Amazing Spider-Man #53 Review

Writer: Nick Spencer
Artists: Mark Bagley
Colors: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna

Release date November 18 2020
Review by D. Brown (WolfCypher)

One More Day has been a topic that has been met with derision among some Spider-Man fans for many years now. A sensitive issue to bring up, fans have been wondering why this unpopular story hasn’t been rectified since the individuals among the fanbase have been very vocal on their discontent with the events of the story. While the story itself has had a brief reference from time to time with few Spider-Man tales, its a subject Marvel’s editors just don’t seem to want to address. It’s a card we’re stuck with, but it cannot be played, reshuffled into the deck, or discarded. Its not something that has been seriously discussed in a comic since the almost equally infamous ASM story O.M.I.T. (One Moment in Time) and its simply seemed like a subject best left unspoken.

This is the issue that finally puts that topic back into the conversation. Here we have Nick Spencer, finally someone, ANYONE at Marvel, willingly to address the mammoth in the room Marvel has been dodging. He puts it out there in a way that has no room for subtly. He knows just as well as the readers who were around during Civil War, Back in Black and One More Day, just how divisive the controversial One More Day is. This is it. I no longer have to speculate if all of this was leading up to it, because it was, and I guessed right. And if I wasn’t already anxious to get to the next issue as this arc, Last Remains, continues to show its hand, this issue was the one where by its conclusion, I was trembling with anticipation.

Nick Spencer is treating this story with no kid gloves. The magnitude of this issue alone even called for the great Mark Bagley to take on the art. This arc, including its companion issues, as been hording some of the finest artists that could grace any superhero comic, and I’ve been very vocal on every single issue that falls under the Last Remains banner about that. This has been a story I have stayed effectively invested in, far exceedingly so than anything else Spencer has crafted in this run. Where the last “main” issue brought Kindred and Spider-Man face-to-face, the identity of the villain had still remained hidden to our hero. The issue itself didn’t really move the most important pieces on the board as far forward as even its “lesser” supplemental “point LR” issue did for the ancillary characters. The showdown between Spider-Man and Kindred was all physical, while we had to wait to get to the issue that would really deliver the blow we’ve been waiting for. We’ve all known the true face behind the bandaged mask, and we all remember the anxiousness to finally get that resolve. For Spider-Man to still not know, that anxiousness came back all over again. The “second” reveal managed to have a weight to it as if this was merely the first time ANYONE was privileged to this revelation.

Peter is made to relive the day after One More Day…the Brand New Day that spilled after the events of his dealing with Mephisto. Its still crazy to say that. Marvel is finally putting that out there. Its no longer the taboo topic among Spider-Man.

As a fan of the character, I have always resented One More Day, a sentiment I’m sure others have been vocal about. Its infamy comes from the major status quo change that it left not only Peter in, but everyone around him. It saw our hero make a deal with the Marvel Comics devil himself. As I’ve stated before, this story is divisive, and that’s me putting it mildly. And what really bothered me the most for years, more than the story itself and the logistics behind the story, was the unresolved matter that this had happened, and it may never get addressed. Here, we have Spider-Man, who ever since being bitten by the fated radioactive spider, has lived his life on the mantra “Great Power, Great Responsibility”. And everything about One More Day, including Peter’s actions, have been as irresponsible an act you could see Spider-Man commit. There stuck with me a fear that after all these years, we seemed to get farther from ever even addressing what Peter did and what effects this should have had on everyone orbiting.

This is a huge subject to tackle. Spencer has taken this subject and is so far delivering a hell of a story. This issue is probably the biggest turning point moment that has happened in this run, and yes, I do think it demands the talent of Mark Bagley. There isn’t anything new I can say about the man’s work I haven’t already said in all of my time writing for this site. Bagley lends his talent to the latest issue of this spectacular story. As of this issue, this is easily the best installment of Last Remains. Its focused solely on Peter and Kindred. It revisits the day in Peter’s life that everything changed in ways that maybe they shouldn’t have. It teases that these had consequences that are finally being unearthed. Even if the effects of One More Day cannot be undone, they can no longer be ignored.

If you’ve read this arc up unto this point and you still aren’t feeling the gravity of this arc, I would be astonished.

Final Thoughts

Each installment of Last Remains has secured this arc as being one of the most memorable stories to ever be told in the Spidey books. This issue even brings legendary Mark Bagley into the fold, adding his iconic visuals to the unwinding tale of Kindred. While this arc has been nothing short of incredible, this is the issue that demands your attention most of all. And if you’ve been reading Spider-Man since at least after Civil War’s conclusion, you owe it to yourself to pick this up.

9/10

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