Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Scarlet Spider #1 - Review


Kaine takes on his own series and personal demons after the events of Spider-Island in this new Scarlet Spider title written by Christopher Yost and drawn by Ryan Stegman. The series already sets up an interesting new premise by putting Marvel's other wall-crawler in Houston, TX, which is a bold creative move considering that most characters are based in New York City. This adds a wider scope to the Spider-Man franchise and gives a grander feel to the Marvel Universe by letting their characters breathe outside of The Big Apple.

The writing by Yost is definitely a more aggressive style than usual Spider-Man titles. Kaine has a very twisted and violent past and it's not something he's going to let go of easily. Yost throws constant moral and physical challenges in Kaine's way so that readers always have to wonder if he's going to snap and take someone out. It was easy for new readers to pick up, with a short history of the character and an intriguing back story, so you don't have to worry about not knowing anything before going in.

Stegman's art is incredibly fun and dynamic. The scenes where Kaine is diving off of buildings and feeling the rush of the wind hitting his face as he web swings in Houston felt authentic and kinetic on the page. We didn't get to see Kaine in the new suit yet, but it definitely plays some interesting roles in the artwork and throughout most of the panels. It gives the reader a feeling that the suit and determination to strike back at the darkness is on its way, but only through the imagery and not in actual words.

Overall this is a great start to a more violent kind of Spider book. Marvel can be pleased that The Amazing Spider-Man, Venom, and now Scarlet Spider are on their roster. This issue gets a strong 4.5/5.

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