Amazing Spider-Man #74 marks the end of writer Nick Spencer's run, with Marvel setting up one hell (pun completely intended) of an ending for his long-running saga of Mephisto, Kindred, Harry Osborn, Mary Jane Watson, and Peter Parker in a new, fully-lettered preview of the September 29 issue.
The preview shows Harry Osborn literally in Marvel's version of Hell (or at least the portion of the afterlife ruled by Mephisto, the closest thing Marvel's got to the devil himself). He learns with horror that his shocking confession of his crimes and repentance before his death all the way back in 1993's Spectacular Spider-Man #200 wasn't enough to save him from damnation - and even worse, learns that he's just another pawn in some grand game being played by Mephisto.
That game - which is currently represented on the page as a series of literal casino games between Mephisto and Doctor Strange - also seems to be the motive for the deal Mephisto made with Peter Parker and Mary Jane in Spider-Man: One More Day, which dissolved their marriage.
The effects of their bargain also seemingly brought Harry Osborn back to life, though that was revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #73 as one of a series of schemes perpetrated after his death, leading to the current Kindred saga. Spencer has toyed with undoing the results of Peter and MJ's deal with Mephisto and what that could mean for the couple throughout his run, and those answers could be laid bare on the page in Amazing Spider-Man #74.
(Interestingly enough, Kindle and Comixology just dropped the price of the digital edition of One More Day down to $3.99 from $19.99 - maybe they're expecting a lot of folks who want to look back on the controversial tale in the coming weeks).
Here's the preview:
Weighing in at a whopping 92 pages, Amazing Spider-Man #74 also counts as the legacy-numbered Amazing Spider-Man #875, adding up the numbers of all previous iterations of the title. Spencer's finale will set up the incoming 'Spider-Man Beyond' era, which kicks off in Amazing Spider-Man #75, due out October 6.
'Spider-Man Beyond' features a creative team of multiple writers and artists, dubbed the 'Beyond Board,' who will rotate through issues of Amazing Spider-Man as the title goes weekly starting in October.
If Nick Spencer sticks the landing of his run, perhaps he'll find a place among the best Spider-Man writers of all time.