Friday, October 19, 2012

Scarlet Spider - Life After Death

Scarlet Spider - Volume 1: Life After DeathScarlet Spider - Volume 1: Life After Death by Christopher Yost
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After the events of Spider-Man: Spider-Island, Kaine leaves New York to start a new life in Mexico. However, he only makes it as far as Houston before life throws complications in his way in the form of a shipping container full of dead illegal aliens, a fire-powered super villain, an assassin guild looking for revenge, a dirty nuke, and a living girl he found along with all the dead illegals who seems to have a psychic link with him. All in a day's work for your not-so-friendly neighborhood Scarlet Spider.

I'll bring everyone up to speed really fast: Kaine is a clone of Spider-Man who was a murderous super villain until the events of Spider-Island. He has most of the same powers plus a couple extras and a suit that lets him turn invisible. Everyone got that?

So I really liked this Scarlet Spider collection. It's both a tale of Kaine's second chance at life and a chance to tell Spider-Man tales that couldn't be told with Peter Parker. Kaine's got all of Spider-Man's powers but has been a criminal and killer in the past and he's struggling with the idea of being a hero but he's working on it. I like that his sense of humor is a lot more negative than Spider-Man's and he handles things with a heavier hand. Ever see Spider-Man crush a gunman's hands or use a pistol or katana on someone?

I have to admit that I wasn't expecting much from the supporting cast but I'm already digging them. There's Wally and Donald, the cop and doctor gay couple, Annabelle, the punky bartenders, and Aracely, the girl Kaine has made it his responsibility to protect. The villains are nothing to write home about but seeds are planted for future stories involving Kraven and the Assassin's guild led by Belladona, Gambit's ex-wife.

Not really anything bad to say about this one. I'll be picking up the next volume and, if rumors are true about Kane being Spider-Man soon, I'll be reading that too.

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