Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Mark Bagley (the comic itself credits Marcelo Ferreira)
Colors: David Curiel
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Review by D. Brown (Wolfcypher)
Release date September 9 2020
I’m not exaggerating when I admit I had to do a double take when looking at this issue’s credits. I read through this book believing I was looking at Mark Bagley’s art. “Oh, cool”, I thought. “Bagley’s back.” After all, this arc did begin with Mark Bagley on pencils before the artwork traded hands. I have said pretty often since becoming both this site’s resident Venom and Spider-Man review guy that I am definitely a Bagley fan. So when it came time to write my review of Amazing 48 and list the credits, I was surprised to read that Bagley wasn’t actually listed as the artist of the interior arts, but Marcelo Ferreira instead. Waitaminute…either Ferrreira’s is channeling some heavy Bagley mimicry, or maybe my copy (and perhaps most copies, at this time I’m not sure) made an error in the interior credits page. This art oozes Bagley, it screams it. So going forward I’m to assume this issue is the work of Bagley when addressing the visuals, and I apologize if somehow it turns out I’m wrong and this was Ferreira after all doing a starkly close Bagley impersonation. It wouldn’t be the first time I got two artists mixed up…ahem…Humberto Ramos and Francisco Herrera……
Anyway the art is on point. Mark Bagley has always been such a natural fit for Spider-Man after years of being a go-to on the character it probably needs no saying that everything looks great in this issue. We have a chance to see Bagley take his style to multiple Spider-Men and woman as the whole gang’s here. I’ll get into it more in the next paragraph, but almost every major and minor Spiderling shows up to have their respective conversations with Peter, but its not through a series of panels where these characters just stand around exchanging words. The art is not wasted on pages filled with floating heads spewing text bubbles everywhere. Bagley draws these characters fighting crowds of the Sin-Eater’s followers, so yes, there is action coming out of this word-heavy book. I really appreciate that even the landscape and backgrounds were given there dues. Here is an artist that made sure we aren’t looking at panels where characters exist in empty spaces. When you stop and notice what’s going on around the action, you see the work put into the skyscrappers in the background, the details in the subway station. Very few panels resort to the empty-bright action backdrop.
And the story itself continues the conflict of Sin-Eater gaining in power. Last issue dealt with Spider-Man having to consider the possibility that he may be the only person who believes what the Sin-Eater is doing is wrong, and also that maybe always assuming the best on people in general will always leave him sorely disappointed. Sometimes people are just mean and hateful, and will take any excuse to justify bringing out that hate. This issue kind of continues Peter seeking validation, this time by calling up his Spider-allies; Miles Morales, Spider-Gwen…Ghost-Spider, or Earth-65’s Spider-Woman (dealers choice on the name), Jessica Drew, Silk, Arana, and even Julia Carpenter. The current situation as it stands is the Sin-Eater and his hate-filled army of lemmings are storming Ravencroft, with Norman Osborn in their sights. So far, anyone who has fallen victim to the Sin-Eater has not died, but is instead reformed into a far less evil version of themselves. Spider-Man, Peter, wants to know that defending Norman from the Sin-Eater is the right thing, even though Osborn is the man Peter hates the most in the world. He just wants to hear it from the mouths of those who have their own respective connections to Norman in one way or another. Its amazing how this issue feels like it should read like a bit of a lull, the calm before the storm (the next issue looks like it’ll be renumbered as the big 850th issue so I expect it to be bonkers) but despite that, this issue did not feel any less exciting or interesting than the last few. All in all, this has been a consistently good arc.
Sins Rising is still going on strong. This has been a story I’ve enjoyed since the beginning, and I haven’t a reason to assume it won’t finish on a high note.