Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Marcelo Ferreira
Colors: David Curiel
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release date August 26 2020
Review by D. Brown (WolfCypher)
The Sin-Eater has a message he wants to deliver to the citizens of New York. He wants to spread his beliefs to those weak enough to want to believe in what he’s selling. His words are proving pervasive as he begins amassing a following of civilians who willingly join in on his cause. Meanwhile, what can Spider-Man do to fight back against the Sin-Eater when he’s gaining the support of the people?
While we’ve pegged the Sin-Eater as the de facto villain here, it would seem there are a lot of people who would think otherwise. So far, the newly powered Sin-Eater hasn’t actually killed anyone, and has only been affecting criminals and supervillains in way of reforming them. These are people who are being changed into remorseful citizens who want accountability for their crimes. And the Sin-Eater has taken a different approach in this issue by using the news to spread his message to everyone willing to listen. And much to Spider-Man’s surprise, its working. People are showing up before the Sin-Eater to join in on his cause. A man with a mask and several shotguns and rifles preaching gospel is turning heads and convincing people his way is the right way. We even have people seeking him out to allow themselves to be cleansed of their sins. These are people who voluntarily want to be at the end of the Sin-Eater’s gun. And our hero just doesn’t understand how these people can be taken in by a known psychopath.
Nick Spencer is has strayed away from telling a simple good guy versus bad guy book here. Its more an argument over whose way of doing things is the right way, the better way. Spider-Man wants to hold on to his belief of people ultimately coming around, and yet as of this issue there’s more and more to dissuade him. That’s always been Spidey’s mantra, but Spencer is doing a great job challenging that, laying out everything before us to give the Sin-Eater’s way more gravity. People like the results presented before them and are keen to side with the villain of this arc, and not only is Spidey losing to when it comes down to their physical confrontations, he’s also losing that comfort of believing people won’t be swayed so easily by the promise of power.
There’s something about this arc, specifically this issue, that hit a little too close to home for me. The issue addresses that some people just want to follow anyone with the shiny enough promise of power, even if that person is a known serial killer. While the Sin-Eater as of this arc actually hasn’t committed a true murder yet, with his victims still being alive (and well? Umm, that’s debatable), its not like his first every crusade from years ago have been forgotten. This is still man who killed judges and police detectives. All in the name of faith and religion. We even have an instance in the story where police officers abuse their authority to attempt to kill Overdrive, a black man mind you, who at this point is no longer a threat. I don’t know how much of this is intentional, but it draws from some real life problems and flaws with people.
The latest act in the Sin Risings arc is just as good as the previous two. Spencer’s brings in both new additions and a some familiar fair with the Sin-Eater in a story that brings our hero and villain’s respective faiths into the fray.