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'Mary Jane & Black Cat: Beyond' #1 understands the characters
Marvel

Comic Books

‘Mary Jane & Black Cat: Beyond’ #1 understands the characters

Mary Jane and Black Cat go on a mission to save Peter Parker’s life!

Mary Jane and Black Cat are teaming up in a new one-shot that ties into the Beyond Corp era of Spider-Man comics. Nuff said? How about the fact that Jed MacKay has written some sweet one-shots for this era already, or that he’s my favorite writer of 2021? Still not convinced? C.F. Villa joins MacKay on art continuing their crushingly good Black Cat storytelling. If that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will!

This issue ties into Amazing Spider-Man #87 — in fact, you might want to read that issue first. There’s a slight spoiler in this issue in regards to that one. Speaking of spoilers, this is a spoiler-free review beyond what is in the preview, but there you can see the situation is a dangerous one for Peter Parker. The Hood wants his powers back and needs Black Cat’s help to get his hood back. What better way than to threaten to kill Black Cat’s friend Peter Parker?

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What unfolds in this issue is a fun team-up between Mary Jane and Black Cat. The utter joy of this issue lies in the fact that these two aren’t jealous of one another or played against each other. Instead, they are working together to ensure Peter doesn’t get hurt while also bonding along the way. In fact, there’s a rather touching final scene between the two that establishes their mutual respect, how Mary Jane has dealt with competing with other girls, and a strong sense of understanding of each character.

Mary Jane & Black Cat: Beyond #1

Cool look.
Credit: Marvel

MacKay writes both characters in a natural and realistic way. He also never puts Mary Jane in a position that’s too outlandish for someone who isn’t a superhero. The plot moves along quickly with lots of surprises, nods to Spidey villains, and more. It’s packed with content. My only gripe is the captions get a bit stacked on each other in two different scenes.

Villa does a good job with the issue as well, with a reminder of the beauty of New York represented well. The cover reveals both Black Cat and Mary Jane wear the iconic black leather costume, and while they are sexy in the book, they’re never overly sexualized. There are many little touches that add effect, like a character sharpening a blade and the blade blurring, or clap effects to help convey the attitude of a character.

Erick Arciniega colors the book with solid lighting effects throughout. There are good touches, like casting Black Cat in shadow to draw the reader’s focus to Mary Jane in one scene, or a subtle glow around Mary Jane to show off her superpower of being semi-famous. There’s even a neat lens flare effect on the final page to put a kiss of a finish to the art.

Mary Jane & Black Cat: Beyond #1 is a fun one-shot that anyone can pick up as long as you have an interest in Black Cat or Mary Jane. Both characters have a strong voice and feel true to their character and their history while delivering a fun done-in-one adventure.

'Mary Jane & Black Cat: Beyond' #1 understands the characters
‘Mary Jane & Black Cat: Beyond’ #1 understands the characters
Mary Jane & Black Cat: Beyond #1
Mary Jane & Black Cat: Beyond #1 is a fun one-shot that anyone can pick up as long as you have an interest in Black Cat or Mary Jane. Both characters have a strong voice and feel true to their character and their history while delivering a fun done-in-one adventure.
Reader Rating1 Vote
8.9
The voice of these characters is pitch perfect
Good one-shot style that's got a fulfilling story to tell
The story matters on top of being entertaining due to some major developments for one character
Good art capturing the personality of these characters, and the city, well
Captions can get overused where they take over the page
9.5
Great

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