Comic Book Recap & Review – Sinister War (2021)

Today’s post is a recap and review of the comic Sinister War, which was released earlier this year. It definitely feels like the Amazing Spider-Man title has been building to something big. So, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in this event and the tie-in Spider-Man issues. For simplicity sake, the recap will only go over events from the Sinister War issues, but I’ll include my thoughts on the Spider-Man issues when I discuss my opinions in the review at the end.

Recap (Spoiler Alert!)

The comic starts with Peter and MJ attending her movie premiere. They are walking the red carpet, when the movie’s director comes to take MJ away to do an interview. Once they are away from Peter, the director asks MJ if she’s told Peter the truth yet, and she hasn’t. The director is actually none other than the reformed? Mysterio. As they do the interview, Peter looks on thinking about how he will ask MJ to marry him tonight once the movie premiere is over. As they settle into their seats for the movie premiere, a loud BOOM erupts and the Savage Six tear through the movie screen. A fight ensues, and Peter dons his Spider-Man suit to enter the fray. As he is fighting, Vulture captures MJ, who is then saved by none other than Mysterio. Vulture and Mysterio start battling it out because Vulture is upset about how he was portrayed in the movie. Vulture gets the upper hand until the Sinister Six burst into the auditorium. The two villain teams fight each other over Mysterio. As they do, Peter and MJ get in a fight over her knowing about Mysterio, and Mysterio tells Peter he knows something important that explains everything that is going on. Before he can listen, Peter jumps back into the fight to try to keep the two villain teams from bringing the auditorium down around them. While Peter is fighting, Doc Oc attempts to persuade Mysterio to rejoin the Sinister Six and turn over MJ to him. Mysterio agrees and helps them get away with MJ. Spider-Man is left there alone and passes out. He wakes up in Kindred’s mausoleum facing several teams of villains. The scene cuts away to Doctor Strange facing down Mephisto over some deal he has made regarding the ongoing events. Mephisto offers Doctor Strange a chance to change things by playing a game of chance…

Spider-Man is engaged in a brutal battle with all his enemies in the graveyard outside of Kindred’s mausoleum. They almost capture him multiple times as he bounces from fighting one group of villains to another. Throughout the fighting, the scene flashes back several times to show that Kindred has recruited them all to kill Spider-Man. He implants brain-eating centipedes in all their heads to motivate them to comply with his orders and tells them all that they must kill Spider-Man. He offers the one who succeeds in killing Spider-Man the right hand spot in hell since they are all going there anyway. In the present, the battle continues and Spider-Man begins to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of foes.

Spider-Man is hiding in the graveyard attempting to stay out of the sights of the 30 villains after him. Silver Sable shows up unexpectedly with a team of her own, including Wolverine and the Human Torch. They tell Spider-Man to rest as they go get more help. When they get closer, Wolverine suddenly turns into the Lizard and lunges at Spider-Man. It turns out they were all villains disguised by Mysterio. The villains resume beating up on Spider-Man as Kindred awakens the Sin Eater from his grave to go after Spider-Man, as well. Peter attempts to run for it and looks like he is going to get away with the use of his web shooter, but Doc Ock grabs him out of the air. The villains then begin fighting again over who should finish him off, and Spider-Man is able to crawl away while they are distracted. As he runs, he continues to dodge and fight villain after villain before facing Boomerang, who tells him to run and sets off one of his own boomerangs as a distraction. Spider-Man gets away and hides behind a dumpster. The Sin Eater and several other new villains descend on him there and tell him there is no hiding from his sins.

Spider-Man is once again in a battle for his life. The newest six enemies to arrive, led by the supposed-to-be-dead Sin Eater, attack him ruthlessly. Sin Eater manages to beat Spider-Man on the back of the head with his gun, which causes him to crumple to the ground. Like a good villain, Sin Eater then tells Spider-Man all about how he was brought back from hell to drag him back with him all because Spider-Man won’t face his own sins. His monologue gives Spider-Man some time to recover, and he shoots web into the end of Sin Eater’s gun, which causes it to blow Sin Eater’s hands off when he fires it. This allows Spider-Man to fly off on his web. He attempts to find a place to fight where others won’t get hurt while 36 of his enemies chase after him so that they might avoid the eternal damnation Kindred has promised them. They catch up to him and another large fight ensues. In it, Morlun manages to capture Spider-Man and begins to drink his essence. Boomerang saves him again at the cost of his own life. His death inspires Spider-Man to find a second wind and keep fighting, and it also inspires Boomerang’s crew to see that they should be fighting to die on their own terms like he did. So, they switch sides and begin fighting the other five teams of villains. Despite this help, Spider-Man is losing. The infighting gives Doc Ock the chance to capture one of Kindred’s brain centipedes and come up with a plan to end his control over all of them. He activates his plan and destroys all the bugs, freeing all of the villains from Kindred’s control. Spider-Man escapes the scene while they are all incapacitated. The scene cuts away back to Doctor Strange and Mephisto. It appears Doctor Strange won their bet, and Mephisto is upset he has lost all the souls of the villains. He walks away warning Doctor Strange that Spider-Man may yet be facing a major loss.

My Review

This was an explosive story with many cool fight scenes. I loved that it brought back a ton of cool villains that Spider-Man himself barely even remembered fighting. It truly was a battle royale of epic proportions. There wasn’t really a lot else there, though. Story wise this event was pretty weak, unless you also read the tie-in Amazing Spider-Man comics. These four issues were pretty much just Spider-Man getting his butt kicked and running away over and over until Doc Ock saved the day. The ending of the last issue didn’t really provide much of a resolution to the larger story either. You must continue to read the next issue of Spider-Man to get the resolution. So, I’m not sure why this needed a separate title of its own. Personally, I haven’t really enjoyed the Kindred arc for a while. I liked it at first, and the mystery was interesting, but it has gone on and on forever without any real answers. I also haven’t really cared for the idea of punishing Spider-Man for his supposed culpability in the deaths of those he loves when I think the blame should definitely be squarely on the villains. As a short arc to show him grow beyond his self-blame, it could have worked, but the length of the arc has just made it repetitive and unwarranted torture of the character at this point. The final answers given in the two issues after this event wrapped up were also pretty unsatisfactory for me since I haven’t read a ton of old Spider-Man books, and the answers hinge on understanding a lot of previous plotlines that made no sense to me. All in all, I thought this event had some great fight scenes but very little substance. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next era of Spider-Man brings now that all of the Kindred business is resolved and new writers are at the helm.

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