Invincible Iron Man #4 “Mary Jane” Centric Review


Invinvible Iron Man v2 #4“MISS MARY JANE WATSON”-The DJ

 

Wanting to leave behind the world of Super Heroes, Mary Jane leaves New York to begin a new life in Chicago, but will she be able to stay on this new path, especially when she encounters Iron Man, aka Tony Stark. 

Tony is knee deep in trouble from enemies both old and new. But here comes MARY JANE WATSON AND HIS WORLD WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN!

WRITER: Brian Michael Bendis
ARTIST: David Marquez
PENCILER: David Marquez
INKER: David Marquez
COLORIST: Justin Ponsor
COVER ARTISTS: David Marquez, Justin Ponsor
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Yasmine Putri
EDITORS: Tom Brevoort, Katie Kubert


The Story: Invincible Iron Man (2015-) 004-016 Mary Jane’s story begins with a new setting in Chicago. Yes, you read that right. Chicago, the windy city, also known as second city or if you’re cool it’s chi-town. She’s opening a new nightclub called Jackpot. As she goes on stage on the opening night she tells the crowd she’s tired of super-villains, vigilantes, mutants, Defenders and Doctor Octopuses that have called New York their home.

Little did she know that she would be dragged into the very thing she left New York for, courtesy of Iron Man, Doctor Doom & Madame Masque. Which, if the cliffhanger is anything to go by, could result in the destruction of her club.

My Thoughts: Before I get to my main thoughts, I just want to say that when I heard that Mary Jane was to move to Iron Man, I like many others were, you would say, shocked, shocked that a character that has been a core part of the Amazing Spider-Man franchise, would not be used in said book any longer. And that the possibility of her getting back with Peter has been reduced even further. But, that is not to say that there wasn’t a silver lining to this, first she’s taken away from Dan Slott, who has really done a poor poor job with her and second that Bendis himself, a writer I trust and the only writer to actually make me care about a version of Aunt May, will be handling her character. So I can’t wait to see what he has in store for her.

Now for my main thoughts: The first thing I noticed is the fact that she contradicted herself, because if you recall, she told Carlie in Superior Spider-Man #31, that she will not allow anyone to scare her away from her home, her home being New York, and while this is a negative towards her, her leaving New York for Chicago is something I always thought Marvel should have done if they wanted to separate her from Peter, because, as long as she was still in New York, we were always going to expect her and Peter to get back together, especially me, now, they live in different cities, while not impossible, will make it difficult for them to meet up, even if Peter does have his own private jet, ugh.

That being said, there are good things to come from this move, one is that it could mean that we no longer have to deal with the so called “placeholder” of a boyfriend, fingers crossed. Another is that this gives Mary Jane a chance to grow away from the influence and shadow of Spider-Man, and her not mentioning Spider-Man in her list of reasons for leaving, is in my opinion a good thing and since no one knows her in Chicago, there would be no reason for anyone to suspect that she has a connection to him, plus it would remind her of the times they had together, which would go against her starting a new life somewhere else. and could be the reason for the anti-spidey bubble on the cover.

My final thoughts are to do with the cliffhanger, where we see the terror/sadness on Mary Jane’s face, reacting to the event unfolding before her, and simply asking “why?” For because, by the looks of it, she is about to lose everything she rebuilt, her club, her new life, all could now end, and all because she can’t seem to get away from these types of incidents. But by losing her club, this could be the reason she goes to work to Tony.

How is she portrayed: While she has only appeared in the last 3 pages of the issue, with no interaction between her and Tony, we have to remember, this is how Bendis works, he simmers the story and then when it’s ready, places it the oven for the final serving.

While some might chide her for why she didn’t consider that everywhere she goes there is the potential danger from super-powered incidents, I am of the opposite opinion that she does know that possibility, thing is I wouldn’t be surprised if she chose Chicago for the simple reason that it seemed to be the one place where she is least likely to encounter such incidents, it was just bad luck it happened in her club.

Some might also say she was dumbed down, I don’t think so, the fact she opened a new club, after her old club was destroyed, goes to show that she has the smarts and the drive to carry on. Plus, we haven’t really seen what Bendis has in store her, so for now I am still going to put my trust in him.

Speculation: Here some Speculative thoughts on how Mary Jane ends up working for Tony as indicated by Marvel many times, even on the cover of this issue.

