The “Sins Rising” arc has turned out to be much better than I thought it would be. With how up and down the whole Kindred story has been Nick Spencer has brought a renewed focus to his run on Amazing Spider-Man with this story. By using Sin-Eater’s history with Spider-Man the story has been elevated to be one that does not need to be necessarily tied to Kindred. So far this story has stood on its own as Spencer is exploring Sin-Eater in a way that feels modern. Let’s see if that trend continues with Amazing Spider-Man #47.
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Marcelo Ferreira
Colorist: Roberto Poggi
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Through Norah Winters resources at Threats & Menaces’ media company, against J. Jonah Jameson’s desire, Sin-Eater broadcast his message, speaking on how he tried to work within the system and it devoured him. Sin-Eater goes on to talk about how he has found salvation in a new mission of cleansing the world of sin and is willing to share this power in order to restore his view of glory to the world.
This message is shown to be livestreamed by people all around New York City.
Over at a McCarthy Medical Center Spider-Man asks Carlie Cooper what happened to put Overdrive in the coma he is in.
Carlie reveals that when Overdrive woke up after being presumed dead he gave a statement of all his wrongdoings. As he did that three cops showed up to arrest Overdrive. As one of them, an old friend of Carlie’s father, pulled Carlie aside to talk to her and tells her to follow their lead on this case. Carlie quickly catches on to what the officer means and runs into the autopsy room.
Carlie tells Spider-Man that if she would’ve gotten to the autopsy room a minute later Overdrive would’ve like been dead with what the other cops were doing to him. She goes on to say that she tried to report it but the NYPD says Overdrive is already declared dead so there is nothing to report about what the cops did. She then goes on to say that this is not something that is new to her and that while Spider-Man wants to believe the best in others that people maybe don’t want to be good.
Over at Union Square, Sin-Eater holds a meeting with everyone that decided to follow his message. Everyone at the meeting wears Sin-Eater-like disguises.
Sin-Eater speaks on how they are all there to change the world and shows this by using his powers to absorb the sins of someone in a hood that wants to be cleansed.
Spider-Man sees this and attacks Sin-Eater. Sin-Eater is glad Spider-Man is there because he is the example of what his message is. Spider-Man tries to reason with everyone at Sin-Eater’s meeting but it all falls on deaf ears. Sin-Eater then challenges Spider-Man to stop him.
Spider-Man and Sin-Eater start to fight. As they do Sin-Eater uses the powers of the Lethal Legion that he absorbed and easily overpowers Spider-Man.
When Spider-Man struggles to get back-up Sin-Eater reveals that someone else has a plan for Spider-Man. Sin-Eater goes on to reveal that his next target to cleanse.
Over at Ravencroft a riot breaks out. Count Nefaria talks directly to the security cameras so he can give a message that Norman Osborn is Sin-Eater’s next target.
Norman Osborn watches all of this from the security room, with a Green Goblin shadow looming over him. End of issue.
The Good: There is no way to predict the current state of the world so it may all just be luck but Nick Spencer is able to capture that with this “Sins Rising” story arc. Amazing Spider-Man #47 is the best example of how Spencer has channeled the current world we live in and injected new life into the villain known as Sin-Eater. In the process, he provides Spider-Man with a challenge that is not just one that is physical but also mental and moral.
There is no sugar coating how Sin-Eater has taken an extremist view to his original mission. His resurrection has just allowed Sin-Eater the opportunity to take what he originally set out to do and evolve in the way he sees fit. The God-complex runs deep, which only adds to how he is using the cleansing powers that Kindred gave to be even more dangerous. And we see how dangerous that is as Sin-Eater doesn’t just absorb people’s sins but also their powers if they happen to have one.
Having Sin-Eater use Norah Winters as a way to get his message to the masses was a good use of what was previously set-up. What Sin-Eater is doing is exactly the type of story that Norah is after. She doesn’t care what his message is. The fact is Norah is just looking for clicks and views, which is exactly what she saw with Sin-Eater’s offer. This more so than the J. Jonah Jameson and Spider-Man podcast gets across the direction Spencer wants to take with Norah’s character and the Threats & Menaces media company. In the process Spencer injects real world aspects into this specific part of the story.
That real world aspect to “Sins Rising” was furthered by how quickly Sin-Eater’s extremist movement rose. Seeing how quickly Sin-Eater was able to amass a small army of people to his side got over how powerful his words were with this group of people. This made Sin-Eater come across as even more powerful than the beat down he gave Spider-Man. How far his words go and what that means for the direction of “Sins Rising” is something that catches your eye as a reader.
Adding in the police aspect to the story with how several cops tried to cover up Overdrive’s fate also felt to real. It is unsettling to see this happen so close to what is currently going on. While unsettling it added greater weight to the current state of mind that Carlie Cooper is in. You can see how jaded she has become having lived in the system for her entire life. Even though she tries to do her best this latest clash with her fellow cops have clearly broken her. What that means for the direction Spencer intends to take with Carlie will be interesting to see play out.
All of this helps to put Spider-Man in a spot where he is in an island of optimism by himself. Especially with Carlie and her viewpoint, there is no one on Spider-Man’s side of trying to see the best in people. Spencer got over how even if Spider-Man could show the world there is hope for everyone to be better people that the damage is done. The lack of hope at the end of the tunnel made the beating he suffered at Sin-Eater’s hand as the villains followed cheered on hit harder.
This all goes to further the greater Kindred plotline that Spencer is building. Kindred is clearly using Sin-Eater and all these challenges he has put in front of Spider-Man as a way to isolate Peter Parker. And Kindred is being shown as being successful in his plan as all the chess pieces for his grander scheme are being placed where he wants them to be. Which makes the question of what his endgame in all of this be something that has greater anticipation for being answered.
Marcelo Ferreira artwork was solid. He got over how heavy of a message Sin-Eater was speaking. It added to how he was able to get people to his side. There was a sense of toxic power with how he stood and moved when he was talking. It all reflected the tone that Spencer was aiming for.
The Bad: Through all of that Amazing Spider-Man #47 does stumble on two parts. As successful as Spencer is in getting over how isolated Spider-Man is at the moment it is not perfectly executed. While I understand how Spencer wants to position Spider-Man as this forever optimist it doesn’t make sense. Spider-Man has been through enough to understand what Carlie is saying holds truth. His confusion over what Carlie was telling him didn’t fully click. It made Peter look like a rookie when he has been Spider-Man for close to, if not over, a decade in Marvel time. Having hints of Spider-Man understanding why things are on the direction they are on would’ve made his arc in this issue alone better.
The other part of Amazing Spider-Man #47 that did not work was J. Jonah Jameson’s role. At no point in his interaction with Norah did it come across as Jameson. The character was so meek in the way he backed down to Norah’s actions made that scene odd. The way things went Jameson’s role in the story didn’t add anything to the story. It could’ve easily been replaced with Norah talking with one of her producers and the same thing would’ve been accomplished.
Overall: Amazing Spider-Man #47 was an intense reading experience. The way Nick Spencer works real world events in the way Sin-Eater is written gave weight to the character’s direction that came across as distinct. How that challenges Spider-Man and furthers the greater Kindred storyline added to the interest in where the “Sins Rising” will end up when all things are said and done.
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