Review: Mr. Negative Rises Once Again While Kindred Sleeps In ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #59
by James Ferguson
While not a bad issue on its own, Amazing Spider-Man #59 is pulled down by the tons of open plot threads, most notably Kindred that are just left hanging. Wilson Fisk takes up the mantle of the Big Bad, but to what end?
The F.E.A.S.T. Center is the setting for an attack by Mr. Negative’s Inner Demons. Their target? Martin Li. After the Sin-Eater separated Li from the evils of Mr. Negative, the former philanthropist went searching for help, putting Aunt May in the crosshairs. Fortunately, Spider-Man is ready to help, fighting his way through the gang, but will he be able to stop Mr. Negative from rearing his head again? And what the Hell is going on with Kindred?
I wish I had more of an answer about the Kindred situation. I can lament further about this, but that’s been the general theme in the past dozen or so issues of Amazing Spider-Man. It looks like writer Nick Spencer is shifting the focus away from this new villain and onto the machinations of Wilson Fisk. The current Mayor of New York City is up to something, pulling some strings with the criminal underworld.
As with the previous issue, this is a pretty cool idea. It’s just burdened by the weight of Kindred as that entire plot point is hanging out there, completely unresolved. Spencer does weave the two ideas together in some interesting narration from Spider-Man that parallels Li’s feelings. At times you wonder who’s thoughts you’re reading based on how they flow compared to the imagery.
Artist Marcelo Ferreira delivers some incredible action as the wall-crawler squares off against the Inner Demons. This brought back fond memories of fighting off this gang in the PlayStation Spider-Man game. No two panels are alike as Spidey unleashes a wide array of attacks, never giving up and never relenting in this battle. His aunt’s life is on the line.
The evil energy from Mr. Negative takes the form of a monstrous creatures floating above the F.E.A.S.T. Center. It’s like Freddy Krueger mixed with Parallax from the Green Lantern comics. This thing is super gross, yet fitting for all the bad thoughts and feelings that make up the villain. It’s no wonder Li wants to be rid of this once and for all. Inker Wayne Faucher captures all the gruesome details in this thing.
Of course, Mr. Negative does return. He makes an appearance in a bright and startling fashion. Colorist Morry Hollowell, aided by Andrew Crossley, show this in a burst of white that contrasts with the negative tones of the villain’s skin. I really like how his suit is a block of white, like it’s so electric that it loses some form, existing mostly as an outline.
Mr. Negative’s speech is shown in an opposite fashion from the rest of the characters in this issue. Letterer Joe Caramagna uses black word balloons and white font, usually reserved for monsters and other demonic creatures, for the villain. It has a different effect here and works wonders.
While the various threads of Kindred are still hanging out open and unresolved, it does look like we may get some closure on some others left outstanding from earlier in this series involving the Lifeline Tablet, that I completely forgot about. It seems like a weird Maguffin to throw into the mix, but I’ve come this far so I might as well see where this goes. On its own, this isn’t a bad issue, but it’s pulled down by the other circumstances surrounding it.
Amazing Spider-Man #59 from Marvel Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.