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Scarlet Spider #8 - The Second Master, Part Two Review

4

Kaine has to face Roxxon and the Rangers after getting himself mixed up with the wrong girl. This definitely isn't the sort of mess Spider-Man deals with.

The Good

Despite being a clone of Peter Parker, Kaine is clearly not Spider-Man. Last issue after saving a falling women from an exploding building that was the Houston headquarters of Roxxon, Kaine hooked up with her. After finding out she was involved with the explosion, Kaine had Roxxon to deal with and the Rangers. These sort of interactions is why Kaine left New York City in the first place.

It's great seeing this different take on a webslinger. This is the perfect example of how and why we could have a title that doesn't feel like just another Spider-Man spin-off. Kaine may be rooted in Spider-Man's world but as the cover proclaims, he has all the power but none of the responsibility.

This is actually another issue being dealt with here. Kaine isn't a hero. He never was. But he's finding himself slowly becoming one. He never saw himself jumping into insane situations and putting his life at risk but more and more, he's discovering that being a hero may actually be part of his DNA. It's these touches on the nature vs. nurture arguement that Chris Yost tosses in that makes this book stand out.

I won't lie and deny I had some concerns over Khoi Pham taking over from Ryan Stegman. It's always difficult for readers to become attached to a creative team and have to deal with a change. Pham has proven with this issue and the last that he definitely has what it takes to chronicle Kaine's adventures as Scarlet Spider.

The Bad

Kaine got himself into a sticky situation that adds an interesting twist to the story but I can't say facing Roxxon is the menace I want to see him deal with. Sure we also have the Rangers that are frowning upon Kaine's activities but you know it's going to play out as a misunderstanding among heroes. It's important for Kaine to have his own set of villains but I'm not sure if David Walsh, the C.E.O. of Roxxon has what it takes to be a great nemesis.

The Verdict

There is no need to compare Scarlet Spider to Spider-Man. Kaine may be a clone of Spider-Man but they are completely different characters. Chris Yost is showing us the evolution of Kaine as a former evil and uncaring person. He's finding himself drawn more and more into actually being a hero. In trying to get away from the superhero community by going to Texas, we're seeing, in comics, you can't escape that sort of life (unless they're condemned to comic book limbo). Khoi Pham has proven he has what it takes to take over the artistic reigns from Ryan Stegman. Kaine's little world in Houston is starting to get bigger and bigger. He may have wanted to avoid the life but we all know superheroes tend to attract supervillain type activities. Scarlet Spider's journey to becoming an official hero is a bumpy journey and Yost and Pham are clearly having fun telling the story.

10 Comments
Posted by NXH

Just bought the first trade. Read two issues so far and am loving it. Completely different to Dan Slot's ASM and that's a good thing. I'm pissed that Ryan Stegman is no longer on the book and we now got Khoi Pham taking over which is lame. Sure hope we see Stegman come back soon.

Posted by CrimsonAlchemist

@NXH: I've read Scarlet Spider from the beginning and I didn't really notice the creative team change until I read this review, Khoi Pham's art ain't really that bad at least not on a Romita level although a little improvement would be good.

All in all a good issue.

Posted by NXH

@CrimsonAlchemist: Oh. I noticed instintly. Hahaha! No one is as bad as Romita.

Posted by Jawshco

I'm very disappointed that Pham is in charge of this serious. It was so much better when Stegman has the reigns. I still love Kaine as the Scarlet Spider, but I really hope it gets better than this very mediocre issue. He's being written far too much like Deadpool in this ish.

Posted by sparty-dbq

Not to knock Pham, but I reeeeeeeally miss Stegman.

Posted by InnerVenom123

"How Not to be a Superhero, by Kaine Parker."

Posted by InnerVenom123

@Jawshco said:

I'm very disappointed that Pham is in charge of this serious. It was so much better when Stegman has the reigns. I still love Kaine as the Scarlet Spider, but I really hope it gets better than this very mediocre issue. He's being written far too much like Deadpool in this ish.

How is he being written like Deadpool?

Posted by chroinkero

I miss Stegman on this, Pham isn't bad but it just isn't as good. Stegman's style worked better with this book. I'm starting to feel as though the tagline doesn't really apply anymore because in the last issue he was going to just let the building fall on the people but then he realized that they were his responsibility, so he went and saved him. If feels like he is really just becoming another spiderman and less of a separate character as the series progresses.

Posted by ColonelRunAway

@Jawshco said:

I'm very disappointed that Pham is in charge of this serious. It was so much better when Stegman has the reigns. I still love Kaine as the Scarlet Spider, but I really hope it gets better than this very mediocre issue. He's being written far too much like Deadpool in this ish.

He doesn't resemble Deadpool at all. Deadpool goes into situations knowing his healing factor/knowledge of his own status as a protagonist in a comic basically means he can't screw it up, so he just jokes around and has fun. Kaine goes into situations knowing there's a good chance he'll die, so he gives it serious effort. His occasional jokes are more for character development than actual comic relief, the real comic relief comes from him making inexperienced mistakes.

Posted by hazmat103

I really really like Scarlet Spider besides Venom it's the only spider family book i read.