Comic Vine Review

17 Comments

Scarlet Spider #23 - Into the Grave Part 3 Review

4

Kraven challenges Kaine to a fight to the death and if Kaine refuses, his friends will die. Can the clone step up to the plate and save everyone without killing?

The Good

The showdown we've been waiting for has finally come and thankfully, it's pretty awesome. We've all speculated what would go down in this action-packed issue, but luckily for us, co-writers Christopher Yost and Erik Burnham deliver way more than just what's expected.

Kaine's mentality over becoming a more traditional hero has certainly been mixed, but if you read the last issue, then you know he's trying his best to stick to that no-kill code and it's inspiring to watch the anti-hero try to better himself. He wants to be like Ben Reilly and Peter Parker, but can he? That's what Yost and Burnham dedicate the core of this issue to and it's an engrossing struggle for the character we've all come to love. Not only do they put a strong spotlight on that specific topic, but the two writers also open the door to even more difficult times ahead for the clone. The dude just can't catch a break, can he?

Kraven's my favorite Spider-Man bad guy and one of my favorite villains overall, so I'm very happy to see this issue captured his voice quite well. The physically struggle he has with Kaine is a blast, but the verbal exchange is particularly gripping and is the heart and soul of this issue. The punches are vicious and bloody, but the back and forth dialogue is what truly sells the passion behind this conflict.

Unlike the previous chapter, there's only one artist (David Baldeon) and one colorist (Chris Sotomayor). The result is a consistently solid looking issue which does a more than adequate job bringing to life all of the intensity and emotion Yost and Burham present. While it's definitely a darker chapter in terms of tone, Baldeon's more animated vibe gives the book a nice degree of energy and Sotomayor's decision to make some backgrounds more vivid adds to the frenetic nature of this issue.

Oh, and can we all just take a moment to admire Ryan Stegman's glorious cover?

The Bad

I love me some Kraven, but the dude walks all over Kaine in this fight. Yes, I understand our hero has a lot going on with the reveal of his friends being in imminent danger, but Kraven has always needed an extra trick (poison, physical traps) to take the edge over Spider-Man in battle -- a character who is both slower and weaker than Kaine (as pointed out in this issue). Whenever Sergei tried to go toe-to-toe with Parker in pure combat, he'd realize he's outclassed and would have to resort to other options. Here, he essentially wipes the floor with Kaine with his skill and speed alone. Based on Kraven's history and the challenges Kaine has faced, I feel as though Kraven wouldn't perform nearly as well if he took Kaine on one-on-one with just basic weapons -- even if Kaine is striving for non-lethal while trying to reach his friends. The speed and strength edge he possesses is just too great. I understand this chapter needed a thrilling fight and it most certainly is, but I'm a total sucker for character stats and feats so I couldn't help but notice this.

Minor gripe regarding the conclusion: Personally, I'm surprised Layton never bothered to research Kaine prior to this. I understand he had faith in him, but as a police officer, I would have thought he'd at least do a little digging into the character's past before fully trusting him.

The Verdict

The best part about SCARLET SPIDER #23 is it gives us exactly what we want and still successfully throws a few greatly appreciated twists our way. Despite my personal gripes with it, the issue absolutely fulfills the last cliffhanger's promise of an epic brawl and, much to my surprise, is able to wrap up Kraven's involvement in a very pleasing manner while also teasing us with what's to come. It really is a shame this book's coming to an end so soon, because honestly, it's one of the most entertaining books Marvel has to offer.

17 Comments
Posted by 2cool4fun

Hey guys i want to get into this series, but just like with spider-girl i have no idea who scarlet spider is, last time i checked he was a different version of Peter Parker, but i degrease, so could anyone tell me something about him?

Edited by Pixel_Kaiser

@2cool4fun: He was the first attempt by Miles Warren at cloning Spider-Man, but as the first attempt he's apparently considered a "failure" by his maker. He's been around since the early 90's or so, but he only recently started getting his act together. Prior to that he's been kind of an Eddie Brock Venom sort of wandering crazed menace.

Edited by SupremeHyperion

I love me some Kraven, damn he'd be cool in an mini-series or something.

Posted by PunyParker

Hey guys i want to get into this series, but just like with spider-girl i have no idea who scarlet spider is, last time i checked he was a different version of Peter Parker, but i degrease, so could anyone tell me something about him?

It's Kaine,Peter's clone who tried to kill Ben Reilly during Clone Saga,who now is trying to do good,and redeem himself.

Edited by 2cool4fun

@pixel_kaiser: Thanks :D

It's Kaine,Peter's clone who tried to kill Ben Reilly during Clone Saga,who now is trying to do good,and redeem himself.

Oh so he is the same guy from clone saga, though i only saw that story in the 90s cartoon

Edited by PunyParker

No no,he tried to kill the guy you saw in the 90s cartoon.That's Ben Reilly,another Spider-Man's clone .....(see why Clone Saga is considered a complete mess?... :P )

Posted by 8008S

Well I did NOT see that coming. Good job, Yost & Burnham.

Posted by Caladorcp

@2cool4fun:

I think you are a little confused. Kaine isn't the guy in the 90's cartoon. That was Ben Reilly. Kaine wasn't in the the cartoon. Kaine was a failed clone created by the Jackal. After being labeled a failure, he became a villain. Here's a pic of him:

He suffered from "Degeneration." This caused scarring all over his body, as well as leaving his body unstable. He was dying.

But then in the Spider-Island event he was cured. I won't give away how, because you should really read it. It was awesome. But anyway, fighting alongside Spider-man (Peter Parker at the time) he used Spider-man's stealth suite.

In the end, he ran off (with the stealth suite) and in fear that he would be pursued by those who held his past sins against him he planned on running to Mexico. That's where the Scarlet Spider series starts. Kaine never makes it to Mexico, but plants himself in Texas.

If you're planning on picking up the series as a monthly, don't start now. It's ending in December and it's in the middle of an arc that builds off previous issues. However, I highly recommend picking up the trade paperbacks (graphic novels). You won't regret it.

Posted by Wpr

haven't been enjoying this series since 17, but im glad that you guys are liking it

Edited by frogdog

I wish this book didn't have to end so soon

Posted by Fallschirmjager

@frogdog said:

I wish this book didn't have to end so soon

So much Agree. At least until Peter comes back >_<

Posted by frogdog

@frogdog said:

I wish this book didn't have to end so soon

So much Agree. At least until Peter comes back >_<

Posted by HollowPrince65

I have an idea! We stop Superior Spider-man and have Kaine, Flash, and Madam Web(sorry if I'm behind only picked up 698-700 only been in comics about a year) gather together somehow then exposing Spidey-Ock, battling it out, Peter comes back and helps Kaine start a new, and Flash continues being a badass in Phili....why can't I have all my cakes and eat them too *shakes fist* curse you Marvel!

Posted by sparty-dbq

God, I'm gonna miss this book.

Posted by Provehito

Epic issue. Still a great shame to see this ending. Why must the good die young?

Posted by 2cool4fun

@caladorcp: Thanks a lot, i really will pick it up, just sad that it's ending, I have not read it but it looks good...first venom now this :(

Posted by MASTER_OF_SUPRISE

Sucks that the series is ending but it's definitely going out on a high note. I can't wait to read the next two issues.