Amazing Spider-Man is now on the road for its next big event in Sinister War. Before we get to that big event Spider-Man must deal with the fallout of King’s Ransom that ended with Boomerang betraying him and Wilson Fisk bringing his son, The Rose, back to life. Now with the super villain scene in New York City looking like it will be changing once again how will Spider-Man and his allies respond to King’s Ransom’s fallout? Let’s find out with Amazing Spider-Man #66.
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Mark Bagley
Inker: John Dell
Colorist: Brian Reber
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: At his office Wilson Fisk reunites with his son, Richard Fisk (aka The Rose).
Meanwhile Baron Mordo continues to use his magic to torture Kindred to get answers from him. The Spot suddenly appears and knocks out Baron Mordo. Norman Osborn has Ravencroft guards take Baron Mordo away. Norman then goes to check on Kindred (while addressing him as Harry) to see if his son is safe.
Elsewhere Spider-Man wonders how he is going to tell the New Avengers (Luke Cage, Spider-Woman, Wolverine, Hawkeye, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist) about The Rose. While talking about the situation with The Rose and the growing power of Wilson Fisk the New Avengers decide it is time they did something about everything.
Over at Minton’s Playhouse, Robbie and Randy Robertson repair their relationship with Robbie giving his blessing to his son to date Janice Lincoln (The Beetle).
While Randy and Janice go on their date Tombstone appears and calls for a truce between him and Robbie for their kids sake. Robbie agrees.
Elsewhere MJ is getting swarmed by media and fans. MJ is eventually able to get in her car.
The car suddenly drives off fast as MJ discovers her driver is James Beverley (Overdrive). James tells MJ that Carlie Cooper has disappeared and he has been unable to locate her. Hearing what James tells her MJ knows something isn’t right about Carlie’s disappearance.
Back at Ravencroft Norman looks over his son and tells Harry he feels it is not to late to save him from being Kindred. Kindred agrees it is not to late as the reason he fought through Hell was so they could be father and son again. Kindred goes on to say that the reason he cleansed Norman of his sins is to show his father that Norman Osborn is nothing more than a broken, scared, and defenseless person. Kindred then begins to slam Norman all around the room until Norman is knocked out.
Over at the Threats & Menances office J. Jonah Jameson is not happy that Spider-Man cut their connection. Fueled by anger Jonah tells Norah Winters that he is going to create his own hero.
Meanwhile, as he is heling Aunt May and her crew clean up the damage to the FEAST Center, Peter Parker reflects on everything that has happened now that he doesn’t have roommates (as Randy and Janice are moving in together and Fred Myers is back to being a full-time villain as Boomerang). Peter then gets a text from Betty Brant that she wants to meet up. Peter changes into his Spider-Man costume and heads to meet up with Betty.
At a coffee shop Peter is stunned to find out that Betty is pregnant.
Somewhere unknown Carlie Cooper wakes up and finds herself locked inside a jail cell. Someone else is in the cell with Carlie and they tell her that there is no escape. Carlie takes a closer look and finds out the person in the cell with her is Harry Osborn. End of issue.
The Good: With Amazing Spider-Man #66 Nick Spencer gives a couple major storylines time to breathe. We are shown a clear road to the upcoming Sinister War as things around Kindred continue to be at the forefront of everything that Nick Spencer is building. Along the way Peter Parker’s life in and out of being Spider-Man is shown to be changing.
One of the things that King’s Ransom quietly did was reset Peter Parker’s personal life. The big thing is that Peter is now without his roommates, Randy Robertson and Fred Myers. Though Fred was a bigger part of Peter’s supporting cast up to this point in Spencer’s run Randy has been a constant presence as well. Now without the two people he has been rolling with for the last several months, in Marvel Universe time, we find a Peter who does feel alone. Even though Mary Jane Watson is back one thing Peter seems to have realized is how valuable having people that are just his friends is.
