Nick Spencer’s run on Amazing Spider-Man made multiple hints that the mysterious Kindred was going to be a tough baddie for Spider-Man to fight. And he should be but…c’mon, Peter, isn’t this guy’s bit a little familiar?
Issue: The Amazing Spider-Man #52, November 2020
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Patrick Gleason
The Plot: Spider-Man vs Kindred, Round One!
Commentary: Look, I expect Peter to lose the first fight with Kindred. I really do. And he does. He really does. But the manner in which Kindred attacks him seems like something Peter should recognize because he’s been hit this way, more or less, so many times.
I don’t mean in the sense that Kindred has special powers as a demonic thing with control over weird insects. No, I mean that Kindred attacks Peter psychologically as well as physically, and Kindred’s whole deal is to get Peter to give up to save others. To that end, Kindred is blatantly blaming Peter for the death of every loved one Peter has ever lost since the day that radioactive spider bit him. He even dug up all their corpses, saving Uncle Ben for last, and set them around a banquet table in whatever clothes they were probably buried in.
Dusty skeletons aside, those are some well-preserved bodies.
Then there’s the fact that Kindred is controlling the other Spider-themed heroes using the sin power Sin-Eater collected, apparently. Will Peter surrender himself to save his Spider-friends?
Of course he will.
I would have been more surprised if he left the Spider-friends to continue rampaging through the streets.
But a bad guy who knows Peter’s real name and knows how to force Peter to feel guilty for all the deaths he couldn’t prevent, no matter how many of them weren’t really his fault while slapping him around with more power than Peter has on his own? That could describe Norman Osborn. That could describe Venom. Heck, that could describe the most obvious suspect to be Kindred, Harry Osborn when Harry himself became a next generation Green Goblin. While I am certain Peter will still find a way to beat Kindred, the fact that Kindred’s line of attack is one that, basically, all the nastiest baddies Peter has taken on before used should, I would think, make it much more likely that Peter can maybe shrug all this off. Yeah, the fact his friends are possessed is a bit new, but Peter beats himself up all the time for the deaths he couldn’t prevent. If he can do it to himself, he should be able to ignore it when someone else does it, right? At the least, I would think he’d be more outraged than guilt-ridden.
Then again, there are a lot of issues left to go here. Heck, the next one is another of those side issue dealies designed to make the story run longer and over more issues than it probably needs to.