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Amazing Spider-Man #49 Review

Amazing Spider-Man #850

Things have gone from bad to worse for Spider-Man as he has had to fend off a returning Sin-Eater. That was made even more complicated by the fact that this newly super powered Sin-Eater is now targeting Norman Osborn. This has placed Spider-Man in the difficult position if saving Norman Osborn is the right thing to do. In the last issue of Amazing Spider-Man Peter Parker decided that he had to and jumped into the fray of what is going on in Ravencroft. With that decision made and the Spider-Man family not reacting kindly to that choice what will happen next in “Sins Rising”? Let’s find out with Amazing Spider-Man #49, which is also Amazing Spider-Man #850.

Writers: Nick Spencer (The Return Of The Green Goblin); Kurt Busiek (All You Need Is….); Tradd Moore (Four Shoes); Saladin Ahmed (A Family Affair)

Artists: Ryan Ottley (The Return Of The Green Goblin); Humberto Ramos (The Return Of The Green Goblin); Mark Bagley (The Return Of The Green Goblin); Chris Bachalo (All You Need Is….); Tradd Moore (Four Shoes); Aaron Kuder (A Family Affair)

Inkers: Cliff Rathburn (The Return Of The Green Goblin); Victor Olazaba (The Return Of The Green Goblin); John Dell (The Return Of The Green Goblin);

Colorists: Nathan Fairbairn (The Return Of The Green Goblin); Edgar Delgado (The Return Of The Green Goblin); David Curiel (The Return Of The Green Goblin); Tamra Bonvillain (Four Shoes); Frank D’Armata (A Family Affair)

Story Rating:  7 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: As Spider-Man fights off Sin-Eater’s followers Norman Osborn stares at his Green Goblin costume while talking to Peter Parker like he is a son to him.

Elsewhere Sin-Eater shoots Juggernaut with his shotgun and immediately absorbs his powers

Meanwhile, Norman finally drinks the Green Goblin serum and takes his costume. As Spider-Man is being overwhelmed by Sin-Eater’s followers numbers Green Goblin appears to back him up.

As they fight Sin-Eater’s followers Spider-Man stops Green Goblin from killing one of them. Spider-Man threatens Green Goblin that if he kills anyone there will be consequences. Green Goblin tests that by throwing one of his pumpkin bombs into a crowd of Sin-Eater followers.

As the fighting continues The Order of the Web (Miles Morales’ Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Ghost-Spider, Silk, Madame Web, and Spider-Girl) all watch as spirits using the connection they all share with Peter inside The Web Of Life And Destiny. Spider-Girl wonders why they aren’t stepping in to help Spider-Man. Madame Web reminds everyone of the vision they saw of Green Goblin killing Spider-Man and that they can only step in after Sin-Eater cleanses Norman. Ghost-Spider says that she believes they have a second option.

Eventually Sin-Eater’s followers numbers begin to overwhelm Spider-Man and Green Goblin. Sin-Eater’s followers suddenly stop fighting. Spider-Man and Green Goblin learn why as a Juggernaut Sin-Eater suddenly appears.

Juggernaut Sin-Eater offers Green Goblin salvation. Green Goblin instead says he has a cell waiting for Sin-Eater and throws pumpkin bombs at Juggernaut Sin-Eater. Juggernaut Sin-Eater takes no damage and grabs Green Goblin. Spider-Man tries to fight but Juggernaut Sin-Eater just slaps him and Green Goblin away.

Spider-Man tells Green Goblin that their best bet is to escape. Green Goblin says it won’t be easy but he has a small vessel in the underground waterway beneath Ravencroft that they could use. Green Goblin then uses a few rocket launchers to slow Juggernaut Sin-Eater down so they can get away.

Inside The Web of Life and Destiny, Ghost-Spider makes the argument that after talking with Peter she knows that this is his fight and demons that are being fought. Ghost-Spider goes on to say Peter has the right to make that choice because what makes him the best of them is that he does what he believes is right even if it meant his death.

Amazing Spider-Man #850
Ghost-Spider presents the argument for why Peter Parker made his decision in Amazing Spider-Man #49. Click for full page view.

Back in Ravencroft Juggernaut Sin-Eater quickly catches up with Spider-Man and Green Goblin. Juggernaut Sin-Eater continues to dominate the pair and gets Green Goblin in position to shoot him with his cleansing shotgun. Spider-Man acts kick and uses all his strength to bring the walls around them down on Juggernaut Sin-Eater. Spider-Man and Green Goblin get caught in all of the walls coming down.

Back inside The Web of Life and Destiny, Ghost-Spider finishes her argument by saying that there is a chance that they are being manipulated by whoever is behind Sin-Eater’s return and rise. She once again asks for a vote on what to do.

