By Nick Spencer, Ryan Ottley Cliff Rathburn and Nathan Fairbairn
Part 2 of Spidy’s crossover into Absolute Carnage continues with Amazing Spider-Man #31. This issue follows along the same structure of the previous issue and follows along three different stories that intertwine to the present, ranging from Harry Osborn’s drug problems in the past, to Norman Osborn’s recent interaction with Kindred, and finally to the present with the fight between Spidy and Norman. Any one of these stories should cater to the fans who like classic Spidy stories, what is currently going on in Amazing Spider-Man, or those who are in this issue just for the tie-in.
Nick Spencer has been doing a fantastic job on Amazing Spider-Man so far and you can really tell how he is carefully setting up future plot points in this issue. We get a lot of foreboding dialogue between Kindred and Norman Osborn of things to come that will already have readers excited. Mystery is an aspect of Spidy comics that often gets overlooked as a selling point of the series but Spencer has been building up the Kindred character since the beginning of his run and in this issue we may have been given some major clues as to their true identity. Even though most of the issue revolves around Kindred and Norman, we get a great moment for Spidy when he musters up all of his willpower to stand up and fight. Moments like this are what really gives the reader an inspired feeling from Spidy, who will never allow himself to give up on himself despite how defeated he feels.
The art in this issue is handled by the team of Ryan Ottley on pencils, inks by Cliff Rathburn, and colors by Nathan Fairbairn. This team is a perfect storm for Amazing Spider-Man, and every aspect of the art seems to fit together well. The pencils ad inking i this issue really stands out in it flowy nature. There are a lot of scenes in which we see fluid like textures in the symbiotes and blood to frame scenes in a beautiful manner. Another great aspect in the pencils and inking are the character designs and each character looks exactly as you would picture them in your head. The colors by Fairbairn really accent the issue well and the bright and vibrant reds used in the blood and Carnage symbiote really pop. These reds will mesh in a way where you will not be sure when the symbiote ends and the blood starts amongst all the action. This is not to say that darks are completely ignored in this issue. Though used sparingly, darks are used in this issue to highlight the more dire moments in this issue, especially when Carnage goes after the defenseless Normie and Dylan.
Amazing Spider-Man #31 continues to make one of Marvel’s biggest heroes shine in his flagship series. Nick Spencer has developed a series that will entertain you with the constant action while keeping you sucked in with an ongoing mystery. The art in this issue will also give readers that classic feel to Spidy and showcase the story in the way it deserves.