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Scarlet Spider #14 - In the Midst of Wolves Part 2 Review

4

The Lobos continue to hunt Aracely and Kaine confronts the Other.

The Good 

It's been awhile since Kaine's resurrection at the conclusion of 'Grim Hunt' and since then we haven't much reason to think about "The Other." This issue completely changes that and brings the variable back into the picture.  
 
Why'd Peter lose those powers? Why/how was Kaine brought back to life? Writer Christopher Yost answers those questions and more in this chapter and does so in an incredibly cinematic method.  We take a trip down memory lane as Kaine is haunted by all of his actions and continues to struggle with who he really is and what he's capable of. I know I've complained about there being too much of a focus on this in this past, but the dilemma works masterfully in this segment and sets the stage for some big changes in this book. 
 
Meanwhile, I'm pleased to see the story with Aracely is making major strides. It's just too bad the villains moving this part forward don't intrigue me all that much. II'd much rather see Kingpin and the Hand return to the picture sooner rather than later. 

The Bad

Overall, Khoi Pham's art has some solid moments but there's some serious anatomy issues. Aracely has insanely long legs at one point and Kaine's body is all kinds of distorted in another panel -- it's very distracting. Also, some of the facial work in close ups feel a bit rushed and had very rough details that just didn't seem fitting.    

The Verdict 

Yost delivers a solid script as he places a key focus on Kaine's moral struggle. The issue has a fantastic payoff that'll likely get you pumped for what's to come, but seemingly rushed art holds back the book's overall impact. Yost has done a great job creating a strong supporting cast for the anti-hero and I'm especially interested to see how things will go once he encounters them again.
22 Comments
Posted by Trevel8182

I had no idea what was going on in this issue does it have something to do with THE OTHER storyline or something in Kaine's past.

Posted by Scarlet_Spider_Forever

I really cannot stand what Pham's art is doing to these books. Stegman was such a better fit and wish he would come back.

Posted by kingjoeg

It's still a really good book, too bad Khoi Pham will never be as good as Stegman. Much prefer Reily Brown is a much better fit as his christmas one shot was great.

Posted by VaizD

I was wondering if they were ever going to bring back the concept of The Other, or if that was just done after OMD.

Posted by CircularLogic

I didn't like the design in the last page. Besides that, great issue over all

Posted by scarspider

I loved this issue. I'm glad to see they're delving into Kaine's past and "the other" stuff. Yost does a good job of making this series easy for new readers while still rewarding old readers who know their stuff about Spidey (Clone Saga and all). Keep up the good work Yost! The art is not as good as Stegman but it's still pretty decent.

Posted by Don_Jay

I have to say I'm who didn't just flat out hate Straczynski's work on ASM, but actually enjoyed it and I was quite annoyed when One More Day pretty much retconned pretty much all of its plot development. I honestly thought the 'Other' story didn't happen just as Ezekiel and the entire occult origin and that's why Peter didn't have the organic web-shooters or the bone 'claws' or whatever you want to call the things that came out of his arm. Now it's back. I usually don't mind a good callback, but this is is just weird. Plus in the original 'other' story Peter embraced the Spider, that's why he's alive. They even did a What if.. about him rejecting the Spider. So far the book has been great, but this new development is just sloppy and confusing so far.

Posted by VaizD

@Don_Jay said:

Plus in the original 'other' story Peter embraced the Spider, that's why he's alive. They even did a What if.. about him rejecting the Spider. So far the book has been great, but this new development is just sloppy and confusing so far.

Huh... you're right. I forgot about that. Well, that does sort of throw a logic monkey wrench in to this whole thing. The only thing I can think of that would explain the differences in their manifestation after embracing The Other is the idea that Peter was described as the man dreaming of being a spider, while Kaine is the opposite.

That still doesn't explain them downright getting it wrong and saying Pete rejected the spider, though.

Posted by sparty-dbq

I find it a little strange that a random gang member put up a better fight against the lobos than Kaine did last issue.

Posted by Don_Jay

@VaizD: The problem is, that One More Day messed a whole lot of things up they never bothered to clarify. This new Spider might be that crazy thing made out of the small spiders that came out of Pete's old body, but that was supposedly eaten by birds, but it left a cocoon behind. Maybe it's that. Still if Peter refused the spider he never would've crawled out of his cocoon. As I said, this revival of the 'Other' is just really confusing.

