Scarlet Spider #21

Posted by k4tzm4n (39926 posts) - - Show Bio

The Good

So begins the task of trying to praise this issue without just saying, "OH, HELL YES!" and calling it a day. There's a big plot development in this issue, so I'll do my best to keep it all spoiler-free. Prepare yourself for vagueness.

SCARLET SPIDER is diving into some pretty tricky territory with its cover and solicitation for this issue. The return of Ben Reilly? How can that be? This has gotta just be another clone since we saw Jackal in the last issue with Kaine's blood, right? There's no way I'm going to give away what actually happens, but I will say writer Christopher Yost has planted the seeds for a super promising plot which utilizes all of Kaine's supporting cast (characters I've grown to legitimately care about). I was able to put together the pieces before the big reveal, but it's still a moment that delivers big time and is well-executed. I'd love to further elaborate, but again, there's about a zero percent chance I want to spoil this one for you (to be fair, the story title is a big giveaway if you've been following the book).

Meanwhile, co-writer Erik Burnham also does a fine job lending a natural voice to the numerous characters who fill the clone's world. And in case you're wondering: yes, a proper jab is thrown at Ben Reilly's fashion choice. It's also great to see this story is going to be a 3-parter. This gives me confidence they have the room to do everything they'd like to with this narrative instead of simply rushing all of the pieces together into an abrupt conclusion.

Despite having five sets of hands working on the art, this is a great looking book which never delivers a distractingly jarring transition. The style is definitely more animated and polished, but it really shines when Kaine spends some time outside during a thunderstorm. There's some exceptionally badass panels with rain pelting the characters, superb shading and lightning cracking behind them. Chris Sotomayor deserves a round of applause for the coloring in this issue, offering a consistent look throughout the entire issue. Even if the pencils and inks undergo a change, the coloring remains solid and appropriate for each scene's tone.

The Bad

I still find myself on the fence with Kaine's initial freak out. After all that he's been through, it's tough for me to believe he suddenly thinks he's a monster all over again mainly because the degeneration issue has returned. I get "Spider-Man" was hard on him and seeing Jackal brought back memories, but he seemingly walked away knowing who he is and even put SpOck in his place (or at least I think so). It just feels like repeat material to me.

In showing that Arcaley is okay after the attack, it seemingly reveals Ana has taken the rest of the characters hostage instead of killing them. It would have been cool to see Ana slashing and then leaving the status with Aracely unknown -- that way I'm left wondering if they're still around or have been abruptly removed. I'm now heavily leaning towards the former, but I could of course be dead wrong (for a lack of better words).

The Verdict

If you've ever considered giving SCARLET SPIDER a chance, now is most definitely the time to do so (I couldn't bear to see this canceled after we've lost VENOM, dammit!). There's a more than adequate intro page which will bring you up to speed on what Kaine has been through and who the people in his life are. Once you're done with that, it's time for an action heavy issue which also lays the groundwork for some very troubling times ahead for Kaine. Seeing as Yost and Burnham have 3 issues to flesh this tale out, I have more than enough reason to believe this has the potential to be seriously grim and compelling stuff. Can we please have the next issue right now?

Staff
#1 Edited by TheAcidSkull (17918 posts) - - Show Bio

really liked this issue.

#2 Edited by Dark_Guyver (2309 posts) - - Show Bio

So was it really Ben?!

#3 Posted by k4tzm4n (39926 posts) - - Show Bio
Staff
#4 Edited by k4tzm4n (39926 posts) - - Show Bio

@dark_guyver said:

So was it really Ben?!

Read the issue to find out, silly!

Staff
#5 Posted by dondave (36387 posts) - - Show Bio

So was it really Ben?!

No, it was Kraven who poisoned Kaine in an airport which induced hallucinations

#6 Posted by Dark_Guyver (2309 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n: I already bought too many comics this week :(

#7 Posted by Dark_Guyver (2309 posts) - - Show Bio
#8 Posted by dondave (36387 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n: His freakout was probably caused by Kraven poisoning him.

#9 Posted by Revendawn (45 posts) - - Show Bio

They take a shot at the original Scarlet Spider costume, but I'm going to say I still like it. Yeah it's dumb when you break it down, but so are most super hero costumes. Anyway enough on that, the issue was great.

