Mary Jane: Homecoming #2

Background

Ok for those keeping score here, Mary Jane Watson is currently dating Harry Osborn. Liz Allan is dating Flash Thompson. Both couples are planning on going to the upcoming homecoming dance.

Now here's where the problems start. Flash Thompson, bless his lunkheaded soul, has a huge crush on MJ. Making matters worse is the fact that Liz suspects the guy is cheating on her. Speaking of cheating, it seems that Harry Osborn's grades aren't up to snuff in his father's view, and if he doesn't improve his test scores, it looks like old man Norman isn't going to let his son go to the dance. This leaves Harry so desperate he's seriously considering cheating, but MJ has a crisis of conscience, and declines an opportunity to help steal some test answers.

So there you have it. Liz is angry at our heroine because of suspected cheating, and Harry's mad at her for confirmed non-cheating. So the drama.

Story 'The Friendship Thing'

Issue #2 opens with the gang back at the Coffee bean, but between Harry acting distant, and obvious friction between Liz and Flash, MJ decides to get her coffee to go for a change. Later that evening, Flash shows up at her house asking to talk about how to repair his relationship with Allan. She explains her troubles with Harry, prompting Flash to get a good idea. He'll confront Harry about the grade issue, if she'll confront Liz. This may be Flash Thompson's first good idea in the history of comics.

On a shopping trip to the mall, Mary Jane questions Liz about her frequent irritable moods. Meanwhile, after shop class, Flash invites Harry to a night out of video games and buffalo wings to talk about guy stuff. Mostly about the days of middle-school when they were rather desperate at getting girls to talk to them. I can relate. I had that problem at middle-school, and high school, and college...

After skirting around the issue, Liz confesses that her suspicion began the night after the football game (see [Mary Jane #4]) but her real problem is that she suspects that she just can't compete with our MJ, believing her to be prettier and nicer than she is. Mary Jane reminds Liz that she's her best friend and that she would never throw away their friendship for a guy.

Meanwhile, Flash, upon hearing about the grade situation, lightly chastises Harry for not trying harder to get his grades up. Flash says there isn't another girl like MJ in the whole world, and Harry knew that he wouldn't care what his dad thinks. Harry tries to remind Flash what his father is like, but to no avail. MJ is still more important.

Flash's plea reminds Harry that MJ had a huge crush on the big lug in the eighth grade. Half-seriously joking that if Miss Watson was joking him they wouldn't be having this problem. One can almost hear a tiny hamster in Flash's brain, spinning the wheels around.

The next day during football practice, Liz Allan makes it clear that she's forgiven her boyfriend. Meanwhile, Harry apologizes for trying to talk her into doing something she thought was wrong. He says that he's hired a tutor and that while he doesn't know if he can get his grades up, he's going to try his best. He offers her a corsage for the homecoming dance, and the two embrace as Harry watches on.

So everything is all neatly wrapped up in a nice package. Or is it?

General Comments

I'm kind of glad I waited before reviewing these later issues. In this chapter of the Homecoming saga, Sean's managed to answer a number of questions that fans of the book have been wondering about since the end of the last Mary Jane mini-series, while slyly hinting at where the book is going.

Meanwhile I find myself admiring Takeshi Miyazawa's work more with each issue. His work is delightfully graceful, and the bright colors by Christina Strain complement them perfectly.

Overall Rating

Mary Jane is one of those books where who's reading may speak more about the book's quality than how many issues are sold. This book's predecessor along with Sentinel, Inhumans, and The Waiting Place caught the eye of this year's Eisner Award nomination committee. With McKeever up for this year's "Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition" award, it appears to be only a matter of time before the writer finally has a big breakout project.

Who knows, it might be Megamorphs.