Monday, May 29, 2017

Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider #2 Review - Marvel Monday

Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider #2

Writer: Peter David
Art Team: Mark Bagley, John Dell, and Jason Keith

Marvel Comics
Release Date: May 24, 2017
Cover Price: $3.99

Bring back the Hoody

We’re back with issue two of the Scarlet Spider featuring Ben Reilly, with Kane also prominently running around on the hunt for his cloned brethren.  With no resources Ben has taken off to Las Vegas weaseling his way into the office of one Cassandra Mercury, a singer and casino owner, who’s not too happy to run into Ben again so soon after her Clone Conspiracy experience.  Let’s see how the one time beloved Scarlet Spider gets himself out of this one shall we.

If you came into last issue expected a straight up super hero title you may have left disappointed.  Having read all of Clone Conspiracy I didn’t expect that at all and liked very much the tone and setting of the first issue which continues here with Cassandra having a gun pointed directly at Ben, after the shenanigans he pulled on her.  The tables turn quickly when Ben jumps out of the way of the fired bullet and takes possession of the gun. With Cassandra at Ben’s mercy, she fills Ben in on why she’s so pissed at him about her sick daughter. Ben asks Cassandra to see her.

Meanwhile back in San Francisco Kane has Rita, the doctor who helped Ben with the cloning process in the Conspiracy event, and he’s using ‘dirty measures’ to get info out of Rita concerning Ben’s whereabouts.  While threatening to water board the Doctor she spills the bans giving Kane a lead he so desperately needs as he heads of to investigate the facts.

In Cassandra daughters room, she tells Ben about the moment she realized what was going on with her daughter, sliding another gun out about to pull the trigger again from sheer anger until something magic happens … her daughter wakes up from her coma very suddenly.  Ben is taking out into the hall by Cassandra’s security as he tries to understand how Ben was able to wake up her daughter.  A fight occurs with neither of the two gentlemen able to gain the upper hand, Cassandra walks out of the room again, and Ben immediately starts spinning the situation to his advantage.

Since Cassandra and her security think Ben did ‘something’ to snap the little girl out of the coma he starts making some demands to keep his services: money for one, a place for his ‘crazy’ Aunt June to stay plus plenty of quarters  to spend.  Cassandra however isn’t privy to the information we as readers are, which is Ben touching the girl who then responded by waking up was total coincidence, and he’s simply taking advantage.

The book wraps up with another glimpse of Kane, who sneaking into the Doctors office, and discovers the information he’s looking for simultaneously as he’s attacking by machine gun wielding guards as the issue ends in quite a strange place if you ask me.

Overall as readers we’re provided a story that’s pretty intriguing, but didn’t make much progress in its second issue. A costumed hero doesn’t even appear until the last couple pages, so this isn’t an action heavy title so far, it’s more a book exploring the inner workings of Ben and Kane right now which is fine but probably isn’t grabbing a ton of new readers with its style so far. However as a longtime fan   

I love Bagley’s art which suits the tone of the book perfectly and has a great level of detail and consistency to it, I personally know it has to suck making everyone’s face look like a scared mess but he has pulled it off to perfection so far.

Bits and Pieces

So far Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider by Peter David has been a slow, intriguing burn, that I’ll see through to the end of the first arc to make my ultimate judgement to keep reading or let go.  The art by Bagley has been awesome so far and is worth checking out. However if Ben/Kane are characters you’re new to there might be some issues for you with this title.


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