Anyone reading this issue has already had the ending spoiled for them as a result of "Amazing Spider-Man" #13. As a result, it obviously dampens the impact of the moment -- of Ben Reilly sacrificing himself to destroy the Inheritors' ability to clone themselves -- when it comes.
That said, even if you didn't know it was coming, it's hard to know how we're supposed to feel about it when it does come. Ben Reilly already died on "our" Earth. This Ben Reilly wasn't particularly recognizable as our Ben Reilly, given his overly sunny disposition. (Our Ben, after years of wandering, was a bit of a downer.) Moreover, we didn't particularly get to know him that well, because he's just one of the multitude of Spiders participating in this event. As such, it's hard to summon the emotional response that Costa clearly wants us to have. One of the seemingly millions of Spider-Men died. [Yawn.] Can't we just go to a world where he took a different subway the day that he got recruited and bring him into the mix?
In other words, this issue really lays bare the problem at the heart of this event, that it's still unclear what sort of repercussions we're supposed to believe that it's going to have. After all, we already know that Otto somehow appears right where he left. Does everything wind up getting ret-conned and everyone gets sent to the moment before everything went crazy? Does anything matter? Even if it matters in terms of "Spider-Verse," does it matter in terms of "Secret Wars?"
Ugh. Everything about this issue made me feel like it was the '90s again, and I can't think of a worse thing to say. It's not Costa's fault; he does the best with the material that he's given. But, the editorial interference feels strong here, and I'm worried what that means for the next few months.
** (two of five stars)