23 November 2011

Faster than a DC Bullet: Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, Part VII: Mary Jane 2

Mary Jane 2
by Judith O'Brien
illustrations by Mike Mayhew

Even though Gwen Stacy preceded Mary Jane Watson in the original Spider-Man comics, it seems to be a law of Spider-Man adaptations that Gwen only shows up once Mary Jane and Peter Parker are ready to get together, as that's how it happens here, in the Sam Raimi films, and in Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane. Of course, Gwen's arrival makes our already insecure Mary Jane even more insecure, one of many subplots struggling for dominance in this unfocused novel. Unfortunately, the most prominent plotline is also the most contrived, with the narrative dumping on MJ unbelievably hard-- and then resolving that problem unbelievably easily. I liked the first book okay, but struggled to enjoy this one. (Even the pictures aren't as good; clearly no one told Mike Mayhew that 1) Peter's not wearing his glasses anymore and 2) the book takes place during the winter.)

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