Scarlet Spider No Flimsy Spin-off

The Spider-Man saga started quite a long time ago…1962 to be exact, and since then, everyone’s favorite web slinger has seen just about all there is to see within the pages of a comic book. Plus, the guy’s abilities are pretty impressive, so needless to say his enemies have been out to harness that for some time now. One successful attempt at that has led to the recently released series, Scarlet Spider.

There have already been a few names to take the crimson arachnid mantle, but without a doubt the most popular has been Kaine Parker.  With a name like that, you’d think he’d be related to the one and only Peter Parker, right?  You wouldn’t be all that far off with an assumption like.  Kaine, you see, is the final result of a series of experiments by the villain known as the Jackal (aka Miles Warren) who cloned Peter.  We all know Spider-Man’s tagline, right?  “With great power comes great responsibility.”  Kaine holds the same DNA, but not quite the same mentality.  He’s adopted an “All of the power, none of the responsibility” mindset.

Donning his red and black suit and leaving a trail of havoc behind from the Spider Island story arc, Kaine headed to Texas in issue 1 (January 2011) where he got more than he bargained far after encountering the foul stench of death, one hulking pyromaniac serial killer from Mexico and mysterious lone survivor amidst the tragedy.  We’re up to issue 4 now and the storyline has only become more intense along the way, courtesy of writer Chris Yost (Red Robin, X-Force).  So just how much do the two costumed guys have in common?  Remove the conscience and sarcastic one-liners that Spidey has, and you’ve got yourself one very agile, non-joking, loose cannon swinging from the Houston skyline.  Okay, so Kaine may have somewhat of a soft spot in his heart for doing the right thing at times, but that doesn’t mean he’ll make a concerted to stop a robbery in progress.

Illustrating the pages of Scarlet Spider is Ryan Stegman, who is known for his work on She-Hulks and The Incredible Hercules.  Kaine’s super-human agility is soundly reflected in the equally agile and smooth, yet detailed lines of Stegman’s work.  “Flow” is an accurate term to describe his delivery and imagery that easily captures the reader’s eye.  Complimenting this brilliant artwork is inker Michael Babinski (Incorruptible) and colorist Marte Gracia, whose combined duties provides a beautifully lush environment and character portrayal that makes each issue more attractive than the last.  Simply put, this visual artistic team excels at bringing the pages of Scarlet Spider to life in an attractively gripping fashion.

Usually spin-offs tend to be watered down alter egos of the original content.  While Kaine is certainly a sort of alter ego of Peter Parker, he is definitely not watered down.  After four issues, Kaine is already on his way to achieve a more widespread stand-alone status, which, should the story and art quality remain consistent, propel him further up the Marvel ranks.  Granted, he’s not going to take over the popularity of Spider-Man, but this is proof that these rooftops are big enough for two webslingers.




3 Responses to “Scarlet Spider No Flimsy Spin-off”

  1. Brian White

    Nice! Never heard of this! Available in Comixology I assume?

  2. Gregg

    Indeed! I love that app, gives you previews, a synopsis, etc. Plus the library there is pretty big & growing.

  3. Sean Ferguson

    Nice review Greg! I haven’t read this series yet but it sounds good.