Review: Scarlet Spider #1 By Christopher Yost And Ryan Stegman

Scarlet Spider #1

Written by Christopher Yost

Art by Ryan Stegman, Michael Babinski, and Marte Garcia


The short of it:


In the aftermath of Spider-Island, Kaine is a new man and yet still on the run. Heading to Mexico by way of Houston he can’t seem to not kick peoples asses….and that inherited Parker luck kicks in as he finds the lone survivor in what can only be described as a shipping container of death. Even saving a life, all he can think to do is run. A single moment of spoiling himself leads to a brief recounting of his history for the newbies, which then leads to a rebirth. Without his scars or his clone degeneration, he finally gets a chance to just be a person and carve out his own life; something he wants to do in Mexico. Still, there’s plenty of Peter Parker in this man, and he can’t help try and do the right thing…even if the right thing does lead to him screaming at the person he’s saving while forgetting to check on the safety of the man driving a car he destroyed. It’s a new day for him, a new life, and a heroes journey is falling into his lap as he tries to run away from it.


What I liked:


  • I always loved Ben Reilly because he was everything that Spider-Man should have been at that time, but that Spider-Man, well, wasn’t. He was fun and witty and he loved being Spidey at a time when Peter wasn’t. Kaine isn’t like that, he’s not fun and witty and he makes no attempt to be. The fact that he was a murderous villain his entire existence isn’t forgotten, and it just helps make the character stronger.
  • Kaine’s new power set works for me. Strength, speed, and agility are obvious, but I like the organic webshooters and the heightened senses over a traditional Spider Sense or even his old future sight. He retains a Spider-Man feel without feeling like a literal Spider-Clone….hehehehe.
  • I love the Clone Saga, I love that the Clone Saga still happened, I love that there’s a Clone still around, and I love that I just bought a first issue of Scarlet Spider.
  • The premise of Kaine having to learn how to be a hero when he’s spent his whole existence as anything but is compelling. He lacks that foundation that drove Peter and Ben, he only knows pain and hate and fear. Watching him grow into a selfless hero is going to be great.
  • I love seeing Ryan Stegman on a book regularly, and this issue was worth the wait! A very Spider like style that goes great. Not to mention that I really like the Kaine redesign.
  • The Scarlet Spider Saga at the end is a great addition here.


What I didn’t like:


  • I always assumed that Kaine had the memories, like Ben did. His lack of responsibility is curious, I mean, if he has none of those Uncle Ben memories then I totally get it, but I always thought the only differences between him and Ben were the clone degeneration caused psychosis.
  • Kaine webswings through Houston without a mask or a shirt and nobody gets a picture. Right.
  • Not enough Ben Reilly for a book called Scarlet Spider.
  • Does he control insects or is the army of Spiders for a single panel just for show?
  • Scratching a dudes face is not giving them a Mark of Kaine.


Final thoughts:


Great launch for this book! I had high hopes and am really glad that it’s lived up to all of them. Kaine makes for a great lead character even after just one issue, and the obvious differences between him and Peter are going to do a great job keeping this book unique from Amazing or Avenging. The idea of a man given a second chance to have a life and using it for good is going to be really compelling here.


Kudos to Yost and Stegman for placing the book in Houston. Another book in New York would have driven me nuts! This is the sort of thing more titles need to do at Marvel, place their heroes in different locations. Sure, they can’t team up regularly, that’s a good thing!


I liked long haired Kaine, but I could get used to the buzzcut…even if he does look a lot like all of these Hawkeye ads I keep seeing. The look works though, Venture Bros completely changed my way of viewing people with long hair in masks.


Man, Kaine does not give a crap about Peter’s secret identity and it is hilarious.


Great first issue, really and truly, Chris Yost delivered the way I had hoped and the book exceeded all of my expectations. I can’t wait for the next issue!


Overall: 9/10

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