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Scarlet Spiders #3 (Tie-In Final Issue) Review

A hero dies in Scarlet Spiders #3 (Tie-In Final Issue)! Read my recap and review below!

The comic begins with an overview of Ben Reilly’s life, which pretty much tells you all you need to know about who’s going to bite the bullet. Kaine is the Other and Jessica is part of the only Ultimate Universe series still active, so she’s not going to die in an event that doesn’t tie in there. Anyway, he’s a Spider-Man, so he’s suffered every pain imaginable, but he earnestly believes what is right and just will prevail. That being said, things look grim as, despite him and Kaine wailing on the bastard, Jennix doesn’t go down easy.

Eventually Kaine decides to break out the stingers and start tearing into the Inheritor since, unlike Ben, he realizes this is a fight of extinction and he refuses to be slaughtered like some animal. Jennix instantly awakes from a clone and then gets shot by a turret that Jessica hacked. Ben wants her to shut it down for two reasons: If they regain control of it then they’re all screwed, and they don’t kill.

Jessica and even Jennix point out the futility of upholding that rule in this circumstance of this, but he instead states that it’s also pointless to keep killing him over and over since they need to trap him. Jessica happens to be at the receiver that sends the signal to wake the clones, but she runs into the Human Torch as an obstacle to doing that… and then she knocks him out in like three seconds flat to go and help the boys.

Ben thinks back, while nursing a concussion, about how he had always done right in the past and it was Peter who lost everything in his world while even getting the acceptance Peter didn’t. But things aren’t looking so hot here, and Jennix makes it clear he has thousands of these facilities, so it was all pointless. But, being a science expert himself, Ben realizes that the signal comes from this facility and tells Jennix he’s going to destroy it to stop them from coming back.

He succeeds, buying the other spiders time to run, but the act apparently kills him in the process with only his torn mask left behind. While Jessica tells Kaine not to let the ugliness of his death poison him, Kaine promptly gives into the Other, using it as fuel and hijacking a portal to Loom world to kill them while they can’t revive themselves.

In the end, they won but it wasn’t without sacrifices.

Okay, review time…

I loved the tie-in, but Ben Reilly dying was still hard. I mean, you could see it coming, but it still hurts because between the cynical Kaine and realistic Jessica, we see that the optimistic one was the one that bit the bullet. Other than that it was a pretty solid tie-in.

The issue and series gets a 5 out of 5.


All-New Ultimates #2 Review

A bit late, but here’s my review of All-New Ultimates #2.

The story starts with the battle still underway and the New Ultimates are in their first dust-up gone wrong and turned into a mess. It quickly turn into the Serpent Skulls versus everyone else and they’ve got numbers on their side. I see a lot of issues in the fight alone, namely Miles getting hit by an opponent who isn’t faster than him while he has Spider-Sense. He shouldn’t be touched at all in this fight, although he’s still inexperienced, neither should Jessica have gotten jabbed by a needle. They been in goddamn war and came out better than this.

Anyway, the fight ends abruptly when SWAT shows up. Diamondback, who seems to have a thing for younger men in spider outfits kisses Miles goodbye as Cloak pulls the rest of the group out of there and back to their base in Hell’s Kitchen, where Cloak is down for the count because of Styx’s touch while Lana flat-out quits because apparently her powers weren’t working during the fight properly and she nearly got killed. They seemed fine to me, but she knows her body better I guess.

Back with the police in the alley, they’re summing up the situation with the only causalities being Styx and the police he grabbed, while someone wearing a hobo mask kills Stone out of what they claimed was justice. Given his experiments led to this, the guy is probably another victim. The Serpent Skulls themselves also note just how big a mess that brawl was and decide to move things faster and quicker since the police and the super kids are working at different angles, but because some other gang is knocking off their own they‘ve decided to just kill all the other gangs to show them what a kill sweep is.

