Mary Jane #2

Background

Following an evening with close friend Harry Osborn and a dramatic face-to- face meeting with Spider-Man, Mary Jane is still without a date to rapidly approaching homecoming dance. Will MJ be forced to choose between her childhood friend, and the superhero of her dreams? Meanwhile it appears that Marvel has either canceled the title, decided to change the book to a strait- to-digest format, or maybe have it continue in the form of a series of mini- series. No one really knows.

Mary Jane #2 - The Money Thing Editor: MacKenzie Cadenhead Writer: Sean McKeever Penciler: Takeshi Miyazawa

Story 'The Money Thing'

Issue #2 opens up with our heroine riding on a train over the Manhattan Bridge. "Spider-Man... Where are you?" She asks.

We cut away to see MJ and Liz Allen shopping for dresses. Liz has narrowed down her potential choices down to twelve, but alas Mary Jane's too distracted to pay attention. Liz tries to jolt Mary back to reality by reminding her that there's no she's going to the dance with a Superhero. "I mean come on! What would he wear a suit jacket over his red-and-blue undies? For all you know he could be some creapy old dude. Seriously."

MJ reminds Liz that she's spoke to the guy. Liz however still tries to convince Mary Jane to take Harry to the dance. MJ however insists that he's just a friend.

Later that evening, Harry takes MJ on a date at Coney Island and offers to take her her to a movie next Friday. She looks a bit bothered when Harry picks up the bill for a couple of corn dogs. On subsequent dates Harry pays for everything, a habit that seems to get under MJ's skin. "I need a job" she decides.

Mary Jane applies for a job at Hamburger Hippo, which if I recall correctly was Darkwing Duck's fast food venue of choice. Mr. Muntz, manager seems to find her youthful enthusiasm almost off-putting, but thinks she'll do great. Alas as anyone who's ever worked fast food can tell you it's *not* a fun job as our heroine braves the dangers of rude customers, unhelpful co-workers, deep fryers, and mixed up orders. Worst still, all the effort tied in-between managing this job has left MJ exhausted, and she gets caught falling asleep in school. "Miss Watson. It would appear that your level of alertness in this class is declining as steadily as your grades are of late. Don't let me catch you napping in here again." Her math teacher warns.

Back at the Coffee Bean Flash Thompson boasts of his football prowess to Harry Osborn, and has traded in his goofy cowboy hat for a goofier trucker hat. He then proceeds to try to sell Osborn on the idea of going steady with MJ when "Puny Peter" shows up. Flash promptly scares Parker away. Just as Harry's about to explain to Thompson that Peter's actually a good guy, Liz intervenes placing a kiss on Flash's cheek and snatching the big lug's hat. Mary also shows up, looking halfway asleep. Flash is worrying about MJ losing sleep for the job, but MJ is happy because tonight she gets her first paycheck. Later that evening Mary Jane receives her first payment only to her dismay to discover how much has been deducted for taxes and social security. After being insulted by an obnoxious customer Mary Jane decides there must be a better way to make a living. Not in George W. Bush's economy...

In short order, MJ tries jobs with a video store, as a waitress in a fancy restaurant, as a phone receptionist, and cleaning hotel bathrooms all to varying degrees of misery.

Later on a date with Harry to see the Sentinel movie. Harry dismisses the show as a an Iron Giant knock-off, which would normally be grounds to dump the guy, but an overworked Mary Jane has apparently dozed off. After the show is over, Harry shows some concern over what her new job is doing to her but, MJ assures him that once she finds that one perfect job. Harry then tries to explain he doesn't mind paying for stuff, but Mary Jane changes the subject the moment she sees a Spider-Man poster promoting the Daily Bugle.

The next day at school, Mary Jane is called into the guidance counselor's office. Mr. Linke, the guidance counselor says that he's heard about her dozing off in class. She explains that she's taken on a few different jobs Mr. Linke asks about MJ's family situation which makes her feel uncomfortable. He then explains that he understands and that she's not alone as there are some her fellow students are working forty-hour work weeks just to make ends meet. This only makes her feel even more guilty. Linke asks if what MJ's doing is to make ends meet or for something else. Mary Jane explains that today's the last day of her current job, and well... she's either been awful at every job she's been at or completely hated it. She just wanted to be able to do things with her friends, and thought that having money would make things easier.

Later at Fashion Plus, MJ takes one last look at the dress she was planning on buying. Lamenting it really would have been fun to take to home coming. The store's manager tries to sell her on the dress, but alas even with a layaway plan she doesn't have the money. The store manager then points out that one of her salespeople just went on maternity leave, and she has a position open. It's not a lot of hours but she will make enough to have the dress for homecoming. Our heroine accepts the deal.

General Comments

More of the same from issue #1 and that's certainly a good thing. Takeshi Miyazawa's art continues to shine, and McKeever's dialog feels fresh and true to the characters. I understand that this title is a hard sell but I think anyone who gives this book a fair try will like what they see.

Overall Rating

Another good solid issue that's well worth the time to track down and read.