Kindred’s horrific plan is nearly complete.  And Peter Parker’s friends may not recognize Spider-Man, even if they can find his remains.  Your Major Spoilers review of Amazing Spider-Man #55 from Marvel Comics awaits!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #55

Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Patrick Gleason
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Nick Lowe
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 30, 2020

Previously in Amazing Spider-Man: If you thought the buildup TO Kindred was intense, the fallout FROM Kindred is even more devastating.

AN OLD FRIEND RETURNS…

Kindred has been repeatedly killing Spider-Man and reviving him from the dead, just to torture him, but now he has the entire Order of the Web in his clutches as well.  Of course, it’s not Spider-Woman, Ghost Spider, Miles Morales or Madame Web that he’s after.  It’s Mary Jane Watson, who walks into the trap in the hopes of stopping the villain, now revealed to be an undead Harry Osborn.  While Harry’s dad monitors the situation from outside, Peter, MJ and Harry have a very awkward “family dinner” together, discussing the good old days and how Harry feels betrayed by the end of his relationship with Ms. Watson and the beginning of her love affair with Peter.  Mary Jane tries to reason with Harry, explaining that if he has to take out his rage on someone, he could take it out on her, causing the villain to pause… just long enough for his insane father to enter and blow her up with a pumpkin bomb.

And then he calls for his partner, The Kingpin, to finish the game!

…FROM THE DEAD?

Up until that last page, I was really feeling this issue, but the sudden appearance of the Mayor of New York as Osborn’s accomplice feels very puzzling for me, especially since Norman’s return seemingly sweeps Harry/Kindred off the board without a second thought.  Visually, this issue is a mixed bag for me, as Gleason provides incredibly stylized art that combines aspects of Todd McFarlane and Humberto Ramos’ take on Spider-Man, to the detriment of both.  It’s incredibly creepy at points, so kudos is due there, but on the whole, the strange body proportions and sudden changes of perspective are incredibly ’90s and wearying after a while.  I will say that his facial expressions are very vivid and engaging, and the sight of Kindred’s maggots once again suffocating Peter Parker is skin-crawling and quite effective.  If it weren’t for the last page swerve, honestly, I might have rating the whole thing higher for the creepy factor alone.

BOTTOM LINE: A STRANGE ENDING

In short, Amazing  Spider-Man #55 promised an incredibly shocking ending and it delivered on that (in ways that worked and ways that really didn’t), but the story in these pages hits the mark more often than not, earning 3.5 out of 5 stars overall.  I will be back next week for the next issue, so that’s a mark in the win column for this book, and if the Fisk reveal plays out well, I’d definitely be willing to read more.


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AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #55

70%
70%
Explosive Stuff

I'm not in love with the art, but the story hooked me pretty well... until the big swerve at the end. I think I'll be back next issue to find out what it all means, though.

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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