Marvel Comics
Spider-Man Loves Mary-Jane Season 2 #1
By Zak Edwards
August 7, 2008 - 20:46

Marvel Comics
Writer(s): Terry Moore
Penciller(s): Craig Rousseau
Colourist(s): Guillem Mari
Letterer(s): Dave Sharpe
Cover Artist(s): Terry Moore & Christina Strain, Variant by Adrian Alphona
$2.99 US, $3.05 Canada



So here I am, an adult male in the process of being educated at a University in English Literature, in the process of reading William Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury,” and I am almost salivating during the long one block walk from my day job to my comic book store because Spider-Man Loves Mary-Jane is starting again.  A series purposefully appealing to the fourteen year old female manga demographic.  “But its being written by Terry Moore, Strangers in Paradise’s Terry Moore!” I insist as the manager pokes fun at me.  Ridicule aside, I love this series.  Sean McKeever’s run of the teenage love life of Mary-Jane Watson was great teen drama, and it was definitely teen drama.  Melodramatic, emotional, irrational, and amazing.  So I was very much looking forward to this and even read it in the break room of my work (a bookstore only a few blocks from said University), smiling and laughing.  So yes, my public declaration (on the Internet): I love this series, and so does Terry Moore because he is crafting a great story.
SMLMJ-01_alphona_var.jpg
Of course, female drama is a bit of a specialty of Terry Moore, Strangers in Paradise chronicling the lives of two young women as they grow older.  Of course, this series focuses on even younger characters, but this is still Moore’s domain and he does not disappoint.  His characterization is spot on, Mary-Jane and all her friends are immediately recognizable by the way they act rather than the way they look (which is good too, but more on that below).  Liz Allen is still a firecracker and Harry is brooding after the latest rejection from MJ.  Peter Parker, rightfully so, is not so much a physical presence than existing on the fringes.  He does make a couple of appearances, one in costume and one out, but the focus remains on Mary-Jane.  Terry Moore is keeping the series in the right place, and with the developing drama of a new character and the continued drama of the existing ones, this series is going nowhere but up.  Exciting? Duh!
Craig Rousseau is not a manga artist by any means and this is the biggest departure this series has taken from the original feel.  Being a big fan of Runaways, it was a shame to see Adrian Alphona not work out as the artist, but Rousseau proves more than a worthy replacement.  Alphona did draw a beautiful variant cover, however.  The series is much more Western in look now, but Rousseau’s style works well anyway.  It’s emotionally expressive, a key factor with the series, and his characters are not awkwardly disproportionate, something which is also very important, they’re fifteen after all.  The colour palette is sunny and cheery, fitting the overall tone.  The pencilling is great, even if it is a serious departure from previous artists.
9/10    Teen drama with a splash of superhero, near perfect.


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