Archive for August, 2008

Preview Review – Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #1

August 1, 2008

‘allo, ‘allo, ‘allo!  And what ‘ave we ‘ere?  Why, boil me beef and call me Nigel, it’s another Preview Review!

For those of you not in the know, this is a Preview Review, wherein I find the unlettered preview pages offered online for an upcoming comic (that I really have no intention of buying), and write a review of the issue based entirely on my perceptions of what is going on.

Despite the shortage of unlettered pages being offered for preview (a conspiracy, I maintain, directly against this here blog), I, your humble host have manage to procure some pages from the forthcoming Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #1.  Wait… #1?  Hasn’t this series been going on for a while?  I thought it was up to, like, issue 20 or so.  Oh, wait… now I get it.  New writer, and Marvel decided to cash in by slapping a #1 on the cover.  I see right through you, Marvel.  Can’t fool me.

Anyway, Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane is the heart-wrenching story of Peter Parker, caught in the grip of drug addiction, desperately trying to —

What?

Not about drugs?  A teenage girl in love?

Huh.  Okay.  I could be wrong.  Or am I?  (Just a note – I probably am.)

As I was saying, today we look at Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, written by Terry Moore, art duties by Craig Rousseau, with a cover by Terry Moore and Adrian Alphona.

Let’s see that cover, shall we?

Oh, wow… its so… symmetrical?  Yep.  Main subject posted front and center, grass on both sides, a tree on each side, background pretty sterile.  Hold on a minute – that lampost is only on one side. 

That’s daring. 

Moving of from the general composition of the image, we can take note that New York is filled with actual ivory towers, broken up by only the occasional line or square.  Most folks that don’t live in New York don’t know that.  I can already tell that this comic will be very informative.

And there stands Mary Jane.  Young, innocent, completely unaware that in the future, she will make a deal with the devil and completely screw up Spider-Man’s continuity.

Let’s open the book.

Splash page!  Alrighty, on this first page, we have… well, it look like M.J. is laying on a big canvas on which someone has pencilled a few faces.  And, it also looks like she’s rubbing out some of the images.

You know, that’s irritating.  I mean, someone sets up a canvas, pencils in some light drawings to get ready to paint, and along comes Lil’ Miss “Spider-Man-Loves-Me-I-Can-Do-Anything-I-Want,” who decides to just lay down on the canvass.

Anyway, what else is going on here?  Well, M.J. has a lot of hair.  Don’t get me wrong – very shiny and well maintained (she probably buys some really expensive conditioner), but she could do with a little trim. 

I just realized – that hair is probably why she is lying down.  The weight of it exhausted her.  Now I feel kinda bad for judging her too quickly.  Sorry, M.J.

Aw, she has a cute little Spider-Man doll.  You know, I can’t decide if it is a good thing or a bad thing that Spidey can give a doll of himself to a girlfriend.  I mean, it is neat that those things exist, but it seems a little creepy, maybe a little controlling, for a guy to give a doll of himself to his girl.  I mean, you don’t think that Mario Lopez gives out those Slater dolls to girlfriends, do you?


Let’s just go to the next page.

Splash page!  This comic is going to be a really quick read if this keeps up.  Twenty-two glorious single image pages!  Thirty seconds of entertainment for only $2.99!  What a deal!

On this page, we get to see that Spidey also has a doll of M.J.  I guess that’s okay, kinda like a reciprocal gift of young love.  You know, like when you see boyfriends and girlfriends wearing identical shirts… which is actually kinda nauseating.  But, they are young and in love and do stupid things like that.

I’m not certain why Spidey is crushing one of his model airplanes, though.  Maybe we’ll find out on the next page.

Hold it right there!  That M.J. doll is emoting in this first panel!  Unless that is one incredibly expensive doll, I’m guessing it isn’t a doll at all.  It is Janet Van Dyne, a.k.a., the Wasp!  And, she appears to be dressed up in some sort of Mary Jane costume!  Oh, no… I don’t like where this is headed.

Panel 2, Spidey looks back at Janet.  Say it ain’t so, Spidey!

Then, in the third panel, their eyes meet.  I can’t believe you would do this to M.J., Spidey.  Have you no shame?  Cheating on her, making the Wasp dress up like her… oh, man… this is wrong AND creepy.

The next panel, Janet moves in for the kiss.  I can’t watch this.  It is just so wrong!

Last panel on the page – a reprieve from the creepy, as someone fires a bazooka at Spidey!  He appears to be the same size as the Wasp… which means it must be her husband, Hank Pym, a.k.a., Ant-Man.  How will the superhero community survive all of this?  Hero against hero?  All for what?  The creepy desires of Peter Parker.  It is just disgusting.  Move on to the next page.

Oh… well, that is a startling change of pace.  We are now in what appears to be a classroom, where M.J. is blissfully unaware of the two-timing activities of her love.  We also learn another previously unknown to most people fact – Mary Jane’s arms.  They are gorilla-long.

Seriously, why is she passing that note to the blonde girl to pass to that sulky kid?  I’m pretty sure if she fully extended that arm, she could open the window.

And why is she passing a note to the sulky kid, anyway?  Oh – maybe it is a friendly note to try to cheer up sulky kid.  It really is a nice gesture on her part.

In the following panel, M.J. looks on happily as the blonde girl gives the note to the sulky kid.  She is likely thinking on the coming appreciative smile from sulky kid.

By the next panel, M.J. has returned to her studies, and… a wadded up tissue floats in the air near her head?  Or is it orbiting her head?  I must admit… I’m a bit confused here.  Maybe the next panel will explain things a bit.

Nope, no help at all.  The wadded up tissue has now crashed into the side of her head, irritating M.J., as well it should.  On a quick sidenote – are those walls behind her made of marble?  What kinda budget do New York schools have?

Next page, please.

Okay, it is 11:12 p.m.  (Thanks for the time update, Craig Rousseau!)  In the next panel, we see a tuckered-out M.J., asleep in her clothes among her school books as the TV plays in the background.

Moving down to the next panel – Aghgh!  A mysterious hand on the window!  M.J. is going to get attacked in her sleep!  Quick, move to the next panel!

Uh oh… aw, man… say it ain’t so, Spidey!  Seriously?  You are a Peeping Tom now?  First, giving a doll of yourself to M.J., then having the Wasp dress up as M.J. for your creepy little encounter, and now this?  Man, I haven’t been this skeeved-out about a superhero stalker since I watched Superman Returns.  Ugh!

In the last two panels, we see Mary Jane, completely oblivious to the invasion of privacy, and then Spidey slips away, fearful of being caught.

Thank goodness that’s over!  The entire creepy context of this issue really threw me off.  As such, I can only give it 138 stars out of 15,933 stars.  I like my Spider-Man less stalker-y and more devoted to M.J.

Here’s to hoping the next Preview Review is less icky!

EG, signing off.