OK, I think I got it. This storyarc is doing alternating issues with Spider-Man and then stuff happening with other characters associated with the story but without Spider-Man actually being there.
I am not a fan of that.
Issue: The Amazing Spider-Man #51.1, November 2020
Writers: Nick Spencer and Matthew Rosenberg
Artist: Federico Vincentini
The Plot: As Spider-Man is somewhere else in his own book, the story catches the reader up on the possessed Order of the Web, the Sin-Eater, Black Cat, Dr. Strange, Norman Osborn, and Mary-Jane Watson.
Commentary: I am, well, not a fan of how this story is going on. I get that Spencer, as the main writer, wants to make this an epic tale, but this constant backtracking every other issue to show what’s going on with other characters doesn’t sit well with me. If I were buying these individual issues or even the trades, I might be asking myself why I was spending as much as I was. Were I not on Marvel Unlimited, I might not have read it at all. Or I would have grumbled about it the whole time. Or I would have borrowed Jimmy’s copies while he worked on the Spider-Man Chronology. Something.
So, why not space these scenes out in the main series? It could still be the same number of issues, but without this “.1” nonsense, and the story wouldn’t feel like it was backtracking instead of moving forward. True, this story doesn’t quite do some kind of flashback. The interaction between Black Cat and Dr. Strange clearly takes place after #51. But beyond showing Felicia Hardy might be craftier than Stephen Strange, I am not sure what it accomplished.
Mary Jane is back in New York? OK. Does she do anything? Well, she observed the Order of the Web attacking a suspension bridge, a segment where the artwork actually confused me because at first I thought something was quickly popping each member of the Order, but no, it was apparently them attacking the suspension cables and maybe breaking them before they swung off. Did the bridge collapse? No. Did they kill anyone? I am not sure. The artwork wasn’t good. About all that came out of it was Norman Osborn pulled MJ from her wrecked cab. He’s good for now!
I mean, really, the only thing that much caught my eye was the Sin-Eater coming back from Hell for…reasons.
OK, maybe it didn’t catch my eye that much.
Can the story move on now?