“Wrath Part 2”
Writer: Chris Yost
Pencils: Carlo Barberi with Ale Garza
Inks: Walden Wong
Colors: Rex Lokus
Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Artists: Stegman & Delgado
Editor: Tom Brennan
Senior Editor: Stephen Wacker
THE STORY: Wolverine, of course, recovers from being killed last issue and agrees to go along with Kaine to take out the Assassins Guild (after hearing of the reasons for the whole murder thing). Meanwhile, Aracely is examined by Beast and the X-Men who determines that she is not a mutant but Beast thinks she may not be the only one in her body. Wolverine and Kaine do a decent job of shredding the Assassins Guild, but it turns out they’re not the ones that need to be dealt with. They’re afraid of and working for a woman called The Red Death, and she arrives to take out our heroes!
MY THOUGHTS: This really is the Spider-Man related team-up book by Chris Yost I always wanted to see. We get a great team-up of Scarlet Spider and Wolverine fighting together while getting a fun little subplot of Aracely crossing over with the denizens of the Jean Grey School. Plus, as a bonus for a big fan of Yost’s X-Force series with Craig Kyle (which I very much am), we also have Wolverine changing into his old X-Force black-and-greys for some stealth.
Right off the bat, it’s nice that we get past the whole “everybody’s pissed at each other” stage so quickly. There’s a bit more fight surrounding Kaine “killing” Wolverine, but thanks to a little telepathic assistance that quickly gives way to Wolverine agreeing to help with the Guild. It’s also quite funny that Wolverine’s first guess is that Scarlet Spider is an evil clone of Spider-Man (“Pfft. I got a clone, too.”)
As a lot of this issue is a big, violent fight with the Assassins Guild, it’s really nice to have an absolutely hilarious page in there of Aracely with the X-Men. She’s being examined by Beast but she’s just running off at the mouth about everything popping into her head as Rockslide marvels at her ability to just not stop talking. Also, Rockslide is a character I very much miss Yost writing in his New X-Men run with Craig Kyle. Kyle & Yost nostalgia abounding in this issue and I’m loving it! Since this page is sadly not part of the issue preview, let me just give you the best part:
Aracely: “Is he made of rock? How long does it take you to comb your hair? Is my brain glowing in that picture? Why are you green? What’s that? Do you have any mutants from Mexico? Do people hate and fear you for real?”
Rockslide: “Holy crap, you talk a lot.”
Aracely: “I fought werewolves!”
Rockslide: “…that’s kind of awesome.”
And then, fisticuffs! This, I think, would be a good time to talk about the art. Barberi’s work, as I said last issue, is very evocative of Paco Medina’s (a collaborator of Yost and Kyle’s on New X-Men – yay!) and that comes with the great kinetic energy making these pages move quite well while also doing the figures well. Since the credit says “WITH Ale Garza” not “AND Ale Garza” and Garza’s name isn’t even on the cover, I’m going to assume Barberi did most of the work here, but either way I think we have to give credit to inker Walden Wong for keeping the look consistent enough that I really can’t even tell where the penciler changed. That is always the ideal with multiple pencilers, but rarely the reality.
The one visual detraction, and this isn’t knocking the artist since I’m sure it wasn’t his call, is the continued use of the Tron costume. I made my complaints last issue about how NOT stealthy a costume with neon-glowy strips is so I won’t repeat that (except in so much as I just did), but really at this point it’s more that it’s just ugly. I’m really missing Kaine’s Scarlet Spider costume. I never liked this one all the way back to its introduction in Amazing Spider-Man and now it’s just the silly thing keeping Kaine from his usual cool.
Yost does a very good job, as expected, with the team-up between Kaine and Wolverine, highlighting how effective they both are as fighters and killers while also showcasing that they may not be the best people to work together, given their personalities (maybe too similar in some ways). The fights are visually fun and impressive and really what more can you ask for from Wolverine and Kaine beating down assassins?
And in the end we’re introduced to an even bigger threat that is kind of unexpected. Belladonna being afraid of someone seems a bit out of place, so The Red Death really needs to pay off next issue to validate that, but if Yost continues to write this arc at the level he has been, I don’t anticipate being disappointed.
GRADE: A So far this is looking like it may be Scarlet Spider’s best multi-part arc to date with two issues equally strong and enjoyable.