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Review: Scarlet Spider #2 – Kaine’s struggle with morality continues

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Scarlet Spider #2
Writer: Chris Yost
Art: Ryan Stegman, Mike Babinski [Inks], and Marte Gracia [Colors]

Kaine, the once-deformed-but-now-healed clone of Peter Parker, has been determined to quietly start life anew in Mexico ever since helping save New York City from the infestation of the Jackal’s spider monsters.

Unfortunately, he got sidetracked in Houston when he uncovered a human trafficking ring.  He saved a Mexican girl, the only survivor in a shipping container full of illegal immigrants, who he delivered to the local hospital before setting out for the border again.  As he’s leaving, however, he sees an explosion at the medical center in the rearview mirror of his taxi cab, commandeering the vehicle.

The explosion was caused by a mysterious, unnamed, fire-throwing villain from Mexico who Kaine makes quick work of–in his first appearance in the new Scarlet Spider costume, it should be noted.

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Primarily focusing on Kaine’s struggle with his newfound sense of morality given his new lease on life, Chris Yost does a great deal of work setting him apart from the real Spider-Man.  Kaine isn’t afraid to use a downed officer’s gun against a villain, and questions whether or not it would be better to just kill the man.  He’s confused when the crowd outside of the hospital cheers for him after he takes down the villain, and even more-so when the local authorities give him praise.

Ryan Stegman’s pencils (whether intentionally or not) evoke the work of Mark Bagley, which is fitting, given Bagley’s history with the character.  Overall, the art is smooth and polished, but with enough grit to fit the character and a lot of nice little details.

Looks like those years of begging Marvel to bring back the Scarlet Spider finally paid off.

STORY: 9/10
ART: 9/10

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Roger Riddell
Essentially Peter Parker with all the charm of Wolverine, he's a DC-based B2B journalist who occasionally writes about music and pop culture in his free time. His love for comics, metal, and videogames has also landed him gigs writing for the A.V. Club, Comic Book Resources, and Louisville Magazine. Keep him away from the whiskey, and don't ask him how much he hates the Spider-Man movies unless you're ready to hear about his overarching plot for a six-film series that would put the Dark Knight trilogy to shame.