Mary Jane Puts Everything In Perspective In Amazing Spider-Man #10

by James Ferguson

Spider-Man and Black Cat have tracked down the Thieves Guild who have stolen everything from Captain America’s shield to Iron Man’s armor. Unfortunately, they’ve been spotted, so they’ll have to fight their way out which is no easy task. Meanwhile, Mary Jane goes to a super hero’s loved ones support group and puts a lot of stuff in perspective.

While it’s always exciting to see Spider-Man punch and kick his way through a bunch of goons, Mary Jane’s story steals the show in Amazing Spider-Man #10. These were two separate narratives in the previous issue, but this one weaves them together, with Mary Jane’s dialogue serving as narration over the action with the Thieves Guild. This is what I meant by putting things in perspective.
We already know that Spider-Man is a hero and he can’t sit back and do nothing while people are in danger. Mary Jane’s speech reminds us of that and what it means to him as a person. He’s been through so much that any normal person would have hung up the tights a long time ago, yet he keeps soldiering on and he does so with a laugh. Think about how you feel when you’re having a bad day and you just want to be left alone. Now imagine that feeling while having someone like the Rhino barreling towards you, ready to rip you in half.

This element is essential to Spider-Man as a character, and most heroes for that matter. He stands up when normal people would sit down and give up. These are things that he would never say about himself. It takes someone close to him to point it out.
Mary Jane serves as the one person that Peter Parker can relax around. He can really be himself and that’s something that is so very invaluable. Jarvis, the leader of this support group, has a similar feeling about the Avengers. He’s there providing human support to superhuman people and that’s something that no one could put a price on.

Since Mary Jane’s speech is told over the action, it gives these fight scenes an added emphasis. Humberto Ramos fills these pages with the kind of bombastic and agile attacks we’ve come to expect from the character and his artwork. Spider-Man is able to nimbly leap through the air, dodging so many punches and kicks while delivering his own against multiple foes.
Letterer Joe Caramagna places these caption boxes in such a way as to guide us through the fight scenes. He pulls us through the action so we’re able to soak in these important words in between each blow in a heated battle against the Thieves Guild. This would have been ruined if the page were filled with quips or even sound effects. As it stands, it delivers a much more powerful message.

Michele Bandini handles the scenes with MJ and it’s a rather stark contrast. Her artwork is a little more stiff, although it’s not like she has to worry about these characters jumping off the walls. There is a higher emotional level to these images with Mary Jane doing some soul searching. The faces of the other people in the group are blurred out to protect identities, but she stands out as we’re hearing her story. It helps with the strength in her and her words.
There’s definitely more to the Thieves Guild than meets the eye with a strange supernatural effect that comes in towards the end of this issue. This pops off the page with colors from Edgar Delgado and Erick Arciniega, creating an eerie, deadly feeling. The setting glows with a creepy yellow as everyone and everything begin to float in the air, sucked into a fiery abyss.

In the end, the Thieves Guild is defeated by an unlikely and humorous error. Writer Nick Spencer balances the emotional elements of these characters with the quirky nature that we’ve come to associate with them. There’s one more powerful interaction between Spider-Man and the Black Cat that comes towards the end of this issue. It shows that even after years and years there’s still room for growth with these characters.
Amazing Spider-Man has been building multiple narratives with Spencer spinning several different plates at once. The mysterious centipede villain that’s been lurking in the shadows makes another ominous appearance. We’re leading towards something big and Spider-Man is going to need all his wits about him.
Amazing Spider-Man #10 from Marvel Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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