Comic Vine Review

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Scarlet Spider #16 - A Good, Ol' Fashioned Rodeo Review

5

Kaine has faced all kinds of terrible events thus far, but nothing has prepared him for... the rodeo!

The Good

Oh man, what a ridiculously fun issue. SCARLET SPIDER has taken a pretty dark turn with The Other and focusing on human trafficking and mass murder, but #16 instead aims to plant a smile right on your face, just like the brilliant Santa robbers issue.

This issue is ultimately all about Kaine and his relationship with Annabelle. She clearly has feelings for him and they're certainly mutual, but Kaine firmly stands by the whole "but I'm a monster!" routine. The turn of events may be a tad too cheesy for some of you out there, but I have no shame at all in saying it was both a heartwarming and cheerworthy set of moments for me. There's so much death and chaos going on in this book, so you can't help but soak in and really appreciate these lighter and totally joyous moments.

On a scale of 1 to 10, Armadillo's appearance and all of the remarks about him is probably a 10.5. No lie, watching him ride a bull is quite possibly the best panel this week. Solid laughs aside, I love how writer Christopher Yost used this issue to tease so much! We see two villains return (I've been anxiously awaiting for 'em), a new relationship is sure to bring an interesting dynamic to the book, there's a nosey (and intentionally unlikable) reporter now on Kaine's trail, and finally, the content of the letter is revealed -- as is whether or not the dire message reaches Kaine. So yeah, despite it feeling like funny filler, a lot goes down and the pace never slows.

Khoi Pham's art is a mixed bag (look below), but there's plenty to love in this one, too. Like I said above, the truly hysterical moments are illustrated well, letting us fully appreciate the slapslick nature behind a good chunk of the physical humor (like an intoxicated Armadillo waddling to his ex-lover). The man can also draw the hell out of The Other. Every little cameo it has looks appropriately frightening and all kinds of awesome.

The Bad

While Pham's art does shine here and there, a fair amount of the work feels rushed (most notably at the rodeo). There's a significant lack of detail with a lot of characters, heads and necks sometimes give the impression thumb people are in the comic, and legs appear to go on forever. When it's good, it's good. But when it's not, let's just say it's really noticeable.

The Verdict

Yost clearly has long time plans for Kaine and his friends, and I'm definitely stoked to see how he carries it all out. Some visual gripes aside, SCARLET SPIDER #16 rocks. It's sharp, wildly fun, laugh-inducing and serves as a huge tease for the major events that are sure to hit this book soon. If you haven't been following along, pick up this issue and hopefully I can welcome you to the Kaine fan club And, if you have been following along, this should be yet another obvious purchase for you and, as usual, it'll be well worth the cash.

30 Comments
Posted by Trevel8182

This book is so much better than the main Spider-Man title.

Posted by therrieur

No mention that the cover is exactly the same than superior #1

Posted by spiderturtle
Posted by stetson12

This book is really great! I started reading it like a month ago, and it is a great story that gets more and more interesting. I really hope that Kaine crosses paths with Otto as the superior Spider-man and lays the smackdown on him.

Posted by MSchiwal

Funnily I think Kaine would get along with Spidey much better now that he is Otto....

Still Kaine riding in on a horse? Favorite page this week.

Posted by WWAJfan

wow this issue was awesome, a must buy, one of my fave issues so far in this series, soglad im reading this and Venom : )

Edited by mpierce2690

I love how from a universally hated event (the Clone Saga), two of the biggest fan-favorites in Spider-Man history came out of it in Ben and Kaine. I'm liking the Superior Spider-Man, but there's no question in my mind that Kaine is the best "Spider-Man" out there at the moment.

Posted by BlueLantern1995

Looks good.

Posted by kingjoeg

Great writing, terrible art. Thank goodness Carlo Barberi is taking over next issue.

Edited by Scarlet_Spider_Forever

One of the best issues of Scarlet I have read yet but Pham HAS to go. He's hurting this book so much.

Posted by CBninja

This is the book I'm most excited about every week and Yost keeps knocking it out of the park. This is THE Spider-man book to read.

Posted by NICKXH

One of the best issues of Scarlet I have read yet but Pham HAS to go. He's hurting this book so much.

Good thing Pham is leaving after this issue and Carlo Barberi is taking over.

Edited by greenlucario

@scarlet_spider_forever Agree, Pham is not good in this book, I can't believe he's been on so many issues and only now is getting replaced.

