With the set-up of the team settled and the New Warriors victorious over the High Evolutionary I decided to pop back in on this title and give it a look. New Warriors #9 has two things going for it: lots of Scarlet Spider and an insane giant basketball mascot intent on proving himself a hero. This my friends is a good time.
Returning Kaine to Houston against his will Vance Astronik attempts to sell the hero on staying with the team when the city’s former basketball mascot, transformed into a giant 100 ft. insane bear, shows up to take down the “super-villains” and prove himself the true hero of the city. Scarlet Spider vs. giant stuffed bear? Yeah, that’s pretty awesome.
The B-story involves the rest of the team blowing off some steam by hitting a nightclub in Prague. Although it gives the various other characters less a role to play (which is fine by me with Kaine picking up the slack), this lighthearted subplot does foreshadow dark times ahead for one particular member. Must-read.
After two years Kaine‘s adventures in Houston as the Scarlet Spider end in the title’s final issue. Picking up some time after the events that ended Kaine’s super-hero career which are shown in a series of flashbacks which demonstrate the former killer’s heroics and the face of his monstrous nature (and why he can never return to Houston) we find Kaine and Aracely working their way down the Mexican coast in an attempt to begin a new life and forget their old one.
Although the entire issue has a somber mood, writer Christopher Yost still manages to infuse it with the spirit of the title’s more upbeat issues. I’m glad to see Kaine and Aracely together at the end of the series which suggests (hopefully) that she’ll be joining him in Marvel’s New Warriors title early next year. The idea I’m going to have to read a New Warriors comic to get more of Scarlet Spider isn’t great news, but Aracely’s involvement would soften the blow.
I’ll miss this title which leaves me no monthly Spidey comics (at least none I care to read). And I’ll miss Yost’s rehabilitative take on a character who ends the series far more interesting than when it began. Worth a look.
Here’s my look back at the ten best single comic issues from the past year. Including ongoing series, one-shots, and mini-series, the only limitations I put on this list was that the comic had to have been released in 2013 (no reprints) and I limited myself to only a single issue from any one title. Because I was focusing on standout issues rather than consistently strong comics every month several of my favorite series missed the cut, but, if time permits, I may work up my regular list of best comic series of the past year as well.
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The series winds to a close leading into next month’s final issue as Kaine decides to give up the role of hero after what Kraven the Hunter put his friends through (including one still fighting for his life in the hospital). He also faces new threats in a friend turned enemy, someone masquerading as Annabelle, Aracely‘s dark visions, and the arrival of his crazy one-night fling Zoe Walsh (who brings her rocket launcher with her for the unannounced visit to Kaine’s hotel room).
Although the issue feels rushed, like writer Christopher Yost is trying to pack in as many ideas as possible (and hanging plotlines) into a single comic to set up next month’s final issue, there’s quite a bit here to enjoy including plenty of the title’s trademark insanity and a cliffhanger that leaves the fate of nearly every single character from the series completely up in the air.
I’m going to miss this book, and although news has it that Scarlet Spider will be continuing to enjoy life with a new version of the New Warriors (hopefully with Aracely along for the ride and a Guardians of the Galaxy costume for Vance Astrovik) it won’t be the same. Worth a look.
The Kraven the Hunter storyline comes to a close as Kaine fights the suicidal madman who is threatening the lives of all of the new Scarlet Spider’s friends. Only willing to spare Aracely, Annabelle, Wally, and Donald if Kaine can kill him, the hero tries his best to fight off his darker nature, defeat Kraven, and save his friends.
Kaine is able to stop Kraven (although the comic doesn’t explain why Aracely wasn’t of any use when her life, and those of her friends were threatened), but the super-villain makes his escape and one member of Kaine’s new group of friends is severally injured which will send another on a late-night search to discover more about the history of Houston’s super-hero. I’m betting he’s not going to like what he finds.
With Kraven’s defeat, writer Christopher Yost sets up the series’ final arc as Kaine’s past will apparently haunt him through the end of the series (and possibly beyond?). Worth a look.