Scarlet Spider #3
Writer: Chris Yost
Art: Ryan Stegman [Pencils], Babinski & Von Grawbadger [Inks], Marte Gracia with Andres Mossa [Colors]
After saving illegal immigrant Aracely from the Salamander, Kaine has taken it upon himself to keep her in hiding and protect her from deportation. As a result, he’s had to enlist the help of a Houston doctor and a bartender fluent in Spanish along the way.
In the meantime, he’s patrolled the streets at night, and Yost’s Scarlet Spider has proven to be what you’d get if you gave Spider-Man the badass attitude of Batman.
At one point this issue, he pops down from a building to grab a mugger in the act and swing across the city while holding the buy by the face. Eventually, he stops long enough to drop the thief from a building and catch him with webbing, causing the would-be mugger to wet himself in the process, before demanding that he leave the city lest Kaine should “break his bones in ways that will never heal” and “tear every piece of flesh from his body.” The art for this scene alone was fantastic, not just showing a large yellow spot on the mugger’s pants, but urine dripping down his shoes, as well.
As the story progresses, we find out that the doctor Kaine has been working with has been targeted by a member of the Assassin’s Guild (most likely by a man at the beginning of the issue who threatens his life after he fails to save the lives of his wife and daughter). During their battle, the assassin sees Kaine’s face (Kaine was once a member), which makes the doctor’s problem even more of a problem for Kaine.
This is yet another great issue to one of Marvel’s best new series. Yost has not only been doing a great job of fleshing out Kaine as a newly-reformed vigilante, but of fleshing out Houston as a character in these stories much in the same way New York is a character in Spider-Man stories. In this issue, for example, the vast difference in the number of skyscrapers is made light of when Kaine suddenly runs out of places to web-swing from. Even the art has a warmer feel, reflecting the book’s locale.
Digging into Kaine’s past for villains and building up a supporting cast is yet another way Yost is drawing parallels with Spider-Man without just making this book about a clone into a clone of an existing book.
If you haven’t given Scarlet Spider a look yet, there’s no better time than now–especially with second and third printings of the first two issues on the way.