Monday, June 19, 2017

Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider #3 Review - Marvel Monday

Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider #3

Writer: Peter David
Art Team: Mark Bagley, John Dell, Jason Keith, Jay
David Ramos 
Marvel Comics
Release Date: June 14, 2017
Cover Price: $3.99 

Nothin’ Suits Me Like My Suit

This has been a tough book to gage how people feel about because of its many connections to past Spider-Man lore and most recently the Clone Conspiracy.  Therefore if you have no connection to past or current Spider-Man related events I wonder if you find any enjoyment in this title at all?  In the meantime for someone like myself who has a history with the character, and read all of Clone Conspiracy, I find it to be an interesting title highlighting a reluctant hero’s current struggle with identify.  Let’s see what Ben Reilly the Scarlet Spider continues to be up to in Las Vegas, with issue three hitting stands, this week. 

We kick off the title with Ben receiving a call from Rita; the doctor he worked with in Clone Conspiracy, alerting him to the fact Kaine is hot on his tale after getting some information out of her.  From there we revisit the cliffhanger setup last issue, with Kaine under heavy fire while trying to locate Ben. Everything comes together as Peter David reveals Ben has hired these gunmen to keep Kaine from obtaining the information necessary to locate his exact whereabouts, forcing Kaine out an office window seeking a path of escape avoiding death.

Back in Vegas, Ben and Cassandra continue to set Ben up with his list of demands, involving a path to discover a cure for the casino mogul’s sick daughter.  To keep Ben honest they trick him into thinking a brain bomb has been implanted into him, along with a tracker, to keep a close eye on Cassandra’s latest investment so he doesn’t get any ideas to run off or screw her over.

Ben jumps into costume and takes to the streets later in the issue. He locates the lady he saved back in issue #1 to see if she has the rest of the money he ‘charged’ her for saving her life, being down on his luck and all at the moment.  Their conversation is interrupted when a group of apparent thieves dressed in various Spider-Man related costumes storm into Cassandra’s casino demanding to see her immediately. This casino is just a target for criminal activity with two events happening on the casino floor in 24 hours which is a little ridiculous but well go with it. The fake ‘Spider-Guys’ are interrupted quickly and yoked up by Cassandra’s right hand man/body guard, who I can never remember the name of. The Bodyguard quickly kills one of the trouble makers and the other two are about to be dead meat as well before Scarlet Spider steps in to save the misguided crooks. This causes a fight breaks out between Scarlet Spider and this hulked up Bodyguard, leading to a beautifully drawn fight sequence, which Scarlet Spider ends up getting the upper hand of in the end.
Moving on out of the casino, Ben quickly chases after and catches up to the two Spidey dressed crooks (as old school Scarlet Spider and Spider-Man 2099 respectively). After a brief back and forth between the three of them, Ben ends up not liking the criticism his costume is taking in the talk.  For the poorly timed comments on ‘crooks’ behalf Ben forces him to hand over his Scarlet Spider cosplay costume and gets back his old uniform in the final panel of the comic book this month.

Overall as an issue in the series in general there wasn’t much forward movement in the story, which has been the case the last two issues now, after setting a good tone in the debut.  For whatever reason though even though this issue was a lot of nothing to get to some fan service-y moments, getting Ben back in a certain costume, it was well written, entertaining to read, and even made me laugh a few times so good job by Peter David.

The story is also beautifully drawn by Bagley, with help from Dell, Ramos, and Keith and Ben back in the old suit looks and feels right again. I know if this was another character I didn’t have such a connection from childhood with I would be hasher on its contents but I enjoyed myself reading the book too much and I can’t overlook that.

Bits and Pieces

Although the issue ultimately reaches a very 'fan service-y' conclusion, with not much happening that adds to the overall narrative of the story moving forward, David and his art team of Bagley and company do a great job sucking the reader into an intriguing world I keep wanting to revisit. 


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