Writer Christopher Yost makes a team-up between Kaine and Wolverine every bit as awesome as you'd expect it to be. It's not all claws, blood and chaos, though. Much to my surprise, putting the two deadly street levelers shoulder to shoulder generated plenty of chuckle worthy banter. From remarks about clones to snarky comments in general, I really dug the chemistry between the duo and it never failed to amuse.
When they weren't babbling, they were being used for some ridiculously entertaining action sequences. Witnessing these two going stealth mode against their enemies was seriously cool (most vicious neck snap panel ever?) and a great reminder of how lethal both truly are. Then, watching as they take on more goons head-on was pure bliss and there's a caption in there which is sure to please Logan fans. I know Wolverine is already in a gazillion books, but at this point, I'd be all for a "SCARLET SPIDER & WOLVERINE" book written by Yost and illustrated by Carlo Barberi.
While Yost does a stellar job filling the pages with sharp dialogue and an incredibly exciting turn of events (honestly, we're no longer friends if "Hummingbird's" scene doesn't make you smile), it's the art that brings these fantastic moments to life and makes them all kinds of jaw-dropping. Carlo Barberi, Alé Garza, Rex Lokus and Walden Wong all do a solid job turning this into a mighty fine looking chapter. The content is definitely dark and quite violent at times, but the visuals bring a crisp and animated look to the book, providing a fitting look for the moments of levity and a more polished appearance when the violence erupts.
It doesn't take an expert to know Iceman was being downplayed in the last issue, and in this chapter, Yost's handling of the X-Men does a total 180. Yes, they're upset over Wolverine being "killed," but why wouldn't he use this same kind of measure when there was an assassin hopping around their home just moments prior? Don't get me wrong, I loved seeing Bobby use his powers more effectively (he basically threw snowballs last time) and seeing Storm utilize her potential is cool as well, but it's a noticeable contrast to his treatment in the last issue. And speaking of the X-Men, I've always believed Wolverine would survive such an attack (he did in 'Evolution,' after all), but to be fair, it's possible Yost believes he would have recovered in due time. And while I think Yost is doing a good job overall with Logan, it's odd seeing him stay down so long after an explosion and essentially cower behind a pillar in the conclusion (and then willingly held at gunpoint?). But hey, I guess he can't hog all of the spotlight, no?
The narrative with the Assassins Guild isn't really fleshed out all that much and the cliffhanger's a bit abrupt, but that's hardly a big complaint when everything else going on is so much fun.
This issue's cover basically sums up what you can expect from it. It's Wolverine and Scarlet Spider side by side, looking awesome and being equally awesome. If that sounds like a good time to you, you're sure to have a blast. The art is topnotch, Yost's dialogue is as sharp as Wolverine's claws and the action is downright superb. SCARLET SPIDER once again manages to prove why it's one of the most gratifying books Marvel has to offer.