Review – Scarlet Spider #1

Cover Issue 1 - Scarlet Spider by Ryan Stegman Scarlet Spider Issue 1

Written by Chris Yost

Art by Ryan Stegman, Michael Babinski & Marte Gracia

Covers by Stegman/Babinski/Gracia, Stegman/Frank Martin Jr. & Mark Bagley/Mark Farmer/Gracia

Released: Jan. 11, 2012

Any comic reader from the 90’s remembers the Clone Saga. To this day the storyline is a taboo to both fans and creators alike. Many going as far as to try and forget it ever happened. Except for one character that came out of it. Ben Reilly, the Scarlet Spider and for a time Spider-Man himself. Reilly was a clone of Peter Parker, made by Miles Warren, and as a clone ended up possessing both his powers and his responsibility to do what was right. But this story isn’t about Ben Reilly.

The new Scarlet Spider is Kaine. Kaine was a failed clone of Peter Parker, made by the same man who created Ben Reilly. He was flawed though and was only expected to live a short time. Fortunately for Kaine he found a way to stay alive longer but was still in a constant state of decay both physically and mentally. Kaine spent his life hating Peter Parker and on several occasions tried to kill him. But for many years after the Clone Saga he was gone. No one wrote about him he was just another character from a story that Marvel wanted to forget they ever did. Until a few years ago when Kaine started to pop back up in The Amazing Spider-Man. No one knew at that time that time that Kaine was poised to become his own kind of hero.

Fasting forward a bit and Kaine ends up sacrificing himself for Peter, becomes a Spider Monster controlled by Miles Warren and the Queen. Then finally he is cured of all his aliments. He no longer worries about dying. He is alive and is ready to live. After a briefly helping Spider-Man defeat the Queen in New York City during Spider-Island Kaine takes off looking to get out of the country.

That’s where we pick up in Scarlet Spider #1. Kaine is already in Houston trying to get out of the country. After all his years of being a crazy villain he’s on the top of several wanted lists. Kaine is no longer the crazed killer he was in the 90’s. His mind is clear and though he has yet to embrace it, he is a hero. It’s interesting to see the differences in Kaine and Peter. He had spent years with no thought of right or wrong. Nothing mattered to him he was on borrowed time, now he’s not and it’s becoming harder to ignore those in need.

Spider Man And Scarlet Spider Vs Kaine

Chris Yost and Ryan Stegman are helming the new book and they do a great job introducing us to a character that fans of Spider-Man know of, but don’t really know anymore. The story flows nicely, those the brief flashbacks to Kaine and Ben Reilly in their 90’s costumes gives older readers and sense of nostalgia, even if it’s not always for the best. Overall Kaine looks to be a strong leading character with just the right amount of anger and aggression to not label this book as a Houston clone of The Amazing Spider-Man. Yost does a great job giving you just enough to know who Kaine is, and what he’s done without spending the entire issues going through his back story in excruciating detail. This is one of the first things I’ve read that Stegman has drawn, and I’m already looking forward to more. The art is bright and vibrant and his characters are all distinctly different.

One of the moments that to me shows how this book is going to proceed is when Kaine attempts to save a civilian and proceeds to yell at them for putting themselves in harms way to begin with. Then realizes by saving this person he has hurt another. The superhero life style is obviously going to be taking some getting use to for our new staring character.

Now for everything Scarlet Spider did right there are still cons. For one Kaine is not seen in costume at all, which though not a major detractor from the book, it’s still disappointing. Hopefully we see him in it quicker then we did the new Ultimate Spider-Man, Miles Morales. Our new hero also seems to have a strange blend of his old powers and new (to him). It appears that by being “reborn” he has developed the same powers Peter Parker had after The Other storyline. Things like organic webbing, night vision, and poison barbs on his wrists. Hopefully Yost has some plans to explain these powers and why he got them, especially since after Brand New Day stated Pete lost all his.

All in all this was a solid first issue. It had a little bit of history to get new readers a feel for who Kaine is. It had some action, and a little bit of mystery. I’m definitely going to be adding this to my pull list. If your expecting a lot of 90’s references and heroes in blue hoodies you’re probably going to be disappointed. But don’t let that make you skip this book. Give it a shot, put out of your mind that this isn’t the Scarlet Spider of the 1990’s and just have fun with a new hero as he learns to become the hero he was always suppose to be.

Oh and lets not forget Kaine is pretty badass too!

talks a bunch on PodQuest each week. He's also been known to write about stuff from time to time.

You can Email Chris or follow Chris on Twitter @Just_Cobb or Facebook

The Story So Far. . .
  • One-Quest was founded many millennia ago in a galaxy know as "n00b," by a foundation of Nerds. n00b was a small galaxy ruled by an evil empire, known as the "Hipstars." One-Quest formed with the sole purpose of removing the Hipstar empire from power, and restoring balance to all Nerds...
Track Our Progress!