The Amazing Spider-Man series is entering into a future where we do not know what will happen next in the lives of Peter Parker and the supporting cast of this series. Kindred has thrown a massive curveball into things with nothing coming out being the same before the ‘Last Remains.’ Every character has come out changed after what Harry Osborn did as Kindred. Now the question will be is how everyone, especially Peter Parker, responds to being put through such deep horrors by someone they saw family and a friend? Let’s find out with Amazing Spider-Man #58.
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Marcelo Ferreira
Inker: Wayne Faucher
Colorist: Morry Hollowell
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: With thoughts of what Kindred did to him Spider-Man pushes through all his injuries to continue fighting the Inner Demons gang.
Sometime earlier, at the FEAST Project center Aunt May is shown helping Martin Li out. Martin talks about his past as Mr. Negative and how he is now putting them all in danger again. Martin reveals that he had Sin-Eater cleanse him but that turned out to be temporary as his sins are now searching him out to return him to who he was. A scared Martin tells Aunt May that he isn’t sure how long he can hold out not turning back into his former Mr. Negative self.
As he says that the Inner Demons gang is shown gathering outside.
Elsewhere, at Liz Allen’s home, after catching up for a bit Peter Parker reveals everything that happened with Harry Osborn. This breaks Liz is as she does not want to believe that Kindred, who is in custody, is Harry. Normie enters the room having heard everything. Normie actually believes Peter that his dad turned back into a monster.
To prove this Normie opens a secret room that he discovered his dad had in their home that is filled with Green Goblin weapons. Liz is lost at what to do after these revelations. Peter says he wants to get Liz and Normie somewhere safe.
Before they can leave Norman Osborn appears and quickly realizes Peter told Liz everything with how he is received by them. Norman requests to talk to Peter privately.
In the hallway Peter slams Norman to the wall as he reminds Norman about being warned to stay away from everyone he cares about. Norman says he is trying to honor Peter’s wishes but that what is going on involves someone he loves. Norman then reveals that he overheard Wilson Fisk talking about allowing a crime family carry out an attack the FEAST Project center.
Peter yells out to Liz that he promises to return soon and immediately takes off as Spider-Man to save Aunt May.
Outside the FEAST Project center the demonic form Mr. Negative’s sins have taken on swirl around the building. The Inner Demons bust into the building and immediately search for Martin and Aunt May.
Just as they find Martin and Aunt May hiding Spider-Man appears to fight the Inner Demons. Spider-Man does his best to hold the gang off but is heavily injured during the fight with the Inner Demons.
Back at Ravencroft, Wilson Fisk reminds Kindred of when they met in Paris and how Fisk was left begging Kindred but was denied.
A member of the Inner Demons shows up to reveal that his master knows what Fisk wants and that they will need more than just the Tablet of Life and Destiny that Mr. Negative can help them find. End of issue.
The Good: After the disappointing post-mortem chapters for ‘Last Remains’ Nick Spencer gets back to what has made his run so engaging with strong character work in Amazing Spider-Man #58. In one issue we get to see how far of an impact Harry Osborn as Kindred had on the lives of those connected to Peter Parker. From supporting characters to villains, Spencer is able to establish what the immediate future for this series will be post-‘Last Remains.’
Bringing in Liz Allen was a fantastic choice. The way Peter Parker and Liz Allen act in the beginning comes across as two old friends starting to catch up. Spencer does a very good job playing into the fact that this is the first time we are seeing Liz in his run on Amazing Spider-Man. It was a good way to set the tone and remind the reader how Peter and Liz have always been close friends.
Seeing Peter and Liz reunion start out this way made the truth bomb that the former had to drop on the latter was even more heartbreaking. Spencer played this reveal about Harry Osborn being Kindred to Liz very well. We didn’t need to hear Peter go over all the details of the ‘Last Remains’ event while keeping his Spider-Man secret intact. We all know what Peter would say in this moment and Spencer used that to keep the story moving at a good pace. This allowed this segment of Amazing Spider-Man #58 be focused on how Liz took in the news.
