There's been a fair bit of art recycling in comic books of late. Recent issues of X-Men just re-ran scenes from a Free Comic Book Day edition with minor text alterations while another just reused the same art as a previous issue in order to tell the story from a different and less unreliable narrator. Today's Amazing Spider-Man #53 has the grace, at least to redraw rather than reuse Joe Quesada's artwork from Amazing Spider-Man #545, as originally written by Joe Michael Straczynski.
One of the more controversial Spider-Man comics, dubbed One More Day, it saw Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson do a deal with the devil Mephisto for the life of Peter's Aunt May, in return for the existence of their own marriage. It also saw Peter Parker regain his secret identity, return his physical rather than organic web-shooters and also bring back Harry Osborn from the dead.
And it is Harry Osborn who has been revealed as Kindred, a demonic creature manipulating Parker's life. That has dragged itself from hell with a very personal mission of revenge. A Harry Osborn that was in hell all this time, forgotten by all while the revived Harry Osborn was – an imposter?
So the opening scene drawn by Mark Bagley…
…is directly drawn from Joe Quesada's original.
The previous Peter Parker was rewritten but sure of who and what he was. The new version, is thrust back in time, and is unready from the get-go.
Putting the Spider-shoe on the other foot, initially the audience was the one not knowing what was going on, now the audience (those who remember the original decades ago) has an inkling, and it is Peter who is lost.
Although the memories do start to return with the song that he sings…
Though not everyone has glowing red eyes. Is that a note of Mephisto, as we have seen in recent issues of The Avengers?
With a very alive Flash Thompson
A reaction to Flash that contrasts the original, and a very different feeling for Mary Jane as well.
And so the arrival of the big man himself.
With the announcement made by a more demonic face than the original. And less of an evil grin from Carley as well.
But there is one specific scene from the original that is not reprised, with Peter Parker choosing an appropriate toast to the returning friend.
"Speak of the devil" … might that have been too much on the nose?
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #53 LAST
(W) Nick Spencer (A) Mark Bagley (CA) Patrick Gleason
LAST REMAINS CONTINUES!
o If you think you've seen a brutal Spider-Man fight before, you are wrong.
o Do not miss this issue.
32 PGS./Rated T+In Shops: Nov 18, 2020 SRP: $3.99