I try to see things from multiple angles, so I see one the following happening

1- Her club gets destroyed and although she would have insurance, it’s not enough to rebuild, plus her insurance premiums would increase, thereby making the business too expensive to run and thereby making it no longer viable.

2- The reputation of the club gets severely damaged to such an extent that it will no longer make a profit.

3- So if you add those 2 plus, she has likely taken out a loan to start the club, if that is the case, then the bank might come along and as for their money back, which would mean that all the insurance money would go to pay off the bank loan.

In Short: She more than likely has insurance to cover damages, but the success any new night club is dependent on its opening night, what happened would constitute a failure of said opening and I wouldn’t be surprised if she took out a loan to fund the opening of the club, in which case, the bank will more than likely ask for its money back, since they would have lost faith in the business, due to the reputation it would have gotten because of the incident, leaving her with nothing to fix the damage caused and even if she was able to, nobody would come to her club, fearing a repeat of something similar happening.

Here’s is a fourth option I was given and the potential of coming true.

Maybe the bank refuses the loan because she’s now in a high risk category what with her nightclubs always getting destroyed. So she goes back to New York and Stark Industries to demand compensation, maybe even threatening to sue, when Tony decides to offer her a job instead.

IIM#5 Sneak Peek

 

A Little Extra: Regarding what they said in the letter at the back of the issue

As for guess stars, we have no plans to let those shifty Spidey guys steal MJ back any time soon. She’s ours, I tell you! OURS! and you have an anti-spidey symbol added.

Yes, it does indicate that they are not prepared to let MJ go for a long time, I think this is a cheeky way of saying they understand how we the fans feel about the current Spidey team and her, or it could be there is something happening behind the scenes and what they said is a smoke screen for that.

I also thought I’d give my thoughts on the sneak peek from Invincible Iron Man #5, which came out January 6th, provided of Bendis.

To put it simply, I got more emotion from this single page sneak peek, especially from Mary Jane’s eyes, than I got from reading Amazing Spider-Man #4, and in my opinion ASM #4’s not worth the read, and to me that says a lot in telling you which is the better quality comic.

MY GRADE:

B

Looks promising, can’t wait for what comes next, and over all, the book is still far better than Amazing Spider-Man.

 

Author: Mohammed << Head here for my previous posts 

(19) Comments

  1. Al

    @#18: The Super marriage situation only happened recently though. In 2011 the character assassination for Lois was in full force. What we have now, what with the Multiverse being restored, is (to quote Bertone) the equivalent of begging your ex back after you realize you messed up. And yet we don't get a RYV book

  2. Mohammed - Post author

    Ah, that Weisman, I love his animated shows especially Gargoyles I even have a guilty pleasure when it comes to his W.I.T.C.H series. That said I still stand by what I said her being in S&amp;N not only a bad move I don't it would be a good fit for her character anyway. DC did pull it off, but they did the smart by having another book where the super marriage is a live and well and take place in the current universe after convergence. So you end up with the best of both worlds.

  3. Al

    @#13: Weisman was the showrunner on the Spec Spidey cartoon, worked on Star Wars Rebels, was a major force behind Young Justice the TV show and was the father of the 1990s cartoon Gargoyles, considered by many to be the Sopranos of Western children’s animation. Oh I know they’ve been trying to make us hate her. I still remember what was going on in 2008-2009. It was a passive aggressive smear campaign. DC pulled it with when they axed the Super marriage. @#14: Greg Weisman who writes it worked with MJ on the Spec cartoon (casting Vanessa Marshall as her V.A. a decision rejoiced by many), is a hardcore Spider-man fan and alongside Peter David is probably the best writer working at Marvel today. That isn’t even a diss at other people, Weisman is honestly just that good. Additionally Sha Shan and Miles Warren will be in the book so it isn’t like no Spider characters can show up.

  4. Mohammed - Post author

    @#15 I get the same, but once I go back to here and refresh the page I find my post posted. as for S&amp;N, I believe it is in a way connected and not connected to Spider-Man because they already said that Miles Warren/The Jackal and Sha Shan are supporting cast in the book, so why not also include Mary Jane, which as I said would be a bad idea.

  5. Jason

    Why do I get this message every time I post a reply? "Not Found Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn't here."

  6. Jason

    Starbrand and Nightmask? Why would this book (which I had never heard of until today) even be suggested as a home for MJ?

