The main event series that is Sinister War has been a disappointment thus far. Nick Spencer got off to a fine start but it has quickly fallen apart with the second issue of Sinister War. Now entering the second half of the four-part Sinister War it is not to late to fix he problems with the latest Spider-Man event. Spencer just needs to find the right balance between character work and action to ensure the end of his Amazing Spider-Man run will be one to remember for its excellence rather than its failings. Will that happen with Sinister War #3? Let’s find out.
Writers: Nick Spencer and Ed Brisson
Artists: Mark Bagley, Carlos Gomez, and Ze Carlos
Inkers: Andrew Hennessy, Andy Owens, John Dell, Carlos Gomez, and Ze Carlos
Colorists: Brian Reber and Andrew Crossley
Story Rating: 1 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Heavily bleeding from his side Spider-Man tries to figure out a way out of the situation he is. Black Cat suddenly shows up to offer help along with Wolverine and Human Torch. As soon as Spider-Man drops his guard out of relief Mysterio drops his illusions so the rest of the Sinister Six (Mysterio, Lizard, Max Dillon’s Electro, Doctor Octopus, Sandman, and Kraven the Hunter) can attack Spider-Man.
Elsewhere Kindred decides there is one last person needed for the reunion he has created for Peter Parker.
Kindred uses his powers to summon Sin-Eater out of his grave.
Elsewhere Spider-Man does his best to fight off the Sinister Six. Spider-Man finds an opening to escape but is quickly captured by Doctor Octopus. Noticing that Doctor Octopus is hesitating to kill Spider-Man the rest of the Sinister Six say they’ll do it if Octavius cannot. This arguing gives Spider-Man the opening to power out of Doctor Octopus grasp and knock him down.
The Savage Six (Vulture, King Cobra, Tarantula, Stegron the Dinosaur Man, Scorpion, and Rhino) suddenly appear and start fighting the Sinister Six so they can kill Spider-Man.
Elsewhere, all of the sins that Sin-Eater previously absorbed are released from inside his body. The sins all go back to their original hosts at Ravencroft and other places throughout New York City. Sin-Eater then marches towards Spider-Man’s location.
Back at the graveyard Spider-Man is able to evade Vulture and Stegron the Dinosaur Man long enough to get away from them.
Thinking of getting to MJ, Spider-Man tries to leave the graveyard but is attacked by Tarantula. The Superior Foes appear (Boomerang, Speed Demon, Shocker, Hydro-Man, and Overdrive) and fight Tarantula as they want to be the ones to kill Spider-Man. As this goes on Boomerang tells Spider-Man to run away.
As Spider-Man runs away Boomerang acts like Spider-Man detonated one of his boomerangs in order to escape.
Suddenly the Sinister Six, Savage Six, The Syndicate (White Rabbit, Trapstr, Anastasia Kravinoff, Francine Frye’s Electro, Beetle, and Lady Octopus), and Superior Foes are all in the same place and start fighting each other for the chance to be the ones to kill Spider-Man.
Spider-Man is able to make it into the city and hides in an alleyway. Sin-Eater suddenly shows up ready to take Spider-Man’s sins, with repowered Juggernaut, Morlun, Living Laser, Grey Gargoyle, and Whirlwind backing him up.
Elsewhere Kindred gets ready to finally unveil how what he created with all of this fighting over killing Spider-Man will end. End of issue.
The Good: If you are looking for a compelling story that is leading to an epic conclusion to a historic creative run on a franchise look elsewhere because Sinister War is not that comic book. Sinister War #3 is a lot of noise for very little development. There is just simply nothing here that rewards fans who have been reading Nick Spencer’s Amazing Spider-Man run up to this point.
The only good thing I can say about Sinister War #3 is that at least the artwork is passable. I am never a fan of art-by-committee and we don’t get the best artwork Mark Bagley, Carlos Gomez, and Ze Carlos normally produce when handling a comic book alone. But at the very least Bagley, Gomez, and Carlos put in the work to make sure their art styles do not clash. Having a sense of consistency with the art does allow this action heavy issue to maintain a fluid flow to the chaos going on in different panels. The art at least makes the story look well enough visually.
The Bad: Sinister War #3 never gets passed being an action oriented issue with very little in terms of plot progression. All Nick Spencer does to give us some semblance of “progression” is add Sin-Eater and those he previously took sins from to the proceedings. Outside of that we are just about the same spot we were in when Sinister War #2 starting just with Spider-Man bleeding a bit more.
There is just a lack of heart to this entire story. Which is extremely disappointing considering how the lead up to and even first issue of Sinister War showed that there is a multi-layered story to be told. It isn’t just about Kindred trying to kill Spider-Man. There is also the fact that we somehow have Brand New Day Harry Osborn locked up with Carlie Cooper, Mary Jane Watson somewhere in danger from Kindred, and a cleansed Norman Osborn doing who knows what. And these are just the major players Spencer set up to play an important role in Sinister War throughout his 70+ issue run.
The fact that Sinister War #3 lacks any of the nuance that Spencer was building throughout his work on Amazing Spider-Man is a major slap in the face as a fan. I want to see how all these sub-plots come together to tell a compelling narrative around the endgame. Instead all we are getting is the different versions of the Sinister Six fighting each other over the right to kill Spider-Man. That is not fun whatsoever when you consider Sinister War #2 and Sinister War #3 were the same exact thing.
Even when Spencer tried to add little things like Doctor Octopus hesitating to kill Spider-Man or Boomerang helping Spider-Man escape these scenes just fall flat. There is too much noise going on with repetitive fighting with all the Sinister Six factions that what should be major character moments are drowned out. It just adds to how there is a lack of depth to the Sinister War story as Spencer and co-writer Ed Brisson are getting lost in what sub-plots should be the focus of the event.
The failure of telling a compelling payoff to all the sub-plots that helped build this endgame story make Kindred an even less interesting character. The villain has just become a caricature of his previously terrifying horror villain positioning. There is no addressing the fact that Kindred is the version of Harry Osborn that got himself out of hell and became this demonic creature. You wouldn’t even know that since that isn’t being addressed in Sinister War anymore.
It gets to the point that I just do not care about ever seeing Kindred or Harry Osborn after all is said and done. Spencer has dropped the ball so hard with what he built that he made a once compelling villain his Amazing Spider-Man run was built around into that spends his time just looking at his own reflection in the mirror.
Making things worse is the fact Kindred just repeats himself every time we Spencer and Brisson write dialogue for the character. Whether is dialogue to other characters or internal monologue we keep hearing the same thing about Peter Parker admitting things are his fault and he should die. There is nothing more to Kindred’s dialogue to that. Its one endless cycle of the same thing he has been saying since his debut in the most boring way possible.
Overall: Sinister War #3 is a lot of noise just to get us to the same spot Spider-Man was in since the start of the second issue of this event. Nick Spencer has dropped the ball as hard as one can for what is supposed to be a big endgame event. The only thing to look forward to now is that Sinister War will end in the next issue and we can move far away from this event asap.
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