Invincible Iron Man #5 is an issue Mary Jane fans need to read, if for no other reason than to remind themselves just how bizarre it is for Dan Slott not to utilize her in The Amazing Spider-Man.
Regular readers of the book know that Tony Stark has been trying to figure out why Madam Masque is on a hunt for mystical artifacts. He eventually tracks her down inside MJ’s new nightclub, “Jackpot,” in Chicago on its opening night.
The verdict: Madam Masque is possessed by a demon, which will require a team effort between Tony and Doctor Doom to save her life.
“Jackpot” is predictably destroyed before the confrontation is over.
As many fans expected, Tony offers to pay for the damage incurred during his fight. MJ, however, says the “P.R. nightmare” has rendered her club-owning days “kablooey.”
While this is a specious claim in a universe where superheroes and supervillains exist, Bendis does a good job selling it to the reader. Tony finds MJ in a park and offers her a job as his über-assistant/life coach.
This is a bit more problematic given MJ’s first line of dialogue in the issue:
“Superheroes. Again. Every time. Every time a superhero shows up in my life, I have to start over.”
Would a woman who resents the impact superheroes have on her life become Tony Stark’s personal assistant? Perhaps — if she thought about it for a long time and decided that her fate was intrinsically linked with superheroes. But it would take a skilled writer to pull off the idea. Luckily for Bendis, he fits the bill.
Spider-Man fans will also find MJ’s assertion that she is at her “lowest point” in life rather dubious. When Tony questions the validity of her claim, she replies, “Well, tell that to my soul.”
Was Bendis alluding to the infamous One More Day storyline? Indeed, MJ’s “soul” would agree with Tony — it lost its mate, Peter Parker.
In short, Bendis’ handling of MJ in this issue is proof once again that the devil-dealing “medicine” supported by Tom Brevoort was poison.
Seeing MJ well-written in Invincible Iron Man is a bitter pill to swallow, but it most certainly is not poison.