Mary Jane & Black Cat #4 Review

Writer: Jed MacKay

Artist: Vincenzo Carratù

Colorist: Brian Reber

Letterer: VC’s Ariana Maher

Cover Artists: Paulo Sequeira & Rachelle Rosenberg; Alex Ross; Russell Dauterman

Publisher: Marvel

Price: 3.99

Release Date: March 8, 2023

Mourning Marvel’s Dark Web crossover? Then you’re in luck! While the Amazing Spider-Man series strides boldly into the future, time-travel back to see how Peter’s two favorite gals escaped Limbo. Black Cat’s secrets interfered with Mary Jane’s powers, allowing a monster to capture them. What happened next to Peter Parker’s two favorite gals? Let’s descend into Mary Jane & Black Cat #4 and find out!

If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Mary Jane & Black Cat #4 Review.


Tasked by Belasco with retrieving the Soulsword, the gals hired S’ym as a guide. They know the demon will betray them if he gets the chance, but if they don’t give Limbo’s former ruler his beloved sword, Belasco won’t regain the power to send them home. Mary Jane also gets mad at Black Cat for keeping her relationship with Peter a secret. Friends don’t keep secrets from each other, right?

After the Dungeons & Dragons-style investigations and battles in the previous issue, Mary Jane & Black Cat #4 takes place in one geographical location, involves a fight with one monster, and covers one conversation. Still, Jed MacKay shares some profound insights on how relationships work, how we often hamper them, and the empowering nature of honesty. I liked how Black Cat’s thoughts reveal her anxiety and doubts and how those complement her conversation with MJ. I also enjoyed how the relationship between the gals and their demonic tour guide evolves. An intriguing quandary near the cliffhanger ending left me wondering how MacKay will wrap up this hellacious miniseries.


Due to MacKay’s story structure, Vincenzo Carratù and Brian Reber provide less-varied art in Mary Jane & Black Cat #4. Instead, we get panels and pages of our heroines fighting the monster guarding the Soulsword and dangling upside-down as they negotiate this impasse in their relationship. Like the Watcher in the Water guarding the entrance to the Mines of Moria, it grasps Mary Jane, Black Cat, and S’ym in its tentacles. “Tell your friend you’re sorry, Black Cat!” we cry. “And say it in Elvish!”

When Mary Jane ascended to the fullness of her powers, she reminded me of Marvel heroines like Medusa and Phoenix. It also made an interesting comparison with Sara Pichelli, Elisabetta D’Amico, and Matthew Wilson’s Scarlet Witch. I appreciate how Carratù and Brian Reber capture our heroines in loving detail: expressive features combine with sleek proportions and fluid movements, and their hair sweeps through the air like in a shampoo commercial. S’ym brightens up the gloomy Dungeons & Dragons-style caverns, and not just with his glowing pink skin. Even the monster’s eyes show hints of curiosity and fear. I almost wonder if it intends to harm or merely wants to play. Inside the Dark Tower, power sparks off a very hellish-looking Soulsword.

Ariana Maher devilishly differentiates the dialogue in Mary Jane & Black Cat #4. She shares Black Cat’s thoughts in white uppercase letters in black narrative boxes. Dialogue balloons get red outlines to show strong emotion. Yet more intense dialogue makes the bubbles straighten and grow sharp edges. The monster’s cries are bold, uneven immense letters. Sound effects help us hear its cries and feel the monster’s concussive force. When she comes into the fullness of her power, I like how Ariana shows Mary Jane’s dialogue as puffy clouds outlined in red. The new dialogue balloons contrast nicely with her luminous, spiky appearance.

Final Thoughts

Mary Jane & Black Cat #4 may be all too short, but it glows with profound insights that could unlock the potential inside each of us. Who knows what we could all become—and how we might transform our world–if only we could trust each other?


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