Mary Jane #3

Background

While MJ still has a crush on Spidey, she continues her relationship with Harry who is seemingly perfect, although his habit of throwing money around seems to rub our heroine the wrong way. Mary Jane decides she needs a job to pay for a dress to take to the upcoming home-coming dance. After several nightmarish adventures in the world of minimum wage existence, our MJ finds herself suffering both socially and academically for spreading her time to thin. Just as our heroine is about to give up, the owner of a boutique offers her a part-time job, and a deal on a dress.

Meanwhile Flash and Liz seem to have a little friction in their relationship.

In Detail:

Mary Jane #3- The Loyalty Thing Editor: MacKenzie Cadenhead Writer: Sean McKeever Penciler: Takeshi Miyazawa

Story 'The Loyalty Thing'

The story begins at the Coffee Bean, where Flash Thompson unveils his new theory onto just who or what this Spider-Man figure really is. I won't go into detail on it, but let's just say it's about as dumb and juvenile as he is. Speaking of juvenile, Mary Jane notices two boys from her class have arrived at the coffee shop. It seems that over the course of the last week the two kids have subjected our heroine to every manner of lame practical joke known to man. This makes Flash rather irate, but Liz stops him from pounding the two. Harry if MJ wants him to talk to the two, but MJ insists she'll be fine.

The next day MJ and Liz discuss why the guys would possibly want to pick on her. Liz wonders if it's some kind of gang initiation. But MJ quickly writes off the theory. Later at the mall, Liz continues to try and convince her to pursue a non-platonic relationship with Harry. Alas despite admitting that Harry's seemingly perfect (at least until you meet the family...) for some reason she's still not feeling it for him, and it drives her crazy to try and figure out why. Liz suspects MJ's Spider-crush might have something to do with it. Later the two further discuss the topic over a game of basketball.

The next day at school the two pranksters have rigged a shaving cream can to spray MJ when she opens it. Unfortunately for these obvious criminal masterminds, Flash Thompson sees this. Liz tries to intervene again, but well Flash isn't listening to her. It isn't until Mr. Limke, the school guidance councilor steps in that Flash lets up.

Later at the Coffee Bean, things come to a head as Liz browbeats Flash over almost getting into a fight with the two, which would result in him getting thrown off the football team, and ruining any chance of becoming Homecoming King. Flash meanwhile protests with that only Liz cares about Homecoming. Awkward silence follows.

Speaking of awkward silence, Harry and Liz watch the movie Shrek on DVD but can't really enjoy themselves as they're too busy worried about Flash and Liz. Later that evening, MJ talks on the phone to Liz and tries her best to talk her into sticking with Flash. She also announces she's breaking up with breaking up with Harry. She doesn't want to hurt the guy, but she figures if she keeps up this experiment she's going hurt their friendship.

After football practice, the next Flash spots the two jerks who have been picking on MJ. Now with no Liz, and no Teachers to stop him it looks like the two mooks are doomed. Flash also has his goofy cowboy hat on, which means he means business. After thoroughly intimidating the two, one of them confesses the reason they were doing this is because he's is because he has a crush on MJ and never could figure out how to get her attention. Flash remains silent and decides not to thrash the two losers.

Later that evening, Harry and Mary Jane meet at the observatory on the Empire State building. Just as our heroine is about to dump him, Harry admits that he knows her heart belongs to Spider-Man. He also says that something weird happened when they started dating.

"... we've been just friends for so long that you kinda have to wonder why it's even happening in the first place, don't you? Why now? What's different about us or the way we see each other that we... the thing is I never thought about any of that. Not for a second. All I knew was when you asked me out? That was the greatest thing that had ever happened to me." He goes on to explain that as long as he's ever known her, he's adored her... Before he can finish his speech, Mary Jane leans in and kisses the guy.

After returning home Mary Jane opens her bag to realize that she's accidentally switched binders with Flash Thompson while they were at school. Opening up the notebook, MJ suddenly finds out to her shock that the big lug has a crush on her.

General Comments

Wow...

Honest between this book and Sentinel I honestly don't know why more people don't "get" Sean McKeever's work. Mary Jane is one of the most slyly intelligent little character dramas on the market, and there's little nuances that don't become apparent until the second or third reading. Meanwhile I can't help but Gush about Takeshi Miyazawa's art, which is once again utterly stunning. Particularly dramatic and ingenious is the manner in which he makes clear the cliffhanger at the end of this issue.

In short if your not reading this book, you don't know what your missing.

Overall Rating

Only one issue to go?... Say it ain't so.