With The Amazing Spider-Man #50 kicking off the “Last Remains” story arc, we finally have an answer to the first question. Kindred is none other than Peter Parker’s best friend and occasional enemy Harry Osborn.
As longtime ASM readers will know, this isn’t the first time Harry has plotted Peter’s destruction. Harry inherited his father Norman’s mantle as Green Goblin way back in 1974’s The Amazing Spider-Man #136. That kickstarted a recurring pattern of Harry plotting to kill Spider-Man in revenge for Norman’s death, only to be stricken with amnesia and return to his normal life. Harry ultimately died in 1993’s The Spectacular Spider-Man #200 after consuming a lethal variant of the Oz serum.
The Peter/Harry dynamic was further complicated when Harry returned in 2008’s The Amazing Spider-Man #545 (one of several major changes to Spider-Man’s world caused by the infamous One More Day storyline). Harry’s return was explained with the reveal that Norman had staged his son’s death (with a little help from Mysterio) and sent him to a long-term drug rehab facility in Europe. Since his return, Harry has mostly been an ally to Peter, choosing to focus more on raising his son Normie than reviving old grudges.
However, it would seem Harry hasn’t forgotten the past or forgiven his BFF for all the losses the Osborn family has suffered. In fact, writer Nick Spencer hints this plot twist builds directly on Harry’s 2008 resurrection and the fact that his rivalry with Peter was buried and forgotten far too easily.
“When Kindred first appeared back in the very first issue of our run, with very few hints given, people were already guessing it was Harry,” Spencer told CBR. “And that tells you everything you need to know about why it had to be him, funny enough. There is something about that wound that did not quite heal right. And as a writer, that’s the kind of thing I find myself drawn to.”Spencer continued, “I’ve said before, but Amazing Spider-Man is the only comic I’ve read throughout basically my entire life without pause. So it’s the one where I have the best aerial view, and what really struck me is how, for a book that is driven so much by a moral lesson about responsibility, there are so many things that have been sort of swept under the rug, never to be mentioned again. There was something fascinatingly meta about that conflict, and the longer I looked at that, the more drawn to it I became. To my eyes, Peter Parker was in need of a fearless personal inventory. And Kindred is very much the personification of that.”
As for Harry’s ultimate goal and whether his powers over life and death are what they seem, we’ll surely learn more as “Last Remains” plays out over the next several months.
In other recent comic book news, we just got our first look at DC’s Future State event and learned how Star Wars: Darth Vader is connected to the events of The Rise of Skywalker and whether Rorschach is a sequel to Doomsday Clock or HBO’s Watchmen.
Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.