Review by: JohnnyDestructo

What did the
community think?

Avg Rating: 4.0
Users who pulled this comic:
Story by Chris Yost
Art by Ryan Stegman
Cover by Ryan Stegman & Mark Bagley

Size: 0 pages
Price: 3.99

Showgirls. Limp Bizkit. Chromium Covers. Rob Liefeld. Raver pants so big you could hide a hobo in them while you were WEARING them. All these ill-advised, earth-shatteringly bad things came to fruition during the 90′s, and since this is a review for The Scarlet Spider, I think you know what I’m getting at here. But despite Spider-Man’s Clone Saga being 35% interesting story and 65% chromium ass-hair laden tripe,  I do have a guilty pleasure nerve in me that tingles at the thought of it. Do we need to return to it? Absolutely not. Is it just a ploy at cashing in on the upcoming 90′s resurgence in pop culture? Most likely. Am I still totally sucked in despite all this? Sigh.

For those of you who AREN’T 100 effing years old, Kaine is the (previously evil) clone of Peter Parker. He was jealous of and hated Ben Reilly, the (altruistic and previously alive) clone of Pete. Ben was even Spider-Man for awhile, having been duped into thinking that Peter was the clone and that HE was the original Peter Parker.  And his Spidey costume was AWESOME. Of course, most of that doesn’t matter for this story. All you need to know is that Kaine used to be a scarred-up, degenerating jerk who killed lots of people by body-modifying them to death with branding or somesuch sillitude, but now that his brain isn’t deteriorating, he’s trying to…well, not so much be GOOD, but at the very least… not be BAD. And that’s the saving grace of this book. I was skeptical towards the seemingly over-night transformation his personality underwent. “Grrr, I’m bad! Wait, now I’m handsome and great! Doers of evil, beware my chiseled jaw!” Well, as it turns out, that’s not so much the case. Sure in this book, he does some thwarting, but only so he could rob the bad-guys of their ill-gottens. I’m glad to see that his road to redemption is going to have some pot-holes, and they’re going to have to keep it bumpy if they’re going to avoid making the book stale. Obviously, as soon as he stops being the reluctant hero, we’ll just have another Spider-Man title on our hands.

I give Marvel credit for not bringing back Ben Reilly, who crumbled like frothy Shake & Bake after being ker-stabbed by the Green Goblin, but how many Spider-Man villains are going to get the “road to redemption” treatment? The Sandman. Venom: Lethal Protector. The Black Cat. Molten Man. Black Widow. The Beetle. The “good” Green Goblin? I’m hoping Yost has something a little more original planned for our anti-hero. I like that he no longer has his procog abilities OR spider-sense. He now has organic webshooters. I hope some more differences emerge to really set Scarlet Spider from Spidey. I guess it’s too much to hope that the terrible name Scarlet Spider is up for changing, since it’s the title of the comic? Oh well. I also hope that his new costume is going to go through a change or two before they settle on one. I’m not fond of this version yet. I’d almost prefer the sleeveless hoodie!

I know I may be presenting a conflicted opinion on this book, but I should be clear that I’m actually kind of giddy to be reading this book. I’m always in favor of second chances, and maybe if this book is good enough, it’ll help to repair the damage to our childhoods that the Clone Saga made us block out in the first place, only to be remembered during a tear-filled session of  hypnosis with our collective therapist. This is not only Kaine’s quest for redemption but Marvel’s as well, I hope.

Story: 3 - Good
Art: 3 - Good


  1. Why are you writing a review for this if you haven’t read it yet? Not to complain, I’m just curious.

  2. Nice review. Not interested in reading this title but I think you summed it up nicely.

    Redemption is the cornerstone of the Spider-Man mythology. You’re right about so many Spidey villains turning a new leaf but there’s a lot more dimension to redemption than just being good or less bad. Here’s hoping you’re right and Kaine’s quest for redemption is a mature and complex story about that.

  3. Was I imagining it, or did it seem like they were lazy in turning in pages and just threw one of the covers from the “Here’s How We Planned the Clone Saga II to Go (No, Really)” Clone Saga mini-series as the first page of Kaine’s flashback?

    • Could be laziness or could just be the recognition of great art. Flashbacks to previous art like this aren’t uncommon. It looks great and it had the three individuals that Kaine was referring to in it. You could be right but “lazy” isn’t what came to MY mind when I saw it.

    • I guess I’m missing what we’re talking about.
      I assume the splash page of Spidey/Kaine/Ben duking it out is an homage to another piece of previous art?

    • Pretty sure it was either the cover to ,or a panel of, the newer six issue clone saga mini of how the it was “supposed to go” from a couple years back.

  4. What a waste!

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