While Sins Rising’s prelude story isn’t a story you have to read before opening up this comic, it would be a service to any of you that don’t have a previous investment of the character known as Sin-Eater. Also, I found the prelude to be a pretty good read myself. The gloom and dark tone from the prelude lightens up a bit when you get Mark Bagley on art duties for this next installment. Bagley returns to Amazing Spider-Man with a style fans are familiar with, and the book, albeit one with a masked gun-carrying ex-cop on an rampage, returns to being filled with an art style typical of a colorful superheroic book. The dynamism of Spider-Man’s actions are visually in top gear.
This book brings the chase for Overdrive to a head. The Sin-Eater has been on his heels for days, and Spider-Man comes to his rescue. I’ve never been invested in the character myself. Overdrive came at a time when Marvel was introducing a lot of new support characters and villains into his “Brand New” world, and Overdrive was definitely on the lower end of that list of characters that resonated with me. Speaking of that era of new faces, this book dusts off and brings back Carlie Cooper into the book. I’ve said this in previous reviews, and it looks like I was right: Spencer does like to write the more obscure characters. Unfortunately, there’s nothing done with Overdrive in this book that really moves my needle with him. Spencer gives the character and Spider-Man time to share with each other, but for once Spencer just couldn’t make me feel too much for the villain in the way he had before with others.
With both the prelude and ASM #44, it’s weird to think of this issue as the official kickstart of the arc. It feels like we’ve already started things off already, and yet this issue reads like the true start of the story. With that, we have our villain (the Sin-Eater) make himself known to our hero, yet perhaps its too early to feel like there’s been any real progress made. By the end of the story, and remembering that this arc is a part of a bigger scheme featuring a bigger menace, Spider-Man is only left knowing that things are going to continue to get worse. As the beginning of a new arc goes, that’s a typical for the story to leave us wanting more. As a continuation of the still on-going Kindred plot, I felt differently. The threat of Kindred is alluded to by Carter in this book, but while I was reading this I didn’t really feel as if this arc would bring Kindred full-circle like I thought prior to this arc starting.
We have the Sin-Eater, of all of Spidey’s past rogues, rolling out the bloody red carpet for Kindred, but the exact reasons why Carter, of all people, was chosen (over literally any other notable supervillain) to be his go-fer is a mystery. A chance for Spencer to play with the character, or is it going to come back around and make sense? Is Carter a clue to Kindred? And with the de facto Green Goblin coming back soon (only a spoiler if you aren’t following Marvel’s own press releases and news), is Kindred going to tie into his return? It feels weird knowing that the big, bad, A-tier Green Goblin will be the privileged villain for the milestone 850th issue of Amazing Spider-Man when so much of this run has been building towards the mystery that is Kindred, not the return of Norman Osborn. Oh…! And what about Mysterio? Is Kindred done with him? These may sound like I’m being critical, but I’m only wondering out-loud how, or if, all of these will come together.
Amazing Spider-Man #45 is a decent enough start of the new Sins Rising arc, but not quite as engaging as its prelude special.