Writer: Tom Taylor
Art: Juann Cabal, Rachelle Rosenberg, and VC’s Travis Lanham
Release Date: August 28th, 2019
We haven’t seen much of MJ since the start of the run. What has she been up to? If you said sleeping in, eating bagels and riding the subway, you wouldn’t be totally wrong. But she’s also been a confidant, friend, and support to those she loves. In this issue we see her take charge and be a hero in her own right. What happened? Let’s swing in to Manhattan and have a look.
Spidey is a busy guy. Aunt May’s cancer diagnosis, the F.E.A.S.T. Centre attacks, Hobie Brown… plus there are still a few leftover Asgardian trolls hanging around. We catch up with Spidey in line at a deli, ordering bagels for himself and MJ. We all know about the responsibility thing, but the narration box tells us what we might not know: Spidey think everything is his responsibility. More than most heroes, the burden of his secret identity weighs heavy on Peter Parker, especially given these past few weeks. Luckily, Peter has MJ to look after him! Tired and beat up from fighting trolls all night long, Peter swings by MJ’s apartment with bagels and coffee. He quickly falls asleep and MJ tucks him in. Meanwhile, MJ and Aunt May are having a girls day in Queens, wig shopping.
Now. in what is hands down my favourite page of any comic in a long, long time (page 6 in the digital review copy) We see a scared, gaunt, weak Aunt May literally supported by MJ- who then explains that she isn’t getting one wig, she’s getting five, because wigs are like masks- and when you’re scared and not feeling strong, you can put on a fierce wig and feel like a different person. Aunt May in the last panel is smiling and standing up tall. Amazing.
On the subway ride home, MJ meets May’s Oncologist, but meanwhile the train hits a leftover troll, who is inexplicably wearing a headband, wristbands and ripped purple Hulk pants.
MJ then takes charge, guiding bystanders to safety and keeping chaos from erupting. She even stares down the troll… until Miles Morales swings in and gets pummelled. MJ uses her head, floods the tunnel with light and Spidey KO’s the troll and Tony Stark is called for clean up.
We end with MJ bringing Pete some pizza, which they eat on the roof.
I say this every month, but Tom Taylor is telling the best Spidey Story around, and this month Spidey isn’t really even in it! We see the normally relegated to the background MJ be a strong woman when she needs to, but also capable of incredible tenderness and love for the people in her life.
It’s obvious that Peter wouldn’t be the hero he is without the love, support and kindness of MJ – and Tom Taylor shows us why one of the oldest love stories in all of comics is still the most enduring, and the kind of relationship we should all strive for.