Nick Spencer’s “Sins Rising” story arc has been up and down in quality due to some odd pacing and somewhat unnecessary chapters. Amazing Spider-Man #48, however, was incredibly well done, capturing the heart of why Spider-Man is great and the complexities of his relationship with Green Goblin. This week, that story continues directly in Amazing Spider-Man: The Sins of Norman Osborn #1, acting as an extra chapter to that issue directly spinning from it and also giving us new context to contemplate. If you like Amazing Spider-Man #48, you’ll love this.
In fact, this book mirrors and connects to Amazing Spider-Man #48 so much it’s practically bonus pages to the book. For better or worse, that makes this read slightly familiar if you’ve read that issue, but if you’re coming in blind this is a great jumping-on point. That’s likely the point of the book, since it’s a special one-shot to catch you up to speed. It does remind me, however, how a lot of the Sin-Eater storyline has felt unnecessary or filler, biding its time for the big Green Goblin reveal. That villain is back in Amazing Spider-Man #49 (which is also the 850th Amazing Spider-Man issue) so this sets that up as well.
This book works largely due to Norman and Spider-Man trading barbs at one another while trying to stay alive as Ravencroft is attacked. Their interactions are unique since they both hate one another, and yet they both seem to respect one another on some level too. There are also good twists and surprises that are setting up the big milestone issue.
This issue also offers a new perspective on why Spider-Man’s friends would want to stop him from saving Green Goblin. Amazing Spider-Man #48 did well to show how they want Spider-Man to let him die, but now we know from a hero’s perspective it’s much more complicated.
The art by Federico Vicentini is strong, complemented by great colors by Edgar Delgado. Vicentini’s style reminds me of Ryan Ottley’s as it’s sharp and detailed, unafraid to do extreme close-ups, and manages to draw your eye across a page splendidly. Those twists and smash cuts work largely because the art makes them larger than life and quite dynamic. The final page is also highly detailed, and much like the rest of the book, you’ll linger on it for some time.
As a build toward Amazing Spider-Man #850, this book works. It sets things up, allows new readers to pick the story up here, and establishes plenty of surprises to follow. However, if you’ve read Amazing Spider-Man #48, it also feels a bit unnecessary save for a couple reveals. That said, it also sets up the milestone issue to feel even bigger, requiring a lead-in comic to get the full experience. In that way then it works and is definitely worth reading.