Did Amazing Spider-Man #74 Really End The Way Nick Spencer Intended?

This week saw the release of Amazing Spider-Man #74, Nick Spencer's final issue on a three-year run on the series. Which, as well as giving Peter Parker a new look at his life, new friends and enemies, and getting back together with Mary Jane Watson, also put the character through the wringer. Targeted by Kindred, a demonic entity that seemed to know all about Peter Parker and Spider-Man and was determined to take him down. By the end, the story managed to retcon a retcon – revealing that Gwen Stacy had never had a sexual relationship with Norman Osborn, and giving birth to twins, as seen in Sin's Past. While also giving Mephisto a greater motivation behind the events of the equally controversial One More Day.

Truth About Kindred, Harry Osborn & Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #73
Amazing Spider-Man #74

But after publication, there has been a growing swell of online commentary that think that Nick Spencer's plans were radically changed by Marvel editorial in the fashion of the infamous Spider-Man Clone Saga. Questions as to why Doctor Strange was initially obsessed with the state of Peter Parker's soul, then forgot about it. How Kindred could have known details about Harry Osborne's original death, if they was being puppeted by the AI Harry Osborne created before that. And was the sin that Peter Parker was challenged over, really that he forgot about the Stacy Twins? Everyone tried to forget about the Statcy Twins. Instead there was the suspicion that Spencer would have more directly targeted One More Day, that editorial stepped in and he twisted it round to Sin's Past instead.

Did Amazing Spider-Man #74 Really End The Way Nick Spencer Intended?

So Bleeding Cool did a little asking around and have discovered, from all accounts, that this isn't true. Now Nick Spencer did leave Amazing Spider-Man sooner than he would have liked, and was asked to wrap up his story up much faster than he had originally intended. Comparisons to Tom King's experience on Batman have been made, though that was even more sudden. Marvel added oversized issues, a Spider event, and other one-offs to enable Nick to tell more of the story he intended over his final year. But it was still much more truncated than originally pitched.

Did Amazing Spider-Man #74 Really End The Way Nick Spencer Intended?

And that is the reason that some aspects of the Last Remains story don't match the big finale, there were other stories they would have pointed to, but it was always going in one direction. While it may have got to the ending quicker than planned, missing out much of the structural twists Nick Spencer had pitched, his using One More Day as red herring to deal with Sin's Past and then bring One More Day back again was always the plan. Kindred was always Sarah and Gabriel, the AI Harry Osborn was always the one in charge and they were always Mephisto's champions. Looks like he'll have to have someone else to play with now. So Nick Spencer may not have been allowed to reverse the events of One More Day as he might have wanted to, but that was always the case at Marvel rather than a sudden reversal of policy…

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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