REVIEW: ‘Amazing Spider-Man,’ Issue #53

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Amazing Spider-Man #53 - Buy Why Tho?

Amazing Spider-Man #53 is written by Nick Spencer, penciled by Mark Bagley, inked by John Dell, and colored by Edgar Delgado. It is published by Marvel Comics. The “Last Remains” storyline continues as Peter Parker hovers between life and death, ultimately discovering the true identity of his new nemesis Kindred.

After the brutal fight that ran through Amazing Spider-Man #52, this issue serves as a breather, allowing Peter, and by extension the reader, come to terms with what’s happened. While action is a great driving force for a story, sometimes it helps to have a moment of introspection. This is especially true with this issue, as Peter slowly starts picking up that things aren’t right. From subtle shifts in dialogue to Peter’s futile attempts to connect with Mary Jane Watson, this issue often feels less like a superhero story and more like a horror story.

Spencer’s script pays homage to the opening issue of the “Brand New Day” era, which spun out of Peter making a deal with the demonic Mephisto. This has long been a point of contention with Spider-Man fans, myself included, and I’m glad that Spencer is continuing to address this in his run. Kindred feels like a decaying, rotting rebuttal to this story decision. And from select snippets of dialogue, it seems like Mephisto’s deal affected him in a rather horrible way. This would also explain why he’s decided to wreak havoc in Spidey’s life.

For this issue, Bagley and Dell step in for Patrick Gleason. Bagley is considered to be one of the greatest Spider-Man artists in the business, and even with a quiet issue, he lives up to the reputation. He manages to perfectly capture Peter’s likeness, as well as Kindred’s and MJ’s. While Kindred is not depicted as overly rotting and decaying here, Bagley still paints him as a horrifying figure. One example features Kindred standing over Spidey’s battered and bruised body, his centipedes circling the web-slinger. It’s a rather horrifying image. Delgado stays on as colorist, continuing to highlight the difference between Spidey and Kindred with lighter colors for the former’s scenes and darker hues for the latter’s.

While the artistic team is on point, the shift in art styles is rather jarring. This is an issue I’ve had with certain comic runs, particularly the “Justice/Doom War” in Scott Snyder’s run on Justice League. I know that comics often shift creative teams, but it would help continuity to have a singular vision on a story arc.

Amazing Spider-Man #53 is a moment of introspection for Peter Parker and the audience, as the “Last Remains” storyline hits its halfway point. Now that Peter knows the identity of his newest enemy, the stakes are significantly higher for him and his loved ones. I can’t wait to see how Spencer and his artistic team wraps it all up, and how it’ll affect the title going forward.

Amazing Spider-Man #53 is available wherever comics are sold.

Amazing Spider-Man #53
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TL;DR

Amazing Spider-Man #53 is a moment of introspection for Peter Parker and the audience, as the “Last Remains” storyline hits its halfway point. Now that Peter knows the identity of his newest enemy, the stakes are significantly higher for him and his loved ones. I can’t wait to see how Spencer and his artistic team wraps it all up, and how it’ll affect the title going forward.