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Now THAT’S what I’m talkin’ about – The Amazing Spider-Man #59

April 4, 2010

So the other day I was flipping through my Amazing Spider-Man comics (and it really is a little slice of comic fan heaven to have some nice old ASMs to go through) and I came across this one:

Okay, I’ll fess up to the fact that I’ve always had a thing for redheads.  I can remember on my 21st birthday forcing my friends to drag my sotted corpse to a local Irish bar that offered redheads half-off on drinks.  You know, in the inebriated belief that an attractive redhead would be thrilled to go home with a guy who could hardly stand on his own.  I don’t recall having any success that night, but I don’t know if that’s because of the booze or because of the decade+ that’s gone by.  But I digress.  The bottom line is, I Like Redheads.  Print up the bumper sticker and slap it on my back.

So it follows that I like Mary Jane Watson, the most famous bombshell in all of comicdom.  And let me be more specific here – Mary Jane as drawn by John Romita, Sr.  He most definitely used his prior time drawing romance comics to full effect in creating her look.  She was the fiesty sexpot we could all fall head over heels for, forming one half of Marvel’s version of Archie’s Betty and Veronica and of DC’s Lois and Lana.  Poor Peter Parker – he had to choose between Mary Jane and Gwen Stacey.  We should all have such dilemmas.  Having to tangle with his rogues gallery would seem a lot more bearable with those two in his life.

But let me be clear.  I’d choose Mary Jane.  Just in case you had any doubt.

I like the above cover (her 1st cover appearance if I’m not mistaken) because it so succinctly distills the quality that gives her such appeal – her zest for life.  Only Mary Jane could get lost in a go-go-boot-dancing moment so completely.  And only Mary Jane could be shaking it in front of the curtain while you’re slugging it out with some thugs behind the curtain and make you love her for it.

Did I mention that she’s a sexpot?  I did?  Well, I guess it bears repeating.

Which brings me to my last point – the disappointment that Kirsten Dunst was in the role on the big screen.  She just didn’t have, well, it.  I remember reading one review of the second film and agreeing with the critic (I can’t remember who) when he described her as “wan.”  I can’t think of a better word for her performance.  She was like a glass of skim milk when what was needed was some hot cocoa.  But enough of my gripe.  Here’s hoping that the people casting the reboot of the spider-series bring some of Romita the Elder’s work with them as a reference.  And maybe even that cover up there.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 11, 2010 12:46 pm

    Total agreement about the lacklustre portrayl of MJ–but is that Dunst’s fault or weak writing? Probably not Sam’s fault (I knew him as kids, and I know he knows his silver age comics). But my friend, as a fellow red-head lover– and having had two red-headed girlfriends– beware those narcissistic showbiz-bound types. I’ll take Gwen.

    • April 11, 2010 3:06 pm

      I’ll stick with it being Dunst’s fault – no offense to her, it could be that the Mary Jane that we all know might have been beyond her capabilities. And thanks for your counsel on redheads – I’ve known a few in my day and like the call of the Sirens I’m always lured in at great peril to myself.

  2. April 12, 2010 5:51 pm

    btw, since you made a reference to Klimt in another post, check out his”Danae” and “Hoffnung”.

  3. May 18, 2010 6:37 pm

    I’m so sad that every time I see this comic on e-Bay, I have to try and buy it. I think I’ve had seven copies of it so far and, every time, it then dawns on me that I don’t actually need it and I end up selling it again, usually at a loss.

    As for Kirsten Dunst. I liked her in Spider-Man but she definitely wasn’t MJ. I would’ve preferred Eliza Dushku in the part but that probably says more about me than about her.

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