Mary Jane #4

Background

From this issue's previously page

When two pranksters make MJ the target of their practical jokes the ever- loyal Flash threatens to "take care of them," much to Liz's dismay. But, upon learning that the boys shenanigans are motivated not by malice but by the awkward desire to have a bit of MJ's sun shine on them, Flash lets them off the hook.

MJ Finally decides that she has to end things with Harry as the spark just isn't there. But when she goes to do the deed, she has change of heart and the two share their first kiss.

Happier than she could have imagined MJ floats home only to plummet back down to earth when she makes a horrifying discovery -- Flash Thompson, her best friend's boyfriend is actually in love with her.

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Mary Jane #4- The Trust Thing Editor: MacKenzie Cadenhead Writer: Sean McKeever Penciler: Takeshi Miyazawa

Story 'The Trust Thing'

Mary Jane accidentally oversleeps, and is forced to rush to school late. When she arrives, she is stunned to see Spider-Man climbing out of a her high- school window. After Spidey desperately tries to convince her that he's not a high school student, MJ pops the question to him, asking him to the dance. This utterly befuddles our hero. She tries to convince him to let her see who's underneath that mask, but Spidey refuses. He awkwardly tries to explain that she doesn't know him well enough to be expected for him to trust her with his secret, before pointing out that The Shocker is robbing a bank. MJ asks the hero when she'll see her again but Spidey swings away before he can answer the question.

MJ runs into Harry in the school locker room, and explains that she was late because she's been stressed between handling school and her new job. She doesn't mention her encounter with Spider-Man earlier. After Harry leaves, Liz Allen approaches the girl. MJ tells her that she saw Spider-Man, and thinks he might be a student at the school. Liz berates MJ for hanging onto her "silly little crush" and points out it's wrong to be infatuated with someone else when you're already with someone.

More importantly Liz is concerned that Flash is cheating on her. Or at the very least "crushing on someone." Liz promptly enlists an unwitting MJ to help her find out who he has the crush on. "I'm gonna kick her trashy butt to the moon." Liz vows.

As luck would have it MJ encounters Flash next who asks her to "help a buddy out", and invites her to the school library after school. As MJ helps the big lug with his studies, Flash thanks the girl for standing up for him, when Liz was calling him stupid. "'Cause, ya know I don't think she sees me the same way you do. I mean I don't think anyone does." He then asks if she's going to take Harry to the homecoming dance. This makes MJ uneasy. She explains that she needs to meet her mom, and promptly leaves in a huff.

The next day MJ runs into Liz in the school lunch room, and says that Flash told her about the two's little "study date." She asks MJ if she's gotten any closer to figuring out who Thompson has the crush on. Mary Jane says she hasn't, which makes Liz even more irate. As it turns out she's gone through his locker and even his bedroom without his knowledge. MJ chastises Liz for invading the big lug's privacy. "Hey, he's not a free citizen MJ -- he's my boyfriend." Liz reiterates. I imagine there's probably a provision of the Patriot Act that lets her do just that. MJ convinces Liz to let her find out, and to put it out of her mind.

Harry and Mary Jane attend the school's football game, cheering Flash on. As luck would turn out, Liz has also enlisted Harry in her "spy on the boyfriend army." "I think I made lieutenant." Harry deadpans. Just as Harry is about to suggest the possibility that Flash might have a crush on MJ, Liz spots Flash talking to a cheerleader for the other team. This sends Liz into BEZERKER RAGE! As Liz is not anything close to Wolverine, Flash has no problem stepping in and stopping her from tackling the hapless cheerleader. "Yeah, you better back off! He's mine, got it?" Flash asks Liz what's wrong with her, to which point she replies "you're gonna replace me, aren't you? Admit it?" This leaves Flash silenced as she storms off in an angry huff.

MJ confronts Liz, who is now chewing herself up for making a fool out of herself in front of the guy she loves. MJ promises to handle it and not to talk to Flash until she's had a chance to. Liz thanks MJ and says that "you're the only friend I've got right now."

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Some of Flash's classmates congratulate him after the game, before he meets up with MJ. He's not sure what's got Liz upset, guessing that she might think he's cheating on her. I'd joke about Flash not being too swift on the uptake, but it took 8 issues of Venom before I realized how truly banal that book was.

MJ hands Flash back his note book, and is utterly flustered when he realizes MJ knows. "Oh man, Look that stuff with your name that's not -- uh.... so now what?" an utterly stupefied Flash asks. "So now what you doofus?!" an irate MJ replies walloping him with her purse. "I'm dating Harry. You're dating Liz. Our best friends. Not to mention you and Liz were made for each other!"

Flash laments how Liz is always saying how stupid he is. "Well I'm saying it now, aren't I? You really are stupid if you can't see that Liz Allen loves you!" Flash realizes that Liz really does love her, as MJ explains that he always will be a close friend. The two share hug, just as Liz Allen approaches Flash to apologize. Liz Allen watches in shock as the two embrace. And the first volume of Mary Jane comes to a close on a cliffhanger ending.

General Comments

In short this is quite possibily the best Spider-Man related book on the market, and the best book that you probubally aren't reading. In short, McKeever has crafted a remarkable little multi-layered story in the brief span of four issues and found more milage out of supporting characters Flash Thompson and Liz Allen than well... just about anyone ever has.

Overall Rating

BUY THE TRADE!