Amazing Spider-Man #55 Review

Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Patrick Gleason
Colors: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna

Release date December 30 2020
Review by D. Brown (WolfCypher)

I jumped the gun, lassies and laddies, when I assumed this issue would be the conclusion of Last Remains. I assumed all the pieces where going to finally come together, and everything would finally be brought out to the table. We have the Sin-Eater out of the picture. Mary Jane is going to face Harry (Kindred) herself. The Spider-Friends have even been brought into Kindred’s grasp. Peter is being forced to deal with some harsh, forgotten truths. What more can we juggle? What’s left to dangle? Why does it feel like this story’s finale is still so far out of our reach?

The issue feels stuffed with art and dialogue. We’ve had a few issues during this run that I felt read too quickly, and this issue is far away from a fast book. My first reading of this issue was a slow burn, and a later reread, a quick skim through for the sake of double-checking my notes, and I still found myself taking a while to get to the final page…again, on a quick read. There was a lot to absorb with the art. This was an art I liked a lot. Bagley has passed the baton back to series regular artists (well, at this point the closest thing to the regular artist) Patrick Gleason. I love Bagley, but I’ve grown too accustomed to Gleason being the “flagship” artist on this book.

Kindred has really come out of this as a respectable villain in my eyes. This is a legit threat that Harry has become, and the insinuation that Peter is the reason this is what has become of Harry makes Kindred that much more powerful to me. Kindred has legit killed Peter multiple times, and can effortlessly revive him just to prove a point. He has so much history with many major characters in the Spidey wheelhouse, from Peter, Mary Jane, Norman Osborn, and though they don’t factor at all in this story (I highly doubt they will before this story ends, but I’m prepared to be wrong), he has personal ties to Aunt May, Liz Allen, Flash Thompson…Harry has always been an essential part of Peter’s life, even in death. And Harry has hinted to remembering the sin Peter has forgotten…the Brad New Day…the One More Day…and the “deal with the devil” that changed everything.

If I have to admit my problem with this issue, it’s actually the same problem I know have with this arc, which I’m still enjoying…but its finding ways to drag on. Kindred won’t stop until Peter owns up to his sins, and it should be obvious, even to Harry, that Peter isn’t denying any fault anymore…he sincerely doesn’t know what Harry wants him to confess to. And when it seems like Harry could or even will get around to spelling it out to Peter, there’s always an excuse presented to keep us dangling so the arc can go on longer. Its funny how long it took for us to finally, and I mean FINALLY, get to this story, and now the story isn’t showing any signs of concluding. There’s still so many questions I hope we have addressed, and we now have Norman Osborn back in true form and even Wilson Fisk is entering the game. Nick Spencer more invested in having these characters reminisce about the past to stall the story from getting to any more new, big twists and necessary revelations. As someone who has a lot of history with the Spider-Man comics, I enjoyed the references to the “good old days” that happen when Peter, Harry and the gang were young and innocent (and yes it is stated that those days were NOT goo and innocent…) and how these past references were used to bring out some of our characters inner issues and pent-up, unresolved rages. But we’ve done this already. I know all this, and it feels like we keep telling twice as many old stories and old references just to get to any new forward moving developments.

Lets not forget the matter of Doctor Strange. Is Nick Spencer going to dedicate an entire issue around him next? Like I said, there’s a lot left to tie up. Doctor Strange and Morlun are still out there (is Morlun secure? Is he dead? Is he unconscious, and may wake up and wreck &^$# while everyone is in astral limbo?)

I’m of two minds of this arc. On the one hand, I feel its going on, or at this point, has gone on far too long now, especially when you account for all the in-between point LR issues as Marvel “numbered” them. On the other hand, I don’t want a lackluster, weak ending that could uproot the entire saga because it felt rushed or there were plenty left unresolved. I don’t want the story’s ending, whatever it will be, compromised just to wrap things up faster, but with retrospective reading, going back to look at some of the previous issues, this feels like there were a lot of fat that we didn’t need on this meaty bone. Now that I think about it, even a phenomenal ending may not change the fact that when this arc is totally over, as one long read this could read as a lot of bloat to get to the finish. I’m still engaged. I’m still looking forward to the next issue, not because I have to review it, but as an actual fan who would be reading this run regardless, but this arc is starting to wear itself and this reader thin. This was a great issue. This arc, however, is starting to concave due to its own weight.

Final Thoughts

This issue continues the trend of being a solid issue to this heavy arc we’ve been waiting to get to for the longest. Funnily, now that we’re finally here, there’s no end in sight. There’s so much left still to unpack and we’ve cleared a total of eleven issues, and this late in the game we’re about to get two big A-list enemies to crash the Spider-Man/Kindred party. This issue delivers enough to keep me entertained, still I’m anxious and hoping the endgame of the arc as a whole will be worth it.

7.9/10

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