The Amazing Spider-Man #44 Review

by Harlan Ivester on July 15, 2020

Writer: Nick Spencer
Artists: Kim Jacinto with Bruno Oliveira
Colorist: David Curiel
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics

          Hello, faithful CTG readers. I’ve finished my quest to read every single issue of Amazing Spider-Man. I figure the newest one is a good way to get back to writing for you all.

          With Kindred’s identity reveal (hopefully) coming up with #850, I think many readers have grown tired of the wait. The creep has been lurking in the shadows for 2 years now, and we might not even be approaching a confrontation with him yet. And here, we have another issue that is pretty much dedicated to hyping him up once again. That alone my turn off some people from this one. It picks up from the Sins Rising tease that was at the back of a recent issue, where the Sin Eater was stalking some Inner Demons working with Overdrive. The framing of the story makes it so confusing, though. So Spider-Man is dreaming, and he’s riding in the backseat of Overdrive’s car. He starts telling Spider-Man, who is just listening silently the whole time, what led to that moment of him speeding through New York. I thought for the majority of the issue that we were supposed to talk everything that he was saying at face value, even if I thought it was weird that he was somehow communicating with Spider-Man in a dream. I suppose that’s possible with Kindred in the mix, so whatever. But then at the end of Overdrive’s story (mild spoilers here), the Sin Eater turns into a Carnage-esque monster, and I have no idea if that actually happened or not. Seems kind of important. I hope it was just part of the dream, because I prefer my Sin Eater grounded, but I suppose that went out the window when Kindred resurrected him. Anyway, the first three quarters of the issue is dedicated to that, and I don’t think I will be alone when I say that I’ve just kind of grown numb to this Kindred hype. I can’t see a lot of people getting all too excited about it. The last part is a monologue from Peter where he shares some of his recent inner turmoil with her, and it’s easily the best part. Spencer’s Spider-Man is definitely at its best when Peter is vulnerable and sharing that with someone. But what comes after that kind of negates the scene anyway…

            Jacinto & Oliveira deliver frantic, fast paced action that is very appropriate for Overdrive’s scenes, of course. I think that sometimes it can feel a little too breakneck because of the paneling, but it does help lock in that sense of panic. Their Peter & Spider-Man are quite expressive, which is commendable considering that the latter has no dialogue. Their storytelling is a partial contributor to my confusion that I mentioned earlier, specifically with the Sin Eater monster. Now that I’m looking at it again, I think it’s a separate entity that he’s commanding or working with…? That’s what the word balloons lead me to believe. Call me crazy, but I think a detail as obvious as that should be clear in the art. On the other hand, Curiel brings so much to the table. There’s a lot going on in every panel, so each page feels rich in variety. He adds a lot of detail to things like the texture of Spider-Man’s mask, as well as the literal and mood lighting, of course. Together, I think the art team does well in the tonal areas, but the storytelling falls a little flat.

            This is a fine issue by its own rights, but when looking at it in the greater scope of Nick Spencer’s Spider-Man (that we as the readers can be aware of right now), it’s hard to believe that many fans are going to be enthralled by this issue. That wouldn’t be a huge deal if the delivery were excellent, but the writing and art sometimes drop the ball in communicating elements to the audience. This is entirely a teaser issue, so if you’re not already all in on Spencer’s Spider-Man, I don’t think you’ll regret waiting for this one on MU.

Our Score:


A Look Inside