Scarlet Spider Comes to a Close (sort of)

Marvel books usually tend to leave me feeling like I’ve been let down after I finish reading them. There are very few titles from the mammoth comic book publisher that give me any sense of satisfaction. Why is this? Because Marvel tends to flood the market with underwhelming stories resulting in an empty delivery. Leave it to a Spidey spin-off to be the exception.

It was two years ago when I came across an interesting cover titled Scarlet Spider (issue #1).  You may not be able to judge a book by it’s cover, but it was the cover that grabbed my attention.  With a Spider-Man influenced slogan, the tag line read, “All of the power. None of the responsibility.”  As the famous web-slinger always stays on the good side of the law, I wanted to see what someone with the same abilities would do when legalities were not much of a concern.

The story focused on villain-turned-hero Kaine Parker.  Kaine, a genetic replica of Peter Parker, had discovered the ways of good through Peter’s help (but not after leaving a trail of destruction in his wake).  It is here where Kaine decided to leave his dark and violent past in New York City as he moved on to Houston for a new life. It is here where issue #1 begins.  The writing was proficiently structured, setting the landscape and establishing backstories and characters, while the artwork and vibrant inks set the visual tone.

Over the course of the last 24 months, Kaine has faced drug lords, werewolves, an evil sorceress and even Wolverine himself.  With the occasional sub-par issue, Scarlet Spider has largely been an entertaining read.  This past week the series closed out at issue #25.  However, the finale was not much of the in-your-face issue I thought it was going to be.  Sure, there were moments of suspense picking up from where #24 left off, but this one was meant to be a cliff hanger and left readers hanging it did…and for good reason.

Though Kaine’s solo adventures have come to a close, expect the troubled wall-crawling clone to be thrown in the mix once again as he will appear in the inaugural issue of New Warriors in early 2014.  While it’s currently unclear if Scarlet Spider writer Chris Yost will assume duties for New Warriors, there is a good chance the title could be one worth revisiting as long death-dealing Scarlet Spider is involved.



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