Carratù and MacKay’s Dark Web crossover continues, with fan-favorite characters Mary Jane and Black Cat teaming up in their first-ever miniseries!
Mary Jane & Black Cat #2
- Jed MacKay
- Vincenzo Carratù
- VC’s Ariana Maher
- Cover Artist:
- J. Scott Campbell
- Release Date:
- Brian Reber
Ensnared in the Dark Web, Mary Jane and Felicia Hardy have been dragged to Hell together! Mary Jane & Black Cat #2 — written by Jed MacKay, with art by Vincenzo Carratù, colors by Brian Reber, and letters from Ariana Maher — continues the Dark Web crossover event as Limbo bleeds into New York City and vice versa.
Mary Jane & Black Cat #2 opens with Belasco, supplanted by Magik as the ruler of Limbo, who gave the throne to Madelyne Pryor, entreating our protagonists to steal back his Soulsword so that he can reclaim his dominion. MJ and Black Cat’s only ticket back to Earth lies in Limbo’s Screaming Tower, but they aren’t the only burglars looking to snatch Belasco’s Soulsword, and the tower is even more dangerous than they expected.
MacKay continues to nail the balance between recklessness and charm that has characterized his approach to Black Cat since long before Mary Jane & Black Cat #2. Although the plot is pretty basic, the dynamic between MJ and Felicia holds the comic together. Their dialogue is full of razor-sharp wit, good-natured jabs, and underlying secrets. MJ and Felicia’s complex relationships with Peter Parker put them in an interesting and precarious situation. By moving the emphasis from their romantic rivalry to a recently established friendship that Felicia wants to protect, MacKay unlocks higher stakes and more drama within their relationship. They have genuine affection for each other, which gives the writing a real emotional depth that will be exciting to see develop as the series continues.
Carratù’s art is much more compelling in Mary Jane & Black Cat #2 than in the previous issue. The new setting allows him to include more interesting details, fun tableaus, and striking full-page panels that pack a huge impact. Although the proportions still occasionally veer into pin-up territory, for the most part, the anatomy is consistent and doesn’t feel too much like a parody of itself. Carratù also invests more care and creativity into the facial expressions of his characters to great effect. The slightly more exaggerated choices make the characters feel vibrant and engaging.
Overall, Reber’s colors feel fairly muted, especially considering the artistic license a fantasy setting like Limbo could provide. Reber demonstrates a terrific understanding of color theory, making impressive use of light to provide depth and contour to characters, but other than some interesting accents in action sequences, the colors are pretty drab. Maher’s letters are solid throughout Mary Jane & Black Cat #2. Her emboldening and italicizing choices crucial to adding stress and timing to the writing, allowing MacKay to deliver many excellent comedic beats. Maher’s font choices also amplify the terror of the Screaming Tower and its denizens, adding to the setting and its flavor.
Mary Jane & Black Cat #2 is a great continuation of the series, upping the ante considerably from the flagship issue in terms of writing and art. The plot still feels predictable, but the meat of the issue is interesting enough to make the premise feel secondary to the characters’ interpersonal dynamics. Hopefully, the art will become more engaging and ambitious to keep up with the two excellent main characters as the series progresses.