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Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson Finally Click With Each Other

In If Her Hair Was Still Red, 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.

I won't lie, this one is a biggie. This is the conclusion of Gerry Conway's run on Amazing Spider-Man and Conway clearly decided to make his run feel as much like an ending as possible and the end result is a story that is so powerful in the Peter Parker/Mary Jane Watson mythos that it almost feels like an ending. The sort of story that is so good that the stories that came out of this couldn't help but be disappointments in comparison and, to be frank, that's pretty much exactly what happens. But hey, let's get to that when we get to that!

For now, Peter Parker is stuck in a really weird place in his life. The dead love of his life, Gwen Stacy, has seemingly returned to life. That is great and all, but Peter has already, you know, mourned her and has moved on with his life with a new relationship with Mary Jane Watson. It is still in the early stages, but Peter and Mary Jane definitely have something special, and Peter is being tormented by the thought of how can he put that aside just because Gwen is back. At the same time, how can he put aside his earlier love for Gwen now that she IS back?

Of course, things get explained a bit more in Amazing Spider-Man #147 (by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru, Dave Hunt and Mike Esposito - that's right, true believers, Mike Esposito is FINALLY inking Ross Andru on a monthly issue of Amazing Spider-Man. The two men were longtime collaborators at DC Comics, like, we're talking them having worked together for roughly twenty years BEFORE ANDRU EVEN STARTED DRAWING SPIDER-MAN! When Andru moved to Marvel, Esposito continued to split work between DC and Marvel, but he finally made the big commitment here), when Ned Leeds does further digging on Gwen's mysterious resurrection and finds out that she is a clone...

Meanwhile, we cut to an awesome scene between Aunt May and Mary Jane where May essentially tells Mary Jane to fight for her man (I think May is still pissed about the time that Gwen totally told her off for being such a meddlesome smotherer)...

The rest of the issue is a fight between Spider-Man and Conway-favorite Tarantula (everyone should have someone who believes in them as much as Conway believes in Tarantula) and in the end, Jackal captures Spider-Man and shows up with a hypnotized Gwen Stacy and he throws Spider-Man off of the infamous bridge in a recreation of how Gwen died...

Obviously, Spider-Man survives, but Peter is shaken by the experience. In the next issue (also by Conway, Andru, Esposito and Hunt), he is so shaken that he has a weird experience when he comes home and sees Mary Jane waiting for him. You know how people sometimes act out of character to achieve a certain goal by the writer? That sure seems to be the case here as Peter reacts like, well, like no one ever would seriously react to the situation...

Peter can be a dumbass sometimes, but that's just ridiculous. Anyhow, Ned has figured out that whoever the Jackal is, he must have a connection to Peter's biology classes that he took with Gwen back in college. That leads to the shocking revelation that the Jackal is Peter and Gwen's old professor, Miles Warren, who fell in love with Gwen in a really creepy fashion and is now punishing Peter for letting her die...

(Also, Conway continues to use his really weird take on how Spider-Man's Spider-Sense works)

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