Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Patrick Gleason
Colors: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release date October 14 2020
Review by D. Brown (WolfCypher)
The comic literally opens with that line. It’s like Nick Spencer is being very meta in his opening pages. The first several pages has Kindred doing a cold open that reads very much like its speaking for the readers. “Yeah, we know you’ve been waiting for a while now for this part of the story to come to it’s head. We know you’ve been thirsting for answers. We’ve been looking forward to this arc, too. Its been hard for us, too.”
That first line of dialogue on page 1, that “Finally” and I knew this would be the issue we finally learn the identity of Kindred.
The issue properly puts an end to the Sins Rising story, despite being the beginning of a new arc. The Sin-Eater is disposed off, not by Spider-Man or Norman Osborn, who was the Sin’s prime target by the end of the last arc…but simply by Kindred for no longer having any usefulness to him. This really made me wish that this finality was just added to the end of last issue instead of being inserted here. This didn’t gel well with me, seeing something from the last story getting wrapped up at the start of a newer story, just to tidy up a major loose end. The fact that Sin-Eater even succeeds in “claiming” Norman Osborn as was his intention makes me wish even more this was all just in issue 49/”850″. We really could have done without one of those back-up stories and made room in that issue for some of the Sin-Eater and Norman moments we have here.
Spencer’s best writing in this one is used for the Kindred pages, in my opinion. In the past, whenever the character showed up to villianously monologue to himself, I found myself rolling my eyes in frustration. But between everything that’s taking shape in this issue, the Kindred scenes are the better moments. Norman’s moments are essential, even if most of his screentime is just being used to put a end to an arc that should have neatly wrapped up an issue ago, while I really wasn’t too into the Spider-Man pages. A broken and desperate Spidey flees to Doctor Strange’s sanctum and we get to see exactly what transpired to get Peter in this state. Maybe because this issue strongly teases from page 1 that, yes, this is the big Kindred story we’ve been waiting for, that I found the Kindred pages here to be acceptable even though I’ve grown tired of his monologues in the past.
Gleason’s art is the tops in this book. I want to mention the opening first page again, because its a single-page full image of Kindred, and he’s never looked more amazing. There’s a lot to take in looking at this particular image of our mysterious centipede man. In fact the art and colors throughout are amazing; nothing short of excellence. There are pages near the end, though, that do make me ask “can skeletons from corpses long since dead have full heads of hair”? It is a nitpick, but this particular scene felt silly when it wasn’t supposed to read that way. Obviously, the corpse in question needed to have a something defining about it visually to key us readers into who it belonged to…but they could have found a different approach (instead of me thinking this menacing villain is propping wigs on skeletons).
While the reveal of the Kindred left me feeling mixed, I’m curious enough to want to know exactly how it makes sense. We’ve gotten the big reveal out of the way on the very first act of the arc (and I’m not surprised at all it was saved for the 50th issue of Spencer’s run), which is good, because now lets use the rest of this arc to show exactly how dangerous our Kindred is alleged to be and what got this person into this state.
The story arc we’ve all been waiting for. It delivers one big answer while putting into perspective more pressing questions. Incredible art flows through this one. I found this to be a good issue.