Amazing Spider-Man has really hit its stride with the most recent “Sins Rising” story arc. Nick Spencer is checking off all the right boxes with how this arc has elevated the returning Sin-Eater and building the upcoming Kindred story to be a big event. The last issue of Amazing Spider-Man had possibly the strongest hook with the Spider-Man Family coming together to try to convince Peter Parker not to save Norman Osborn from Sin-Eater’s cleansing. That was an unexpected development that maybe Amazing Spider-Man: The Sins of Norman Osborn one-shot can answer, along with other things going on. Will that be the case? Let’s find out with Amazing Spider-Man: The Sins of Norman Osborn one-shot.
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Federico Vicentini
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: On a rooftop Madame Web talks with Ghost-Spider, Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Spider-Woman, Silk, and Spider-Girl about how Peter Parker against their warning is trying to stop Sin-Eater from targeting Norman Osborn because of the connection this whole thing has with Kindred. Madame Web says it is their job now to stop Peter.
The others aren’t sure about this. Madame Web reminds them how they are all connected by the Web of Life and Destiny. She goes on to talk about how they’ve been through a lot like when Kraven and Inheritors targeted them. She then reminds them of how they all had a similar dream that Peter’s life is in danger.
Ghost-Spider isn’t sure but when asked about what she saw in her dream she says it was Peter dying fighting with her against a villain on the George Washington Bridge. Miles, Spider-Woman, Silk, and Spider-Girl how they all reveal they had similar dreams with Peter dying as Spider-Man at different locations.
Madame Web says that is proof the Web of Life and Destiny wants them to save Peter. Miles still has doubts about what to do because Peter is likely the only one that won’t go along with what they are deciding to do.
Inside Ravencroft, Spider-Man (Peter Parker) protects Norman Osborn against Sin-Eater’s followers. Norman tells Spider-Man he does not need someone like him to act as a bodyguard. Spider-Man gets pissed and tells Norman that it is taking all the strength of his will not to leave his nemesis behind to be taken out by Sin-Eater’s followers. Spider-Man then questions what Norman is hiding because he would’ve already left Ravencroft if there wasn’t something important there.
Back on the rooftop Silk questions why Peter is trying to stop Sin-Eater. Ghost-Spider says that its because Peter knows that there is no making a deal with the Devil without consequences and believes there is more to Sin-Eater’s plans than cleansing bad guys.
Back inside Ravencroft, Sin-Eater joins his followers to help rid the entire place of sin. One of Ravencroft’s guards tries to attack Sin-Eater but his bullets do no damage.
Hours earlier, at his hideout, Sin-Eater tries to contact Kindred as he doesn’t know why Kindred hasn’t tried to communicate with him since being brought back to life. Sin-Eater wants some sort of sign of what to do next.
A guy in a hoodie appears and apologizes for running away earlier when Spider-Man showed up. He admits to having a past history with Spider-Man. Sin-Eater shoots the guy with his cleansing shotgun. The guy is revealed to be Mr. Negative. Now having Mr. Negative’s powers Sin-Eater decides that a reckoning is about to come.
Back in the present Sin-Eater uses Mr. Negative’s powers to turn the guard into one of his followers.
Elsewhere Norman leads Spider-Man to his old holding cell. Norman reveals that the cell is just a hologram for the hideout he built inside Ravencroft. Spider-Man finds plans of Empire State University and other tech all over the hideout. Norman says that is of no concern right now because they need to get the inmate who can help them turn things around against Sin-Eater.
Norman pulls up security footage and freaks out that someone opened the special holding cell he had an inmate in.
Sometime earlier Sin-Eater uses the guard he turned to reach Doctor Kafka, who he then turns as well using Mr. Negative’s powers. Doctor Kafka then leads Sin-Eater to the special holding cell and releases the inmate inside.
Juggernaut appears as the special inmate and immediately charges at Sin-Eater. Sin-Eater fires his cleansing shotgun at Juggernaut right before he reaches him.
Back outside Ghost-Spider is still hesitating about going to stop Peter and questions why Madame Web didn’t just tell Peter the truth before he went inside Ravencroft. Madame Web says that Peter needed to make the decision himself as part of where the Web of Life and Destiny leads them to. She goes on to say that it is now their turn to make a choice on the Web of Life and Destiny.
Everyone agrees and starts swinging to Ravencroft as Madame Web says that The Order of the Web has been formed.
While swinging Miles questions Madame Web about what her dream was. Madame Web remembers Kindred killing Peter and tells Miles it is much worse than what the others saw.
Back inside Ravencroft, Spider-Man punches Norman for holding Juggernaut as a prisoner in secret. Norman says he did so in order to have protection against Kindred as Sin-Eater is just the beginning of Kindred’s plans to kill them both.
Norman gets back up and says that whether they like it or not they have to work together. Norman then shows Spider-Man his Green Goblin gear. End of issue.
The Good: Amazing Spider-Man: The Sins of Norman Osborn is such an odd issue. Unlike most one-shots that are side stories for whatever main story it is tied to this very much reads like it should’ve just been titled Amazing Spider-Man #49. That odd choice aside, there is a lot of content here that will peak fans of Nick Spencer’s Amazing Spider-Man run interest.