  7. Mohammed - Post author

    -I don’t see how being a supporting character in Miles’ book would be damaging. Believe me, any book that is under the spider team of creators will be damaging to her while Slott is part of that team. -As for Weisman, that isn’t a Spider-Man related book. True, but as I don't know how Weisman does things, Bendis on the other hand has full control over his characters, so I would still stand by her being away from Spider-Man for the time being, not forever, just for the time being. -I don’t think he made us not like her, just not Slott. Believe me, Marvel and Slott has been doing everything they to make us dislike her for a long time, what they don't realise is that it's NEVER going to happen which I'm sure frustrates them to no end. -I guess what I am saying is that the characters should be in character, so when they are not it is narratively bad. Now that we can both agree on.

  8. Al

    @#11: I don't see how being a supporting character in Miles' book would be damaging. Slott doesn't define the Spider-Verse, just ASM, but that is a trend setter...except when it comes to Bendis. Bendis is the big cheese at Marvel. the only reason he isn't EIC is because he doesn't want the job. What he says goes. As for Weisman, that isn't a Spider-Man related book. Well, I don't think she doesn't fit into Spider-Man's world. There is always a place for her because she and Peter could always hook up. But at the same time right now Spider-Man himself doesn't fit into what his series has become. I don't think he made us not like her, just not Slott. Well...uick fixes depends upon what they are. E.g. JMS quickly fixed Aunt May and 'fixed' peter by simply writing him in character. I guess what I am saying is that the characters should be in character, so when they are not it is narratively bad.

  9. Mohammed - Post author

    While I would agree with you that she should always be in a spider or Spider related book, be it Miles or S&amp;N, right now with the way Slott left things, her being a supporting cast of anything to do with Spider-Man or Spider related would have only damaged her character further as well as that of the relationship between her and Peter, because even though she might be in a different book, whe will still be apart of the Spider team and in essence still under the inluence of Slott. That's why I think this is a good right now for her, it gives her character some breathing room, and under Bendis, a chance to grow away from the influence of Slott, yes, we can say there is a danger of her no longer fitting into Spider-Mans' world, but if we're honest with ourselves Slott already did that, he did everything he could to stop her fitting in, to prevent us from liking her, and while I would be remiss that he didn't have some success, the majority still care for her and what happens to her character. That is why I trust Bendis, he knows how important she is to Spider-Man and while we might be hoping for a quick fix to the relationship especially in issue#8, I wouldn't really expect Bendis to do something right now. For Bendis has to build her up again, fix the damage caused by Slott and only then can he really address the relationship between her and Peter. What we must remember, we must not fall into the trap of quick fixes otherwise all we will be is disappointed.

  10. Al

    I should qualify, I wouldn’t actually want MJ to get an ongoing series for the same reasons I am against Flash/Venom getting a solo series, or Carnage getting one. Peter Parker should be prioritized other his supporting cast and villains, so they shouldn’t be farmed out and given their own series. I’d have just preferred that to this. Actually I’d have liked her to be a Miles supporting character or show up in Starbrand and Nightmask by Weisman alongside other Spider-Man supporting cast members. When Spidey shows up, I’m not even gonna be irked if there is no shipping. I’d just rather there be an abense of further damage done to the relationship.

  11. Mohammed - Post author

    -Truth be told if we had to remove MJ from ASM I’d rather she had gotten her own ongoing as a sort of ‘person on the street’ series in the MU. I'm the same when it comes to this, I would love for her to get her own series, at least we have the Mary Jane Loves Spider-Man books. -I will say this, Bendis is guaranteed to do a better job than anyone who’s written MJ since 2008 in ASM. Just wait until you read my review of Invincible Iron Man #5 :) -I meant that some people have the attitude that MJ should’ve left the Spider-Universe as a whole, Slott or no Slott. Being in Spider-Man is innately bad for her, regardless of who is writing it. Then I would disagree with, JMS did a very good job with her. -I’d love for Bendis to ship them when Spidey comes Same here, you do have to be prepared in case he doesn't. and the rest, all we can do is wait and see, I'm not one to make many speculations without something to base it on, which might come with Invincible Iron Man #8 in April where Peter supposed to guest star.

