Writers: Nick Spencer & Matthew Rosenberg
Artist: Federico Vicentini
Colors: Marcio Menyz
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release date October 21 2020
Review by D. Brown (WolfCypher)
The next issue to the long-awaited Kindred arc presents us with two narratives, focusing on Norman Osborn, recently “redeemed” from all sins and rendered into a sympathetic version of himself, and with Spider-Man and his spider-allies bringing in the book’s action and vibrancy after said allies have been overtaken by Kindred. While the Norman Osborn and Ashley Kafka story is happening right after where issue 50 left off, the Spider-Man parts of the book are clearly meant to be right before issue 50, during the Spider-folk’s escape from Ravencroft. Here is where we see what left Spider-Man in his beaten state when he arrives at Doctor Strange’s doorstep last issue.
The two acts each have their respective strengths on full display. The “therapy session” between Osborn and Doctor Kafka has the better writing, while the action-focused Spider-Man scenes make great use of the art. But that’s not to say the art isn’t great in the former scenes, nor the writing good in the latter. Its all used to make this issue an effective story, but where exposition is needed, with the Osborn bits, the writing is at its strongest, and the bits between all the Spideys shows Vicentini’s ability to really sell a fight sequence. Character’s blows really look to have a lot of weight behind them. When Spider-Man manages to get out of the way of an attack at just the last second, you can feel just how close he was to losing his head. There’s even a bit of motion blur effect used during some of the panels when these strikes are being thrown around. It all makes the action pop to amazing effect! Lastly, what can I say about that final page…I don’t want to oversell it, but even though I saw it coming (it had to happen), it was a satisfying moment. All the pieces are gathering for something big, and a lot of things that felt long overdue are coming to roost.
For a text heavy issue, this issue went by fairly quickly. It could have been because of how much I enjoyed reading this that it felt like it flew by. It was just over before I realized. This issue doesn’t deliver anything new to the main story that will help solve the remaining mysteries of Kindred, so I suspect those instances will be saved for the normal number issues of ASM (ie not the “point” issues, these “LR” issues).
Last Remains is coming in hot, with Vincentini’s art giving this narrative heavy issue a lot of amazing imagery.