Inside Ravencroft, Spider-Man is pinned down by rubble. Green Goblin remembers how when he first fought Spider-Man that his offer to team-up was rejected. He goes on to say that when he was defeated that Spider-Man saved and gave Norman credit for helping defeat Green Goblin. Green Goblin lifts the rubble off Spider-Man and says his debt to him is repaid.

Green Goblin then takes Spider-Man to the underground waterway but before they can leave in the vessel Juggernaut Sin-Eater appears. Juggernaut Sin-Eater once again dominates the fight with Spider-Man and Green Goblin. Spider-Man spots the EMP compression generator that Norman was hiding and suggest they uses it to cause a tremor under their feet to liquefy the ground and open an opportunity for them to escape.

As Green Goblin rushes to activate the generator Spider-Man confronts Juggernaut Sin-Eater alone. Spider-Man tries to reason with Juggernaut Sin-Eater. He goes on to admit that Sin-Eater’s original death is his fault and that all of his choices have led him to be the one that truly needs cleansing above all. Juggernaut Sin-Eater says it is not his choice and slaps Spider-Man away.

As Juggernaut Sin-Eater prepares to shoot Green Goblin with his cleansing shotgun Norman is able to turn on the generator. As the ground under them liquifies Spider-Man musters all of his strength to send Juggernaut Sin-Eater further underground.

Spider-Man then uses his webs to escape before the ground resolidifies. Before he fully escapes Green Goblin appears above him and pushes him back into the ground that is still liquified.

Ghost-Spider and the rest of The Order of the Web appear to save Spider-Man from Green Goblin. Spider-Man is surprised that everyone showed up. Madame Web says that they all had a conversation on how to intervene with this Sin-Eater and Norman situation. Ghost-Spider says that she spoke up that this was something that was Spider-Man’s decision.

They then discuss what they should do with Norman. Norman smugly says he told Spider-Man things would work out. Spider-Man says they have to all leave as Juggernaut Sin-Eater will eventually escape from underground.

In the vessel Norman offers to pilot it but Spider-Man tells him to just sit down. Spider-Woman then pilots the vessel.

As they leave Norman realizes that Ghost-Spider is Gwen Stacy by smelling her and starts to creepily talk to her. Spider-Man gets pissed and slams Norman against the wall. Ghost-Spider says she doesn’t need protection and for Norman to keep talking. Norman then keeps going about how they have work ahead of them and that no matter if Ghost-Spider or who stands in his way he will eventually kill Peter.

Peter remembers all the conversations he had with Norman, Madame Web, and Miles. Spider-Man finally gets enough and opens the door to the vessel and throws Norman out.

Spider-Girl asks Spider-Man what he did. Spider-Man says he made a different choice. Madame Web says he didn’t but it’s too late now.

In a graveyard, Kindred listens in and says Madame web was correct. Kindred goes on to say that Peter saw the solution for how to deal with Norman but couldn’t allow himself to go through with it because of his principles.

Noraman is then seen coming out of the water and then suddenly grabbed back underwater.

Kindred goes on to say that Peter will have to learn one way or another from their sins because no matter how deep they are they don’t stay buried. End of main story.

The Good: Well there we have it. After all of the build up Nick Spencer has finally placed all the chess pieces on the board where he wants them to be as the beginning of his big event around the Kindred character is around the corner. Given all that happened thus far, what we saw take place in Amazing Spider-Man #49 created as much excitement as it could possible.

The big them of this entire “Sins Rising” story was how at the end of the day everything Spencer has built is based on the decisions Peter Parker has made. Whether right or wrong Peter has always had to live with the choices he’s made in his life. Whether if it was to not stop the criminal from stealing who ended up then killing his Uncle Ben or throwing Norman Osborn off the escape vessel in this issue, everything has been Peter’s choice. In spotlighting all of this we get a firm idea that whoever this Kindred character turns out to be it is someone who knows all about these decisions that Peter has made in his life.

Amazing Spider-Man #850
Spider-Man and Green Goblin team-up against Sin-Eater in Amazing Spider-Man #49. Click for full page view.

Which all made how Peter was truly fighting against himself in order to do what he believes is right in saving Norman Osborn from Sin-Eater even more interesting to watch. There was absolutely no love lost between Peter and Norman throughout Amazing Spider-Man #49. But even with that being apparent Peter as Spider-Man could not allow Sin-Eater to continue to be judge and executioner in the way he was doing things. Not doing anything about it would’ve weighed heavier on Peter’s heart.

That also made Norman an even greater antagonist for when he went full Green Goblin in this issue. As soon as he went all in with that transformation we consistently see why it is maybe a good idea for Norman to be cleansed. The guy is to warped to be redeemed if he is allowed to be free like he has been. We even see that at the end of the issue when he creeps on Ghost-Spider when he finds out she is Gwen Stacy from another universe. You are constantly questioning if saving Norman is the right thing to do.

