Pete and his wife Mary Jane have been separated for a while and have coincidentally run into each other at an airport.
|Writer:||J. Michael Straczynski|
|Pencils:||John Romita, Jr.|
|Cover Art:||Scott Campbell|
|Reprinted In:||Marvel Tales Flip Magazine #21|
|Reprinted In:||Spider-Man/Mary Jane...You Just Hit the Jackpot|
|Reprinted In:||Spider-Man TPB (Amazing) #4|
This issue starts where the last ended, with Pete and MJ discussing their relationship in the airport. Their discussion is interrupted as Doctor Doom arrives at the airport on his way to some diplomatic function. Doom is confronted by a suicide bomber who has explosives strapped to his chest. The bomber detonates himself, knocking Doom out and leaving mass carnage. Pete goes into action, helping out the injured when he notices one of those on the ground is Captain America, who must have been travelling incognito. Pete pulls him to the side and changes into his Spidey costume just as some armoured dude arrives to finish off Doom.
Then we have the following pattern: armoured dude arrives, Spidey and Cap defeat him, Spidey ducks to the side to mend his relationship, then another armoured dude arrrives, etc. Apparently they have to wait until a rescue team can get through the rubble to grab the injured. Finally, they beat the final bad dude, the rescuers get through and Pete and MJ decide to get back together!
In the aftermath, Spidey gives Doom a stern talking to, introduces MJ to Captain America and then walks off into the sunset with MJ, pledging his love to her.
Now that the mystical spider stuff is out of the way for the moment we have a pretty good issue. I don't know why JMS had to throw all the Dr. Doom assassination stuff in. I would've liked a talking heads issue, but it does work to highlight the points that MJ makes in their conversation about the way she feels about Pete's life as Spider-Man.
Of course the best news this issue is that MJ IS BACK! Not only that, but MJ and Pete's relationship seems a lot more real and interesting than it has in a long time. This issue really highlights some of the difficulties that might occur with a superhero couple. What it might mean for the superhero's partner. JMS takes the time to explore this theme in a new and interesting way. The way JMS handles Pete and MJ's relationship shows a lot of promise for future issues. Maybe now, like with Aunt May, MJ might be made into a purposeful character, instead of just a plot device like she has often been in the past.
The art is good as always, but of particular note is the cover. It is BEAUTIFUL! One of the best Spidey covers since Kaare Andrews was doing the Peter Parker: Spider-Man covers.
There are some other good things thrown into this issue, including a couple of chuckle-worthy gags and the scene where Pete intros MJ to Cap. There are also some annoying elements, like the amount of coincidences (e.g. that Pete and MJ would meet at the same airport, that Dr. Doom and Cap are there AND that terrorists choose that time and place to attack Doom). Also, I don't really think that Doom would be so easily put out of action. These things didn't detract too much from the main story, though.
MJ is BACK, which alone is worth 4 webs to me!