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Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane 2 #3

Posted: Tuesday, October 7, 2008
By: Matthew J. Brady

Terry Moore
Craig Rousseau
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane 2 #3 arrives in stores tomorrow, October 8.

As Terry Moore and Craig Rousseau's version of the teen soap opera involving Spider-Man's girlfriend continues, the old creative team of Sean McKeever and Takeshi Miyazawa continues to be missed. Little actually happens in this issue: a storm rages through New York (it seems like there might be some superhero-related reason for it, but it doesn't lead to anything other than Mary Jane getting wet); Peter Parker argues with Flash Thompson about the former's tutoring of Flash's girlfriend (and Mary Jane's best friend) Liz Allen; and Limo Girl, a creation of MJ's for her acting class, takes on a life of her own, becoming a rebellious symbol for the students of her high school. There's also a short scene in which MJ gets picked for the lead in the school play over a less-popular girl, but while it is probably meant to be important to the overall plot, it gets rushed through without any chance to lodge in the mind.

The problem is, this all seems like standard teen dramatics, with everything occurring at the same intensity level. Peter has a tussle with Flash, Mary Jane is late for class, thunder keeps crashing ominously; none of it registers as any different from anything else. Sure, the teenage years are known for their dramatics, but there are still highs and lows; with everything coasting along similarly, it all occurs in the middle. When it's over, the only thing that seems to be worth remembering is a fight between Spider-Man and a villain, and that's exactly what this series is not supposed to be about.

Rousseau's art probably doesn't help; none of the characters stand out as a memorable design, and his tendency to draw Mary Jane as plain-looking with odd shadows under her eyes doesn't make her stand out as somebody we want to watch live her life. And the other characters don't come off that well either; the long, skinny necks look weird, and at several points, characters seen from the side have strangely-elongated faces and tiny foreheads. Guillem Mari's colors don't help either, often adding ugly, mottled computer-generated backgrounds that are probably supposed to evoke certain emotions, but don't make it past mild repulsion. It's not a very appealing-looking book, and combined with Moore's semi-boring writing, the whole thing comes off as average and pointless. Skip it, I say.







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