Writer: Nick Spencer & Matthew Rosenberg
Artists: Federico Vicentini & Takeshi Miyazawa
Colors: Marcio Menyz & Erick Arciniega
Letterer: VC’s Ariana Maher
Release date November 25 2020
Review by D. Brown (WolfCypher)
Last Remains takes the focus away from Peter and Harry, and where we left them last, to catch up on some of the ancillary characters who have all been brought into the arc’s tangled web. While we have yet to see how Norman and Mary Jane will factor into this, the secondary characters of the Spider-Crew and Sin-Eater have plenty to do. In fact, it seems like whenever we do focus on characters besides Spider-Man and Kindred, the story puts all the weight on the B-side story on the Spidey-pals and Sin-Eater.
This is the first issue so far of this story that doesn’t call back to anything from past Spider-Man stories (there’s an editor’s note to refer back to ASM #46, but that’s in reference to the astral realm Strange and the Spider-Friends are visiting, and its been in this story since a few issues ago), so there are no new classic callbacks to add to the list. No clone saga, ASM 300, or Kraven’s Last Hunt callbacks to add to the pile.
What this issue is, really, is treading water. It completely feels like its ruining the pace of the main arc, as it doesn’t deliver anything major to the Kindred arc, and I’d say it tries to get by with all action alone. Between the Sin-Eater wrangling Morlun to Strange and company fighting monsters in Peter’s subconsciousness in the form of demonic versions of his friends and foes, what really are we learning here that will matter to the bigger Kindred and Spider-Man tale? Does any of this have anything to do with where we left off?
The Sin-Eater is able to subdue Morlun with a shotgun blast to his back, but the weapon looks to fire the same mystic energy from when the Sin-Eater was supernaturally powered by Kindred. Since Kindred had taken away all of Stan’s powers, reducing him to just a normal man, why was his shotgun still capable of this? Is Morlun now “purged of sin” and will he now be a docile, reformed character come next issue (the next .LR issue I should say)? Or was the shot to his back actual ammo…because it LOOKS like blue energy.
And what was really the point of Strange taking the entire Spider-Family into the astral plane with him to only decide to fight Peter’s monsters alone? He sends them all back to the real world…this accomplished nothing. Also, why weren’t they sent back to where Black Cat was guarding the artifact that they used to travel to Peter’s plane? That’s where they were when they departed…instead, they get sent to a graveyard…where Sin-Eater is waiting to ambush them? HOW does he know to wait here? What tipped him off that the Spiders would return here of all places and at the time they did? How did he even know they were gone from this plane of existence? No, no, no…Stan Carter seems to know a little too much for my liking. Last issue, he knew all about the Spider-Island incident, the virus from said incident, he knew about Morlun, all despite being dead when all of this happened, and now he’s using incredible foresight to sabotage our heroes…it’s beyond a stretch.
I would say I should try to review this for what it is and treat it like a isolated issue, but its not meant to be that, so why should I? We are in the middle of telling a pretty good, pretty important story here, and this isn’t the time for a filler story to drag the story out and bring the pacing down. Its hardly a necessary read outside of needing to see how the Spider-Friends end up dealing with the Sin-Eater and potentially Morlun in an upcoming issue, and honestly, if the Sin-Eater/Morlun/Spider-Folk B-plot doesn’t bring anything of value to the bigger plot, what are we doing here? These threads are starting to feel like they’re getting the way to draw out this story.
What little positives I can give are for the art, and even there I have some reservations. While the art is good, we have two different artists with two different styles sharing the book, and I really wish the book could have gone one way or the other. Both art directions look great so it wouldn’t have been an issue if one was the visuals of choice over the other. When an issue has to have multiple artists on these duties, I’d like it more if the two artists styles looked similar enough where I don’t even notice the change in style.
The first wrinkle in the Last Remains arc, and its a big wrinkle. What tries to be an action-filled issue only feels like its getting in the way of the bigger story to set up beats that are starting to feel disconnected from the Kindred/Spider-Man plot. Sin-Eater, Miles and all the Spider-Womenare starting to feel like they’ve overstayed their welcome, and the whole issue feels like filler to bloat this arc.