Nick Spencer’s 50th issue of Amazing Spider-Man hit shelves this week, and we’re getting some big answers.
The mysterious Kindred has haunted Peter Parker’s dreams since the start of the Spencer run. But who is this bandaged antagonist? Why does he hate Spider-Man so darn much? And what’s his weird, emotionally-unhealthy connection to Norman Osborn?
No spoilers, but if you’re looking for those answers, you’re looking for Amazing Spider-Man #50, written by Nick Spencer with art by Patrick Gleason.
For a big 50th issue, this one’s a bit light on action. It’s less self-contained than you would expect a tentpole issue to be. If you’re not caught up on the series, you’ll probably feel a bit lost.
But what Amazing Spider-Man #50 lacks in plot, it makes up for in some great character beats. Spencer delivers some delicious Norman Osborn dialogue. Then again, I’m a sucker for a good exploration of Norman’s personal demons—and boy howdy.
If you’ve been following the story so far—or even if you’re just following the Spencer run from a distance and waiting for answers—you’ll want to stick around for the big reveals. Here Spencer wraps up previous threads and sets the stage for a real confrontation between Kindred and Spider-Man. And by the end of this issue, we have a much better sense of what’s at stake.
Patrick Gleason’s art also brings life to this issue. He strikes a sort of “Spider-Man balance” that the best Spidey artists find. It’s not too cartoony, and it’s not mired in realism. It hits a place in the middle, where Gleason can explore both the fun of Spider-Man and the emotional depth of Peter Parker. He’s definitely my favorite artist since Humberto Ramos has been on the book. Here’s hoping for more Gleason in Spider-Man’s future.
This is an essential issue if you’re following Spencer’s Amazing Spider-Man run. But if you’re looking to jump in for the first time, this probably isn’t the best place to start. Go back to Spencer’s first Amazing Spider-Man arc and work your way up. Trust me, it’s pure Spider-joy.
And when you make it to issue 50, some big answers will be waiting.