SO Sorry for the lateness. When I left you in my last review, I was peeved at the previous issue of Scarlet Spider.
I felt that the great momentum achieved in the first four issues was gone.
With Ryan Stegman’s final issue at interior artist, would this return to my favorite title of 2012?
SCARLET SPIDER #6
WRITTEN BY: CHRIS YOST
ART BY: Ryan Stegman
INKS BY: Ryan Stegman
STORY: the issue balances between the intrigue of Kaine’s personal life and his life as Scarlet Spider. Ana Kraven comes to hunt the spider and it nearly kills Kaine. Bunch of Epilogues.
THOUGHTS: Man, was that so much better. After an issue of meandering, the book gets back on track with this issue a lot of intrigue, Set up and expansion of Scarlet Spider’s universe.
I know that there are some who might hate this issue because of its antagonist. I get it. It is a BRAND NEW DAY villain. But let’s face it, if anyone has a legit beef with Kaine being alive, it’s Ana Kraven (and maybe Spidercide. ;-P) To be honest, the fact that without “Grim Hunt” we wouldn’t have this story, and many of the elements that have been incorporated into this series, such as the questioning of Kaine’s humanity in this sense.
Throughout Spider-Man spinoff history there have been similar elements that occur in villains. Miles Morales has the Prowler, Mayday Parker had Lady Ock in the SPIDER-GIRL series. Ana Kraven works for me. One big thing about this issue is it is the final issue for Ryan Stegman. The artwork was strong for much of the run, but this issue suffers a bit by the inking. In the scene in the club, the background was far sketchier than other issues. A minor quibble here. I’ll miss is work, but they let him do covers, so that’ll do. Overall the story itself is very engaging. The stakes are high and the story has a noir feel to it. Universe building is also done well as the title is slowly expanding into the greater Marvel Universe. Ana provides the action, and we continue to learn more about Aracely, the mystery girl from the first issue. She’s an apparent telepath, knowing everything before they say it. I also loved the hoodie reference.
For much of the series, we’ve seen vague references to Ben in flashback. The good news is that it has continued in this issue, and Kaine damn near says his name when talking to the Priest in the epilogue. I was concerned that in a title that stars Kaine with the name Scarlet Spider that we’d not have that bone nibbled on. I don’t think you need to go into details for pure exposition purposes, but it needs to be acknowledged. (I also would love to see Joe Wade back to fight Kaine. Yeah, he is pretty much shit, but he ruined the rep of Scarlet Spider in NYC which forced Ben to adopt the Spider-Man guise. Its a built in villain for Kaine because of the adversarial nature of the character.)
That’s something that I say a lot concerning this book. It works. If you’re not picking it up, pick up the trade, available now.
Finally, I should mention the epilogues. They occur at the end of the book, obviously, and really just set up the second half of the first year.
1: The next day, with Kaine returning to the church that burned down and explores why he came back but a good man, Ben Reilly, survived. It’s an interesting direction, and I hope we see more of this.
2: Salamander returns, with an old man coming in and sending the character back to Mexico. For now.
I didn’t think that we would see him again so soon. It’s interesting, but I never really was enamored with him anyway.
3: Madame Webb (the bang-able one, per JR) makes a cryptic prophecy about a woman coming.
No clue. Is it Ana? Or someone else? No clue. The only thing that I know is that Webb made the costume look the way it did.
Good art. Good story. 3.5 out of 5.