Spencer getting into what has been driving Norman throughout his rivalry with Peter was fascinating to watch. The entire thing was well written from Norman’s point of view. You get that Norman does feel he is the protagonist and has been wronged by Peter for what he did to him when they first faced off. Being rejected when Norman as Green Goblin offered Peter to team-up was a slap in the face to someone he believes he treated as a son. At the same time, Spencer was careful not to use this as a way to get the reader to sympathize with Norman. Rather it is just another look at the incredibly sick and warped mind of Norman Osborn.

This made the transformation the Sin-Eater goes through as he absorbs Juggernaut’s power even more intriguing. Because with that physical transformation we do see how Sin-Eater truly does absorb all of his targets powers and state of mind. Sin-Eater was just as unstoppable as Juggernaut. Which brings to question if Sin-Eater was successful in cleansing Norman if he would take on all the Green Goblin characteristics. That in turn would make Sin-Eater even more dangerous than Green Goblin since he has all the other powers as well.

Which all brings to question what roles Sin-Eater and Green Goblin will serve in Kindred’s plans. It’s clear that Kindred is someone who shares a long history with Peter Parker. Kindred clearly knew what Peter would do and he has manipulated everything since first appearing to position all those he has plans for where he wants them. The final scene in the graveyard just further amplified how terrifying of a villain Kindred is.

Bringing in The Order of the Web to help conclude Peter’s decision with Norman delivered the impact it needed to. Ghost-Spider and Madame Web leading both sides of the argument for what The Order of the Web should do before they jumped in was the right move. Even if she is a Gwen Stacy from another universe, Ghost-Spider’s words hold more weight than anyone else. Her experience with her Peter Parker and her universe in general makes her understand that everything Peter is doing is what he believes is right. And we see how much her words matter as The Order of the Web do end up acting before all was said and done.

Madame Web’s reaction to Peter’s decision to throwing out Norman at the end does put into question what The Order of the Web will do in the upcoming story. This is Spencer’s first real shot at developing the greater Spider-Man Family. And given what has happened Spencer has set them up to play important roles in the upcoming Kindred event. What those roles are will be interesting to see.

As Amazing Spider-Man #49 was also Amazing Spider-Man #850 in the legacy numbering that Marvel is using all of the back-up stories were well done. Like other anniversary issues these back-up stories did help give more value to the higher price point Amazing Spider-Man #49 was. Kurt Busiek, Tradd Moore, and Saladin Ahmed all told fun stories.

Ahmed story involving Vulture and his granddaughter was the most interesting of these back-up stories. The developments did point to a bigger Vulture story that could be told later on in any of the Spider-Man comics, including Ahmed’s Miles Morales book. The potential there with the legacy of Vulture’s rivalry with Spider-Man has a lot of untapped potential.

Amazing Spider-Man #850
Norman Osborn remembers the decision Peter Parker made that created greater hatred for the hero in Amazing Spider-Man #49. Click for full page view.

With the increased page count splitting up Amazing Spider-Man #49’s main story into chapters created a better flow when we transition between artists. Especially since Ryan Ottley, Humberto Ramos, and Mark Bagley all have their own distinct art styles it allowed them to each shine with their assigned chapters. They each flowed into one another nicely. It helped that there was no time to rest throughout this issue as there was consistent action throughout the main story happening. It made the slower dialogue and inner monologue heavy scenes stand out as Ottley, Ramos, and Bagley tapped into the emotions of each character.

The Bad: Whatever Marvel may say there is no doubt that you cannot just jump into Amazing Spider-Man #49 without reading The Sins of Norman Osborn one-shot before this. There are a lot of key story beats in that one-shot that factor into where we find everyone in Amazing Spider-Man #49. It further points to the fact that this whole “Sins Rising” storyline was not properly paced out for how many chapters were needed to complete it. Which makes it clear that they used The Sins of Norman Osborn one-shot as a way to complete the story in this anniversary issue. That is poor planning by editorial and Spencer for not making it clear that an one-shot is necessary to understand the story that has been taking place in the main Amazing Spider-Man book.

Spencer also did not properly explain what The Web of Life and Destiny is all about. If this is the first time readers come across this concept introduced in the Spider-Verse event they will be lost. The powers of The Web of Life and Destiny seems to random to whatever the writer needs it to be. More explanation to why all of the Spider-Man Family members are connected in this way would’ve gone a long way into explaining where they were for the majority of this issue.

Overall: After two years of build up Nick Spencer completes all the set-up for the big Kindred storyline he has been developing since starting his Amazing Spider-Man run. Spencer did a great job centering the story around the weight of every decision that Peter Parker has made as Spider-Man. The way he finishes laying the foundation for the upcoming Kindred story with the conclusion of “Sins Rising” in Amazing Spider-Man #49 created a lot of intriguing sub-plots for that event.

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