WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Amazing Spider-Man #9 by Nick Spencer, Humberto Ramos, Michele Bandini, Victor Olazaba, Edgar Delgado, Erick Arciniega and VC’s Joe Caramagna, out now.
This week’s Amazing Spider-Man #9 saw Mary Jane introduced to a secret underground support group designed specifically for the friends and family of the various superheroes of the Marvel Universe. Called the Lookups, after the feeling held by its members of constantly looking up to the sky to find their loved ones, this group holds anonymity as its most important factor. When we "meet" the six attendees at the latest meeting, their faces are blurred even from us. Through some subtle clues in what each of them says, however, we think we’ve worked out who they all are.
Mary Jane finds out about this group from Carlie Cooper, Peter Parker’s ex. While it’s undoubtedly a little awkward for Peter’s current girlfriend to agree to meet up with his most recent ex, it’s clear from the start that Carlie is there because she’s concerned about Mary Jane. Writer Nick Spencer has already sowed the seeds between Peter and Mary Jane about their joint concerns over starting a relationship up again, as well as MJ’s concerns over dating a superhero, but here Carlie tells her that she knows all too well what it’s like and that she knows of something that could potentially help.
Carlie tells Mary Jane that even though she left Peter, and left Manhattan, the weight of knowing Spider-Man’s secret identity never left her, but that she was unburdened when she started meeting with the Lookups. Carlie hands MJ a flier, reassures her that if she attends a meeting she’ll understand how safe it all is and then leaves her to decide for herself. The next time we see Mary Jane in the issue, she’s standing outside Saint Joseph Church, cautiously attending her first meeting. She’s immediately confronted by hovering security bots and none other than Jarvis, the Avengers' butler, who reassures her that there are plenty of safeguards in place to maintain strict anonymity and avoid anyone feeling guilty for divulging secrets that aren’t theirs to share.
The hover-bots, he tells her, are not only security drones designed by Tony Stark, but they project “face-obscuring technology” that pixelates the faces of everyone in the room to protect their identity. There’s also, Jarvis states, a special gas released through the AC that clouds certain memories, designed by Doctor Strange. With that, Jarvis opens the door and leads MJ into a room with six obscured figures, and one by one they tell us snippets of their story.