Posted by mrpandopool

@VaizD: Maybe it´s not like he rejected the spider as we understand. But since he was reborn he only used this new powers (The other powers) just for a little time except the organic web and the enhanced spider-sense he didn´t use the other habilities at all. He used the stingers 3 times, one with Morlun, two and three with Ero and then no more. Yes there was a condition to using them but even so the stongers never came out again. Tha night vision was out of the game with the stark suit, the sensitive web thing was out of the way and it never was used again. And I have a theory for the organic web shooters maybe he atrophied them when he used all he had against Iron Man in OMD tha he damaged the little organs that made the webs and it´s difficult to think that all that parts in Peter physiology (refering to the organic web organs and the stingers) just disappeared maybe they ar just "off" in case of the stingers and damaged to the organic web shooters. But the point is that Peter rejected the spider by not using ALL the gifts that the other gave to him.

Posted by Don_Jay

@mrpandopool: What you're saying here might turn out to be true, but you have to admit everything you wrote above is still quite a stretch. The problem is Quesada just punched the reboot button with OMD and didn't explain jack sh*t, because "it's magic" and now it leads to confusion. That's annoying.

Posted by pspin

I was very confused but overall pretty happy with this. This is a great series.

Posted by EscGamer

What i got from the issue was that after Peter's event in the Other, he was reborn yes but not fully, kinda like Kaine is right now and the Other Spider never finished fully consuming Peter. Let's remember there where 2 cosmic beings involved in this, 1 being The Great Weaver, and obviously the other one (no pun intended) who argued if he should've even been brought back to life or not. Peter's stingers came out automatically when the Other was in front of him so I think that's a clear sign that his spider side viewed it as a threat. My theory is The Other needs a host to combat Pete because that body alone is not going to cut it and seeing as when Kaine died he himself seems to be just a random blimp on the great web of life he fits the choice as host perfect. He practically is the Other Spider as it is being the opposite of Peter in every way.

Posted by Planewalker

Somehow the work he does on Cyberforce and the stuff he's doing on Scarlet Spider are completely different. And the plot is getting confusing as well, I hate the end page design as well! Just going to wait for the next issue and see if I'm going to drop this book!!

Posted by Webjaker

@sparty-dbq said:

I find it a little strange that a random gang member put up a better fight against the lobos than Kaine did last issue.

You mean the "shark", as in "jumping the". Really, the other? *sigh

Posted by thatlad

Is this a good jumping on point?

Posted by greenlucario

@Scarlet_Spider_Forever: Couldn't agree more, they've had a couple artists since Stegman that were at least passable but Pham is just not right for this book.

Posted by NICKXH

@Scarlet_Spider_Forever said:

I really cannot stand what Pham's art is doing to these books. Stegman was such a better fit and wish he would come back.

@greenlucario said:

@Scarlet_Spider_Forever: Couldn't agree more, they've had a couple artists since Stegman that were at least passable but Pham is just not right for this book.

Good thing Carlo Barberi will be taking over in issue 17. Barberi is no Stegman but he'll be far better suited for this book more than Pham.

Posted by darthender

I think what they're doing here is pretty cool.

One of the things that always annoys me about Spider-man is writers are always trying to give him new powers and abilities, and he always ends up losing them because Spider-man always has to be vanilla Spider-man in the long run.

I've never been a fan of that. I like my characters to grow and improve over time. Get stronger. Probably the reason I like shounen anime so much.

So this idea of them creating this other character that's basically Spider-man, but they can give him new powers and it doesn't ruin real Spider-man is interesting.

They've already given him the mystic spider totem powers. Now he just needs a symbiote and some mechanical spider arms!

That said, his The Other form looks really stupid.

Edited by dreamfall31

Read the first TBP and was amazed with the book! Picked up these past two issues and was bit bummed about the change in art. Stegman's looked and felt right. Pham's is passable, but there is just something about it that seems a bit too plain for this series. Shame Stegman was taken off to do Superior Spider-Man, which probably takes up most of his time as it's been bi-weekly since it started. I'd like to see where it's going, but I may just wait until Carlo Barberi starts as his work on Deadpool is quite reminicent of Stegman's.

Posted by TheCheeseStabber

Just read it yesterday, I loved The Sharks scene...