Nick Spencer’s ‘Last Remains’ Amazing Spider-Man event has had its fair share of ups and downs. Amazing Spider-Man #56 in particular highlighted the biggest problem around this now thirteen part story. ‘Last Remains’ has gotten to the point of just being exhausting from how long its gone on, which doesn’t even count the 49 issues that built up Harry Osborn as the villainous Kindred. Now how much more of ‘Last Remains’ is there left to be told? Let’s find out with Amazing Spider-Man #57.
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Mark Bagley
Inkers: John Dell, Andrew Hennesy, and Andy Owens
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg and Edgar Delgado
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Starting with a flashback to after Mayor Wilson Fisk’s task force takes Kindred away Mary Jane Watson is shown waiting for Peter Parker to appear. Peter exits the tomb and he immediately breaks down, admitting he thought she died earlier.
Spider-Woman, Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Ghost-Spider, Silk, Spider-Girl, and Madame Web confront Peter over what happened with Kindred. Peter admits that he does not know which is not good enough explanation to the others. Madame Web calms everyone down by saying that while they all deserve answers now isn’t the time.
In the present Spider-Man (Peter Parker) demands answers about what happened the cemetery from Norman Osborn. Norman tries to calm Spider-Man down. Spider-Man already knows what Norman is going to say about Sin-Eater cleansing him and says Norman has done this before only to return to being Green Goblin again. Norman begs Spider-Man to help him save Harry Osborn.
Back at the cemetery Madame Web talks with Spider-Woman, Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Ghost-Spider, Silk, and Spider-Girl about what happened with Kindred. They all decide to stick together as The Order of the Web to prepare for what comes next.
Back at Ravencroft, Spider-Man (Peter Parker) tells Norman that he is fine with letting Kindred rot in his cage as he now believes there is no helping Harry anymore. Spider-Man then says he is done with the Osborn Family as a whole and starts walking away.
Norman tries to once again get Peter to help him save Harry. Spider-Man has none of it as he is done giving second chances to Norman and Harry.
When Norman grabs Spider-Man’s arm so he doesn’t walk away Peter turns around and beats the crap out of Norman, while remembering all the deaths he experienced at Kindred’s hands.
Spider-Man stops before he kills Norman and swings away in horror over what he just did.
As Spider-Man reflects over what happened, Kindred is shown being able to smile after what he saw from Peter and Norman’s confrontation.
Elsewhere Carlie Cooper is shown making sure all the dead bodies that Kindred had dug up aren’t damaged or manipulated in any way as a favor to Peter. As she is looking over everything Carlie discovers something that freaks her out.
Carlie immediately calls MJ but only gets her voicemail. As she tries to warn MJ about what she found one of Kindred’s demonic centipedes attacks her.
Over at his apartment Peter quietly enters his room and tries to not wake MJ up. MJ still wakes up and asks Peter if its over. Peter says “No. No, it isn’t.”
The Good: Amazing Spider-Man #57 concludes ‘Last Remains’ by showcasing the best and worst of this entire story arc. On one end, we do get to see how impactful the damage that Harry Osborn caused as Kindred was. On the other end, there are story beats that Amazing Spider-Man #57 hit that feel unearned even after how many issues have taken place.
All the present day stuff involving Peter Parker and Norman Osborn was fascinating to see. Both Peter and Norman showed us how differently Harry impacted the world around him. That is particularly clear with these two characters as they come out of ‘Last Remains’ on opposite ends of the spectrum. The ends that they do end up in is what is most intriguing about where Peter and Norman are shown to be.
With Peter we finally see how going through all the deaths and resurrection at the hands of Harry as Kindred has done a number on him mentally. Throughout Peter’s bursts of anger over how he feels about Harry and Norman, Nick Spencer puts over the idea of how done Peter wants to be. This was too much for even him to go through. Even if he doesn’t want to admit it, what he has gone through in ‘Last Remains’ has changed him.