#10 Posted by danhimself (22480 posts) - - Show Bio

I just wish that the ending would have been a little different :(

#11 Posted by Hawkguy (571 posts) - - Show Bio

Well now I have to pick this up! I was hesitant today, which I should stop doing, it's a silly game I play with myself because I always end up going back the next day to pick it up....

#12 Posted by G-Man (32081 posts) - - Show Bio

...

Staff Online
#13 Posted by k4tzm4n (39926 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n: I already bought too many comics this week :(

Pshhhh. With so many $3.99 titles, this is a steal for $2.99!

@dondave said:

@k4tzm4n: His freakout was probably caused by Kraven poisoning him.

I considered that, but ultimately the drug only caused vivid hallucinations. His freak out seemed to be from a combination of SpOck's response and the thought of degeneration kicking in again. As far as I can tell, the drug is not responsible for altering his emotions.

Staff
#14 Posted by danhimself (22480 posts) - - Show Bio

@g_man said:

...

I was hoping that you would have something to say about the ending

#15 Posted by batmannflash (6214 posts) - - Show Bio

just an awesome issue!

#16 Posted by k4tzm4n (39926 posts) - - Show Bio
Staff
#17 Edited by danhimself (22480 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n: yeah I jumped on it as soon as I saw the preview...it would have been better if the book had ended differently though :(

#18 Posted by k4tzm4n (39926 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n: yeah I jumped on it as soon as I saw the preview...it would have been better if the book had ended differently though :(

I'm actually happy with the turn of events (well, you've read the review so duh). I take it you were hoping it was really Reilly?

Staff
#19 Posted by danhimself (22480 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n: yeah man....they did the same thing back during Spider Island....why do they have to tease us so much lol....DC just plain refuses to use Wally, Donna, Stephanie, or Cassandra...but Marvel plays with my heart strings every chance they get

#20 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29499 posts) - - Show Bio

I love the dramatic irony of the panel with Superior telling Kaine to get revenge for stealing on Ben for Peter's life.

#21 Posted by Cavemold (1679 posts) - - Show Bio

Liked the issue as well. The suprise was kinda cool. 4/5 is good score for this

#22 Edited by ShrinkageNecrosis (47 posts) - - Show Bio

Sergei Kravinoff is Superior Scarlet Spider LOL.

#23 Posted by HumanRocket (7706 posts) - - Show Bio

Ahhh thats a little disappointing to hear. I mean i had a feeling it wasn't going to be been but there was hope but oh well.

#24 Posted by Trevel8182 (751 posts) - - Show Bio

@g_man: He'll be back one day I mean he's still alive out there somewhere because Ben Reilly Is a perfect clone and only fresh clones would melt or disintegrate upon death.

#26 Posted by Noteworthington (186 posts) - - Show Bio

Let me be perfectly clear. There is nothing wrong with Bens costume, any of them. Ever. At all. Beyond reproach.

#27 Posted by bookerman20 (76 posts) - - Show Bio

2nd favorite pickup....
Great series

#28 Posted by Mrgreenlantern (657 posts) - - Show Bio

Pick this up PEOPLE!!!!!

#29 Posted by PunyParker (9542 posts) - - Show Bio
#31 Posted by Ando123 (220 posts) - - Show Bio

Spoiler Alert

I knew that bug, wasn't a coincidence

#32 Posted by Ando123 (220 posts) - - Show Bio
#33 Posted by BigL (246 posts) - - Show Bio

So would this be a good jumping on point? I've been meaning to pick this book up for a while now

#34 Posted by k4tzm4n (39926 posts) - - Show Bio

@bigl said:

So would this be a good jumping on point? I've been meaning to pick this book up for a while now

Yup! I talk about that in "The Verdict."

Staff
#35 Posted by BigL (246 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n: Yeah I read that but since this is issue #21 I didn't want to miss so much, but I can probably pick up previous issues in trade later on. Thanks!

