Scarlet Spider #5

Posted by Jesse 01 June 2012

Scarlet Spider # 5

Story: When a group of politial extremeists try to make an example of the weak Texas/Mexican border,the situation unintentionally turns into an act of terror. Kaine must help track down and deactivate a nuclear bomb that could potentially lay waste to the entire city of Houston, Texas. 

How will Kaine use his spider powers to ascertain the whereabouts of the device? Will he get there in time or will fate play a most tragic note?

Review:  If you’ve ever seen a Jason Statham film, then I’m sure your familiar with the jarring action, scrambled scenes, and intense pacing that inhabits his work. Car chases, gun fights, brawling, and suicide decorates this story from head to toe. It’s this type of thrilling setup that Yost has layed out here.

As if, Kaine were a regular Jack Bauer, his chosen mission is to find this bomb before it goes boom and destroys the city of which he is just getting settled into.
Not to mention if he could save a few million lives it wouldn’t be bad for his reputation, or more importantly his guilty conscience.

But hey, shouldn’t the police depot. have specially trained K-9s for this exact situation? Apparently, not in Houston. Never the less, Kaine and his recently outed gay cop buddy, Mr. Layton, set out on streets. Dressed as the Scarlet Spider, Kaine proceeds to interrogate the suspects with his own brand of extreme prejudice.

It’s not much of a “super hero” story to say the least, then again, many of the past issues weren’t either, and that’s not really the type of person Kaine is, or wants to be, rather he’s more of the “by any means necessary” type of guy and it shows. His style and strategy is not your typical protect and serve protocol, but that’s a big part of his appeal, and it rather enjoy it.

Even though I an not big on the whole, “Die Hard” scenario, I don’t mind the occasional wild goose chase, or high stakes race to the finish type of plot.
This is a good test for Kaine, to see if he cracks under pressure, and the choices he makes when there’s no time for hesitation. Having said that , 
I think the writer should have done a lot better job of stressing those elements.

With absolutely no ties to the events of the previous issue, this story comes out of the blue and plays out like a fill in or 1 shot. I think it’s awkward timing with the replacement artist taking over this issue and the pen and ink really taking a dive. Kaine looks like an anorexic teen in some panels.

The color is a step down as well, it basically looks like a coloring book exploded.  So I wasn’t too fond of this issue to say the least. Not even the seemingly pointless Ironman cameo helped much.

I understand the border patrol situation is a big topic in Houston, and I admire Yost’s effort to bring real life politics into the story, but I just felt like this whole thing was quite anti-climactic, and despite all the action, I got bored.

Frankly I’ve seen enough national security threat stories, and don’t wish to see them in the pages of a book about a man with spider powers that goes around wearing a costume. It just doesn’t fit the bill. I expect more character development, background and story telling, with a lot less ballistics, and cop drama. Just because Kaine got into the business of crime fighting doesn’t mean he should be rollin’ and patrolin’.

Not a bad issue but really not so hot either.


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