Spider-Man Loves Mary-Jane #2
By Zak Edwards
September 7, 2008 - 00:02
Writer(s): Terry Moore
Penciller(s): Craig Rousseau
Colourist(s): Guillem Mari
Letterer(s): Dave Sharpe
Cover Artist(s): Terry Moore, Ape Variant by Adrian Alphona & Christina Strain
$2.99 US, $3.05 Canada
While the last issue of Spider-Man Loves Mary-Jane mostly centered around a reintroduction into the world of the series, laying down the foundation of the story Terry Moore would be telling, this issue has very much started a story. At least I think it does. Whatever happens in the next four issues of this mini-series, the team of Terry Moore and Craig Rosseau will prove to be a powerful one, focusing on the character drama which makes this series what it is.
It is a curious plot which Moore is weaving, this issue feels almost as much of a stand-alone story as the last. Moore has introduced some ongoing issues, like Harry Osbourne talking about Mary-Jane behind her back, but the story very much has a beginning, middle, and end. The relief of this is a lack of annoying and unnecessary cliffhanger which can ruin other serialized stories, Spider-Man Loves Mary-Jane ends on just the sort of nice, fuzzy feeling ending which works within this series. So the ongoing plot is seeming to meander, and with only a few issues before the series ends (it’s only five issues long) Moore may end up cramming a lot in later on. Strangers in Paradise was story in which he could spend years building up elements but he simply does not have the time. Other than future worries, the issue is just as good as the last. Moore deals with the melodrama of high school very well. There’s gossip traveling at the speed of light to all but our protagonist, giving a much fuller feeling to the whole world. Moore makes use of the off-panel effectively. His characterization is still spot-on as well, developing Peter Parker’s apparent inability to talk with Mary-Jane without a mask on. So even if the story is structurally identical to the first issue, Spider-Man Loves Mary-Jane continues to be a great read.
Craig Rosseau’s pencilling continues to be an appropriate match to Moore’s script. His animated, expressive characters fit well with the melodramatic nature of teen drama. Two things grabbed me in the issue as poor in an otherwise good issue. The first is the choice to change Liz Allen’s hair colour. Now I believe this is a decision made by Terry Moore, but I fail to see the necessity of it. I had no idea who she was when I saw her until Mary-Jane said “Liz,” it just does not work, she is no longer a recognizable character. The other is the second panel depicting Harry, simply put, he looks like Frankenstein’s monster. Great match on the art and writer. As a side note, I hate the alternate monkey cover, Marvel's insistence on forcing completely unrelated books to feature covers of this very poor idea is pointless. Its only redeemable feature is Adrian Alphona, who happens to be an amazing artist.
8.5/10 Structurally worrying, but in Terry Moore’s hands, mistakes are rarely present.
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