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Spider-Man Crawspace Reviews @Marvel Scarlet Spider #23

Here is today's Guest Reviews from the guys at Spider-Man Crawlspace for Marvel's Scarlet Spider #23. I have also added my rating after each review. If you have any questions about my rating or want to discuss anything just leave me a comment.

See the Review Rating Overview page for more information on how I rate each comic.

Scarlet Spider #23 - Into the Grave Part 3


Kaine's life is being ripped apart piece by piece.

His body broken, his soul is next.

Enter the Hunter.


Holy Wrist-Spikes


Kaine vs. Kraven. Fight fight fight. Ana Kraven slashes Donald Meland across the belly but good. Lots of yells. Fight fight. Kaine slams Kraven in the chest so hard it stops his heart, cuts people free, gives Ana a slash across the face she won’t soon forget, and then punches Kraven in the chest so hard it restarts his heart. And then punches him in the face. ‘Cause STFU. Donald’s alive but might not make it. Wally finally decides to look up Kaine’s criminal record. Uh-oh!


Holy wrist-spikes, this was a complete mess. Where to start?

Well, let’s start with the first thing you see: the art. For the past several issues this book has had often multiple pencilers and multiple inkers. This time we just have one penciler and…that’s it. Marvel has adopted an annoying credit style in the past several months-to-years in which it just credits a person as “artist” instead of being specific about what they did, like “Penciler,” “Pencils & Inks,” and so forth. So David Baldeon is simply credited as “artist” and the next thing we see is colorist. So with that description it COULD mean he inked his own pencils, but it seems pretty clear to me looking at these pages that there was simply no inker, his pencils went straight to color. Now for some artists this works and it’s their usual style. But there IS a reason inkers exist. For many pencilers, their pencils benefit greatly from the enhancement of inks and aren’t ready to be directly colored over. And that is the case with Mr. Baldeon. His lines are sketchy, loose, and thin. Not the kind of sure, strong hand needed from a penciler with no inks. So the whole book comes off looking very weak, and that’s a bad place to start with an issue that doesn’t have great writing to bolster it.

So then there’s an issue that’s been brought up by others before, but I was giving it to the end of the arc for some better explanation. Well, this is the end of the arc. So what we’re left with is that Kraven has intimate knowledge of Peter Parker, Ben Reilly, and Kaine. First off, we’re living in a world where the Green Goblin and Venom don’t know Spider-Man’s identity but Kraven the Hunter does, but I think I have to lay that more at the feet of the Grim Hunt than this story. And I can understand some of Kraven’s knowledge of Kaine. He said he figured out the Scarlet Spider was him, and that’s fair. From the botched ceremony the Kraven family knows there’s a Spider-Man clone, so when the Scarlet Spider pops up in Houston that would be an easy deduction. What I can’t get behind is Kraven’s intimate knowledge of Kaine’s origins and Ben Reilly. He can learn a lot about Kaine from just stalking his prey, following the guy around Houston, but that’s not going to tell him about Kaine’s creation. And who told him about Ben Reilly? It wasn’t his son, The Grim Hunter, who Ben fought. Kraven pointed out in this issue that Kaine killed him. And then he came back as a lion, and lions aren’t known for being talkative. Do we have to assume that one of the other three Kravens was watching at all times and reported on all Spider-related doings when Sergei was resurrected? A) That’s an ENORMOUS stretch, and B) I don’t want to have to figure out crazy assumptions for myself. The comic book should be offering some explanations if it’s going to make big, significant claims like this. The continuity with Kraven, what he knows, and how he knows it is definitely very murky at this point.

Read the rest of the Review at Spider-Man Crawlspace

Images Unplugged Rating

Cover & Solicit - 3
Art, Colors & Inking - 4
Layout & Flow - 5
Story - 4
Verdict - 4 (8/10) - 
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