Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Nick Spencer, Ed Brisson
Pencils: Mark Bagley, Diogenes Neves, Carlos Gomez, Ze Carlos
Inks: Andrew Hennessy, John Dell, Andy Owens, Carlos Gomez, Ze Carlos
Colours: Brian Reber
Lettering: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release Date: 4th August 2021
After a brief, character-focused aside in Amazing Spider-Man #71, we’re diving back into the frenetic carnage of the main Sinister War miniseries this week as Spidey finds himself beset on all sides (to say the least!) by a plethora of villainous teams.
The issue hits the ground running with Spidey running into Foreigner’s sextet (apologies if they have a cool six-based name, as I mentioned in previous reviews I’m something of a lapsed reader when it comes to Spider-Man), sparking a chain reaction of encounters with other groups, all of whom showed up the final page teaser at the end of ASM #70, the “prelude” to this whole event.
It’s a lot of fun, and watching Spider-Man being gradually worn down by enemies he’d normally be able to dispatch fairly quickly makes for some high stakes reading. The ongoing melee is punctuated by flashbacks showing how each team got involved in the Spider hunt, all of which unsurprisingly revolve around Kindred. It’s a neat framing device that gives the reader a chance to breathe every now and again, and the whole thing whips along at a brisk old pace, just like last time.
However, while it’s certainly entertaining and features a bright cavalcade of characters, this issue does suffer a little from the slightly jarring artwork-by-committee (with no less than seven separate pencillers and inkers working on the 19 pages) and the fact that, in spite of all the one-liners and relentless action, nothing of note really happens here. I’m loathe to use the term “filler issue”, but there’s definitely a feeling of style over substance here, and while I guess the intention is to show the wear and tear that Kindred’s gamesmanship is having on our hero, I’d have liked to see a little more meat on these storyline bones.
Ultimately though, while the significant events of this issue can essentially be boiled down to one single splash page, the journey to get there is undeniably entertaining, and the spectacle of Spider-Man being forced to take on so many bad guys at once gives this event a really unique feel. We’re back here in a fortnight for more Sinister War, and I’ll definitely be checking in to see where this story goes next.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]