Amazing Spider-Man #52 sees Kindred’s vendetta against Peter Parker escalate – with the villain actually snapping Spider-Man’s neck!
This article contains spoilers for Amazing Spider-Man #52, by Nick Spencer, Patrick Gleason, and Edgar Delgado.
Marvel Comics has just killed Spider-Man. Nick Spencer’s Amazing Spider-Man run has seen Peter Parker face some truly terrifying challenges. Standing in the shadows behind them all is the mysterious villain called Kindred, who hates Spider-Man with a fierce and terrible passion. After 50 issues of build-up, Spencer finally began to reveal the truth about Kindred; he is in fact Peter’s old friend Harry Osborn.
It’s currently unclear just how Harry Osborn became Kindred, but the most likely scenario is that this is the spirit of Harry from the pre-“One More Day” timeline. That would explain why he claims to have returned from the dead, walking out of Hell itself to torture his nemesis and play upon his innate sense of guilt. Kindred has launched a mysterious, multi-layered plan that ultimately drew Spider-Man to him for a fateful confrontation – and in Amazing Spider-Man #52, it comes to a shocking climax.
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Kindred has possessed Spider-Man’s Spider-Verse allies, and in previous issues, he’d set them upon the entire city. Matters escalate in Amazing Spider-Man #52, with Kindred revealing they are actually possessed by Peter Parker’s own guilt. Consequently, they turn upon one another, as unfettered guilt is a self-destructive force. Desperate, Spider-Man strikes a deal with this devil, unknowingly echoing the mistake he made with Mephisto in “One More Day.” “They didn’t do anything to deserve this,” Peter declares. “They’re not the one you hate. You wanna kill someone? Kill me! Please — I don’t care anymore. Just… take me. Take me!” Kindred agrees and releases his hold upon Spider-Man’s friends. Then, in a horrific moment that’s sure to leave readers reeling, he breaks Peter’s neck.
This is no hoax. This is no illusion. While it’s true Amazing Spider-Man #52 is a wild and confusing ride, it is indeed set in the real world, a fact confirmed in Amazing Spider-Man #52.LR, published on the same day. After all these years, Spider-Man has been killed, sacrificing himself to save his friends. The scene is shocking and brutal, with Patrick Gleason’s art sure to leave readers distinctly uncomfortable.
But that doesn’t mean this is the end of Spider-Man’s story. Spencer has been quite clear that Kindred is a demon from Hell, and previous issues confirmed that – as a direct consequence of “One More Day” – Peter Parker’s soul is destined for Hell as well. When Kindred kills Peter, he suggests death will force Peter to face the truths he has hidden from himself for so long – including the truth of his foolish bargain with Mephisto. Nick Spencer is telling a story of death, but surely there will ultimately be a resurrection for Spider-Man.
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