Friday, May 18, 2007
Mary Jane provides the narration for this effective Mother's Day issue, which is one of the few from the re-launched series that I've read more than once. What made this a good comic was the way that the writer, Tom DeFalco, handled the plot-device of the Watson-Parker sense of responsibility.
Mary Jane gets that May's sense of responsibility is what drives her daughter to wear the costume and fight crime. What's even better is that she also realizes that her own responsibility to May goes beyond clothing, feeding, housing, educating, and protecting her: she's also got to accept her daughter for who she is, and allow her to act in the world as that person. (The title of the story is "The Closet!")
Given the image of the idiotic statuette that appears to have broken the Internet in half, it's the MC2 universe's Mary Jane that I prefer to reproduce here at Mortlake:
Megan is informed of her mother's death in the early pages, and reflects upon an uneasy relationship. Her recollections are organized around the various stages at which she ran away from home.
Her mother allowed her the freedom to make decisions on her own, and Megan realizes that she wasn't ready to have the kind of autonomy at the time it was given to her.
The issue avoids easy sentimentality, and conveys an essential truth: children estranged from a parent can actually have a clear and empathetic understanding of how and why the parent thinks, feels, and acts the way that they do.
I've realized that I prefer my comics to follow the Law and Order formula: the central characters can certainly have personal lives and engage in profound, transitory, or sordid relationships with wives, boyfriends, and casual acquaintances, but I don't need to see that stuff for the stories of their battles against injustice to work.
Meltzer's devoting a single panel to the Power Girl/Hawkman kiss, and a series of four panels to the entire relationship, felt right to me.
I am not connecting with Countdown at all so far, and have even found myself skipping the "villain sections" of the issues. Like the Joker, I do find myself hoping that Duela Dent is not actually dead. A DCU with a teen version of the Joker running around in it is an interesting place.