Few characters have risen to prominence recently more steadily than Mary Jane Watson; this rise to fame is reflected in The Amazing Mary Jane #1 from writer Leah Williams, artist Carlos Gómez, color artist Carlos Lopez, and letterer VC’s Joe Caramagna. The Amazing Mary Jane #1 is another chance for Mary Jane to stake her claim as a legitimate fully-fledged character that independent of Spider-man and for the large part, The Amazing Mary Jane #1 succeeds. Leah Williams’s script shines as she uses MJ as a mouthpiece to deconstruct certain comic book tropes while simultaneously making her sound real and authentic. Carlos Lopez’s colors pop and Carlos Gómez’s figures are detailed and expressive. The Amazing Mary Jane #1 does more than live up to its a namesake.
The Amazing Mary Jane #1 kicks off with MJ beginning her new Hollywood movie, which is just a ploy by Mysterio for more personal reasons than artistic integrity. What begins as a fairly innocent scheme will surely unravel into something much more dangerous though as the final page hints because…comic books. The plot is simply fun and fits right in with the overall light-hearted tone of the Spider-Universe.
Leah Williams thrives at writing dialogue for Mary Jane and it is clear she takes pride in making MJ a strong empowered character. MJ quickly deduces that there is something amiss with the director and is relentless in her questioning of him. But Mary Jane is also fun and joyful as is shown in her banter with Peter over the phone. It’s almost to the point of being corny, exemplified by the spontaneous dance she does with Peter while he’s at the market.
Williams also uses Mary Jane as a mouthpiece to critique something she fins about the comics/movie industry when Mary Jane gains the leverage to help re-write the movie’s script. Mary Jane is a complete character in this story and Williams also treats the “villain” of this story the same way. Sure, Mysterio’s plot is incredibly vain and more so an inconvenience instead of a crime (besides the fraud) but it also comes from an incredibly normal feeling of wanting your story told.
Carlos Gómez’s lines and Carlos Lopez’s colors work splendidly with Williams’s energetic and fun script. The colors are vibrant and pop off the screen and the figures are impressively detailed and expressive. Some of the more chaotic scenes don’t work as well as quieter scenes due to the lack of focus on surrounding objects, but overall the art holds up.
Gómez also shows the ability to quickly change the tone of a scene with cleverly crafted panel placements. When the director snaps on one of the crew the large, spacious, and open panels of MJ and the director exploring the set become boxy and confined with an intense focus on the director’s unhappiness. Of course, once the message is clear the panel layout opens up again. This short instance does wonders in diversifying the pace of the story.
The Amazing Mary Jane #1 from Leah Williams, Carlos Gómez, Carlos Lopez, and VC’s Joe Caramagna does a fantastic job at setting the stage for Mary Jane to truly establish herself. It’s not the most revelatory ride, but most fun things aren’t. So sit back and enjoy the ride The Amazing Mary Jane takes you on.