  12. Al

    I both agree and disagree. Whilst MJ has developed as a result of having had those relationships, those relationships being present enriches her to new degrees, as it does for say Peter. Part of the drawbacks of volumes 3-4 of ASM has been the absence of the old supporting cast and consequently Peter’s relationships with them since they are part and parcel of who he is. Same sort of thing for MJ. Truth be told if we had to remove MJ from ASM I’d rather she had gotten her own ongoing as a sort of ‘person on the street’ series in the MU. That way she could’ve shared supporting cast with Peter and still been NYC based. I will say this, Bendis is guaranteed to do a better job than anyone who’s written MJ since 2008 in ASM. Ah, I think I might’ve been a bit unclear. When I said “I was speaking more generally to the opinions that MJ should absolutely have left the Spider books or that they were themselves a hindrance to her.” I meant that some people have the attitude that MJ should’ve left the Spider-Universe as a whole, Slott or no Slott. Being in Spider-Man is innately bad for her, regardless of who is writing it. Well the best case scenario really would be if when ASM gets a better writer she’ll just return outright or else be primarily an ASM character, but bring any positive character development she got from IM with her back into ASM. I’d love for Bendis to ship them when Spidey comes, but I worry with Civil War coming up this will be another way to take a swipe at the two of them being together given that Tony and Peter will be on opposite sides.

  13. Mohammed - Post author

    Hi Al To answer your question over at BD's "New Crawlspace Review Staff" post as I seem have a problem posting there at the moment. Yes, I am a Londoner

  14. Mohammed - Post author

    @#5 - Al -Apologies, I’m don’t quite understand what you mean here. Could you please clarify? What I meant is even though she might not have those relationships any more, what she got from them would have still have had an impact on her and on how she might move forward in her new life, even if that effect only happens subconsciously. -In fairness to Bendis on USM, Ultimate Mary Jane is very, very different to 616 MJ. She was a good character, but just kind of her own thing, very much like Ultimate Venom. Yes, she might have been very different. What I was referring to was his style of writing. It's more real is best I can describe it as, he actually takes the time build his characters and that is what I feel he will be bring to writing Mary Jane and actually bring her back to what she was, even within the restrictions he's been given. -I was speaking more generally to the opinions that MJ should absolutely have left the Spider books or that they were themselves a hindrance to her. Yes, I would say in the current state of things, the Spider book are a hindrance to her, and yes she should have left long ago when Slott started and now that she has, we will be able see a return of what made her character popular and it's a shame it can't happen in ASM. What some might forget, is that just because she left, it doesn't mean she not still a Spider character, she's always going to have that connection, I'm sure Bendis will use some of her history as part of her story in his books. We should see something of that in Iron Man #8 out in April when Peter is according to the cover guest staring. We can only hope that when ASM has a new writer, Mary Jane will return to it, possibly as a character who floats between the two books, using her job with Tony as a way to accomplish it.

  15. Al

    “Yes, if she were to keep those relationships and indirectly with Peter with her current status such relationships would only hinder her and how she wants to move forward. At least what got from those relationships are still there. Think of it as if you were to throw a pebble into a lake, once thrown the same pebble can’t be retrieved, thus forever changing that lake.” Apologies, I’m don’t quite understand what you mean here. Could you please clarify? Oh I agree about the situation with Slott, but I was speaking more generally to the opinions that MJ should absolutely have left the Spider books or that they were themselves a hindrance to her. In fairness to Bendis on USM, Ultimate Mary Jane is very, very different to 616 MJ. She was a good character, but just kind of her own thing, very much like Ultimate Venom. I think the bubble leans more towards a slap since if you recall it wasn’t there in the original artwork we got, plus the announcement came hot ont he heels of RYV...and they have a track record of this.

