Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Federico Vicentini
Color Artist: Alex Sinclair
Cover Artists: Mark Bagley, John Dell & Brian Reber
Spider-Man had encountered various surprises, twists, and turns in the recent Chameleon Conspiracy. It’s not everyday Peter fights a small army of Chameleons while the real Chameleon and his mentor “The Finisher” play mental-gambits with his sister, Teresa Parker. However, now that things have settled down, Amazing Spider-Man #70 reveals it’s only the calm before the storm for Spider-Man.
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Now that the Chameleon Conspiracy is finally wrapped up, Nick Spencer’s run on Amazing Spider-Man is heading right into the next big Spidey event – the Sinister War. The one good thing about this issue is that it gets right to it and directs everything in this issue to setting up the Sinister War with all of the major players featured here and the storylines it will explore.
The biggest standouts will be explored in the Spoilers section, but for the most part they revolve around the Sinister Six reforming with classic members such as the original Electro, Sandman, while adding the new Kraven and Doctor Octopus leading them. Or so it seems, as the previous issues established that Doc Ock is in league with Kindred to regain what was “taken” from him. If you’re like me, the last time you saw Doc Ock he was the Superior Spider-Man in his own cloned Peter body. But now he’s a super-villain again in his original form which may be confusing. So, I’m just playing it by ear on this one.
Here we see the Sinister Six complete their roster with some familiar additions, one of which will be explored in Spoilers as well. Then there’s the story involving the character Carlie Cooper who introduced Mary Jane to the superhero support group she’s been a part of in this run. Carlie was kidnapped by Kindred and was thrown into a cell with who appeared to be Norman Osborn. I’ll explain further on that in Spoilers. Anyway, MJ’s been looking around and so has the former car-racing super-villain Overdrive, who’s also reaching out to an old friend to help find Carlie.
By the end, the comic does exactly what’s it supposed to do. One problem, and it’s been a recurring one for this comic, is that it relies on readers to keep up with everything from many past issues in the comic as they’re finally getting some payoff. Thankfully some of these elements are relatively fresh and recent while others go back a little longer. The comic fulfills its purpose and sets up Spider-Man and the readers for the upcoming Sinister War. Now onto spoilers.
So, the Sinister Six are being reformed by Kindred and Doctor Octopus, but the final members are The Lizard and Mysterio. The latter is obvious since he’s been in Kindred’s pocket from the beginning, but the former is a little different. I said The Lizard is with the Sinister Six and not Curt Connors because Nick Spencer uses the technology from the very first arc that separated Peter and Spider-Man from each other on them. Doc Ock uses that same tech to separate Curt from The Lizard and now they’re separate entities, though the doctor is suffering side effects while his reptilian counterpart couldn’t be more stronger.
Speaking of Kindred, Nick Spencer is making the mystery with this character even weirder. Previously, I said Kindred kidnapped Carlie and placed her in a cell with who appeared to be Norman Osborn. It’s actually Harry Osborn and he gives some weird explanation behind how he ended up there and Carlie’s input makes it more confusing instead of mysterious. It’s possible that Spencer’s trying to deepen Kindred’s mystique but it borders on convoluted now without clear answers.
The last bit is that Spencer is bringing together not only the Sinister Six and Vulture’s Savage Six but also the all-female Syndicate Six for some reason, a new group formed by Overdrive and Boomerang to help find Carlie, and the group comprising The Foreigner, Chance, Jack ‘O-Lantern, and Slyde. It feels like Sinister War will be an overstuffed super-villain brawl and could turn into a chaotic mess if Spencer isn’t careful in handling all of these characters.
Amazing Spider-Man #70 is exactly what is says on the cover – a prelude to the Sinister War. It’s all setup establishing the major players and storylines being explored in the event. It’s got the Sinister Six on full display, but it also sets up so many others that it feels like Sinister War could be overcrowded with characters. Not to mention, the comic tries to expand on a key mystery surrounding Kindred, though not the one people might think, that makes things more confusing for the character. Sinister War is looking to be fun and chaotic and hopefully it delivers on being an enjoyable story.