Spidey has been shot by a new villain called Tracer, annoyed JJJ by trashing his car while looking for Tracer and has been told some bad news is awaiting him courtesy of the blood tests he had after being shot. Meanwhile, Morlun watches on.
MJ is reading about Spidey's “berserk assault” on Jonah. Morlun watches over her unnoticed. She starts complaining to Captain America about things at Stark Towers. Peter overhears and swings off annoyed. At her next performance that evening, MJ has an over-exuberant fan who has seen her show a lot that month. Afterwards she is called to a TV screen where Spider-Man is battling Tracer (who is flying a device that has a bomb strapped to it) again and, according to the commentary, not coming off too well. MJ rushes out of the building, refusing to sign autographs. One of the guys calls her a witch, so her fan, who is called Johnny, batters him. Morlun is still there and watching.
MJ rushes to a bar to watch the Spidey fight. Iron Man has shown up but is under Tracer's command and shoots Spidey, before saving him. The TV cameras cut away. Johnny shows up in the bar. He wants to buy MJ a drink but when she goes to leave, he grabs her and pulls a gun. MJ then takes him out with a pool cue in some pretty kick-arse moves. MJ goes to hail a taxi. The driver claims he's off- duty but Morlun comes to the driver's window and 'persuades' the guy. MJ calls him a lifesaver … though it's ambiguous – she may have been saying it to the taxi driver.
Back at Stark Towers, MJ is talking to Pete, who has returned from his Tracer battle. She is upset that she has no one to talk to about Peter being in danger all the time. She says she thinks he has a guilty mindset about his Uncle Ben and think he risks so much because, ultimately, he'd rather die and be with Ben than he would be with her. Pete says it's not true and, for proof, shows her the letter he received from the doctor…
This is a bit of different issue in that it focuses solely on MJ. The obvious thing to have done would have been to focus on the Tracer v Spidey fight but I like the fact that Peter David was bold enough to try something a bit different. It worked as well. The slightly frustrating thing is that not much really happened. There were more glimpses of Morlun and it seems as if Tracer might be out of the picture but there's not too much substance to it. David's dialogue is really good though, so you have to give him the benefit of the doubt.
I love the scene where MJ took out the guy in the bar with a pool cue!
As for Pat Lee's art … for me it's really in and out. For instance, on the splash page at the start with Morlun looking over MJ, she looks really odd with an almost-square jaw. You turn the page, however, and she looks completely different … for the better. Compare that to her face on the page where she says “Please it's an emergency” in the bar to the tender. It's almost as if Lee's drawing two, three or four different people. There's no consistency to the art at all.
A decent issue. The art has problems but the script is lovely and Peter David's idea of shifting the focus to MJ works well.