Nick Spencer is gearing up for his next Amazing Spider-Man event, and it all begins in the Sins Rising Prelude. This one-shot, with artwork by Guillermo Sanna, colors by Jordie Bellaire, and letters by VC's Joe Caramagna reintroduces and recaps the life of Stanley Carter, the Sin-Eater. The villain famously killed one of Spider-Man's closest friends in The Death of Jean DeWolff back in 1985, and he's coming back for another round against the web-slinger. First, though… he tells his own story.
With Sins Rising Prelude, Nick Spencer introduces Stanley Carter as an unreliable narrator that tells his own story… before it all devolves into a fever dream of murder, death, and, taking a page out of Todd Phillip's book, a talk show. The book feels more like a creator-owned horror title than a Spider-Man comic, which is a strength, as Carter's origin story is utterly unlike Spider-Man's "I've learned my lesson"-based rise to heroism. Spencer reaffirms himself as the most underrated writer in comics, as his skill often gets overlooked by the controversy his role in company-wide events generated. Nick Spencer still has, after years have passed, the energy of that indie creator who launched Morning Glories, Forgetless, Existence 2.0, and Shuddertown over a two year period, and the Amazing Spider-Man is a better title due to his time on it.
The art by Guillermo Sanna is blocky and blotchy, making Amazing Spider-Man: Sins Rising Prelude seem like it's caught somewhere in the ether between Ryan Sook and Mike Mignola. It works for the first half of the comic but gets a little odd when Spider-Man comes into play. Overall, it does, though, keep the creepy, ominous mood that Nick Spencer introduced consistent, even if it does offer a strange depiction of Spidey himself. Jordie Bellaire offers murky colors that make this grim read that much darker, and Joe Caramagna's letters ride the line between the superhero standard and horror pulp.
Sins Rising Prelude is a strong issue with exceptional writing that sets the main Amazing Spider-Man up for continued success under the pen of Nick Spencer.