Kindred is building an army of broken villains to reform the Sinister Six, and Doctor Octopus just enlisted the most tragic member of the team.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Amazing Spider-Man #68 by Nick Spencer, Ed Brisson, Marcelo Ferreira, Carlos Gomez, Ze Carlos, Wayne Faucher, Morry Hollowell, Andrew Crossley, Erick Arciniega & VC’s Joe Caramagna, on sale now.
Kindred is building an army to go after Spider-Man again in the lead-up to the “Sinister War.” He started by bringing Mysterio back from the dead, but things have sped up in the epilogues of recent Amazing Spider-Man issues.
It all started with Kindred luring Doctor Octopus to the cemetery, promising answers to the holes in his memory. And in Amazing Spider-Man #68, the ext step is to send Doc Ock after another man who has suffered a great deal recently: Sandman.
Doctor Octopus turned his life around and operated on the West Coast as Superior Spider-Man. However, to save the people he loved, he made a deal with Mephisto and reverted to the old Doctor Octopus. The problem is that he has holes in his memory after that, and Kindred promised him answers and a chance to regain what he lost. All Doc Ock has to do is follow him. The first step was to reform the Sinister Six. The next recruit Doctor Octopus found was Sandman, someone who also turned his life around but found nothing but pain.
Kindred supplied the narration in this story, explaining that everyone needs a friend who can help them find what they need. For Sandman, Kindred revealed it was a lost sense of mortality and a scientist friend like Doctor Octopus to help him solve that riddle. It was a perfect way to lure Sandman back to the Sinister Six, even though the former villain made good with Spider-Man. When Kindred mentioned Sandman’s lost sense of mortality, he knew what he was talking about. As damaged as Doc Ock is, Sandman has gone through even worse.
In 2017’s Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #308, by Chip Zdarsky and Chris Bachalo, Sandman began losing control of his shape and form. Sandman eventually collapsed in the streets, covered in sand and ended up in a hospital as a John Doe. However, J. Jonah Jameson knew who he was and he told Spider-Man, who went to see if he could help. Sandman explained the sand was rejecting his body. He gave up and chose death, so Spider-Man took him to a beach that Sandman used to visit with his mom as a child. It was on this beach that Sandman died. However, that wasn’t the end.
In Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #309, Sandman came back, controlled by his future self. This Sandman lived for billions of years and wanted to take over his past body after his death However, Sandman’s consciousness was still there, even though his body had died. He was also grateful for what Spider-Man did for him, and he helped the wall-crawler and Human Torch defeat his future self. This left Sandman with a lost sense of mortality. He learned he could live forever and never die. As he told Spider-Man, things mean something when you can die, but when you live forever, life means nothing.
If there is anyone who can help Sandman understand his mortality, it is a genius like Doctor Octopus. And if that means returning as a villain with the Sinister Six and turning on Spider-Man, Kindred might have the start to the army he needs.
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