REVIEW: ‘Amazing Spider-Man,’ Issue #54

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Amazing Spider-Man #54 - But Why Tho?Amazing Spider-Man #54 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 penultimate issue of the “Last Remains” story arc finds Peter Parker awakening from his nightmare in the previous issue and coming face to face with Kindred, now fully revealed as Harry Osborn. Harry proceeds to put Peter through the wringer physically and mentally, as Peter’s fellow Spider-Heroes search for him.

I’ve found that the best Spider-Man storylines put Peter through immense mental and/or physical distress, and “Last Remains” is no exception. The creative team puts him through his paces, as Kindred brutally murders the web-slinger and resurrects him over and over. This sequence is NOT for the faint of heart—I’ll just tell you upfront. It also adds to the horror vibe that Spencer is going for with his story, as Kindred’s centipedes turn out to be effective weapons and he’s just as strong as Spidey.

Spencer also paints a new element to Peter and Harry’s relationship, which has had its ups and downs over the years. The two have often come to blows due to Harry taking up the mantle of the Green Goblin or his past as an addict. As Kindred, Harry is intent on making Peter pay for his “sins.” And not with his life. Harry’s dialogue echoes that of many zealots: he truly believes in what he’s doing and he doesn’t care how many people have to suffer for him to achieve his goals. Zealots to me have always been the most dangerous villains because of what they’re willing to accomplish to achieve their goals and Kindred perfectly fits this bill.

If there is one issue with the story, it’s that it repeats specific story beats from Amazing Spider-Man #52. Spidey fights Kindred, Spidey loses, Spidey dies (repeatedly). The only difference is that Harry is now unmasked as Kindred. This part of the issue can’t help but feel a little filler-ish in comparison to past issues.

What really sells the horror and action aspects of the issue is Bagley, Dell, and Delgado on art. During Spidey’s many deaths, Bagley crisscrosses between flashbacks of Spidey’s friends and family and the torment he suffers at Kindred’s hands. Delgado colors the flashback sequences with a hazy golden figure, while the present-day sequences are shrouded in black and blue resembling the darkness that Peter is sinking into. Bagley’s Kindred remains a terrifying force to look at; even without the mask, Harry’s face is split into a rictus grin and his eyes will often flash red with malice. If Knull from King in Black is Cthulhu, then Kindred is definitely Freddy Krueger.

Though it hits a few of the same notes as previous issues, Amazing Spider-Man #54 still manages to put our hero through the wringer. The stage is set for an epic confrontation that may cost Peter Parker everything and could set Kindred up as the foe who truly beat him.

Amazing Spider-Man #54 is available wherever comics are sold.


Amazing Spider-Man #54
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TL;DR

Though it hits a few of the same notes as previous issues, Amazing Spider-Man #54 still manages to put our hero through the wringer. The stage is set for an epic confrontation that may cost Peter Parker everything and could set Kindred up as the foe who truly beat him.