While the Sinister War mini-series came to an end last week the Sinister War event continues on in Amazing Spider-Man. After Spider-Man, with unexpected help from Doctor Otto Octavius, was able to defeat all of the various Sinister Six groups that Kindred sent after him. Now with that taken care of Spider-Man can focus on putting an end to things with Kindred. Though that won’t be easy as Kindred has also set their sights on Mary Jane Watson and Norman Osborn at the same time. How will the Sinister War continue on? Let’s find out with Amazing Spider-Man #73.
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artists: Ze Carlos, Carlos Gomez, and Marcelo Ferreira
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Story Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Spider-Man pushes through his injuries to get back to Kindred’s hideout. He spots Kindred and chases after them. Kindred ends up disappearing into one o the mirrors. Spider-Man goes through the same mirror and ends up in front of a building in Paris, France.
Elsewhere Mary Jane Watson is shocked that Kindred is Gwen Stacy.
In Mendel Stromm’s secret lab, the video message from Harry Osborn reveals to Norman Osborn that the containers contain clones of Sarah and Gabriel Stacy. Harry says he has wanted to reveal the truth to Norman for a long time.
Flashing back to years ago, Harry continues his addiction to the Goblin Serum and figures out the perfect plan to make his father proud of him. Harry as Green Goblin works with Chameleon to create life-model decoys of Richard and Mary Parker to torture Peter Parker by forcing him to witness their deaths. Harry then works with Chameleon and Mendel Stromm to create clone children combining Norman Osborn and Gwen Stacy’s DNA.
In the present, Norman is shocked by this. Harry taunts his dad for believing he ever slept with and had children with Gwen Stacy. Harry goes on to reveal that he worked with Mysterio to administer hypnotic suggestions piped into Norman’s mansion in order to make Norman believe he had kids named Sarah and Gabriel Stacy even though in reality Harry is his only child.
Elsewhere, Carlie Cooper is stunned by seeing a Harry Osborn corpse in front of her and Harry. Harry, remembering his death, admits he knows what is going on and where it all leads.
Back at Stromm’s secret lab, Norman realizes everything about Harry’s death was all faked by Mysterio. Norman tries to convince Harry that he did die as hero who was loved.
Elsewhere, Kindred reveals to MJ that Sarah Stacy was nothing more than a vessel. Kindred clarifies this statement by saying that the aging of the Sarah and Gabriel Stacy clones so they constantly rapidly aged and died. Kindred says that eventually a pair of the Sarah and Gabriel clones met Peter and MJ so things ended up changing.
MJ doesn’t believe this as she remembers Gwen telling her about the affair with Norman. Kindred reveals this was all a hypnotic suggestion planted by Mysterio back when MJ was going to therapy.
Kindred then transforms their face back to Harry and says he knows that having your sins staring back at you is difficult as it reminds you of the people you let down. MJ tries to reason with Harry but he angrily reminds her their name is Kindred.
Kindred then goes on to reveal that the American Son clone of Gabriel Stacy was finally the perfect clone but had the flaw of not being able to reconcile with the Harry Osborn they encountered. Kindred, back to looking like Sarah Stacy, says that they now have things right so MJ and the others can face her sins.
Over in Hotel Inferno in Las Vegas, Mephisto tells Doctor Strange that they have one last wager and it concerns the virtue of a hero for the corruption of a soul. End of issue.
The Good: After reading Amazing Spider-Man #73 I have been left conflicted. Even after reading this issue several times the same conflicted emotions are felt at the end. On one end I am extremely happy with how Nick Spencer was able to explain away the worst Spider-Man story of all time. Then on the other end I’m still left wondering if the endgame for Spencer’s Amazing Spider-Man run is worth all the build up.
On a positive note, Amazing Spider-Man #73 is the best issue of this event since Sinister War #1 kicked everything off. That is all simply based on the fact that Nick Spencer was able to do the impossible and make the horrendous Sins Past storyline into something that works to push Kindred as the ultimate Spider-Man villain. And as much as I have wiped the memory of Sins Past and anything related to that storyline ever happening I can’t run away from the fact it is part of Spider-Man’s continuity. So I’m glad that Spencer was able to find a way to make some logical sense in the context of Kindred’s entire endgame.