Normie Osborn, Harry and Liz’s son, reaction to his father’s villainous actions was surprising. Even though Spencer explained why Normie did not react the same way Liz did there was something off about this revelation. It felt almost too convenient that Normie would find his father’s secret room and take the news so well. I’ll give Spencer the benefit of the doubt that this is part of a bigger plot point around Kindred because of how well he did with the way Peter and Liz were written in this scene.
The whole turn for Norman Osborn also continues to be an interesting wild card in all of this that Spencer is making the most out of. Amazing Spider-Man #58 was a much better showing for this turn from Norman than previous issues. You are still left wondering how honest Norman is being with helping Peter and Harry through all of this. But at least with how he was written here we do see why we could possibly believe him.
Norman’s characterization in Amazing Spider-Man #58 works well off the current story around Martin Li post-‘Sins Rising.’ Unlike other villains who immediately went back to their old ways after Sin-Eater killed himself it looks like Martin is honestly trying to fight off going back to being Mr. Negative. The torture of realizing the pain he put others through came across as very honest.
This made the fact that we do see the Mr. Negative side of Martin Li manifest in the demonic spirit form even more intriguing for multiple reasons. For one it does bring to question if Martin does not go back to his old life if someone else in the Inner Demons will take on being Mr. Negative. That is something that seems to be implied with how the current leader of the Inner Demons talked with Wilson Fisk at the end of the issue. That could create an even more dangerous situation for the current gang war brewing in New York City.
The other interesting thing that this demonic spirit form that Mr. Negative took on is it brings to question what really happened to the Green Goblin side of Norman Osborn. Because as we see with Mr. Negative, it is likely that the Green Goblin side of Norman is wandering the Earth looking for its host again. This could very well play into Kindred’s plan to torture both Peter and Norman further by maximizing the impact of when the latter returns to being the Green Goblin in the future.
Marcelo Ferreira provided solid artwork throughout Amazing Spider-Man #58. His art style for this issue very much reminded me of Mark Bagley’s style, which is a good thing. He hit the emotional mark to make you feel how heartbroken Liz Allen was when Peter Parker told her about Harry Osborn. The brief amount of action we do get here also work to show how much Spider-Man struggled to defend Aunt May and Martin Li while fighting a large number of Inner Demons’ members.
The Bad: The one part of Amazing Spider-Man #58 that did not completely work was the Wilson Fisk part of the story. Going back to the ‘True Companion’ arc Spencer has not done a good job with putting over the importance of the Tablet of Life and Destiny that Wilson Fisk has been after. That arc morphed more into a story about getting GOG over as part of the Spider-Man franchise than progressing the arc Spencer has been telling with Wilson Fisk. The way Spencer returns to this arc does have the impact it should because of that.
The additional connection between Wilson Fisk and Kindred did not work as intended. This has been one of the bigger problems with the story revolving Kindred as Spencer just likes to throw one curve ball after another hoping that the umpire will call strike. The problem is that Spencer just misses the strike zone with this revelation as the connection between Wilson Fisk and Kindred came across as a very last-minute decision. It just felt like another instance of Spencer looking for ways to extend the Kindred plotline beyond the point of when it should conclude.
This also speaks to how it does feel like we are in a never-ending cycle of sub-plots being introduced since Spencer started his run on Amazing Spider-Man. At some point it would be nice to get some form of conclusion to several ongoing sub-plots before we begin new ones. That would make the whole Kindred Saga that Spencer’s entire run is based around to be a better reading experience. Right now we are just given more sub-plots on top of a pile of other ongoing sub-plots Spencer is constantly introduced.
Overall: Amazing Spider-Man #58 was a good return to form after ‘Last Remains’ concluded to mixed results. The scene between Peter Parker and Liz Allen steals the show with how much emotion was packed in this scene. The involvement of Mr. Negative in this story also added an interesting wrinkle to the greater Kindred storyline that is coming out of ‘Last Remains.’ Hopefully the sense of urgency we get here is more of we get from Nick Spencer’s run moving forward.
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