Amazing Spider-Man #30 Is How You Do Event Tie-Ins Right

by James Ferguson

Absolute Carnage hits Amazing Spider-Man! We’ve already seen Peter Parker in the main event book, fighting Carnage’s horde of monsters and trying to avoid getting his spine ripped out. Now the storyline hits home. Instead of a one-off tangent that would take away from the overall narrative, this tie-in is weaved through the current events of the series, particularly the new mysterious villain, Kindred.

This was a nice surprise that really paid off. Writer Nick Spencer is meticulous with the plotting of this series and this issue is no different. Kindred’s scenes at the Ravencroft Institute bookend Amazing Spider-Man #30 with some interesting ties to Norman Osborn. The villain has some very choice words for Norman and it makes me wonder further who could be under the mask.
This ties in beautifully with the present day events of Absolute Carnage as Norman is completely crazy, thinking he’s Cletus Kasady and running around like Carnage 2.0. Kindred’s connections to Norman are still a mystery, but Peter Parker’s are very much known. Those are interspersed throughout this issue as the hero and the former Green Goblin beat the crap out of each other.

While Doctor Octopus proved he was a formidable foe of Spider-Man’s, Norman Osborn will always be in the top spot. His evil worked on so many levels, scarring Peter Parker physically and emotionally in both his life as the Green Goblin and as his best friend’s father.
You get a sense of just how far gone Norman is from Ryan Ottley’s artwork. When you see him in Ravencroft, he’s a lost man, staring into the abyss with no focus. This contrasts with the pure insanity of him out in the world with the Carnage symbiote. This is a monster through and through.

Ottley plays up the danger of Carnage in a gruesome battle. You can feel each powerful blow as this madman looks to tear the wall-crawler apart. Colorist Nathan Fairbairn frames this in mostly black and red, with the latter coming from the blood splattered all over the place. This is different than the dark crimson that makes up Carnage. It’s Spider-Man’s life force leaking out of his body and it’s shocking to see.
Where Absolute Carnage is very much a dark and unsettling comic, Amazing Spider-Man is still a vibrant experience. This contrasts with the horror nature of the event and makes it stick out a little. Fortunately, the content more than makes up for it, especially when you add Kindred into the mix. While his appearance is creepy on its own with his mummy-like outfit and giant centipedes swirling around him, his disturbing nature is amplified when he opens his mouth. Letterer Joe Caramagna uses scratchy word balloons for Kindred’s speech, like his voice is coming right from the grave.

I love the texture inker Cliff Rathburn brings to Kindred. It adds to his horror movie look. The rags that cover his body look dingy and disgusting. His jacket looks like he just clawed his way out of a cemetery. It’s creepy.
It’s saying something that Amazing Spider-Man is tying into Absolute Carnage, but didn’t do it for Spider-Geddon. This event is a big deal. I love how we’re not just getting a spin-off issue or two that could take away from what has been done so far. Instead, it’s used as an organic way to further develop a frightening new villain and add to the never-ending struggle between Spider-Man and Norman Osborn. This tie-in only adds to Amazing Spider-Man.
Amazing Spider-Man #30 from Marvel Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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