One of the things that I like about Spider-Man and comics in general is that things can get you talking. It’s always good to have a dialogue about things inside a comic, especially if you disagree with the premise. This issue has one of those instances, and I will spend perhaps more time explaining my position on the issue, while it didn’t kill the issue for me, in fact I enjoyed the hell out of this issue, and it did bug me a bit. To each his own. DISCLAIMER: The above portion and following review is the thoughts of the reviewer, and may or may not reflect the opinions and views of the Spider-Man Crawl Space, its staff of fellow reviewers, or webmaster/owner/editor-in-chief, Brad Douglas.
Scarlet Spider #3
Written By: Chris Yost
Art By: Ryan Stegman
Colors/Inks: Babinski, Von Crawbadger (I), Marte Garcia & Andres Mossa (C)
Review By: Zach “Spideydude” Joiner
STORY: The issue begins at the hospital, with an unfortunate event resulting in the death of the wife and daughter of a man of prominence, resulting in a death threat. We cut to Kaine stopping a mugging in the Kaine way. Cut to the four seasons, where we meet the Barkeep and get her name this time, before Aracely attacks Kaine and Annabelle (the barkeep), only to be stopped by our friendly neighborhood doctor. He treats her and goes back to the hospital, where he gets attacked by an assassin. Kaine thwarts the gunman and is made. The Assassins Guild is revealed, and our issue ends.
THOUGHTS: Before I get to the quibble, I’m going hit up what I liked, nay loved about this issue. Ryan Stegman is just freaking awesome. AWESOME. Hit him up on Twitter and tell him so. He deserves it. Every panel is great, the lines are clean, and the inks and colors are perfect. It’s an A+ for me. As for the story, there is one word to describe this issue: “World-Building”. Little by little, Yost planted the members of the supporting cast over the last two issues and they get more screen time in this issue. We have a potential love interest, Annabelle, who kinda doesn’t know what to think of Kaine. It’s an interesting dynamic, and I will look forward to seeing the world building to continue. The best thing about Yost, is that the Assassin’s guild is a little known fact of Kaine’s past (It was referenced throughout the Clone Saga, but we never saw it outside his first appearance) and I’m excited to see where this goes.
Seriously, this books takes place in Houston, and I laughed out loud with the ‘where did the buildings go?’ bit. But there is one thing that bothers me about this issue. The cop and doctor is a gay couple. Personally, this wouldn’t bother me, but through the dialogue we see him get defensive about it.DOCTOR: You know, for a super-hero, you’re pretty scary. KAINE: I’m not a super hero. DOCTOR: You’re wearing a super-hero costume. KAINE: It’s not mine. DOCTOR: Why are you doing this then? KAINE: Why are you? This girl is nothing to you. DOCTOR: I’ve had a lot of losses lately. It’d be nice to have a win. KAINE: You and Officer Layton… are you friends? DOC: Most days. He’s my Husband. KAINE: Wait, what? DOC: Is that a problem?
A) It’s illegal to be gay and married in the state of Texas. While legal in New York, it’s not legal in Texas. If this is supposed to the world outside your window, then at least reflect it in the comic, no matter the personal bent of the person writing the comic.
B) The fact that he has to be defensive about it in a very liberal part of Texas bothers me. While it’s probably unfair to characterize, Houston is known as a liberal, left leaning town. (As are most of the major metropolitan areas of the state.) My biggest problem is that certain people want to make me feel sorry for the character because he’s a victim of hate. Truth is, there are people like myself that don’t care what you do behind closed doors and I won’t treat you differently unless you go out of your way to make me uncomfortable as a straight guy (Read: Hitting on me) It’s a minor thing, but it took me out of the comic. I won’t be crass and say that he doesn’t need to handle real-world issues, but between this and the Children’s Crusade coming out this week, I feel like there may be a need to establish another gay couple mandate. I don’t know. Again it took me out of the comic.
If I offended someone, I’m sorry. It’s just my thoughts.
As for the questions of Kaine taking the suit from Spider-Island, It’s all but confirmed with the dialogue above. That same scene we saw Kaine use the cloaking ability that was present in the “Tron-Suit” and I’m happy that we’re getting the questions answered. According the letters page, we have more coming.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Despite the above bit, I can’t say there was a bad element of the issue. Standard fare of Modern Comic Storytelling that I enjoyed, while this is part one of a multi-part story; I’m excited to see where it goes.
FOUR OUT OF FIVE WEBHEADS