“He was once the biggest and the baddest. Now he’s just a snack . . . . “
Amazing Spider-Man vol. 5 #53LR
November 25, 2020
Written by: Nick Spencer & Matthew Rosenberg
Art by: Federico Vicentini & Takeshi Miyazawa
Morlun hungrily chases a scent and smiles as he sees Man-Spiders that he consumes. Sin Eater approaches and tries to kill Morlun, but he’s clearly outmatched. Just as Morlun is about to eat Sin Eater, Sin Eater pulls a rope that fires a hidden shotgun.
Dr. Strange is leading the Order of the Web through Peter’s dreamscape from Amazing Spider-Man #46. As Spider-Gwen tries to get Madame Web to apologize for forcing Peter to let Sin Eater shoot Norman, a four-armed demon gunman snipes and then and then leaps out with a snarl.
A giant demon kingpin fights Miles, Silk, and Spider-Girl. A legion of demon May Parkers climbs out of a circle and tries to devour Miles. Dr. Strange blasts all the villains to pieces.
Mary Jane appears to shows up, but Dr. Strange immediately knows it is a demon. He commands her to reveal her true form. She is a giant demon, resembling Menace. While Strange fights the demon, the Order of the Web jumps into the circle. They arrive in a graveyard where we see that Sin Eater is lurking behind cover with a shotgun, waiting to take them all on, presumably with the totem-devouring power of Morlun.
It feels like everything else here is peripheral to Sin Eater, which might work if there was more focus on the Sin Eater.
Ultimately, Sin Eater has a lot of complicated plans—and a big emotional conflict about whether he is doing the right thing or being led astray. And maybe some powers? And it’s possible he turns on Kindred? So he seems important.
The rest? Well . . .
Poor Morlun. He was once the biggest and the baddest. Now he’s just a snack for the Sin Eater (who may or may not be a shnook with a gun at this point).
It seems like the detour with Dr. Strange does not go anywhere yet. The Order of the Web goes with Dr. Strange to a dreamscape and then leaves him there, none the wiser. This also means that the Black Cat’s part of the story seems meaningless.
And the Order of the Web is really only two characters: Madame Web (representing fate and blind chance) and Spider-Gwen (representing, essentially, Peter’s need to do the “right thing” no matter what the cost). Everyone else is just kind of making the group bigger, especially Jessica Drew, Silk, and Spider-Girl. (Miles, at least, had one moment at the beginning of the arc.)
I would not be surprised if the Order of the Web, the Black Cat, and Dr. Strange all showed up at the end as the cavalry, but I’m not sure that this side story enhances their value to the endgame.
Grade: B-. Disappointing that all of the Dr. Strange stuff appears to have petered out. The Kindred invades-your-dreams horror seemed to call for some mystic/psychic response. Interested to see if the Order of the Web is going to do anything.