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.
SCARLET SPIDER #5
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.
THOUGHTS: Wait… WHAT?
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…
THAT THEY DIDN’T DO A DAMN THING.
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.