Amazing Spider-Man has had a step up in quality with this “Sins Rising” story arc that Nick Spencer has been crafting. This “Sins Rising” storyline has been designed as a way to further the greater Kindred story that Spencer has been building towards since he started his run. But unlike other Kindred tie-in stories “Sins Rising” has been able to stand on its own. That is thanks to how Spencer has been able to run with Sin Eater as an evolved antagonist that has pushed Spider-Man into a corner. Things have gotten even more difficult as Sin Eater has revealed the target that Kindred has given him is none other than Norman Osborn. Now with this knowledge will Spider-Man stand in Sin Eater’s way of getting to his greatest enemy? Let’s find out with Amazing Spider-Man #48.
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Marcelo Ferreira
Inker: Roberto Poggi
Colorist: David Curiel
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Sin Eater’s follower number continue to grow and they begin attacking people across New York City who they believe must answer for their sins.
Peter Parker calls Miles Morales to help him in dealing with all of the Sin Eater’s followers. As the Spider-Men deal with all of the followers one of them brings up that Sin Eater cannot be stopped from his mission. Peter knows that they are talking about Norman Osborn as Sin Eater’s target.
Outside of Ravencroft some of Sin Eater’s followers have gathered to face off against the facility’s guards. Inside there are even converted inmates who are growing disruptive.
Norman Osborn hears all of this and is not worried since he is confident his secret weapon will keep him protected.
Elsewhere Peter tells Miles about his history with Sin Eater and how Norman Osborn is being targeted. Miles, who has saw Sin Eater’s message on Threats & Menace’s website, thinks that Peter should let Sin Eater absorb Norman’s sins. Peter is surprised by this. Miles reminds Peter of their respective experiences with Norman Osborn of the 616 and Ultimate Universes and he can’t let Peter possibly die. Peter says that at least he knows Miles will step up if something happens to him and takes off.
While swinging through the city Peter thinks back to his history with Norman and wonders if there will be a time that he can’t defeat Norman.
Outside of Ravencroft, Sin Eater absorbs all the sins that his followers took from the people they beat. Sin Eater then leads a charge to enter Ravencroft in order to cleanse Norman of his sins.
Inside a subway station Spider-Man is working with Ghost-Spider to defeat Sin Eater’s followers. As they take out the followers Peter admits to himself that he is still now used to teaming up with Ghost-Spider as she reminds him of 616-Gwen Stacy.
After defeating Sin Eater’ followers Spider-Man opens up to Ghost-Spider about how he felt after Green Goblin killed his universe’s Gwen Stacy and how he did not follow through with his promise to kill Norman when he had the chance. Ghost-Spider reminds Spider-Man that while many people may think of Gwen as a perfect girl she was not that or a sub-plot for someone else’s story as she owned her own story even at the end. Ghost-Spider then says that Spider-Man must own his by making the choice he wants.
Back at Ravencroft it is shown that Sin Eater’s followers have found Norman and begin to surround him.
Outside of Ravencroft, Madame Web finds Spider-Man on a rooftop waiting to make his decision. Madame Web admits that she can’t see what will happen with Sin Eater but knows the struggle Spider-Man is going through in his head. She then talks about how close to death Spider-Man and the people around him are whenever it comes to anything involving Norman Osborn. She then asks Spider-Man how many lives could be saved if Sin Eater is allowed to cleanse Norman of his sins.
Spider-Man is conflicted as he knows Madame Web is right. After thinking about it Spider-Man decides to enter Ravencroft.
Inside Ravencroft Spider-Man wastes no time in finding and defending Norman against Sin Eater’s followers.
Back on the rooftop Ghost-Spider, Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Silk, Spider-Woman, and Spider-Girl join Madame Web knowing that there idea of talking with Peter didn’t work out as they had hoped. Madame Web tells everyone that they must now work together to stop Spider-Man. End of issue.
The Good: Amazing Spider-Man #48 was an unexpected chapter in the “Sins Rising” story arc as Nick Spencer brought in the Spider-Man Family to progress the story forward. It was a welcome change of pace simply for how well written the different interactions Spider-Man had in this development. Those interactions helped push the story forward to create an aura of “Sins Rising” being a big chapter in Peter Parker’s life.
When it comes to Spencer’s strength in his Amazing Spider-Man run is how well he does with the personal moments. That is what drives Amazing Spider-Man #48 as we get to see how Peter Parker interacts with Miles Morales, Gwen Stacy, and Julia Carpenter. Spencer crafts these interactions that are tailored for the respective voices of each character and their standing with Peter. Capturing their unique voices allowed each interaction to stand out in its own right that help build the conflict that was going inside of Peter.
With Miles we saw how the experience in the Ultimate Universe gives him the perspective of what happens if Norman is never fully dealt with. Miles knows that it could only lead to one fate for Peter. And to the credit of Spencer’s writing we do see that Peter does understand where Miles is coming from. Which we see indicated in how Peter does see Miles will be the one to step up if he fails in whatever his choice is. That level of respect between them furthers the narrative of how Peter and Miles relationship that has a mentor-protégé tone that has gotten to the point of being equals.