  16. Mohammed - Post author

    @#1, @#3 He does have a love interest, her name is Dr. Amara Perera @#2, @#3 Thank you for your support. and for your observations and opinions Al @#3, Yes this is my first foray into writing reviews, glad you liked it, and yes I have read JMS portrayal of Aunt May, it was one of the few occasions where I actually enjoyed reading her in the book. If I may say a couple of things about your points on Mary Jane's developments a) MJ got plenty of personal development whilst a supporting character in Spider-Man, more than Jameson or Black Cat who are also great characters b) It isn’t much of a plus considering she went from being in Spidey’s shadow to Iron Man’s True on all counts, but she was still restricted by what Peter/Spider-Man did and was intimately tied to him, in some cases having to put her needs on hold due to his Spider-Man duties. With Tony, she would have no such connections and won't be putting things on hold because of him, so has even more opportunity to expand her horizons even though she works for him. c) MJ’s relationships with Peter and his supporting cast members are important facets to her character and she is at her best when shown to be building upon those. Yes, if she were to keep those relationships and indirectly with Peter with her current status such relationships would only hinder her and how she wants to move forward. At least what got from those relationships are still there. Think of it as if you were to throw a pebble into a lake, once thrown the same pebble can't be retrieved, thus forever changing that lake. -We could still of gotten virtually every advantage this could possibly bring to MJ whilst still keeping her a Spidey character. Yes, but not as long as Slott is writing ASM. Maybe with a new writer, that is if Bendis lets her leave. -But thus far Bendis for my money has not impressed me and his track record with other Spider-Man characters (Flash Thompson, Norman Osborn, Venom) has me concerned. While I haven't read that many of Bendis's work, except for ultimate Spider-Man, what he's done with the characters in the book has made me come to trust him with Mary Jane. -Also I think the anti-Spidey bubble was a little slap to the fans frankly. I would say a bit both, a slap to the face and a confirmation of her new life without Spider-Man. BTW: Wait until my review of Invincible Iron Man #5, it just might surprise you. :D

  17. Al

    @#1: MJ doesn’t need to be a love interest just because she is in a series with a male lead...or a female lead for that matter... And I think Tony has another potential love interest anyway. I am not sure if I have read a review from you before Mohammed so, whether this is your first or not, I must begin by saying welcome and good succinct review. I must also ask if you have ever read Aunt May as written by J. Michael Straczynski. He wrote her from 2001-2007 and had her learn Peter’s secret in ASM volume 2 #35 before having the two discuss it in issue #38. To many people he is the best Aunt May writer of all time and made her worthwhile. I suppose from a logistical POV yes moving them to different cities for the purposes of separating them makes sense, although of course that decision in and of itself is founded upon editorial agendas as well as out of character writing. MJ and Peter would of course not split up if allowed to act as themselves, and for MJ at least she would’ve been trying to salvage things as she has done in the past. At the same time her actions here in running away from NYC are also OOC. MJ long ago got past running away from her problems and NYC is where her heart and home is, along with most of her friends. She left it when she was younger just because she was a young working model who wanted to see what was out there and then left circa 2001 following a PTSD inducing abduction and break up with Peter. This was however editorially mandated as was the time she left during Brand New Day. My point is, MJ is pretty fearless and has been a-okay dealing with superheroes in the past so her fleeing her home like this really didn’t ring true. Ditching Pedro Placeholder though has been indeed a plus of this development. As for giving MJ the chance to grow and develop out of Spider-Man shadow I must disagree on this point for three reasons. a) MJ got plenty of personal development whilst a supporting character in Spider-Man, more than Jameson or Black Cat who are also great characters b) It isn’t much of a plus considering she went from being in Spidey’s shadow to Iron Man’s c) MJ’s relationships with Peter and his supporting cast members are important facets to her character and she is at her best when shown to be building upon those. So really I’ve never seen this development as necessary or all that advantageous to anyone except Iron Man who gets a boost off of MJ’s popularity. We could still of gotten virtually every advantage this could possibly bring to MJ whilst still keeping her a Spidey character. That being said, so long as her character isn’t too drastically changed to the point where she wouldn’t work as effectively in Spider-Man I see no problem with her having a few adventures with Tony and getting some new skills which she could bring back to Spider-Man’s title. But thus far Bendis for my money has not impressed me and his track record with other Spider-Man characters (Flash Thompson, Norman Osborn, Venom) has me concerned. Again to touch on the no Spidey mention and anti-spidey bubble, it makes sense in the context of the story they are telling but again the story they are telling relies on MJ being OOC so...Also I think the anti-Spidey bubble was a little slap to the fans frankly. Whilst it’s true NYC is higher risk than Chicago, she’s been embroiled in super powered incidents in L.A., Portland, France and Pittsburugh on multiple occasions. Plus a part of her likes that danger anyway.

  18. Jason

    I didn't know this beforehand and I'm shocked to hear the news. Is Tony Stark single? He might not be for very long. Otherwise, why bother introduce MJ at all?

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