Writer: Nick Spencer
Artists: Federico Sabbatini, Zé Carlos, Marcelo Ferreira & Carlos Gómez
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Artists: Mark Bagley, John Dell & Brian Reber
Publisher: Marvel Comics
The Sinister War is underway and Spider-Man is neck-deep in it all. Caught in the crosshairs of six multiple supervillain teams and barely any time to catch his breath. However, while that’s all going down in Sinister War, Amazing Spider-Man #72 catches up readers on the villain behind it all and what cards he still has yet to play.
The Sinister War has been a fun-filled story when you’re reading the actual Sinister War companion series. However, the Amazing Spider-Man series takes a different approach by exploring Kindred’s machinations and manipulations and even provides his narration for it all. Here we see more of his pieces moving into place while Spider-Man is dealing with a small legion of supervillains.
In this issue we get more of Nick Spencer writing Kindred talking about Spider-Man paying for his sins. This time the comic puts the focus on the connections people have and the deals they make with each other whether it’s for survival, convenience, or greed. All of which is clearly alluding to Mephisto and One More Day. The theme in this issue is “interconnectedness” and this comes through in one of the biggest and potentially worst ways possible.
The comic follows MJ, Carlie Cooper, Harry Osborn, and Norman Osborn as they’re all moved into their proper places by Kindred. There aren’t that many twists and turns in this comic, except for one revelation which turns out to be a huge retcon. I will explore that in the Spoilers section. Ultimately, this comic is more of Kindred dancing around the big questions and teasing readers with the answers they want. At this point, it feels like fans should just wait till the penultimate issues of Sinister War for answers.
I said before that there was a massive retcon in this comic. Well, the big reveal is that Norman Osborn at his lowest point in the past made a deal with Mephisto. What was his deal? He gets money, success, and power in exchange for his firstborn son’s soul. This right here is an unnecessary and excessive change that speaks to the large problem with many writers at Marvel and DC Comics overcomplicating things with excessive changes like this.
Norman Osborn was an ambitious, unscrupulous, up-and-coming businessman who wanted power and chased after it in business and beyond. Very simple and straightforward. But this retcon makes Mephisto, not Norman, the source of all of his evil. From betraying his partner Mendel Stromm to creating the Goblin serum and becoming the Green Goblin. Mephisto is ultimately behind it all. This change could diminish any agency Norman has as a character and a supervillain if it sticks around beyond this series.
This isn’t the first time a Marvel writer chose to change major character’s origins involving Mephisto. Look no further than Jason Aaron’s current Avengers series where he established that Howard Stark was part of some weird satanic cult that worshipped Mephisto. Then he reveals that Howard made a deal with Mephisto for Tony’s soul, apparently. So, now we can add Norman Osborn onto the list. Hopefully he’s not on there for long.
Amazing Spider-Man #72 takes readers on another ride with Kindred in this part of Sinister War. There are some small developments as the villain moves the other characters into place for the final act. The comic teases readers with twists and turns that you don’t get in the comic. However, there is one big reveal surrounding a major Spider-Man character that is a huge retcon and will be hard to miss. Ultimately, the retcon felt unnecessary and will hopefully be gone by the end of Sinister War.