Posted by HollowPrince65

I am absolutely in love with this title. I do enjoy SSM but Scarlet Spider is my main Spider-man title next to UCSM but for 616 purposes its Kaine or bust. I'd love to see Kaine and Spidey-Ock work together. I think they'd actually get along rather well here than with the Peter we know and love. So excited to see Wolverine in the next book and an art change. Pham was ok, Stegman was amazing and I can only imagine whats coming up with the next guy. (I apologize, I haven't heard of the new artist. What should I look at to get a clear picture?)

Posted by Super_SoldierXII

I am absolutely in love with this title. I do enjoy SSM but Scarlet Spider is my main Spider-man title next to UCSM but for 616 purposes its Kaine or bust. I'd love to see Kaine and Spidey-Ock work together. I think they'd actually get along rather well here than with the Peter we know and love. So excited to see Wolverine in the next book and an art change. Pham was ok, Stegman was amazing and I can only imagine whats coming up with the next guy. (I apologize, I haven't heard of the new artist. What should I look at to get a clear picture?)

As a huge Wolverine fan, and a budding Scarlet Spider one, I'm concerned to see what Yost has planned (given the whoopin he had SpOck lay down on Logan in his other title).

I hope he gives Logan his due. Not as concerned with who beats who (it's happening in SS title and it's written by Yost, so the odds are kinda stacked against Wolverine), but if SS brawls with Wolverine, I can only hope he learns that might not be the best approach and wins via webbing or tech of some sort instead.

Posted by sparty-dbq

Is there a way to put spoiler tags when posting from your phone? I can't seem to do so. I want to ask about the last page, but I don't want to be the jerk who breaks spoiler etiquette.

Edited by ScumDestroy

@sparty_dbq:Not sure what is up with the last page - this is a totally new development, right? I didn't miss anything? Is this Annabelle's workplace I am guessing? How does she intercept a letter clearly addressed for Kaine?

Anyways... any guesses on who Madame Web thinks is coming to wreck Houston?

Also, Pham's artwork is "OK" but his drawings of crying Armadillo are on point.

Posted by Omegus

I totally agree with Trevel8182 100%

Posted by sparty-dbq

Okay, now I'm at my computer, so I can ask away:

Did Annabelle burn Julia's note because she likes Kaine too much to let him leave Houston, or because she's in on whatever the hell it is Julia's trying to warn him about? Because neither makes much sense to me.

Posted by CBCD_on_Facebook

I am absolutely in love with this title. I do enjoy SSM but Scarlet Spider is my main Spider-man title next to UCSM but for 616 purposes its Kaine or bust. I'd love to see Kaine and Spidey-Ock work together. I think they'd actually get along rather well here than with the Peter we know and love. So excited to see Wolverine in the next book and an art change. Pham was ok, Stegman was amazing and I can only imagine whats coming up with the next guy. (I apologize, I haven't heard of the new artist. What should I look at to get a clear picture?)

Although Kaine did murder Doc Ock in the past, so there might be some tension

Posted by blindfaith311

The highlighted letters in Julia's note spells out Kaine's upcoming threat - SHATHRA.

Edited by HushoftheWind

I like how Kaine just brushes off his "inner demon" in the beginning of the pages, freaking hilarious.

Edited by The Mast

I hate how they're ditching the costume he has.

It's the best Spider costume ever. One of, at least.

Posted by Scarlet_Spider_Forever

@the_mast They aren't ditching his costume. Its simply just for the upcoming issues with Wolverine. Im 100% sure they'll go back to his red and black after.

Edited by ReverendHunt
Edited by blindfaith311

@ReverendHunt: It was a creation of J. Michael Straczynski, as part of the "spider-totem"/mystical adventure of the Other that he introduced in his run.

Edited by Dusk_till_Dawn

@sparty_dbq: yea, that got me thinkin too; also, the 'unknown' threat that Julia wrote about, well...look at the bold letters and writer it out, then search 4 it...

or, if u want to spoil it, here it is (YOU BEEN WARNED). its Shathra .

@blindfaith311: did u look it up? the hidden name, i mean...

@blindfaith311: nvr mind :/

Posted by dreamfall31

So is this Pham's last issue for good? I'll probably add this to my pull list if it is! I like the story, but I don't want to buy single issues of it when I really hate Pham's art.

Edited by batarang614

irritating cover, is Stegman already out of ideas or just lazy? I can understand that he's probably a busy guy but why couldn't Marvel just have someone else draw a cover rather than re-coloring superior spider-man #1? Why wasn't this mentioned in the review? I'd have taken off points for sure.