Following that conversation up with Gwen Stacy was a good choice. First, we see how Peter is still not, and may never, be fully comfortable with talking with the Ghost-Spider version of Gwen. There is an awkwardness at the beginning of every interaction that they have that mostly is on Peter’s part. Spencer addressing that was a good choice to frame the relationship Peter and Gwen have now.
This interaction also worked to the strength of Ghost-Spider’s Gwen’s character as she was the reality check that Peter needed. She knows better than anyone, having gone through a similar experience with her universe’s Peter Parker, that getting over a death of someone close who died in a villain attack is tough. To her credit Gwen tells Peter to get over his own baggage because he does need to get over how he thinks of his Gwen Stacy as this ideal woman who died as part of his story. It was the right amount of meta commentary that worked to further the story and actually provide progress for Peter’s character.
Which was all a good lead into the final conversation with Julia Carpenter as Madame Web. Spencer once again played into the history of not only Norman Osborn but also where Spider-Man and Madame Web stand. Julia as Madame Web is well aware how Peter is morally conflicted in what to do. She provides the perspective that by not just doing his normal good guy routine that Peter can actually end things with Norman.
Having this interaction with Madame Web be the thing that sparks Peter into action as Spider-Man made the moment bigger. Spencer built all of this up for Peter as Spider-Man to act on his own moral instincts. You can see how this was his choice at the end and no one was going to stop him from making it.
This all helps to further push the narrative that Kindred is trying to isolate Peter from everyone in his life. So far Kindred has been successful as he forced Peter into a corner to make a decision that all of his allies are against. What makes things worse for Peter is that his allies all know that this was something Peter choose to do himself. It creates an interesting sub-plot for this Kindred story to have as we do now have the Spider-Man Family getting ready to take action against Peter.
Given all of this it’ll be interesting to see how Sin Eater’s story ends up playing out. Spencer has built Sin Eater to be an unstoppable antagonist who is powerful not just because of his supernatural powers but his way with words. The army that he has literally created overnight to follow everything he says about cleansing the world of all of the people’s sins elevated Sin Eater.
The uncontrollable way Sin Eater’s followers acted does firmly position him as an antagonist. At the same time, all the arguments Miles, Gwen, and Julia make does paint Sin Eater’s end goal in the light of him being an anti-hero in this story. Targeting Norman Osborn could do a lot of good for the world. Though given how this all ties into the Kindred storyline you do wonder if there is something more sinister behind Sin Eater’s goals that we don’t know about.
Marcelo Ferreira throughout Amazing Spider-Man #48 was very solid. He provided a consistency to the story that help drive it forward. With or without the masks, Ferreira was able to tap into the emotions behind the dialogue in each interaction Peter had with his Spider-Man Family. He also did a good job adapting his style to match the different eras that the Green Goblin flashbacks took place while still maintaining his own art style. It all helped to push how there were so many thoughts running through Peter’s head in Amazing Spider-Man #48.
The Bad: As enjoyable as it was to see Peter interact with the Spider-Man Family there was one big thing that held it back from being as effective as it should have been. And that thing is the fact that Spencer has never built Miles Morales’ Spider-Man, Madame Web, Ghost-Spider, Spider-Woman, Silk, or Spider-Girl as big parts of Peter’s life. There was no build up to their appearances that make them important allies until their appearances in this issue.
It would’ve meant more if Spencer actually used some of the filler arcs we’ve had during his run to actually involved members of the Spider-Man Family featured in this issue. Without previous appearances the importance is not as high as it should’ve been if there was a more personal connection. At this point Spencer has done more to build Spider-Man’s relationship with Black Cat and J. Jonah Jameson that they may have been better choices for these reality checks. And its not like Spencer didn’t have a chance to build that personal connection with how there have been several filler arcs that could’ve been used to develop Peter’s relationship with Miles, Gwen, and the others.
Not having that build up also made the whole plan that the Spider-Man Family had to try to give Peter three different perspective come across as odd. With everything that has happened with Peter this plan just seemed out of left field. It would’ve come across better if Spencer hinted that the Spider-Man Family were planning on doing this earlier in the storyline. Without it Spencer got close to the conversation the Spider-Man Family had with each other about the plan they came up with falling flat.
It was also odd that after building them up as having big roles in Sin Eater’s plot that Norah Winters and J. Jonah Jameson are completely missing in Amazing Spider-Man #48. We don’t even see Norah trying to cover all the chaos Sin Eater is causing after she helped get his message out. Not having them appear in this issue just paints Norah and Jameson as nothing more than plot devices rather than important characters in this series.
Overall: Amazing Spider-Man #48 was a strong chapter in the “Sins Rising” storyline that added importance to what Peter Parker did at the end of this issue. Having the Spider-Man Family get involved made the choice Peter decided to go with even more personal. That choice led to an unexpected turn that creates even greater interest in what this means for the direction Nick Spencer is going with this Sin Eater storyline.
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