The Amazing Spider-Man #53 Review

by Harlan Ivester on November 18, 2020

Writer: Nick Spencer
Penciler: Mark Bagley
Inker: John Dell
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics

                Wow. Oh boy. Hoo. Ugh.
                I need a minute.

                Okay. So I just finished reading Amazing Spider-Man #53. I was really looking forward to this issue after the last week’s cliffhanger. “Let’s go face the truth together” is definitely a phrase that at least implies the promise of long-awaited answers. I thought for sure that this one would see Peter in Hell and deliver some serious revelations about just what it is going on and maybe Kindred’s beef is, his goals, something! Very exposition heavy but worth it, you know? No. No, no, no, no, no. Mild spoiler here: Peter finds out that Kindred is Harry. That’s it. Nothing else happens. This issue is like the epitome of the things that people don’t like about this run. It’s spinning its wheels, totally wasting the reader’s time. We don’t even get a conversation about the identity reveal, because Kindred taking off his mask is the final page. What kind of cliffhanger is a reveal that we the readers already knew about?

                Up until that last page, it’s mostly just Peter living in a flashback of Amazing Spider-Man #545, which some readers may remember as part 4 of One More Day. That may sound like a good thing for readers like myself who are hoping for some sort of undoing or at least acknowledgement of OMD, but trust me, it’s nothing to get excited about. From my understanding, Kindred induces the flashback and it’s his way of building up the reveal of his identity to Peter. There’s nothing insightful about it, though. As I was reading, I felt like each part of the flashback was a wasted page. If I was being generious, I could say that the only other notable thing that happens is Kindred creeping on a kid who I’ll assume is Normie. He doesn’t appear to actually do anything, though, so again – wasted pages.

                I’m always happy to see Mark Bagley on Amazing Spider-Man, but I was under the impression that Gleason was handling the art for all of Last Remains. I am disappointed in the lack of consistency, but I suppose I should be used to it by now. Anyway, Bagley’s great as always. What good can I say that hasn’t already been said? As for the bad, I think he could have done a little more to make certain characters more distinct. For example, the final page. I thought that Kindred had actually revealed himself to be Norman Osborn instead of Harry. I understand that the two look very similar and that this is very common, but Bagley draws Harry earlier in this same issue with a… thinner face compared to Norman. The only reason that I actually knew it was Harry was because he says “gotcha,” a call back to J.M. DeMatteis’s Spectacular Spider-Man.  Edgar Delgado seems to have gone out of his way to give this book a 90’s feel, at least in some pages, and I’m into it. Some may describe the palette as pale, but it helped immerse me in the flashback. The contrastingly darker tones in the present helped communicate the seriousness of the situation.

                I’m not one of those people who has been really annoyed with Nick Spencer for dragging his run out, but even I have to say that Amazing Spider-Man #53 is going to anger a lot of readers. Especially after such a promising cliff hanger in the last issue, it is very disappointing to see so much of nothing happening here. Bagley is great and Delgado probably adds the most to the book’s quality, but unfortunately, I feel that their efforts are mostly in vain since so much of the book is just… nothing. A part of me says that 3/10 may be a bit harsh, but when I remember that this book is $3.99 – yeah, no.

Our Score:


A Look Inside