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When Mary Jane Drove Harry Osborn to Drug Addiction

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When Mary Jane Drove Harry Osborn to Drug Addiction

In If Her Hair Was Still Red (a feature of indefinite regularity), I take a look at all of Mary Jane Watson’s comic book appearances in chronological order (by date of publication). Mary Jane’s progression as a character fascinates me.

Okay, so last we met our heroine, she was barely involved in Amazing Spider-Man. Peter Parker, however, had just been dumped by Gwen Stacy because she had to get away from the United States because she has to get away from Spider-Man, since she blames Spidey for the death of her beloved father, Captain George Stacy.

Amazing Spider-Man #95 (by Stan Lee, John Romita and Sal Buscema) opens with Peter getting a chance to travel on an assignment to London, where Gwen Stacy is staying with her uncle and aunt. Peter stops by Aunt May’s place to let her know about his trip and Mary Jane is there with Aunt May and MJ’s Aunt Anna…

What I love the most about this scene is how they don’t give any more information about her show. Is it a play? Is it a one-woman show? It is a burlesque? There is a chance that we might never know, because Peter can’t let a person finish a goldarn sentence!!

MJ is not in the rest of the issue, which involves Peter being forced into turning into Spider-Man in London. This freaks the heck out of Gwen, who presumably thinks that Spider-Man has traveled to London on some sort of anti-Stacy vendetta to wipe the Stacy bloodline off of the planet. I imagine a similar vendetta is why we haven’t seen Gwen’s cousin, Jill, in years.

Anyhow, after he saves the day, Peter figures out that he can’t very well now visit Gwen as himself, as it would cause her to suspect that Peter and Spider-Man are one and the same. Meanwhile, though, Gwen is whining about Peter not coming to visit her. It’s like some twisted version of the Gift of the Magi. “I sold my hair to buy you a new fancy photo lens.” “Oh no, I sold my camera to buy you a fancy new headband!”

Geez louise…

Okay, so the next issue is the start of the historic three-part story arc where Stan Lee was asked to do an anti-drug story by the government but the Comics Code still wouldn’t allow the depiction of drug use, so Stan Lee decided to release the three issues without the Code. Gil Kane is now the artist on the book, inked by John Romita in his first issue.

As the issue opens, we learn that Mary Jane;s show is an Off-Broadway play…

When Peter shows up at the show (after saving a dude high off of his gourd from accidentally falling to his death), Mary Jane flirts with his aggressively in front of Harry Osborn…

Randy Robertson then shows up and he and Norman Osborn get into this hilariously overly dramatic fight about drugs on the street. I am living for Norman Osborn explaining to some college kid that he “knows where it’s at.”

The show begins and Mary Jane is great, as would be expected. Less expected, though, is Norman Osborn basically telling his son how he would hot he finds his girlfriend. Also, the theater is a building owned by Norman Osborn, so he naturally knows that there is a Green Goblin costume hidden there and that’s why Norman is sort of drawn to the building…

After the show ends, Norman wanders off. MJ is still pushing the Peter flirting in front of Harry…

On the next page, learn how Mary Jane drives Harry Osborn to drug addiction!

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