We then go through a series of panels showing that Jessica was poisoned and tells Kitty, who decided she would join in, to call someone for help as she passes out, Miles is recovering from his own ass-whipping with an ice-pack while Cloak seems to be having trouble with his powers, Dagger is stretching, the guy who killed Stone is killing more people in the name of justice, the cop who got hit by Styx died and Lana’s boyfriend stood her up… again, didn’t her boyfriend get crushed by a car?

The comic ends there.

Okay, review time.

I’m not going to lie. This comic isn’t meeting my expectations, but since it’s the first arc I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt. But, while Miles is technically still a rookie, Jessica shouldn’t have gotten her ass-kicked like that. Kitty joining the team felt forced.

Issue gets a 3 out of 5.

 


All-New Ultimates #1 Review

All New Ultimates has arrived, the series that takes the teen heroes from the Ultimates line and makes them into a unit of ass-kicking vigilantes. Here’s hoping they aren’t as dysfunctional as their predecessors as I review the first issue.

Our story begins with a group shot as they discuss their units name shortly after the end of the Cataclysm: Survive and, immediately after, we go to Hell’s Kitchen in the morning. This place is a nightmare in the regular continuity, so it should come as no surprise Ganke Lee is promptly mugged by some gangbangers with superpowers until Cloak and Dagger pop up to save him. It seems like they’ve been doing this for a bit since this is the third time this week they’ve had to kick ass and take names according to them. They try to get him to go to a hospital, but he declines so they take him to their home.

Like their counterparts they reside in an abandoned church and are soon joined by Miles, the new Spider-man, since Ganke is his BFF (their caption, not mine). It turns out Ganke came to get some Legos, which leads me to think that his obsession is unhealthy, but Miles claims not to judge so why should I? Anyway, they leave as we skip to the Lower East Side, where some cops have busted into a Poor Man’s Roxxon-lab only to find a half-melted corpse as the two suspects have run away.

Back in the Church Lana has arrived after talking to her parole officer and immediately bags on Cloak and Dagger’s home and they exchange phone numbers using SHIELD tech since the organization has been scrapped for failing to stop Galactus. Then they get down to business. Since Roxxon was no longer under SHIELD’s protection, for the reasons listed above, a local gang seized one of their labs and has been giving out what amounts to untested Mutant Growth Hormone. Naturally this ends with a high rate of fatalities and they want to resolve this. So they go the vigilante route, although I think Lana’s parole officer might have something to say about that.

In Chelsea Kitty Pryde is staying in Jessica’s place. She’s having second thoughts about everything. First she was hated as the leader of the mutants, now everyone loves her for punching out Galactus while hopped up on Giant Man Serum until Thor tossed his ass into the Negative Zone. She doesn’t want to be in the spotlight and doesn’t want to go back to Utopia for some reason, so she crashes with Jessica who asks her for a haircut.

Lana makes it to her government housing just as the two suspects from the lab, Stone and Styx, try to break into an old Roxxon outpost. The Serpent Skulls are already there and Lana hears the resulting squabble and gets her new team involved…and gets their butts kicked by Styx and Stone until the cops show up and decide to try and arrest them all. So it’s back to people getting ready to shoot at Miles already.

Things go pear shape as Styx melts the skin off one of the cops trying to get Miles and the other cop shoots him dead. Then the Serpent Skulls pop out of the lab intent on beating the hell out of everyone without a tattoo. The comic ends with the leader of the game, Diamondback, telling them to get started.

Okay, review time.

I’ve got to say this isn’t exactly a strong start for their new series. Leaving aside the artwork being inferior to the Ultimate Comics Spider-Man and the characters looking awkward at time, some of their dialogue seems out of character and there seems to be some continuity errors.

For example, Poey was the nickname of Lana’s boyfriend, Sid. He was crushed to death in Cataclysm by a random car to spur her into the hero scene. Now, while I’m all for retconning that meaningless death, I need some sign prior to this that he made it.

Then Jessica’s combat abilities seem to have been downplayed. Let’s be frank, she has training and Spider-Sense (and it’s not the weak version Miles has). She shouldn’t get hit by someone without super powers or extreme circumstances like war.

All in all, I can’t give this more than a 3 out of 5 and hope they do better next issue.