Amazing Spider-Man #54 Review

Amazing Spider-Man #54 Cover

With all the cards on the table now that Peter Parker has learned that the person behind the Kindred identity is none other than his best friend Harry Osborn “Last Remains” can take a completely new turn. This revelation is sure to change how Peter views everything that has happened to him at the hands of Kindred. Though what this means for Harry Osborn’s plot for Peter is still a question. On top of that we have everyone that is connected to Peter and Spider-Man who still factor into everything going on with “Last Remains.” Let’s find out what happens next with Amazing Spider-Man #54.

Writer: Nick Spencer

Artist: Mark Bagley

Inker: John Dell

Colorist: Edgar Delgado

Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: Peter Parker is shocked to find out Harry Osborn is Kindred. Peter tries to reason with Harry that whatever is going on they can get through it together so no one has to get hurt. Harry states that he doesn’t want anyone to get hurt which is why he has to stop Peter.

Harry goes into full Kindred mode and slams Peter against a wall. Peter reminds Harry that he has defeated him every time they’ve fought.

Spider-Man and Kindred then go back-and-forth with who gets the upper hand in the fight. During the fight Peter calls out Harry for not growing past his daddy issues. Peter goes on to say Harry made a mistake to go after his friends and all the people he cares about. He then says Harry should’ve left him dead.

Harry as Kindred rises up with no damage shown from all of Spider-Man’s attacks. Kindred then says this was never about killing Peter, rather it was to make him understand.

Kindred then proceeds to beat the crap out of Spider-Man while proclaiming himself a demon. Kindred then grabs a rock and says he will show Peter what Hell looks like as a place absent of light or hope.

Kindred then beats Peter to death and immediately brings him back. Kindred continues to kill Peter and bring him back to life over and over again. With each death Peter gets a glimpse of his college days with Harry, Gwen Stacy, Flash Thompson, and Mary Jane Watson. As all those memories flood back to him Peter becomes even more emotionally broken each time he is brought back to life.

Amazing Spider-Man #54

Kindred kills and resurrects Peter Parker over and over again in Amazing Spider-Man #54. Click for full page view.

Eventually Kindred stops and says that dying is easy. He goes on to say that what is hard is the punishment you go through in Hell as you’re tortured by the sins they commit. Kindred then proclaims that he has done nothing to the people Peter loves. Rather everything that has happened to them is Peter’s fault.

Kindred then opens a room filled with mirrors. As he does that Kindred reminds Peter that all he did was bring Sin-Eater back. From their Peter would not stand to the side and let Sin-Eater cleanse Norman Osborn because Peter thought he knew better then everyone. Kindred goes on to rather than confront his own decisions Peter has chosen to bury his sins that include trying to make a deal with the Devil.

Peter notices in one of the mirrors Sin-Eater and Morlun are shown fighting. Kindred says this is an example of how Peter’s made things worse.

Kindred then shows how The Order of the Web are now close to their location with Sin-Eater hiding in the shadows nearby. Peter reminds Kindred he promised to let the others live if they met. Kindred says this is just another consequence of Peter’s decisions as it was Peter who led them to their location.

Kindred then asks Peter to confess what else he has done to cause others to suffer. When Peter says he doesn’t know what he is talking about Kindred brings up how not everyone in Peter’s life is strong enough to fight back. Peter is then shocked at what he sees in another mirror and begs Harry to not do anything.

We then see in one of the mirrors that Mary Jane has arrived at the graveyard Spider-Man and Kindred are at. Peter can do nothing but yell out “NOOOO!” as Kindred continues to demand that Peter confess. End of issue.

The Good: Amazing Spider-Man #54 got straight to the point what this whole Kindred Saga has been about as Harry Osborn calls Peter Parker out on all of his actions. There is no more ambiguity in what Harry’s motivation as Kindred has been with what we see him do to Peter throughout this issue. While the endgame still has room to be developed this was a major box to check in the overall story that “Last Remains” is telling.

Nick Spencer and Mark Bagley did a great job making you feel every death that Peter goes through as Kindred continuously kills him and brings him back to life. When it started it did have a feeling of what we just saw in the previous issue. But as each death and resurrection happened you started feeling the pain that Peter was going through with all these experiences.

This is where you really see how bringing Bagley to draw both Amazing Spider-Man #53 and #54 has benefitted the story Spencer has been telling. Spencer plays into Bagley’s strengths as an artist that knows better than just about anyone how to tap into the classic Spider-Man designs. There is an emotional connection you feel when we see the flashes of Peter’s college days alongside Kindred constantly yelling “AGAIN” every time he brings Peter back to life. It adds an extra layer of gruesomeness to what we witness that works because Spencer and Bagley work so well together.

The reaction that you have as a reader when we get to all these death and resurrection works so well because of what came before this happened. Spencer kicking off Amazing Spider-Man #54 with Peter and Harry having a back-and-forth fight while they aired out their grievances was grey build up. Having gone through what he has Peter no longer felt like he could hold back his thoughts on why Harry also ends up falling into darkness like this Kindred transformation. There was honesty as Peter called Harry out on being a guy who never grew past his daddy issues with Norman Osborn.

That honesty also extended to everything that Harry said as Kindred to Peter. As Kindred what Harry was getting at was how because of Peter’s whole “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility” mantra he got from Uncle Ben its caused him to make decisions that impact everyone around him. While Peter always has the best intentions in mind even when he sacrifices things in his personal life there is no doubt they’ve had major ramifications on others.

Amazing Spider-Man #54

Peter Parker is left shocked by what Kindred’s words mean for those he loves in Amazing Spider-Man #54. Click for full page view.

Having that layer of truth to what Harry says as Kindred makes you question even more what the endgame is going to be for “Last Remains.” Because as we see The Order of the Web, Sin-Eater, and MJ arriving at the graveyard where Spider-Man and Kindred are having are having their battle you have a genuine concern for everyone. There is absolutely no telling what each of these characters will do or factor into how “Last Remains” will end. Which plays into how we don’t know the full extent of Harry’s endgame as Kindred.

The Bad: As I’ve mentioned in other reviews for the chapters of “Last Remains,” the one spot where Spencer is dropping the ball is how he is integrating all the other characters involved in this story arc. Every time we see The Order of the Web, Sin-Eater, or any other character besides Peter Parker and Harry Osborn’s Kindred it feels more like an advertisement of the Amazing Spider-Man .LR tie-in issues.

That same thing happens in Amazing Spider-Man #54 as we haven’t seen Mary Jane Watson until now. There is absolutely no excuse for Spencer not to have included MJ in some way in previous chapters of “Last Remains” main story. There have been plenty of opportunities to have her appear in a panel here and there in a few Amazing Spider-Man issues. Instead,

this, like anything that does not have to do with Peter or Harry, is left to the .LR tie-in issues to show us. Which is just a cheap way to make fans fork over more money for a story that Spencer has been developing since he started his run-on Amazing Spider-Man.

Overall: Amazing Spider-Man #54 immediately delivers on Peter Parker learning who Kindred is and what that means for the impact “Last Remains” has on the franchise. Nick Spencer and Mark Bagley work well off each other’s strengths as creators to tell a story that had all the emotional impact you expect this showdown between Spider-Man and Kindred to have. The way things end leaves you with such a sense of uncertainty with how things will turn out when all is said and done with “Last Remains.”

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