spider-Man tells Mary Jane about his problems with Firestar, how he really likes her and everything but that he's just not comfortable revealing his secret identity to her because he hasn't shared it with anyone. Mary Jane shots this down saying that they're both on equal footing on this one. Even if something bad happens and they break up, it's not like she can run out and tell everyone who Spider-Man really is because he can then turn around and blow her secret identity. Spider-Man then says what happens if she's just not into who he really is under the mask - his real persona might not be exciting enough for her. Plus there's this other girl that he really likes (Mary Jane), and he's not really sure where things are with her. It wouldn't be fair to Firestar to start getting all serious only to not be all into it to begin with. Mary Jane tells him that he's really a good person and that no matter what happens, he'll make the right decision.

Later that very night, Mary Jane finds Liz and Harry hanging out at her front door. Harry immediately tries to find out where she's been but Liz stops that line of questioning before it has even begun saying that they're dealing with Flash right now. Liz then tells MJ that she and Harry have come up with a plan.

At the Silver Spoon, Flash's boss tells him that he needs to get to the front for a second where he finds his friends waiting for him. Starting to yell at Mary Jane for breaking her promise, she stops him saying that they've come to help. Harry then gives him a pillow that was designed by scientists or something to make you have a better night's sleep and Liz gives him a coffee machine/ alarm clock to help wake him up in the mornings. Flash is pretty touched by their kindness. Mary Jane then tells him she was thinking of asking Peter if he's tutor Flash, but decided against that, which Flash is grateful for.

The next day at school Flash comes up to Harry in the halls and thanks him for the pillow and everything. Once Flash talks off, who should show up but Felicia Hardy, asking Harry if he's feeling lucky.

In General...

Spider-Man is still trying to come to a conclusion about what he's going to do with Firestar. Should he share with her his secret identity or should he just keep things the way they are. I have a feeling that he's going to tell her that he's just not ready to share his secret with her or anyone for that matter, and that is going to lead to them breaking up. Mary Jane does try to help him make his decision but she knows that he'll make the right one no matter what.

Flash has taken a job as a short-order cook because his family really needs the money. Working late has had a drastic effect on his schoolwork and his football practices but Flash feels like he has to keep it a secret from his friends because he doesn't want to have to deal with them knowing about it. Mary Jane eventually finds out and gets everyone to help out but not in any kind of grand way, really just small gestures so that Flash knows that they support him.

The really exciting bit doesn't come until the very end when Felicia shows up at Harry's locker. If you remember previously, Felicia was after Flash and during a conversation Harry was having with Mary Jane, he tells her that if Felicia, being a hotty, keeps after Flash, he'll eventually ditch Liz and go out with her, or he'll just see Felicia behind Liz's back. Mary Jane is flabbergasted by Harry's opinion, but he says that Flash won't be able to help himself, that most guys wouldn't be able to help themselves in that situation. Now we'll get to see exactly how Harry deals with being that that very predicament.

Overall Rating...

It was nice to see all of Flash's friends, with Mary Jane's help, stand up and show that they support him and his family in their time of trouble. Yes, Mary Jane did have to make them see the right way to show support to Flash was, but they did come around eventually. It was good to also see the depth of Mary Jane's character by doing the right thing for him, even if it meant that she had to break a promise to her friend, Flash.

Not that much Spider-Man in this issue, with him only complaining to Mary Jane about the tight spot Firestar has put he in. It would have been nice to have some direction how that's going to go but I guess we'll just have to be patient.

I loved the ending of this issue and I can't wait until the next one comes out. Hopefully Harry will do something foolish with Felicia and Mary Jane will find out about it and that'll be it between them. Mary Jane will then be free to date whomever she chooses, and let's hope that Spider-Man hasn't decided to share his secret identity with Firestar before anything between him and Mary Jane can happen.