Move over, Ben. It’s time for the other Scarlet Spider to take the spotlight for an issue.
Writer Peter David puts pen to paper on the first part of an amusing romp featuring the other Scarlet Spider: Kaine. Will Sliney and Rachelle Rosenberg join him to provide the art for what is likely going to be Kaine’s worst day.
With Ben going ‘undercover’ to track down a military scientist who’s been working on a cure for a specific disease, Kaine is left alone to defend Las Vegas from the threat of a stray Mindless One. Somehow left over from the Mysterio incident of the last two issues, this Mindless One is immediately befriended by a young child named Billy, who seems to have it out for Kaine and the rest of the world.
Peter David has recaptured some of the magic lost during the Damnation storyline tie-ins. Dialogue is once again snappy, with jokes coming quickly at Kaine’s expense. Of course, things do eventually get serious once it’s time for the cliffhanger, and Ben’s own subplot brings up yet another minor Marvel character from obscurity for what could be a great adventure.
Sliney and Rosenberg once again turn in a solid comic, with special mention going to the body language of the Mindless One once he befriends Billy. Seeing a Mindless One posing like Superman with a child in his arms is just a confusing delight. Kaine also gets an incredibly expressive masked face for this issue, which is hard not to approve of when he’s the subject of several painful pratfalls.
If you’ve ever wanted to see a grim and dark hero become the butt of life’s jokes, this is the issue for you. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also a pretty enjoyable tale with a solid setup for next issue.
Final grade: B+