Review: Even The Characters In ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #57 Are Tired Of This
by James Ferguson
Another month, another issue that goes nowhere, but hey, looks like we got a Spider-centric super hero team now. Based on the dialogue in this issue, it feels like the creators are just messing with us at this point.
Despite having extra issues, “Last Remains” is still not over and it’s clear it’s nowhere near wrapping up. Kindred has been captured by Norman Osborn and the Kingpin, but the villain’s attack on Spider-Man is paying dividends. It turns out killing someone over and over again, forcing them to sit with the bodies of his dead loved ones, and having him relive all kinds of past trauma before nearly killing his current love interest could have some psychological effects on them. Who knew? Also, there’s a Spider-centric team now!
Once again, writer Nick Spencer weaves in dialogue based on the frustrations I feel with Amazing Spider-Man. We run through a few like “Why are we here again?” and “You gotta give us something. We all just went through a lot because of you.” My favorite is the last page where MJ asks Peter “This isn’t over, is it?” and he replies with an exasperated look “No. No, it isn’t.” It’s like even the characters are realizing how long and drawn out this has been without any sense of closure.
Despite the massive flaws in the plot, there is some great dialogue here, particularly between Spider-Man and Norman. The years of pain and anguish that the web-head has kept bottled up are finally let loose. This guy has been pulling strings and tearing Peter’s life apart so he doesn’t get much in the way of excuses. Peter is not having any of it.
Artist Mark Bagley illustrates this emotional confrontation, showing how far Spider-Man has been pushed. He makes the wall-crawler look like a monster with a sequence of gruesome punches followed by a cowering Norman. Colorists Rachelle Rosenberg and Edgar Delgado make this sequence pop with bright yellows and violent reds as we see flashes of Kindred inflicting trauma on our hero.
Inkers John Dell and Andrew Hennessy with Andy Owens capture all the fine lines in this explosive encounter. You see the emotion play out on the faces of both characters in wrinkles and furrowed brows, not to mention to action lines indicating movement. Letterer Joe Caramagna drives home just how far Spidey has gone with some bold caption boxes, each containing one word of a powerful statement.
There are also some nice shots of Spider-Man looking at the captured Kindred, making it appear as if he’s looking in a mirror. It’s like Peter is peering into the abyss…and the abyss is looking back at him. Rosenberg and Delgado do some solid work here, contrasting the bright reds and blues of Spidey’s costume with the dark greys of Kindred’s cell.
The rest of the Spider family feels shoehorned into this story now. They were put in danger for a hot minute, but ultimately nothing happened so there’s just kind of hanging out and decide to form a team. It feels like a back-door pilot for a mini-series so we’ll see what happens there.
Just like the characters, I have no idea where this is going or if we’re ever going to get anything resembling a resolution to any of the many plot threads dangling out there. As we’ve seen Spencer reference past storylines like One More Day and Sins Past, I have to wonder if he’s also referencing The Clone Saga with how it seems to run for so long and never really go anywhere. There are only so many ways you can say the same thing and not move the plot along.
Amazing Spider-Man #57 from Marvel Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.