After two years of buildup and over 50 issues, Kindred’s machinations have come to fruition and The Amazing Spider-Man will never be the same again. This latest issue brings the highly anticipated “Last Remains” arc to a climactic conclusion no one will see coming. As a whole, “Last Remains” has been an excellent continuation of the darker and more serious storytelling of the past few arcs, and this issue continues this trend to fantastic effect. Issue #55 is required reading for web-heads everywhere and sets up a promising direction for the series moving forward.
The issue immediately follows up issue #54.LR with Spider-Man and his family, the “Order of the Web,” in Kindred’s clutches alongside Norman Osborn and Mary Jane seemingly walking into a trap. It’s a high-stakes setup that suits the weight behind the narrative buildup and the issue delivers on this in every aspect. Nick Spencer’s scripting is tight and Gleason’s crisp artwork pairs perfectly with the gravity behind the narrative twists and turns.
From the start, Spencer’s narrative has been heavily steeped in the Spider-Man mythos. He continually pulls from older plot points to give his narratives a sense of legacy, and this latest issue is no different, as he masterfully weaves years of continuity together, all resulting an exciting culmination of his arc. The dialogue is sharp and engaging, alongside high emotions and intensity as all of Peter’s loved ones’ lives are at stake. This issue delivers a story that grips you from page one and does not let up.
Another strength of this arc has been the exceptional artistic talent behind it. Alternating between Gleason and Spider-Man veteran Mark Bagley has imbued this story with a modern yet perennial quality. Within this issue, Gleason delivers some of his best artwork yet. He conveys the visceral and kinetic nature of Spider-Man and Kindred’s battle in a way that also retains the weight behind every punch. His linework also perfectly captures the emotional beats and sells you on every emotion. Gleason’s ability to capture these moments lends itself to the already emotional narrative that lies at the story’s core.
One aspect of this arc that has become exceedingly clear is that Kindred poses a threat Peter has never had to face before. Peter has been buried alive, mutated, and killed countless times and at the end of the day he keeps on swinging to save the day, but Kindred seeks to break Spider-Man in a new way: by attacking his moral code. The heart of Peter’s motivations always comes back to the responsibility he feels for the one time he failed to act. This sense of duty continually drives him to be better and has pulled him through the toughest times; however, Kindred has arrived to show Peter his great responsibility is in reality his greatest form of suffering.
The thematic inversion Kindred brings to the narrative puts Peter in a place he’s never been before. His morals have always remained the heart of what keeps him going, and the idea that his actions have brought about all the pain and suffering he has endured throughout the years shakes Peter to the core. Taken alongside the previous “Sins Rising” arc, Spencer continues to weave some strong thematic resonance throughout his narrative.
Amazing Spider-Man #55 delivers a startling conclusion to this current arc. Spencer and Gleason are truly doing some of their best work of late and do not disappoint. Taken as a whole, this issue leaves little to complain about other than a rather abrupt ending. Despite this, issue #55 primes readers for the next arc and will leave you on the edge of your seat grasping for more.
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