REVIEW: ‘Sinister War,’ Issue #4

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Sinister War #4 - But Why Tho

Sinister War #4 is written by Nick Spencer and Ed Brisson, penciled by Mark Bagley with Marcelo Ferreria and Dio Neves inked by Andrew Hennessy, Andy Owens, Neves, and Ferreria, colored by Brian Reber with Andrew Crossley, and lettered by VC’s Joe Caramagna.  It is published by Marvel Comics. Picking up from the end of Sinister War #3, the issue finds Spider-Man at the end of his rope. Cornered by an army of supervillains, the web-slinger decides to go down fighting, but finds some much-needed help from unexpected sources.

Ever since Sinister War began, it’s pushed Spidey to his limits. Spencer and Brisson bring together multiple threads from the former’s run on Amazing Spider-Man in their script, including the looming presence of Kindred and the multiple villainous factions that Spidey has faced. It leads to a high-pitched battle with multiple foes, including the unstoppable Juggernaut and the vampiric Morlun. It’s the latter confrontation that had the most resonance for me while reading, as it calls back to J. Michael Straczynski’s run on Amazing Spider-Man. Straczynski’s tenure was my introduction to Spider-Man and it’s clear from previous issues that Spencer has an affinity for that run as well.

The issue also features a surprising heel turn from a pair of characters. While one is acting out of self-interest, the other seems to genuinely want to help Spidey. Not only is this a welcome turn of events (good as Spidey is, even he can’t face thirty-six villains at the same time) but it goes to show the impact the web-slinger has had on certain foes. And it also underlines the horror of Kindred. As bad as some of these villains are, even they don’t compare to a literal demon.

Unlike the writing, the art is somewhat all over the place. Ferreria delivers a strong opening sequence that features Spidey swinging through New York City, with the villains in hot pursuit. Neves closes out the issue, which includes the aforementioned villainous turns. But it’s Bagley who has the strongest debut, as he draws the majority of Spidey’s fights against the villains. A two-page spread showcases this fight in immense detail; Spidey leaping from villain to villain, landing punches and kicks and even leading the villains to fight each other. Bagley makes Morlun look like the terrifying force of nature he is: his pale skin, pointy ears and blood-red eyes bear a strong resemblance to a vampire which is fitting, given his power to drain people of their life forces. Reber and Crossley color the sky a dark blue, which lends an appropriately somber vibe to the proceedings. Readers will feel like this is the last fight that Spider-Man will ever be a part of.

Sinister War #4 has all the action and drama of a Spider-Man story cranked up to 11, as it paves the way for the end of Nick Spencer’s run on the web-slinger. After reading this miniseries, I can safely say that he hewed to the old adage of “go big or go home” and it worked like gangbusters. I truly can’t wait to see how the last three and a half years of Spidey stories pay off.

Sinister War #4 is available wherever comics are sold.

Sinister War #4
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TL;DR

Sinister War #4 has all the action and drama of a Spider-Man story cranked up to 11, as it paves the way for the end of Nick Spencer’s run on the web-slinger. After reading this miniseries, I can safely say that he hewed to the old adage of “go big or go home” and it worked like gangbusters. I truly can’t wait to see how the last three and a half years of Spidey stories pay off.