Review – Scarlet Spider #6

Scarlet Spider #6

Written by Chris Yost

Art by Ryan Stegman, Edgar Delgado

Covers by Ryan Stegman

Released: June 13th, 2012

We’re 6 issues into Scarlet Spider, and I’ve gotta say it’s been a fun ride. I reviewed a few issues of this already and was really enjoying them. Between Chris Yost’s great stories and Ryan Stegman’s amazing artwork who wouldn’t love this book? It has everything a good comic needs. No, scratch that. It has everything a good story needs. Because really, this could easily be a movie, a tv show, a book, or a comic. The action and emotion behind everything would translate well to just about any medium.

Speaking of emotion (what a cheesy segue), this is probably one of the more emotional issues, for multiple reason. Kaine is finally starting to embrace himself as a hero, even if it’s not totally willingly. He’s comparing himself to Peter and Ben and still sees himself as a monster. His thoughts throughout the issue tend to be about keeping his new friends safe. Specifically Annabelle who he very obviously has feelings for.

Kaine’s feelings aside, the other emotional part of this issue is knowing it’s the departure of series artist Ryan Stegman. Stegman is moving over to Fantastic Four soon and this is his farewell issue on Scarlet Spider (he will still be doing covers at least!). One of the biggest factors to me coming back to this book every month, and not just that but really looking forward to it, has been the artwork. With Stegman’s departure we’re left with a hole that I hope Khoi Pham will be able to fill. Chris Yost’s stories have a lot of depth to them, and because of that the artwork needs to be able to really convey the story and the power behind everything going on.

Overall this was a great issue, it laid out the groundwork for the next story arc. It showed us what the Scarlet Spider is becoming to Houston, as well as what it is becoming to Kaine. We’re still so early in the series that we don’t really know what to expect. Kaine isn’t Peter. He’s darker, he doesn’t just web guys to poles and leave them for the cops. He strikes fear into them, he hurts them physically and mentally. Kaine is not your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, he’s something else entirely. He’s been fighting this since the beginning, but now with people he’s starting to care for around, he’s starting to feel the pull of heroism. Not only that, he’s now trying to live up to the legacy of the Scarlet Spider. One of my favorite parts of this issue were the references they made to Ben Reilly. They weren’t forced, and they weren’t a central part of the story. They were just there, because honestly Ben is always going to be part of who Kaine is, the same way Peter will be.

Enough of that though, let’s talk about what actually happened. Kraven is back, his daughter Ana whom you will remember from Grim Hunt over in Amazing Spider-Man has come to test Kaine for her pops. The last we saw of Kraven and his family they were in the savage land and he was putting his kids against one another in a battle to the death. Good parenting right? Well it looks like little Ana won, but lost a bit of her mind at the same time. Other than the return of Kraven and the setup for the next Arc we see more of Aracely and Annabelle. An interesting part of the issue was Kaine’s interaction with Aracely, who has the slightly creepy ability to know what he feels, and where he is. Obviously she’s got something special going on with her, and it’s looking like it will be a lot of fun to find out what. On the other hand we get to see Annabelle outside of the hotel rocking at a church. Not a lot of character development for her, but we get a lot of Kaines impression of her which is interesting.

This was a really fun read, and it was a great way for Ryan Stegman to say farewell. He did an amazing job bringing Chris Yost’s script to life, as he’s done on all his previous Scarlet Spider issues. Now I’m looking forward to see how Yost works with Pham, hopefully we get the same stellar work we’ve all become accustomed to in Scarlet Spider.

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

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