OK, so, what the hell was that?
Issue: The Amazing Spider-Man #55, December 2020
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Patrick Gleason
The Plot: Someone really wants to frustrate me.
Commentary: When I reviewed the trade for the first Sin-Eater story of this run, back when I still read trades from Marvel and DC, I was struck by how, at the end of the supposed storyline, the Sin-Eater was not captured or defeated or anything. It really was more like a prologue to the next storyarc, one that itself had something of an ending but led into “Last Remains” where Kindred finally revealed himself to be the only person he obviously could be. And now, after a good twelve issues or so, half of which were side stories involving tangentially involved characters like the Spider-Friends and Mary Jane, the promised last chapter…doesn’t feel like an ending.
Is this something Nick Spencer did? Because I rather liked how his run started. Stuff like having pathetic loser Boomerang as a roommate to Peter Parker and the new Sinister Six looking to empower superpowered women criminals and the like, it was fun. I like fun Spider-Man.
The Sin-Eater wasn’t fun because I wasn’t sure why Peter was trying to stop him. He wasn’t killing anybody. Kindred isn’t fun because he’s kind of pathetic. Heck, in this last chapter, Peter more or less tells him that to his face. Harry Osborn is doing all this because Peter made one mistake years earlier, MJ broke up with him in college, and Harry doesn’t remember all the good stuff Peter did for him after that one mistake. Granted, the mistake was not telling Harry his father was the Green Goblin, but I think the point is clear. Peter was, all things being equal, a much better friend than Harry portrays him to be, and the whole Kindred thing is rather lame.
So lame that Norman, now back in full Goblin mode, can ruin it by flying in and doing a lot of sneering. Like, literally. I don’t think Norman can hurt Harry in his current form. Peter punched a hole through his head and Harry just got better. What exactly can Norman do aside from be obnoxious?
So no, this storyline does not end with Kindred defeated or reformed. The heroes don’t get away. It ends with a lot of explosions and the good guys left in an ambiguous condition, all to set up the next storyline that looks like it’s all Norman and Mayor Wilson Fisk doing…some really bad things. That’s not the conclusion. It’s a cliffhanger. And if a story this long is just another prologue to the next one…well, that’s not cool man. Stories like this one should just stand on their own. Endings like this mean this one doesn’t.
And I still don’t know where Doctor Strange and the Black Cat went during all this.