Review: Much More Than Spider-Man’s Girlfriend In ‘Amazing Mary Jane #5’
by James Ferguson
Filming has wrapped on Down in Flames, Up in Smoke, the Mysterio biopic helmed by the villain himself and starring Mary Jane Watson, but the action is just getting started as the Savage Six has some notes…and they’re delivering them with fists. We’ve seen Spider-Man take down these villains countless times, but can MJ hold her own against them?
The short answer is “Yes.” The days of Mary Jane being nothing more than a damsel in distress are over. She kicks ass! Not only did she take charge of the film shoot, navigating obstacle after obstacle to get this thing done, she faced down six super villains without batting an eye, all while breaking down the set. She could play this as an Avengers audition tape.
Artist Carlos Gomez creates some incredible action sequences for this encounter, with each one shown as a full-page spread. While MJ may not have the proportional strength and agility of a spider, she has some street smarts and an attitude that can take down the likes of the Rhino, Stegron, and Tarantula with a little creativity.
The action is shown in a bright color palette from Carlos Lopez since this is playing out in the middle of the day. The set pieces allow for a variety of colors, creating a visually entertaining scene. When the fight gets a bit much for MJ, she gets some dirt and scratches on her, which adds a bit of tension to the previously playful scenario. The stakes are raised and we’re suddenly really worried. This also serves to reinforce the villainous nature of the Vulture. That guy is horrible.
While MJ is definitely in the spotlight, this series has provided an interesting look at Mysterio. The villain has often been seen as a joke, although there have been some highlights from his career like in Daredevil. Writer Leah Williams presents him as a misunderstood artist, yearning for something more, yet struggling with how to get there. His self esteem is shot. Over the course of the series to date, he’s been slowing building up and this comes to a head in a brilliant confrontation with the Vulture. To be clear, Mysterio doesn’t take center stage away from Mary Jane, but he is the conduit for a lot of this.
Letterer Joe Caramagna adds to the intensity of the big battle with some bold dialogue. The characters are screaming at each other as they’re fighting it out. You can imagine a booming blockbuster soundtrack playing as this unfolds. Caramagna also decreases the font size for some quieter moments, like when MJ is figuring out her next move.
Mary Jane has proven she is much more than Spider-Man’s girlfriend. She’s multi-tasking like a wizard out here, juggling a film shoot, acting in the movie, and fighting off super villains, and she still had time to check in with Peter and tell him she loves him. Is there anything she can’t do? This is a charming and fun comic that works to build up MJ in a big way.
Amazing Mary Jane #5 from Marvel Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.