Rave : 2002 : Straczynski & Jenkins Not Good Enough?
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Of course they are. I am enjoying the best Spider-Man I have read in a long time, but this little piece is proof that you just can't please everyone all the time. First off, Mary Jane. She is a major character and has been a part of Spider-Man since Amazing Spider-Man #25 (June 1965), and then cemented her role by marrying the web-spinner in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21 (1987). Plainly put, Mary Jane has been around longer than I have been alive, and for nearly 15 years other writers had Mary Jane in the books, and involved her in many good stories. So just what exactly is the problem now, JMS? I hear Jenkins would prefer Mary Jane back. Why Marvel bent one way over the involvement of a key character is beyond me.
Secondly, there seems to be a non-continuity between the two core titles. I feel as if I am reading about Spider-Man at two entirely different points in his life! I can't tell which title would come first in a continuity span, as I am hard-pressed to find references of any kind between the two books. Remember the brutal beating Spidey took from Morlun? Absolutely no reference was shown in PPSM from that fight, no cuts, bruises, bandages, or even a mention of how hard a time he had.
PPSM introduced readers to Peter's neighbor, Caryn, about a year ago, and has she made even one showing in ASM? Nope. Is it too much to ask that even a passing reference is made to some of these events and characters in the other title? (At least Jenkins is making a reference or two about his teaching job) Can we get some kind of sense that these two titles are taking place around the same time? Will Jenkins now have to acknowledge the fact that Aunt May now knows Peter is Spider-Man due to the latest revelation in ASM #38? Ok, it may be too early to tell, he probably will, but I don't see JMS referencing much of Jenkins work, if anything.
It's almost as if both writers are going as if they are writing the only Spider-Man book on the shelf. The only thing these two titles seem to have in common are Spider-Man, and Mary Jane gone. Excuse me, but if Straczynski can keep Caryn out of ASM for a year (and still going), and Jenkins can keep the ramifications of one of Spidey's toughest battles to date out of PPSM, then Jenkins might as well start writing Mary Jane back in his title, because I am not seeing the continuity between these two books. At least then we would have Mary Jane back.