Which makes the fact that we still see Peter not take responsibility of how everything went down in ‘Last Remains’ an interesting choice. As Harry mentioned, all Kindred wanted was to hear Peter admit he was responsible for the things that happened to everyone in his circle. But because of what Harry as Kindred did to him Peter sense of betrayal over someone who he called his best friend overrides whatever responsibility over the events of ‘Last Remains’ he would normally accept.
Making the outburst throughout the present day scenes in Amazing Spider-Man #57 work better was how Spencer used past storylines to strengthen Peter’s argument. Even with Norman showing signs of changing for the better Peter knows better than anyone not to trust this sudden turn. We’ve seen it far too often with Norman that as soon as Peter and the others let their guard down that the Green Goblin will suddenly show up to destroy their lives. Laying down all those truth bombs made you understand why, along with the deaths and resurrections he went through, that Peter would react in the way he did.
This also makes the state of Norman Osborn at the end of ‘Last Remains’ create even more questions for what Spencer is planning in the future. As Peter mentioned, this isn’t the first time Norman’s character has gone through an amnesia story with his Green Goblin side purged from his system. Because of this we are left wondering what Norman will do and if he will try to help Harry. Especially when you consider that Norman also has this partnership with Wilson Fisk that seems to have its own unknown endgame to it.
The Order of the Web confronting Peter over what happened with Kindred was also well done. You understand the frustration that Ghost-Spider feels over Peter continuing to avoid being completely honest with them. As a reader you feel exactly that same way as we know that Peter is making a mistake in not brining his Spider-Man Family in to help him out from the start. Instead Peter is leaving everything on his shoulders when he shouldn’t. Which made Madame Web calming the situation down by saying they don’t need all the answers now even more ominous.
Mark Bagley once again delivers his always consistent artwork throughout Amazing Spider-Man #57. Seeing Bagley drawing a Spider-Man comic book is such comfort food. You immediately feel engrossed by the world through the way Bagley draws everything that happens. The way he worked in Peter’s death and resurrections while he beat the crap out of Norman made this much more impactful. That added to how much pain Peter is going through, which we see through the way Peter looks in the final panel of Amazing Spider-Man #57.
The Bad: Where Amazing Spider-Man #57 falls apart is with where we end with Kindred’s story for now. There is a feeling that we didn’t ever come very far even with how long Spencer has been working up to and on this big event. The ending does tease more but with how many chapters ‘Last Remains’ there is a feeling of not wanting to see Kindred anymore.
A big reason for feeling that way is that Spencer never fully develops what Harry Osborn’s endgame as Kindred is. Sure, it is interesting that Harry wants both Peter and Norman to accept responsibility for their actions. But that is an incredibly weak endgame if that is all he wants. There should’ve been something more substantial, whether it was going all in with the teases to Mephisto or something else. But since we don’t get into more of the full endgame for Kindred we are left feeling like there wasn’t much progress from when we started ‘Last Remains.’
The formation of The Order of the Web also continued to fall flat. Why this sub-plot falls flat is because Spencer does not make it feel like a key part of his run. Instead, the decision made to keep The Order of the Web going just came across as marketing for another series that Spencer won’t be working on. Which was exactly the problem with anything not involving Peter Parker throughout ‘Last Remains.’ Even with how many comic book issues he was given Spencer treated plot elements like The Order of the Web formation as so unimportant. Which leads to these moments that are supposed to be monumental not hitting the way Spencer intends because of how underdeveloped its been.
Its also odd how Spencer never circles back to providing more of a tease for the Norman Osborn and Wilson Fisk partnership. This is one of the other plot elements that was just introduced for convenience sake because of Spencer wrote himself into a corner of how to end things. Which goes back to how Spencer had so many grand plans with ‘Last Remains’ that the entire arc became bloated with sub-plots that never properly developed in a way that felt rewarding to what we are put through as the reader.
Overall: Amazing Spider-Man #57 concludes the ‘Last Remains’ as an example of how much of a mixed bag this storyline was. When it comes to how this story challenged Peter Parker we see how ‘Last Remains’ shines. The problem is that there are so many other things about this story that either worked or fell flat. Not having consistency with everything that Nick Spencer had in play created an uneven reading experience when all was said and done with ‘Last Remains.’
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