DrunkWooky Comic Review: Amazing Spider-Man #52 (Spencer, Gleason, 2020)

Welcome back, dear reader, to DrunkWooky’s comic review! Today, I’m taking a look at Amazing Spider-Man #52. We are deep in Spider-Man’s showdown with Kindred and things are getting heated!

Amazing Spider-Man #52 is out today, 11/11/2020 and is releasing with three awesome variants to pick from:

You can pick it up from TFAW or, of course, your local comic shop!

When last we left Spider-Man he had entered the Astral Plane with the hand of Vishanti, but something was…off. Kindred ripped him from his dreamland and Peter found himself in a graveyard facing down a mausoleum filled with a dinner party of his dead loved ones.

Spencer hasn’t quite come right out and said what Kindred’s vengeful thesis is just yet, but the implication is materializing. While Spider-Man believes he is an altruistic hero whose loved ones are targeted by evil. Peter’s loved ones are soft targets, weaknesses to be preyed on by villains. Alternately, Kindred casts Spider-Man as a vane superhero who continues to dress up and perform vigilante justice no matter how many people close to him die. Of course, the reader now knows Kindred’s identity (Peter doesn’t) so we can see where he gets that idea, even if we don’t believe it ourselves.

This issue isn’t heavy on the dialogue between Kindred and Pete and that’s just fine. Let’s face it, we’ve had over 50 issues of build up and the time for discussion is over. The time for action is now! Spencer and Gleason deliver with panel-shattering splash pages as Spidey faces off against this denizen of the underworld. Kindred, a mummified corpse, crawling with maggots and gargantuan centipedes, is more than a match for Spider-Man, matching him blow-for-blow with whatever yet-to-be-revealed mystical power that backs him up.

One panel I really enjoyed was the showdown between a centipede and spider, apparently away from the main fray. I loved this juxtaposition of the main bout- Spider v. Centipede!

Finally, Pete is met with a choice. Does he let his Spider-fam become consumed by the sins that Kindred possessed them with? Or, rather, does Spidey make a deal with the proverbial devil and take all the responsibility on that his power requires? After almost 60 years of Spider-Man comics, it’s hard to ramp up the stakes. I mean, what is really going to happen? Is Spidey going to die!? Again? Well, I won’t spoil anything, but I will say that Spencer does a pretty good job of getting even the most jaded long-time Spidey reader to feel that the stakes are real here. The issue ends on a cliff-hanger and we’re definitely going to have to return to get any sort of resolve.

Gleason’s illustrations throughout match the tone well. Layouts include unsettling angles, characters breaking through the restrictions of panels, and gloomy shadows all when the moment require. It’s hard to complain that Gleason won’t be finishing up the arc when Bagley is coming on in issue 53, but Gleason has made a strong showing here. Hell, when Spidey pummeled Kindred, I thought I was looking at a Bagley Spidey anyway.

In a medium where so often hype builds to nothing, this current Last Remains storyline is doing exactly as promised. It’s taking our beloved hero to his absolute breaking point. The stage is set, the players are in place, now all that is left is for Spencer to bring us home in a satisfying conclusion.

I hope to see you back here for issue #53 and I hope it lives up to all the pressure that has built in this issue!

Official solicit:

Amazing Spider-Man #52

SEP200612 (W) Nick Spencer (A/CA) Patrick Gleason

o Kindred shows Spider-Man his true power, and Spidey sees how much trouble he’s in.
32 PGS./Rated T+

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