Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #11
Take a quick detour into a day in the life of The Amazing Mary Jane Watson, complete with wig shopping, trolls in the subway, and a guest appearance by Miles Morales!
From WWII techno-villains to Under-York, there has been no shortage of big action in Taylor’s Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man run. But it’s the tender moments, the moments where, we look at the psyche of these characters, that make this series the best Spider-Man book in ages. Peter showing up to May’s first chemo treatment, the magnificent adventures of Spider-Bite, the redemption of Hubie Brown– those human touches make this book what it is. In this issue, we head out for a day in the life MJ, beginning with wig shopping with Aunt May. The narration is bookended by MJ speaking to the great burden of responsibility that Peter bears– burden to great for any one individual—with Peter relaying his thoughts on MJ throughout the middle.
On the surface, this narrative serves as an exploration of the relationship between Peter and MJ. It delves into the conscious and unconscious reliance the two have for each other. Peter is MJ’s responsibility and her willingness to play that role is her great power, to reverse the polemic. But this story is also something more. It serves as a reminder that nobody, regardless of their position or circumstance, is meant to do it all alone. The strength of humanity is not in the individual. The most powerful among us, in whatever form that may take, are still not powerful enough to bear the weight of the world on their own.
To further extend the metaphor, Taylor does not in and of himself make this comic soar. Juann Cabal’s art, from layouts to finishes, is nothing short of breathtaking. Cabal manages to control every element of the story, from time to emotion, through carefully crafted pages and amazingly rendered characters. Nolan Woodard comes through to finish off these works with exceptional color work, and Travis Lanham gives the entire book a voice. No one creator bears the weight of responsibility here but it is through their teamwork, like MJ and Peter, that allows this series to soar.
So I guess, in the end, what I’m trying to say is that you aren’t alone. Nobody gets to the top alone and nobody gets the bottom alone, either. If you’re out there and reading this and you feel like you are alone, reach out to somebody. Anybody. Me. We can bear this responsibility together. That is the inspiration that I took from this issue.
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #11 (Taylor, Cabal, Rosenberg, Lanham) does it again to the shock of literally nobody. If you aren’t already reading this series, what are you still waiting for?
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #11: The Weight of Responsibility
Writing - 10/1010/10
Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
Art - 9.5/109.5/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 8.5/108.5/10
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