Welcome back to my read through of the Sins Rising Event taking place in Nick Spencer’s Amazing Spider-Man run this year! We’ll be adding this review of Amazing Spider-Man Sins Rising Prelude to our Master Reading Order. For now, let’s dig in!
Reader beware, there be light spoilers ahead!
I really enjoyed the Sins Rising Prelude more than I expected to. These type of Prelude or Alpha or Road To comics tend to be rehashes of old Marvel lore and sometimes read as a handbook or cliff notes to prep you for the story ahead. Spencer did a great job adding new material to the Sin-Eater myth, though!
For starters, Spencer expanded on the errant statements in Spectacular Spider-Man 107-110 and 134-136 about Sin-Eater being “deeply religious” and the obscure reference to the Ozark myth of hermits called “Sin Eaters.” Whereas Peter David told us in Spectacular Spider-Man, here Spencer shows us and it’s a pretty vivid piece of folk legend to set the backdrop for the upcoming story. In short, Sin Eater’s parents were sinful drug addicts. He left to live with his fire and brimstone grandfather in the Ozarks where he was toughened up into a faithful, stoic man. There he heard about and even witnessed the ritual of the Sin Eaters.
After fleshing out this part of Stan Carter’s history, Spencer takes us through a mind-bending trip through Stan’s own form of purgatory. We revisit a version of the Regis show set from Spectacular Spider-Man and take a walk through the basic beats of the original Death of Jean DeWolff story line. If you wanted to skip Peter David’s Spectacular Spider-Man Sin-Eater stuff, this issue alone will get you there. Sin-Eater’s first death is even taken panel for panel from issue 136.
Sanna’s art is moody with heavy shadows throughout the issue. He uses strange angles and even titled panels throughout to keep the reader uneasy. This comic is, after all, depicting a form of Hell.
Is this issue an essential read? I’d say yes. If you are new to Sin-Eater, it’s essential for you to catch up. If you have been through the Spectacular Spider-Man runs, then this Prelude offers unique material worth checking out. Sin-Eater was always a street-level, practical villain blasting people away with a shotgun. This issue sets the stage for something fantastical, mystical, and outside the realm of pure reality in the pages of Spencer’s Amazing Spider-Man.