As “Last Remains” continues, Spider-Man is getting it from all sides from Kindred to his amazing friends all possessed by demons. Part two kicks off this week in Amazing Spider-Man #51.LR with Nick Spencer, Matthew Rosenberg, and Federico Vicentini slinging all kinds of surprises at readers. But surprises don’t necessarily make good comics, so how does this latest issue read? Short answer: eh.
Note: definitely read Amazing Spider-Man #51 before diving into this issue.
The main purpose of this book seems to be to move along the plot by filling us in on what ancillary characters like Sin-Eater, Black Cat, and Doctor Strange are up to. It’s not quite a table setting issue so much as a reminder characters exist and will factor into the story arc. You see that when Black Cat gives us the rundown on her relationship to Spider-Man, or what Mary Jane has been up to since we last saw her. In both cases, the narrative slows way down even though we know the possessed Spider-Man friends are tearing through the city. For that reason, this issue seems to be more for casual readers who haven’t been reading Amazing Spider-Man.
As it preps each of these characters for the next leg of the adventure, the action revolves around Spider-Woman, Ghost-Spider, Silk, Miles Morales, and other spider characters destroying the city. It’s a classic example of the main hero being too busy to help and thus things are going from bad to worse. There’s nothing here that’s exceptionally interesting save for a cool (but rather pointless) double-page splash of the characters wreaking havoc on a bridge.
Vicentini and color artist Marcio Menyz certainly make the action look chaotic and cool. The spider-characters are rather ragged, as if the possession of these characters is like they’re wearing another skin. The Sin-Eater scenes are particularly cool to look at thanks to the use of shadows from the leaves in the greenhouse much of this part of the story takes place in. The very first shot utilizes blur and shadow in a way that’s gripping and draws you in.
Possibly the most interesting thing in this issue is Sin-Eater, more specifically his return to himself and a return as a threat. It’s an interesting development since the character has been under a trance of sorts up until now, so anything goes. He’s also quite evil and much closer to the traditional character and how he was written in the past.
Amazing Spider-Man #51.LR is a good issue for new readers who haven’t been reading this series. Dedicated readers will find portions of this book unnecessary and redundant. It also sorely lacks Spider-Man and feels more like a pit-stop than a major chapter in the “Last Remains” story. Super Spidey fans may want to read this for the Sin-Eater scenes, but most everybody else can feel comfortable skipping it.
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