The Amazing Spider-Man: Sins Rising Prelude #1 Review

by Harlan Ivester on July 22, 2020

Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Guillermo Sanna
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics

     The Sins Rising Prelude is finally here.  Is it a necessary part of the overall story, or just a cash grab mandated by editorial? Wasn’t issue 44 a prelude? The answers to these questions can turn away some readers from a coming story, so let’s find out if it’s worth it.

     While the last issue of Amazing Spider-Man did feel like a prelude to the current, incoming Sins Rising story puppeteered by Kindred, it felt rather inconsequential to me and only left me with more questions. Not in a good way. While that one only served to build hype for Kindred, Sins Rising Prelude #1 feels much more appropriate and worthwhile. It’s a full-on origin story for Stan Carter and a brief look at what happened before his recent resurrection. It’s informative to the reader while doing a much better job of setting a tone for what’s to come. That said, this is one of those origin stories that gives explanations for small details that nobody asked for, like how Han Solo got nicknamed “Solo” in Solo. I don’t think that’s annoying enough to get in the way of the good that this issue accomplishes, though. It’s trying to tell a creepy story in a horrific setting not unlike, say Hereditary. It’s not going to keep you up at night like that one, but it does a fine job, still. Nick Spencer gives us insight as to what was going through Carter’s mind as the events of the Death of Jean DeWolff transpired. He’s not exactly trying to make us sympathize with him, since he is still a serial killer and all, but it’s cool to look at these moments from a different angle. There are some missing pieces, though. I get that Carter had a bad childhood and all, and obviously, he must have had deep-rooted psychological issues to become a serial killer in the first place, but the jump he takes from detective to cult-inspired murderer is a mysterious one.

     Because of the tone that this story is trying to achieve, it simply would not work if the artists weren’t doing a good job. Guillermo Sanna absolutely brings this book to another level. His characters aren’t exactly illustrated in the most detailed manner, yet they tell you so much with their eyes. That’s a huge part of why this book is so downright creepy in some moments. He wisely chooses not to show certain things and instead hide them in shadow, and it just works so well. Jordie Bellaire’s efforts cannot be forgotten either. The book has an appropriate somber palette that matches the story of Stan Carter very well. There are also details in skin tones that help immerse you in the setting. Together, these two craft some of the darkest moments we’ve seen in a book with “Amazing Spider-Man” in the title.

     The Amazing Spider-Man: Sins Rising Prelude #1 is undoubtedly an improvement over previous attempts to get readers excited for the upcoming arc. It feels substantial, even if the substance isn’t always totally fulfilling. At the end of the day, the creative team did exactly what they set out to do: tell an unnerving origin story that sets up more to come. I wouldn’t quite say that it’s mandatory reading, but you certainly won’t regret picking this one up.

Our Score:


A Look Inside