This week, Mary Jane goes on a talk show! See her play games, confront gotcha questions, and attempt to escape death! Wait, the latter isn’t a normal late-night talk show thing, is it? Only in the life of superstar Mary Jane, am I right?
This is an interesting issue in how it is crafted and flows. Leah Williams sets the scene as Mary Jane attempts to hype the movie she’s been making in previous issues on a talk show only to get a bad feeling about a certain something backstage. While she hams it up with the host and attempts to go with the flow, her own version of a spider-sense tingles. She’s a hero in her own right and Williams has done a good job showing how it’s a spur-of-the-moment quick thinking and her fearlessness that makes her a hero. She may not have powers, but you can’t knock her off her mark when she knows something is up.
Informing Mary Jane’s experience is Peter Parker, who has his own trials in the issue. They are by far less dangerous and much less of the superhero kind, which juxtaposes well with Mary Jane’s attempt to save the day. Weaved into seeing Peter and Mary Jane’s points of view are captions getting inside her head. She’s a planner, an observer, and always thinking ahead. Again, Williams does a lot to show how she’s a superhero even though she’s just a person without powers. You’ll believe in Mary Jane all the more by the end of the issue. Juxtaposed another time is Mary Jane’s behavior matched against an egomaniac who also takes the stage. Williams is quite good at informing us of character traits via those around them.
The art is shared by Carlos Gomez, Ze Carlos, and Annapaola Martello with color by Carlos Lopez. The glitz and glamor of late-night talk shows shine through via Mary Jane’s silver–and very shiny–dress, as well as the clever angles of the stage. The art shifts dramatically near the end of the book, unfortunately, which throws you out of the book a bit with some awkward looks for Peter and Mary Jane.
Another gripe I had was with plotting, which may be a result of the multiple artists, but the story shifts awkwardly once or twice. The book also ends on a cliffhanger that doesn’t quite have the punch it deserves as it’s reduced to a smaller panel. Funny enough, the plotting feeling a bit off actually makes the book feel quite unique and different which adds a layer of entertainment in its own right.
I liked this sixth issue thanks to the unique nature of the story and how good it is at making Mary Jane feel heroic and powerful. A strong first issue as it lays bare the egomania of Hollywood before nowheresville sets in for the rest of the story arc.