#36 Posted by HushoftheWind (883 posts) - - Show Bio

that mosquito bit they did in previous issue had my head scratching, i wondered what was the point of it, AND NOW i see why it was there. Beautiful job Yost, beautiful job. I swear if this gets canceled im done with done with Marvel. This is the best Spider-man story telling i've red in awhile. this could easily be a show on HBO or Showtime.

#37 Posted by The_Titan_Lord (5137 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice.

#38 Posted by Shallbecomeabattoo (367 posts) - - Show Bio

This book really interests me. I am not a big Spidey fan, since he is too lighthearted for m tastes and I really dislike Slotts writing, but since this is a somewhat darker Spider-man, I think I will order the first trades from amazon for the weekend.

Is Kaine a darker Spidey, and can the book be read without reading any other Spiderbook?

#39 Edited by sparty-dbq (789 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm already losing Venom, and if this goes away too, I don't know what I'm going to do.

#40 Edited by GraniteSoldier (7520 posts) - - Show Bio

This and Hulk are going to be my go-to Marvel books with Venom getting cancelled. Scarlet Spider is really, really good. And always has been.

#41 Posted by Yung ANcient One (4750 posts) - - Show Bio

UGH! I spoiled it. I couldn't resist and I spoiled it for myself... FRRRRRRRFFFFRRR ROCK!

*sigh* It's not a big deal right? I mean this story will probably on the next trade on January. That isn't that long. 5 months of knowing such a good story's plot.

Hate is a strong word but I really, really, really don't like myself right now.

*sigh*

( + )

#42 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (32993 posts) - - Show Bio

:(

#43 Posted by JamesKM716 (1992 posts) - - Show Bio

I was honestly hoping Ben illy would actually be back

#44 Posted by jkma68 (20 posts) - - Show Bio

I think that I am going to start picking up this title...picked up the Blood Brothers issue because I've been digging The Superior Spider-Man and was very intrigued by Kaine's character. Any pre-Scarlet Spider series stories that I should dig into?

#45 Posted by k4tzm4n (39926 posts) - - Show Bio

To everyone not buying this book but is interested in it:

Staff
#46 Posted by k4tzm4n (39926 posts) - - Show Bio

@jkma68 said:

I think that I am going to start picking up this title...picked up the Blood Brothers issue because I've been digging The Superior Spider-Man and was very intrigued by Kaine's character. Any pre-Scarlet Spider series stories that I should dig into?

Definitely the first trade. There's some other great issues in the mix, but I'd have to double-check on that. Welcome aboard, by the way.

@bigl said:

@k4tzm4n: Yeah I read that but since this is issue #21 I didn't want to miss so much, but I can probably pick up previous issues in trade later on. Thanks!

Welcome! Yeah, the series can really use the sales, too.

This book really interests me. I am not a big Spidey fan, since he is too lighthearted for m tastes and I really dislike Slotts writing, but since this is a somewhat darker Spider-man, I think I will order the first trades from amazon for the weekend.

Is Kaine a darker Spidey, and can the book be read without reading any other Spiderbook?

Yes and yes!

Staff
#47 Posted by Phaedrusgr (1672 posts) - - Show Bio
#48 Posted by Shallbecomeabattoo (367 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n: thanks, Gregg! Just ordered the first tow trades, plus the first Venom one by Remender (always wanted to check that series out too) and Flex Mentallo. I have high hopes for all of those.

#49 Posted by Phaedrusgr (1672 posts) - - Show Bio
#50 Posted by akbogert (3216 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't know how much of this constitutes spoilers so I'm just gonna spoil tag it all:

I jumped onto this book for the Wolverine arc (not because of Wolverine; it just worked out that way) and so am pretty new to this. And I've also never read a 616 Spider-Man (or Spider-anything) book before, so a lot of what's significant here is obviously lost on me. At this point the only thing I'm invested in is Kaine's supporting cast. Which is why if there really were deaths going on in this issue, I'm dropping this book immediately thereafter (of course some seem to speculate that they're cancelling the book and this is how they're choosing to wrap up those characters, which would be just as bad imo). Generally speaking I trust Yost to not do something awful like that, but what with New X-Men that trust may be misplaced. Here's hoping for the best, because aside from fear of deaths there I'm pretty excited to see where this arc goes.

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