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Subj: Amazing Spider-Man#51: Familiar Arrangements
Posted: Wed Oct 28, 2020 at 04:03:18 pm EDT (Viewed 230 times)
Peter and Strange attempt to fend off the Kindred-possessed Cindy, who demands Peter confess to something. Peter agrees to meet with Kindred, and Cindy departs. Peter and Strange talk, Strange suggests he access the web of life and destiny through the astral plane and gives Peter the Hand of Vishanti...but Strange finds something wrong with it...he asks Peter if he's made any 'arrangements' in regards to something, but believes that to be 'impossible', he tells Peter he will work on liberating his friends without his assistance and casts him out of the sanctum.
However, it's then revealed Peter went to Felicia to ask for help in appropriating the Hand of Vishanti in case Strange proved to be difficult, and Felicia makes good on her own arrangement, stealing the hand and giving it to Peter. Peter uses it to travel to the astral plane but finds himself in a dimension focused entirely on him, with Uncle Ben, Aunt May, and even Morlun plastered on billboards. it's a dimension Peter has visited before with Doctor Strange.
A familiar voice calls him 'tiger', Peter turns to find an illusion of Mary Jane, who tells him that everything's ok and the answer is 'yes'....can this be pre-OMD MJ? Kindred invades the dreams and attacks Peter, and he wakes up in Kindred's graveyard lair, where he has finished setting up a dinner table filled with the skeletal remains of Peter's lost ones
I like to think Felicia always answers her doorbell in full costume. That was rather silly, but it's one of the few bright bursts of light hearted comedy in the actual issue.
In any other sort of event, this is a short, lean issue light on any real incident between Peter and Kindred, if you're experience with the ASM title is a bit more recent, you'd be more in it for the Felicia moments and Peter finally making it to Kindred's front door...the rest of the comic is for your dad or uncle, or anyone who lived life to the fullest in the years 2001 through to 2007, when J.Micheal Strazynski held court over Amazing Spider-Man, advancing him in ways rarely touched on in many years since (and even in the case of Parker Industries, handled with all the delicacies of a Peppa Pig pitch meeting)
Packed with callbacks, items and places from prior JMS issues, and a potential cameo from the "last remains" perhaps of the old reality's Mary Jane, this issue sees the acknowledgment of otherworldly arrangements which provokes Strange into cutting Peter out of their own joint rescue mission, a flavour perhaps of the greater rejection to come for Peter by the hero community should the rest of the arrangement come to full public light?
And then there is the answer...the simple answer...yes. Yes was the answer to that arrangement, spoken from the lips of the spider-bride. Have to admit, I really did think they were going to pull a double-turn and reveal MJ was working for Kindred or that she was Kindred herself when those centipedes appeared. And Kindred does say "we" an awful lot when Peter arrives at his graveside lair...he could be referring to the company he's keeping, but you never know. Post-OMD Mary Jane was so heartless under Slott, her being in leauge with Harry would not surprise me at all.
Nevertheless, we are getting closer to answers, and, for Peter, the start of a short and rocky road to realisation, and perhaps a longer one to redemption. Stay tuned.
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