Amazing Spider-Man #51.LR sees Black Cat force Doctor Strange into a team-up – with the soul of Spider-Man himself on the line.
Warning: contains spoilers for Amazing Spider-Man #51.LR!
Black Cat is blackmailing Doctor Strange, forcing him to work with her in order to save Spider-Man from his terrifying new foe, Kindred. For some time now, Spider-Man has found his life plagued by a mysterious being called Kindred, with readers recently learning he is actually Harry Osborn. The origin of Kindred is something of a mystery right now, but it appears to be related to the controversial “One More Day” storyline.
Kindred’s plans seem to be coming to a climax. He’s possessed Spider-Man’s Spider-Verse allies, turning the likes of Spider-Gwen, Spider-Woman, and Spider-Girl into monsters who are rampaging across New York. The wall-crawler has desperately attempted to figure out what’s going on, and he’s walked into what is clearly a trap. It’s reasonable to assume Kindred is about to reveal his true identity to Spider-Man, no doubt reveling in the psychological torture this will cause him. Fortunately, Spider-Man is not without allies.
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Amazing Spider-Man #51.LR by Nick Spencer, Matthew Rosenberg, and Federico Vicentini sees Doctor Strange and Black Cat forge an unlikely alliance. Spider-Man recently headed to Doctor Strange for help, but he rightly deduced the Sorcerer Supreme’s assistance would come with strings attached. Consequently, he had Black Cat break into the Sanctum Sanctorum and steal a mystical artifact called the Hand of Agamotto. Doctor Strange apparently needs this if he’s to successfully track Spider-Man down and help him, and Black Cat forces him to take her along for the ride.
Spider-Man has always imagined he works alone, but in reality he has friends scattered across the entire Marvel Universe. This is the one factor Kindred appears not to have considered; the possibility Spider-Man could go beyond his closest circle and seek assistance from one of the world’s best sneak-thieves and the Sorcerer Supreme. Doctor Strange already understands he’s dealing with a demon from Hell itself, and he also has an important clue; he appears to have begun to figure out Peter Parker’s deal with Mephisto in “One More Day,” and it’s entirely possible Doctor Strange will be able to undo that.
That does mean, however, that Doctor Strange and Black Cat may well find they work at cross purposes. Black Cat simply wants to help Spider-Man, and she’ll no doubt want to take a direct approach. In contrast, Doctor Strange understands the way different elements of magic tie into one another, and it’s quite likely he’ll focus on the mystery of Spider-Man’s soul first, figuring that will explain why the wall-crawler is being hunted by a being straight from Hell. It will be fascinating to see how Spider-Man‘s friends handle their differences.
More: Spider-Man’s Kindred Mystery: Was It Worth The Wait?
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