Which transitioned well into how we do see Peter jump at the chance to catch-up with Betty Brant. Betty has been in Peter’s life longer than anyone. This made the surprise that Betty drops of being pregnant hit how Spencer intends. Just like Peter we haven’t seen Betty in a while so this re-appearance creates many questions. Hopefully those questions don’t involve Kindred and lead to a running sub-plot of Peter being a supportive friend with Betty and whoever she may currently be with.
On the Spider-Man side of things Spencer does a good job keeping Spider-Man’s New Avengers friends in the fold. I’m glad that we will possibly see Luke Cage, Spider-Woman, Wolverine, Hawkeye, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist take active role in the current story around Wilson Fisk. Up to this point the New York City Mayor Wilson Fisk story has only had Spider-Man and Daredevil deal with this situation. Bringing in other heroes to get involved now that Wilson Fisk is even more dangerous with his son, Richard Fisk/The Rose, back in the equation will help the story have a larger scale when it comes back to the forefront after Sinister War.
Now for the biggest development of Amazing Spider-Man #66, the return of Brand New Day Harry Osborn. Since it was confirmed that Kindred was Harry Osborn something was off with how the character talked about digging himself out of Hell to become what he is. Especially since that did not make sense since last we saw Harry Osborn he was back to rebuilding his family with Liz Allen before Nick Spencer took over Amazing Spider-Man.
But now it looks like the answer is that we have two versions of Harry Osborn that exist due to the deal with the devil that was made with Mephisto during One More Day. We have the Harry Osborn who has been around since Brand New Day. Then there is the Harry Osborn who was dead and in Hell. Given that Mephisto is Marvel’s version of the devil it will be interesting to find out if because of how Harry died in the pre-Brand New Day if that forced Mephisto to create a new version of the character to complete the One More Day deal.
This reveal places the interaction between Kindred and Norman Osborn before Brand New Day Harry Osborn showing up in a new context. Along with his hatred for his father the Kindred version of Harry Osborn is also motivated by the journey he took to get out of Hell. Going through such an experience made him an even more dangerous creature. It all further adds to the mystery to what Kindred’s endgame is.
Mark Bagley once again delivers his solid artwork in Amazing Spider-Man #66. The artwork is smooth as he is able to get across how there are many things running through Peter Parker’s mind in and out of his Spider-Man costume. He also does a great job making Kindred appear terrifying anytime he is on screen.
The Bad: The J. Jonah Jameson sub-plot just continues to fall completely flat. Spencer does nothing to get behind whatever story he is planning around Jameson. All Spencer is doing is trying to figure out how to keep Jameson the same cranky character he always is. And his outburst just shows this as the character really never gets any sort of growth like so many other Spider-Man characters have been able to get.
How much time that’s been wasted on Jameson also just reminds you how bad Spencer has been about developing the many running sub-plots during his Amazing Spider-Man run. More often than not it looks as though Spencer forgets about certain characters or sub-plots until it suddenly springs to mind they exist. The Carlie Cooper part of Amazing Spider-Man #66 is an example of this.
Just as he did with the Randy Robertson and Janice Lincoln relationship, Spencer tries to use the budding relationship between Carlie and James Beverley to make you care about the former’s appearance. But this just doesn’t happen since both characters have been non-existent since there’s been no development for the characters. This makes Carlie’s whole situation be nothing more than just another damsel in distress role that she is serving to this story. In turn we get another example of how Spencer is his own worst enemy as he introduces so many different sub-plots that there isn’t enough time between big Amazing Spider-Man storylines for them to naturally develop.
Overall: While the developments around Kindred are what this issue will be remembered for it is the focus around where Peter Parker is both personally and as Spider-Man where Amazing Spider-Man #66 shines. You get the feeling everything that happens here is the calm before the storm. Now if Nick Spencer can get a better handle on giving time to develop sub-plots beyond their introduction this series would be even better.
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