The biggest thing that Amazing Spider-Man: The Sins of Norman Osborn clarifies is why Madame Web, Ghost-Spider, Miles Morales, Spider-Woman, Silk, and Spider-Girl seemed to suddenly be against Peter Parker. That was a big question mark from Amazing Spider-Man #48 since these characters have not been involved in any of Spencer’s stories in this series. It was an out of left field development.
Using this one-shot to clarify the reasoning behind this was very much needed and welcomed. Spencer gets across how once again the Web of Life and Death is once again at work. Using this element that has been a big part of the Spider-Man mythology since Spider-Verse is a smart play. While Kindred is specifically targeting Peter Parker, the villain is no longer solely a threat to him but the entire Spider-Man Family. This enhances how Kindred does represent this larger than life threat.
Madame Web, Ghost-Spider, Miles Morales, Spider-Woman, Silk, and Spider-Girl all sharing similar dreams of how Peter would die as Spider-Man is a strong catalyst for them uniting once again. It shows that they aren’t turning their backs on Peter. Instead they are looking out for Peter as a friend.
The important part that emphasizes this is how everyone questions why Madame Web told them to keep their dreams a secret from Peter. Having that decision by Madame Web be questioned several times was needed to emphasize the importance of why Peter needed to make the choice to save Norman Osborn or allow Sin-Eater to cleanse him on his own.
The key to this seemed to be with Madame Web as Spencer does imply that her dream was very different. There is a tease that possibly warning Peter would’ve made her dream a reality as the final thing Kindred needed. With how much Spencer spotlighted Madame Web in this issue that sub-plot involving her choice will be something to watch for.
Through all these conversations it was good to see that it was Ghost-Spider who spoke up most about not being honest with Peter. Gwen and Peter have had an up and down relationship but there is a equal level of respect that they share. Especially with how this story involves Norman Osborn, it was important that Gwen was the one to most relate to why this was such a tough decision for Peter. Even though she did decide to join Madame Web’s new Order of the Web having Gwen be the one to speak up in the group did make the entire conversation have greater importance.
Spencer also did a good job with getting across how conflicted Peter was with his choice in saving Norman Osborn. We saw that with how often he got pissed off with Norman throughout this issue. Even though he did not regret his decision Peter knew that Norman couldn’t help but give examples, like the secret hideout in Ravencroft and Juggernaut’s capture, why this was a wrong move. This further highlighted how Peter’s choice was one he made himself as he had to follow his own moral compass.
Norman was also well-written as an antagonist. At no point are you on Norman’s side in this situation. Spencer positions Norman as someone that will never redeem himself. Instead he has fully embraced being Green Goblin and is now using anything he sees as a tool to obtain more power. With Norman placed in a corner to have to team-up with Spider-Man it’ll be interesting where this whole Sin-Eater story leaves him.
Speaking of, Sin-Eater continues to be the most fascinating part of this story. More than any other issue before, Amazing Spider-Man: The Sins of Norman Osborn firmly positions Sin-Eater as Kindred’s tool to destroy Spider-Man. We see that with how Sin-Eater has a breakdown after he had not spoken with Kindred since returning. Given how Kindred has carefully plotted out any move, making Sin-Eater desperate to talk to him is probably part of his plan.
Bringing in both Mr. Negative and Juggernaut to further power-up Sin-Eater does create more questions as to what the true endgame is of “Sins Rising.” This latest power-up makes Sin-Eater one of the most powerful foes around. It’ll be interesting to see how Spider-Man and Green Goblin fair against Sin-Eater now.
Out of this it was interesting to see that Mr. Negative was brought back into play. It’s been a long time since Mr. Negative had any sort of major storyline built around him. Him being cleansed by Sin-Eater seems to be a set-up for a bigger story that we’ll see after the Kindred story wraps up. That’s not a bad thing since Mr. Negative is a villain that needed a reset after seemingly running his course as a character already.
With how many characters were in a mask throughout Amazing Spider-Man: The Sins of Norman Osborn, Federico Vicentini did an impressive job bringing out all the emotion behind this story. He got over how much the dreams each Order of the Web member had severely impacted them. That gave greater emotional weight for how the entire conversation Madame Web led was developing. He also did a solid job with characters like Norman Osborn to get across how evil the character is constantly.
The Bad: As mentioned before, it was a terrible decision to have this story be told in a one-shot rather than be Amazing Spider-Man #49. It’s clear that Spencer and Marvel want to begin the Kindred storyline with Amazing Spider-Man #50. But that is not an excuse for making a very important chapter in the “Sins Rising” story arc take place in a one-shot.
Amazing Spider-Man: The Sins of Norman Osborn was clearly meant to be read as part of “Sins Rising.” That is not something fans would know because there is an expectation that these one-shots are nothing more than a complimentary comic book to the main story that is not required reading. But that is not the case because where we leave this issue off directly impacts where we will find Spider-Man and company when we open up Amazing Spider-Man #49. That’s a terrible decision does just make this look like a cash grab to get extra money out of loyal fans.
Overall: If you are reading “Sins Rising” in the main series then Amazing Spider-Man: The Sins of Norman Osborn is a must read. Nick Spencer provides a lot of key details for the story with Spider-Man, Sin-Eater, Norman Osborn, and the newly formed Order of the Web. The choice to make this important chapter in “Sins Rising” be told in a one-shot is questionable. Fans who do pick this issue up will get a lot out of it heading into Amazing Spider-Man #49.
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