Scarlet Spider #20

Posted by k4tzm4n (34940 posts) - - Show Bio

The Good

Before diving into this issue, it's worth noting that Part One of "Sibling Rivalry" also came out today. It takes place over in SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN TEAM-UP #2 and, while this issue does have a quick recap of what went down in those pages, I really recommend picking it up as well. If not, you're going to totally miss out on why Otto loathes Kaine and decided to assault him (unless you already know your history, that is). Plus, the art is glorious and it's also written by Christopher Yost. So, if you want to fully appreciate what's about to occur, I strongly recommend picking up that other issue first.

I haven't read the rest of my stack yet, but despite that, I can say with full confidence this is one of the best looking issues you'll set your eyes on this week. It's simply gorgeous, and I know that's not exactly the most fitting word for a story which takes place in a dark lab and involves the likes of Jackal, Spider-Man, Kaine and crazy Spider mutants. However, it totally is. It's crisp, polished and beautifully defined. From the furry outlines along Jackal's body to the terrific amount of attention given to the environment and every muscle on each and every character, this issue has absolutely stellar artwork for the core of its story and deserves major credit. There are so many panels where I caught myself simply gazing at the work for several moments before moving on. The beginning and epilogues go back to more traditional styles we've seen from the series and the drastic change in tone is indeed a bit jarring but it's by no means bad.

The core of the story plays out pretty much how you'd expect it to and it wraps up before you know it, but what makes the story rise above (art aside, of course) is Yost and co-writer Erik Burnham. The duo nails it with a solid script, making Otto totally arrogant and unlikable. He's the perfect character to bounce off of Kaine at the moment. Yes, along the series I thought the self-pity card was a bit drawn-out, but the dude finally found closure and happiness (speaking of which, are we going to get a follow-up on that kiss?). Now, a man he views as the "good" version of him makes that all come crashing down again, so to speak. It doesn't make Kaine take any steps back and he still walks away a strong individual, but the I really dug the emotional toll it clearly took on the guy. To him, Spider-Man's the symbol of who he should be. To have that guy now calling him a useless monster added a nice dose of emotional weight to the issue. I'm obviously rooting for Kaine and want to see him become a better man, but to see this slightly tragic element brought back into his life in this manner was definitely powerful and greatly appreciated.

Oh, and it's not all drama and frowns, friends. Yost and Brunham manage to throw some of their signature humor and charm into the mix, too, most notably when Jackal babbles like a stereotypical villain ("Really. I'm not a Bond villain.").

The Bad

On the surface (and for all we know at the moment), this was a fairly generic course of events which mostly played it safe. Although, when we're dealing with clones, nothing is truly as it seems, is it? I wouldn't be surprised if we're hit with a few big reveals from this course of events as the story progresses in SCARLET SPIDER. But for now and reviewing solely the events of this chapter, it's a totally serviceable but seemingly generic story. Naturally, this could all change when reading it in a collected edition. The majority of time spent with the Jackal definitely has a "been there, done that" vibe to it. That's thankfully countered by a conclusion with a lot of potential, though.

The Verdict

Stunning artwork and a strong serving of emotion helps SCARLET SPIDER #20 rise above the chunk of its fairly straightforward tale. It's absolutely an able jumping on point and wraps up with a whole lot of promise. Kaine continues to serve as a gripping lead and this is looking to be yet another adventure of his that I'll definitely follow. Lastly, if you've been wondering how Marvel plans on reintroducing a certain blue hoodie wearing individual, then you'll want to check this out.

#1 Posted by TheCheeseStabber (8062 posts) - - Show Bio

Hes coming back???!!!! Thank the Heavens<33

#2 Posted by notorious_g3 (25 posts) - - Show Bio

I really wanted to read this issue, but simply could not get past the pseudo-painted CGI artwork. No disrespect to the artist, It is just not a style I can get on-board with.

#3 Posted by Jacobin_Wisdom (89 posts) - - Show Bio

@notorious_g3: Yeah, it looks awesome, and all but it comes off as stiff at times.

#4 Posted by pulseangel666 (313 posts) - - Show Bio

The ending made me scared, please Marvel don't kill Kaine and destroy one of your best books right now.

#5 Edited by Unkillable_Deadpool1 (30 posts) - - Show Bio

I REALLY HATED THE ART ... but alas i liked this issue ....

#6 Posted by victorcheenoanleu (164 posts) - - Show Bio

I just hope they don't cancel this series cause it sure seems like that's what they're aiming at :(

#7 Edited by pulseangel666 (313 posts) - - Show Bio
@victorcheenoanleu said:

I just hope they don't cancel this series cause it sure seems like that's what they're aiming at :(

Indeed so it seems, and that makes me so sad. Hope it's not the case, love this series so much and it's also the best spidey book atm imo.

#8 Posted by Mrgreenlantern (661 posts) - - Show Bio

@thecheesestabber: sorry to burst the bubble but at the end ,jackal pulls a jar of kaine's DNA out of the rubble and talks about cloning a clone ...enter spidercide 2.0

#9 Posted by HollowPrince65 (143 posts) - - Show Bio

If they remove Kaine I will be pissed. I love Kaine as Scarlet Spider and I don't want him out of the picture. Yeah I liked Ben Reilly but...Kaine :(

#10 Posted by Ando123 (252 posts) - - Show Bio

I really liked this issue .

#11 Edited by TheAcidSkull (18802 posts) - - Show Bio

I hate Otto So F*cking Much right now.

Kaine is DA boss.

#12 Posted by RageEx2 (144 posts) - - Show Bio

I love Superior, but this is absolutely ridiculous how Kaine still believes it's Peter under the mask.

#13 Posted by TheCheeseStabber (8062 posts) - - Show Bio

@thecheesestabber: sorry to burst the bubble but at the end ,jackal pulls a jar of kaine's DNA out of the rubble and talks about cloning a clone ...enter spidercide 2.0

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOo

#14 Posted by jphugo15 (14 posts) - - Show Bio

you know a book is getting cancelled when the artwork looks like bad photoshop. this issue basically reads like maximum clonage with the jackal having the same motivation he's had for the last 20 years. im about ready for new enemies and most importantly, new writers. (they're almost indistinguishable these days).

#15 Posted by mickeymayhew (229 posts) - - Show Bio

I wanted to enjoy it, but the clones are just a bad idea; speaking as someone who lived through all of that s*** in the 90s!

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