Mary Jane is a fresh take on thealready-popular comic book hero, Spiderman. This time, instead of taking PeterParker's point of view, the author turns to Mary Jane and tells her side of thestory from her elementary-school crush on him to his superherobeginnings.
Mary Jane always saw past Peter's dorky appearance. They wereon their way to becoming good friends when Peter's parents die in a plane crashand he withdraws. Before Mary Jane can reach through to comfort him, she isforced to move because of her family's financial problems.
Years later,she ends up in the Bronx and, amazingly, at the same school as Peter, once again.He still looks dorky, while Mary Jane has moved up the social ladder. The climb,though, has cost her dearly. A stray comment from a lousy ballet instructorresults in her believing she is too fat for ballet. She then applies this"fact" to cheerleading and ends up on the edge of anorexia.
Aspider bite turns Peter into a "super jock," leaving Mary Janeuncertain if their friendship can remain the same, but Peter is able to win backher confidence.
Mary Jane never figures out who Peter Parker's alter egoreally is, but Mary Jane is a fairly good book that manages to identify with mostof its teen audience. It has the main character facing realistic teen challengeswhile staying true to most of the original Spiderman story. It might, however,disappoint hardcore Spiderman fans.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.