More plot threads are added to this already crowded storyline, but to what end?
The extended Spider family picks up the pieces after they awaken from Kindred’s spell that turned them into monsters. Their public image is destroyed as everyone in the city has seen them wreaking havoc for the past day or so. Dr. Strange joins in to help as they all try to save Peter Parker. Meanwhile, the Sin-Eater searches for meaning and brings new terrors forward and Norman Osborn and Mary Jane quarrel about what to do about Kindred.
Amazing Spider-Man #52.LR is packed. Writers Nick Spencer and Matthew Rosenberg move the plot forward by leaps and bounds. Out of the three threads (Spider family, MJ & Norman, and Sin-Eater) only the first two feel directly tied to “Last Remains.” The Sin-Eater’s tale basically mines through faces of enemies past to dredge up new threats, but there’s already so many in this storyline so it feels like overkill. This arc is already filled to the brim so this piece is distracting.
There’s a lot to take in with this issue and letterer Ariana Maher guides us through with expert precision. This is especially true for the scenes with Norman and MJ. The desperation in Norman’s voice comes through, as does Mary Jane’s frustration and anger.
The Spider family portion is the most intriguing part of Amazing Spider-Man #52.LR. The fact that the city is now terrified of folks like Miles Morales and Spider-Woman is the least of their problems. They get up to speed on the Kindred threat and how they can help Peter. This creates some fun interactions between Strange’s uptight nature and characters like Madame Web and Ghost-Spider.
Colorists Marcio Menyz and Erick Arciniega make Strange’s powers pop on the page with a bright yellow light. It’s made abundantly clear when magic is used. This stands out as a glimmer of hope as the rest of this issue is shrouded in darkness. There’s an ominous tone over the whole book and Strange might represent the only path to saving the wall-crawler.
Artist Federico Vincentini’s angular style is a nice fit for Amazing Spider-Man, particularly in the action scenes. There’s a kinetic energy to these images, making it look like the characters are literally moving across the page.
The frustrating part of this arc is how everyone seems to know more about Kindred than Spider-Man does. Instead of tying up the many loose ends that have sprung out of this series over the past two years, we seem to be getting more. I still have hope that all of this will come together, but it’s looking less likely lately.