(Soundtrack: Sleater-Kinney Dig Me Out)
Yeah! Now that’s how you write an “infodump”! As Peter makes a desperate attempt to cobble the events of the preceding issue into a narrative that makes sense, irrationality incarnate looms over his shoulder, begging him to restrict himself to the facts…
After all, what good is the deductive method in a world in which scenes like this can occur?
None at all my friends! And it’s a world that anyone with a good memory and the merest spark of Frankensteinian creativity can understand! And notice that Peter’s definitely looking in the right direction for help, even if Mary Jane is momentarily just as stunned as he is.
This is a woman who, a couple of issues later, will have this to say:
Forget the standard “it’s her or it’s me”–and even that “either you get yourself together, or I’ll get you together myself!” stuff, interesting as it is, is beside the point. The important question here is: “Are you listening to me?”
That’s Gerry Conway’s run in a nutshell: he turned Mary Jane Watson into a person worth listening to (and she may be the first supporting character in any super-hero comic who ever was worth listening to! Gwen Stacy certainly wasn’t–throughout Stan’s later run, she “enabled” the hero’s spider-solipsism), and then challenged Peter to pay attention to her. He didn’t make it easy either–the thrill of the past and the outre present major obstacles to inter-subjectivity. But then, that’s life!
Presssed for time, sadly!
But lookee here–they’re talking Gerry Conway on the Comicon Messageboards!
And by the way–if you happen to be looking for a detailed, issue-by-issue breakdown of this entire run, look no further than this site! The author (“the Hobgoblin”) is far more concerned with the battle scenes than I am–and he doesn’t seem to love Ross Andru’s Hopperesque art nearly as much as I do–but he’s pretty thorough, and he’s got some pep too!
Good Night Friends!