Peter Parker: Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #14

Background

Despite their recent marital troubles, Peter and Mary Jane Parker are a couple who, deep down, truly do love each other. Sadly, just as Peter decided that he would let nothing, including his life as Spider-Man, get in the way of fixing his marriage, he learned the news of MJ's plane crash.

Meanwhile, the Hulk's just passing through

Story 'Denial'

Peter and Mary Jane's friends and family are each trying to deal with the tragedy of MJ's death in their own way: Aunt May prepares a large dinner for the Parkers' friends, JJJ takes out his sorrow on helpless Daily Bugle employees, and the rest are overcome with tears. Peter Parker himself, however, is in the midst of a battle with the Incredible Hulk (for clarity's sake, this is the big, green, dumb Hulk, complete with the purple pants). Peter simply refuses to believe that his wife could be dead, and takes his frustration out on the green goliath.

Cut to the Parker residence, where Aunt May has nearly finished preparing an enormous dinner, when she accidentally makes a mess, just as the company arrives. In tears, May is comforted by Jill Stacy and the rest of the Parkers' friends. Meanwhile, the Hulk slams Spider-Man through a building, then swats him to a train station, where he crashes into a Daily Bugle newspaper machine. The cover story is MJ's death, and Spidey tries to convince himself that she's alive as he swings off to meet the Hulk.

Back at the Parker apartment, everyone wonders where Peter is. Peter, of course, is tearing up a set of train tracks with the Hulk. The wall-crawler tells the jade giant over and over that his wife is alive and he will find her, as he pounds away at the monster's invulnerable skin. Finally, Spider-Man slumps down in front of the Hulk, totally exhausted. The Hulk informs Spidey that his own wife is dead, and that he is sorry for the web-head's loss. A train appears on the very track that the two heroes have ripped up. Spidey tries to fix it, but is so worn out from the fight that he'll never finish in time. The Hulk easily bends the tracks back into place and Spidey webs them down, just in time. By the time the train passes between the two heroes, the Hulk is gone.

Back at the Parker household, sometime later, Peter walks in and apologizes to his Aunt for missing the dinner. Later that night, the phone rings. Peter answers it, and is told, "She's alive".

General Comments

A nice issue. Mackie used the familiar "Spidey vs. much more powerful opponent" story against the background of MJ's death, and it all meshed very well. It was good to see some familiar faces that we don't see enough anymore, such as Flash and Betty and Glory Grant (too bad the circumstances couldn't have been better). There were many touching scenes, especially when the Hulk told Spidey about his own loss.

As usual, the art was great. JRJR's Hulk is simply enormous, and the sad looks on the faces of the supporting cast were heart breaking.

Overall Rating

Another solid issue of Peter Parker: Spider-Man. A simple yet touching story combined with terrific art. You can't go wrong. 4 webs.