Nick Spencer’s epic Kindred story is finally coming to a head, and thus it requires a special LR edition of the series as it probes the “Last Remains” storyline. This week, Spencer is teaming up with Matthew Rosenberg to flesh out how Spider-Man got sick in the last issue (yes, answers!) and how Green Goblin feels super bad about being the worst dad of the century. It’s a story that mixes psychological father/son drama with supernatural weirdness.
It’s baffling why parts in this issue weren’t just in Amazing Spider-Man #50. These scenes give us explanations as to what is happening in that issue, making Amazing Spider-Man #50 feel unnecessarily confusing. Once you get past that, this issue plays out fairly well. Intercut with Spider-Man avoiding death from his friends who are now possessed with Kindred’s evil are scenes with the now-sinless Norman Osborn discussing with Dr. Kafka how he screwed up his son Harry. This gives the book ample ebbs and flows with both stories barreling down towards the conflict we’ve been waiting two years for.
It’s an oddly plotted book, though, as by the end, you have to remember this issue actually takes place both before and after Amazing Spider-Man #50. You’ll need to suspend your disbelief to truly enjoy this, and I’d wager most readers won’t have enough patience to do that. Not only do you need to come to peace with Norman being a good guy completely absolved of sin now, but you also need to be okay with some of the biggest Spider-characters ever being ravenous monsters now. The latter detail has yet to be explained, utilizing the rather vague notion that Kindred can do lots of bad things.
All that said, the art by Frederico Vicentini is good, effectively capturing the monstrous nature of Silk, Ghost-Spider, Miles, and Spider-Woman. There is a standout full-page splash (see above) of Spider-Man dealing with all of them in a submarine that you’ll want to linger on to enjoy each monster. Norman is effectively sullen and remorseful as he speaks to Kafka and these scenes play well against the chaotic fight sequence. Backed up by colorist Marcio Menyz, the book has that event tie-in feel where it has its own style, but it suits the event itself. In this case, the supernatural and horror aspects shine through via good use of shadow in the Norman scenes and one scary situation after another for Spider-Man to overcome.
So is Amazing Spider-Man #50.LR book worth buying? If you can keep the events in the timeline straight and be okay with some unearned elements in the narrative, it’s a good time. It plays up the action well with slick visuals that are suited to the monsters as the subdued moody scenes with Norman to perfection. At the end of the day, there’s a dark and disturbing Spider-Man story here — you just need the patience to find it.
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