The Scarlet Spider #1

by Alan Rapp on January 12, 2012

in Comics

scarlet-spider-1-coverI’m a fan of the Scarlet Spider. For those of you who don’t know who that is, the Scarlet Spider was the alter-ego assumed by Peter Parker‘s clone when he was reintroduced to comics in the 1990’s.

The Clone Saga has earned the animostity of several Spidey fans (some of it well-deserved), but despite many problematic elements (including its purpose to replace Peter with his clone as Spider-Man and its awful ending where the character literally disovled into dust for Marvel Comics to sweep under the rug) I’ll look back on it fondly for introducing the character of the Scarlet Spider.

When I heard a new Scarlet Spider comic was in the works I was excited but confused. After all the character was long dead. Learning the new series would center around the character of Kaine (another clone reintroduced in the Clone Saga), a character I have no real fondness for, I was a little less sure of what to expect.

In the opening to the issue’s first letter column writer Christopher Yost admits his love for 90’s comics, the Clone Saga storyline, and, more importantly, of hoodie wearing super-heroes. That one paragraph bought the comic a fan for at least three issues.

Although he does some early ass-kicking and saves an old woman from getting run over Kaine’s red and black costume which adorns the cover doesn’t make an appearance inside the comic. I like the look, but it does need a splash of blue. Maybe something in a nice hoodie?

What’s interesting is Kaine, as he was originally introduced, hated the Scarlet Spider and yet Yost has found a way to keep that character alive by having Kaine reluctantly assume that identity. Despite being a clone of Peter Parker, Kaine has never been a hero and doesn’t want to be one. It’s an interesting idea that I want to see unfold.

In the first issue does Yost does a Geoff Johns-ian job of introducing and explaining Kaine’s past as a slowly decaying Frankenstein-ish monster with a murderous insanity before dying (at least twice), becoming a giant monster, and coming back from the dead (again, at least twice). There’s one splash page where we see Spidey, Kaine, and the original Scarlet Spider in all their 90’s glory. I’m hoping for a similar Scarlet Spider flashback in every issue of the series.

This version of the character, finally free but weighed down by his past, may make for an interesting story (even if it is Kaine). Based on this first issue I’m definitely going to give it a shot…but I’ll admit I still miss the hoodie. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Joshua February 3, 2012 at 8:28 am

I love the old Scarlet Spider and all of the crazy Spidermam stories in the 1990s. From your review it sounds like I like Kaine more than you do, but I agree this is a good comic and I’m going to keep buying it.


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