What was particularly impressive about it was how Spencer was able to weave together several character arcs from the past to make it all work. The stories from past creative teams like Mary Jane Watson going to therapy with a therapist she didn’t know was Mysterio and Harry Osborn’s heroic death to be all part of the larger Kindred plan. Using so much of Spider-Man’s continuity shows that Kindred’s plot was something that took place over several years, if not a decade.
It all coming back to how Harry was able to work with Mysterio and Mendel Stromm to trick Norman Osborn and MJ to think the former slept with and had kids with Gwen Stacy was executed well. Especially considering that in Sins Past it was only Norman and MJ who knew about Sarah and Gabriel Stacy it makes sense that it worked to trick Peter. Because while Peter wouldn’t trust Norman he has ultimate trust in MJ so implanting this story about Sarah and Gabriel Stacy works. It also is kept simple enough with only two people in MJ and Norman being targeted that makes it understandable why it was easy for Kindred to get away with it.
After they have worked together on Amazing Spider-Man for a while now Ze Carlos, Carlos Gomez, and Marcelo Ferreira have been able to create consistency with their artwork. The three have made adjustments in their styles so that the flow of the story. The artwork for the flashbacks that explained Harry’s plan involving how he was responsible for Sins Past.
The Bad: As much as I will now forever appreciate Spencer for officially undoing the horrendous Sins Past storyline Amazing Spider-Man #73 did not do anything to progress the Sinister War storyline. We just got revelation on Kindred’s part but you never feel any closer to the endgame than when we started. Yet again Spencer relies on the shock factor to drive the impact of Sinister War rather than creating a story that comes across as a satisfying culmination of everything he has done over the course of writing close to 100 issues of Spider-Man stories.
In reality Spencer just makes the entire Kindred story even more convoluted than it was before. You are now left wondering what exactly is Kindred. Is he a demonic version of Harry Osborn who came back from Hell? Is it all an illusion Harry had Mysterio create from the beginning? These type of questions are way to big to introduce right at the end that already complicates the story that didn’t need to get more complicated.
Now Spencer just leaves it open to just say every story since Harry faked his death is Kindred’s doing. Especially with how much build up there has been around Kindred’s actions everything we learn in Amazing Spider-Man #73 almost makes everything else in Spencer’s run not mean as much. The Sins Past revelation supersedes everything else in a negative way for the rest of the current run. Especially since Harry/Sarah as Kindred never reference all the other things they have done to show how their plan culminated to what is happening now.
Also, given everything Peter Parker has gone through during Sinister War it is extremely disappointing how useless the four issue Sinister War mini-series has become. Spencer does very little to make the Sinister War mini-series feel important as the only thing it explains is why Peter as Spider-Man is so injured. In reality the Sinister War mini-series could’ve just been one oversized issue like the Chameleon Conspiracy, Kings Ransom, and Sins Rising storylines got.
Which all goes back to how Spencer really did just make Kindred’s endgame story overly complicated. And it did not need to be like this. Because as Amazing Spider-Man #73 showed there was already content for Spencer to mine to present a streamlined story that brought together stories like Sins Past, One More Day, and Brand New Day to enhance the Kindred plot without all the other baggage. But because Spencer included all these other parts that proved to be unnecessary Sinister War just comes across as overstaying its welcome right as we reach the end of this creative run on Amazing Spider-Man.
And just reminding you of how unnecessarily complicated Sinister War has been is the final page involving Mephisto and Doctor Strange. Of the seven parts of what has turned into an eight issue story for Sinister War we have gotten a total of three pages with this Mephisto and Doctor Strange sub-plot. Given how important Mephisto is to this storyline the character, along with Doctor Strange, are coming across as an afterthought. Every time they appear on screen it just seems as though Spencer just remembered that they are part of the story rather than making them a compelling part of the narrative.
Overall: While I am thankful for Nick Spencer officially undoing the damage done by the worst Spider-Man story of all time the overall Sinister War event continues to disappoint. The developments in Amazing Spider-Man #73 make a convoluted story even more so right as we reach the end. It all leaves you wondering if we needed such a big build up around Kindred’s character given what this issue revealed. Hopefully Spencer can deliver a satisfying conclusion to his Amazing Spider-Man run and Kindred story in the next issue.
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