Well, the narrative that was first started back in October is coming to an end, with Last Remains final installment releasing this week. Featuring a stunning cover from Patrick Gleason (that’s getting increasingly hard to find…) Amazing Spider Man 55’s narrative takes Peter Parker’s already no-good, very bad day and shatters what remaining spirit he has left.
While the story itself has been taxing, there’s no doubt that what’s to come in the following months will test Peter Parker in new ways.
HERE BE SPOILERS! YOU WERE WARNED!
Well, after months of buildup and your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man being put through a literally hellish experience by Kindred (none other than Peter Parker’s longtime friend-turned-nemesis-turned-supernatural-evil, Harry Osborn) the Last Remains arc comes to an explosive finale!
Having captured Peter’s allies from the Order of the Web, including Spider-Gwen, Miles Morales, Anya Corazon and Julia Carpenter, Kindred intends to escalate his torture of Peter Parker by threatening those closest to him…including Mary Jane.
MJ walks into Kindred’s den of evil willingly, seemingly the only voice he was willing to listen to. Peter, in a sudden burst of rage, tries (unsuccessfully) to beat back Kindred and keep MJ safe, but Kindred once again overpowers him and threatens to kill him again while MJ watches.
Intervening, MJ offers to stay for dinner as he requested. The two talk about their complicated past…their friendship. MJ admits she wasn’t always forthcoming with Harry, and that she believed him when he promised he would never hurt her. Ultimately offering her life, she makes a compelling case that taking her would punish Peter sufficiently. Before Harry can make that choice, however, Norman Osborn, or should I say, The Green Goblin, appears to throw a wrench into Kindred’s plans.
Tossing a bomb into the room, it seems that MJ catches the brunt of it, and as Kingpin causes the floor to collapse and Norman goes toe to toe with his literal demon-spawn of a son, Peter holds MJ in his arms as she seemingly fades away.
Well, if you were looking for some climactic battle where our hero emerges victorious, that was not in this issue, to be sure. Nick Spencer has put Peter through the ringer, and Last Remains certainly seemed less about a tidy arc of predictable challenge and victory and more about an honest reckoning that the famed web-slinger will be working through for months and years to come.
While many were disappointed by Kindred’s revealed identity, the patience and methodical planning that went into breaking Peter’s spirit is impressive once I had a chance to take a step back and reflect on the groundwork that had been laid since Peter’s last run in with Kraven last year during the Hunted arc.
I enjoyed Norman’s sudden but inevitable betrayal, and I’m honestly curious how he plans on dishing out some much-needed punishment for his deranged son.
Gleason’s art, aside from the striking cover, is phenomenal as always. Kindred’s hate-filled eyes and horrific “family dinner” scene is very reminiscent of Texas Chainsaw Massacre – and Gleason has really leaned into that horror element in the past few issues.
Overall, while I wouldn’t wish MJ’s death on our already fragile Peter, I’m hopeful that whatever the aftermath of this encounter with Kindred brings, we see a notable change in Spider Man…perhaps leading to his forthcoming suit change in a few months? Who’s to say?
Until next time…!