Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Review: Scarlet Spider #2

Scarlet Spider #2 By Yost / Stegman

There is nothing particularly wrong with the second issue of Chris Yost's ongoing Scarlet Spider series. Yost manages to develop Kaine's character, introduce an all new villain and still have room for a barnstorming fight scene. Unfortunately it still has not given this series that kickstart that it seems sorely in need of. Its first two issues have been solid, with few problems, but in the cut-throat world of modern comics that often isn't enough.

Aside from a brief piece of background on the first page, the majority of the issue is devoted to Kaine's rescue of a hospitalized girl, and his tussle with her intimidating assailant. It's good to see Yost attempting to create a rogues gallery for Kaine, and the 'Fire Serpent' is a cool visual, and made for a fun fight sequence. I did find him to be slightly lacking in depth however - fine for a one off villain, but I wouldn't be overly disappointed if he didn't show up again. What the character did allow was a glimpse at Kaine's ruthless nature. Yost has gone to great pains to highlight that this character is far more than just Peter Parker-lite, a fact emphasised by the brutality of this issues fight scene.

Fight scene aside however, there is not much to this issue at all. Yost does a good job of defining Kaine's character - a must for the sake of newer readers, but slightly unnecessary for anyone with knowledge of the character, and not done quite as cleverly or refreshingly as I was expecting. I was expecting the series to be up and running a little more after two issues, and while the action has been well portrayed there has been little in the way of shocks or suspense. That's not to say that the first two issues have been bad, just that there are few hooks. Kaine has no supporting cast to speak of, and the one villain featured so far has been functional rather than spectacular.

This was a fun enough read, and Ryan Stegman's art is still terrific. Chris Yost will have to do a little more over the coming months to keep me onboard though, despite a largely adequate beginning to the series.


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