Scarlet Spider #5 Review

Last issue, we saw a tweak of the status quo with Kaine taking an offer that the Assassin’s Guild couldn’t refuse. We learned more about Aracely, the girl who can now speak English, and we had the barkeep get a name (Annabelle). All of this in one issue. After four issues of interconnecting storytelling, you’d expect the same in this issue.



WRITTEN BY: Chris Yost

ART BY: Neil Edwards

COLORS BY: Karl Kesel

STORY: There is a Nuke in Houston. Iron Man and SHIELD appear. Kaine kicks someone’s butt. Cop yells at the hero. Right Wing Extremism.


All the momentum that has been successfully built over the last four issues is gone.

The story is straight-forward enough, Scarlet Spider finds that there is a Bomb plot in the City of Houston. Officer Layton is the only supporting cast member that appears in the issue so he is front and center in this issue, being one of the people who gets the Scarlet Spider (Officially named that in this issue, finally!) to help him sniff it out. By the time we meet the villain, he kills himself. So any and all tension that could’ve occurred in the issue is ruled null because we have no idea who this guy is, other than the person who oh, by the way, kills illegals, Abortion Clinics, Homosexuals, and  does everything but march at Klan rallies.

While I’ve been informed that this group was created during Marc Gruenwald’s Captain America Run, I have no freaking clue as to who these people are. While  I do have Wikipedia and other sources, there was absolutely zero build up of the villain terrorist group. While I try to keep my personal politics out of my reviews, Issue 3 not withstanding, this was pure “meh” writing on all fronts. It wasn’t until it was pointed out on an upcoming episode of Clone Saga Chronicles that it was an established group that I gleaned respect bucks (Patented by Stella AKA Spider-Girl) for Yost, but still. I felt it was a feeling of ‘REALLY!?’. A line featuring Captain America would’ve been nice, because it was so blandly inserted that I didn’t know.

Kaine’s personal life makes a whooping zero pages in this issue. The issue could’ve easily been inserted into issue 6, 12, 1002 and not mean jack. That’s why I dislike this issue the most. While I can appreciate the full throttle action story that was supposed to be high stakes, it seemed pretty tame and therefore lackluster.This could’ve been saved by strong work from Stegman, he didn’t work on it, and we get Neil Edwards, while a decent artist, He didn’t have the charm that came with Stegman because his characters were very stiff in my opinion.

I had to literally laugh at the right wing extremism. I had to. Because they all hate homosexuals, illegals, and abortion. Because they MUST be violent. I’m using sarcasm here. Its LAZY storytelling, and as a conservative, extremely annoying. I’m not saying that they don’t exist, but I’m saying don’t paint them all as crazy eeeevil people. Lazy.


I guess my feeling is that of disappointment more than anything, and we haven’t even gotten to the most egregious part of the story:

So Iron Man, Daisy Johnson, Nick Fury Jr and Coulson all make appearances in this issue.

Never mind that Iron Man’s cameo was just to get the Avengers facetime before they come after Scarlet. Never mind the fact that we get this new ‘Black Nick Fury’ that no one demanded, never mind the fact that Coulson makes like his second appearance in the Marvel Universe, or that Daisy Johnson is head of SHIELD and is looking like Robin from “How I Met Your Mother” NEVER MIND THE FACT…


They sat there. Was this supposed to raise the stakes? Was it to get Houston on the Marvel Map? Because it was sloppy AT BEST. I know Yost wrote ‘Battle Scars’, but come on, there were people who had no freaking clue who those guys where.

The only saving grace was the humor in the book about the name Scarlet Spider.

Sloppy storytelling, meh art.

2 out of 5 Webheads.


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(10) Comments

  1. NorthernRedStar

    I guess i did the right thing with skipping this one. Or is it worth the read after all? ^_^

  2. Brian Bradley

    Nice review and catch up. I didn't mind the one and done so much, but missed the political reference/stereotyping. I probably wasn't reading it super closely though. Maybe I'll reread it at some point. I'll miss Stegman, but I think this is a decent replacement, so hopefully it doesn't change too often.

  3. Eddie

    #5 - The voice of reason speaks. :) Of course, your comments are right on. I am prone to hyperbole. There is a large range between left leaning and communist, just as there is a large range between being conservative and being a fascist. I have to say though, it does get tiring to see so many stereotypes. As for the comic - the actual subject of this thread, ;) I think they're preparing to bring in a major baddie to liven things up.

  4. Scarletspiderfan

    Idk about that Eddie your assessment seems kind of harsh, though Marvel does insert a lot of left-leaning notions I wouldn't say they're out to paint everyone Conservative as being crazy or hateful. There have been plenty of instances of Communist villains in the past, but as someone who leans to the left I don't take offense to that or get upset. Its an attempt to ground things in the real world, albeit somewhat poorly (and I'd definitley agree lazy). I agree this issue fell kind of off the mark. This series needs some real momentum going forward and its been a little light on that so far. Maybe a real villain or two can get this going.

  5. BD

    I just read this the other night and I'd give it a bit of a higher grade. I liked it quite a bit. The art wasn't as strong as the previous, but I liked Ben showing his hero aspect more and more.

  6. Eddie

    Right on every front. And by "right," I mean correct ;) This was by far the weakest issue of the series so far. I guess they wanted to give us a one and done, but it was really a one and underdone. I have gotten used to Marvel's heavy handed left-wing propaganda, so it doesn't bother me so much. It's pretty much standard fare in the entertainment industry that if you don't agree with liberal ideas, you are either (1) a knuckle-dragging, barefoot, backwards, inbred hick, (2) a nazi, or (3) a hateful, intolerant Christian. So much for tolerance and the free exchange of ideas. But I digress...Your review was spot on. The humor is always pretty good in this comic, but we need to care and we need to feel like something is really at stake. We didn't get either of those in this. Hmmm. Kind of reminds me of this other book... At least this issue is an aberration rather than the norm.

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