In my Last Review, I stated that the comic “This really is part one, or act one of a play or TV show”. The issue also suffered in the fact that we didn’t see the main title character in full costume. Did this solve my issues with the book? Folks, I’m going to say this at the top of the review: PICK. UP. THIS. BOOK.
Scarlet Spider #2
Written By: Chris Yost
Pencils By: Ryan Stegman
Inks By: Mike Babinski
REVIEW BY: Zach “Spideydude” Joiner
LO! There be Spoilers ahead. If you haven’t picked up the book, turn back. (Which if you haven’t? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?) More after the jump.
STORY: Our story opens up with a look into the mind of our hero. With that, we go the present day, with our main protagonist attacking the hospital, which our villain, who is based off the Mayan God, called XIUHCOAYL or Fire Serpent. As the name describes, he can control fire shaped like serpents. This comes in handy when you’re burning a hospital down; trying to finish the job you did on the smuggled immigrants. Kaine is headed out of town, ready to start sipping martinis in a remote Mexican island, much like Roderick Kingsley. But that annoying voice in the back of the head compels him to go back. Kaine and Fire Serpent duke it out, with Kaine owning the bad guy in the only way he knows how. By stopping Fire Serpent, Ben saves the day and has the police willing to look away and take care of the girl who nearly died in the first issue.
THOUGHTS: First, a Tweet by Chris Yost (@yost):
This explains so much, and is totally AWESOME.
At its core, this is a simple origin story. But what makes it so memorable is that it’s executed so damn well. My quibbles of last issue were made up for in this one. Kaine is in full costume. There is an element of mystery. While Kaine is still one foot out the door, he thinks maybe he doesn’t have to run. His past will still catch up to him. It always does. But until then, you know that this isn’t a Spider-Man who will take shit off anyone. In fact, it’s pretty clear that he will beat the living hell out of anyone who gets in his way. While some might complain that Kaine’s dream violates continuity, I’ll argue that it’s a dream sequence and he is free to embellish it how he pleases.
The Villain of the issue is named XIUHCOAYL or Fire Serpent. He controls fire and can make snakes come to it. It seems that Yost is trying to make the mystery of the Girl and it looks like Drug Cartels being involved a main plot point in this book. It takes guts for Yost to tackle his issue, of the lawless southern neighbor and how the violence is bleeding over the border. Human trafficking, Drug Cartels, illegal immigration are the real world aspects that will ground this book the necessary way to achieve a balance between the super-heroics and the world around him. His world building is at a slow burn, as we see more of this girl, the cop, and the doctor. There is even a Mayor Parker in Houston, which… makes me smile, considering Peter’s Half-Brother is the Mayor of NYC. (This isn’t lost on Kaine,the irony)
The dialogue in this issue is strong, practically when Kaine is doing his own monologue. He has some of that trademark humor of Spidey, in his own twisted way. When he makes his entrance, he states “This may take more than Five Minutes” It’s a fun quip on a character that isn’t known for his humor, but I’m very happy to see his character evolve. Make no mistake, this is Kaine’s book, and he does own every page.
Speaking of the page, the artwork is even better between this than the last. The inking is tight and polished, and the colors still pop in some places. In some of the original images of the costume, I was a little aphetic towards the look. It’s grown on me and the interiors make it work even better. No complaints on the costume now that we see it in all its glory.
Better than the Debut Issue, in fact, you might want to go back and read this back to back and your reading experience of both will improve. GREAT issue.
4.5 of 5 Webheads.
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Also for more on the Scarlet Spider, check out Spideydude.com