Review: ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #54.LR Is A Convoluted Mess

by James Ferguson

Overview

Seriously, what is Kindred’s deal? Tell us already!

Overall
4/10
4/10

Everyone is finally coming together at a cemetery of all places. Kindred’s master plan is coming to a head with Spider-Man seemingly defeated. The web-head is forced to watch as his friends and Mary Jane come ever closer to the trap set by this new foe with a face from his past. Meanwhile, Norman Osborn has some more tricks up his sleeve, calling in an old friend to help settle this family dispute. Also, Sin-Eater is there.

We’re in the penultimate chapter of “Last Remains” and we still have no idea what the heck Kindred wants or why he thinks Spider-Man is guilty and full of sin. You’d think between these extra issues and the main series that we’d have something close to an answer, but it’s still super vague and frustrating. Writers Nick Spencer & Matthew Rosenberg pepper in some nice dialogue, but the plot is all over the place.

This issue opens with some pages from Spectacular Spider-Man #200 from J.M. DeMatteis, Sal Buscema, Bob Sharen, and Joe Rosen, which led to the first death of Harry Osborn. Even with this clue, the path is still pretty murky. You’d think by including something like this, some light would be shined on what’s going on, but to no avail.

Out of all the convoluted elements thrown into “Last Remains” the Sin-Eater is the biggest question mark, particularly with how he’s dealt with in Amazing Spider-Man #54.LR. It makes me wonder why he was brought in in the first place if this is what ultimately happened to him. Everything he did since being resurrected has been erased and it’s like he was never here to begin with. After all the hoops that we jumped through to get this obscure villain back only to basically ignore it makes me wonder further as to where all this is going.

The artwork is split between Federico Vicentini & Takeshi Miyazawa, both fine artists in their own right, but their styles don’t really mesh. The shift between them is abrupt and creates a jarring reading experience. Vicentini’s pencils are very sharp and angular while Miyazawa’s are rounder and more in a traditional style.

Both artists handle the inks, aided by Scott Hanna. As most of this issue takes place at night, there’s some heavy lifting here, particularly towards the end where the shadows are looming further. Colorist Erick Arciniega uses a dark palette that works with the foreboding tone that’s run through this whole arc.

Amazing Spider-Man #54.LR builds to a massive and ominous move. Letterer Ariana Maher delivers an impactful sound effect here that takes over the page. The dialogue leading up to this sets the stage too, showing this last ditch effort put on by the Order of the Web to stop the Sin-Eater once and for all.

After years of build-up, I was hoping that “Last Remains” would start to put some of the pieces together with this mysterious new villain. Instead, we’ve received a bunch of references to older Spider-Man stories without any cohesion. This is especially disappointing after all the potential these various plot threads have shown up until this point. Any one of them would have been worth exploring, but when added all together it’s just a mess.

Amazing Spider-Man #54.LR from Marvel Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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