Monday, July 31, 2017

Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider #5 Review - Marvel Monday

Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider #5 Review

Writer: Peter David
Art Team: Mark Bagley
Marvel Comics
Release Date: July 26, 2017
Cover Price: $3.99

The Battle of the Scarlet's

Ben Reilly has been back for five issues in his own solo title and we’re finally going to see what happens when the two Scarlet Spiders are in the same room at the same time.  Kaine, if you remember, isn’t too happy with his cloned brother, since Clone Conspiracy ended, and how else do brothers settle problems than with fisticuffs … its science people.  So strap on in, jump inside, and find out what happens when you mix Scarlet with Scarlet … Spoiler: mostly a scarlet bloody (and not in the English way) good time.

Our issue picks up with the two cloned brethren, Ben & Kaine, going at it over the Vegas skyline continuing last issues cliffhanger. They eventually swing themselves through a set of windows, into a Medieval times themed establishment, leading to a couple interesting situations down the line. I’m here to put my foot down and say Medieval Times in real life is one hell of a time.

Anyway, moving on from the fight, we check in on the other series regulars, Cassandra Mercury and her bodyguard Slade, walking into a competing Asian themed casino across town.  The two are quickly confronted by a large security force of ninjas, forcing Cassandra and Slade to mix it up on the spot, revealing Cassandra has some fighting skills she’s been hiding from us the readers … she more than meets the eye, if you will … forgive me I just watched the new Transformers (don’t ask why).  

Checking back in on Ben and Kaine, the two Scarlet Spiders refuse to quit, and continue their brawl throughout this ‘Medieval Times’ palace, eventually stumbling into the arena, where two ‘knights of the acting table’ training session is interrupted.  Kaine, after fighting off a sword attack, is able to get the upper hand on Ben, choking him out with vigor, all before the Black Knight comes storming in interrupting Kaine’s attempt at murder, allowing Ben an opportunity to escape for a moment and compose himself. 

Kaine chases Ben down to a nearby museum where Ben traps Kaine confronting him with a gun. This scene plays out in a strange way with Ben tossing the loading gun to Kaine who quickly pulls the trigger firing the gun at Ben.  Ben is able to catch the bullet coming to a compromise with Kaine that will allow Kaine his vengeance and kill Ben but only after he has healed Cassandras daughter, to which Kaine agrees.

The issue concludes with Cassandra and Slade confronting the casino owner of the place they entered at the start of the issue. We get a bit of a double reveal here because this casino owner is not only revealed to be behind the attacks on Cassandra’s own casino but is also Cassandra’s brother to boot … while it might be an interesting development to some I’m not digging Cassandra as a character much so I could do without the further development. With that being said it’s not something that detracts from the overall issue quality.

Overall Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider continues to be an intriguing enough B level ‘spider’ book to hold my interest and keep me coming back to for more.  Peter David has found a good footing with these characters and is mixing a good blend of humor, action, and story developments together so things never feel dull any issue so far.  The art by Bagley continues to be suburb and is actually improving each issue so far, it will be a shame to see him head off to Venom in the near future.

Bits and Pieces

Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider is a book with several lingering plot threads that have done a good job of keeping me intrigued going forward complimented with some of Marvel best monthly art on any title this year.  Any fan of Spider-Man’s clone family would enjoy this new take on the characters.


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