Scarlet Spider (Vol. 2) #8

Background

Scarlet Spider has managed to gain quite a bit of popular attention with his heroics (even if they are a bit unorthodox). However, this being the world of comics, things are never as easy as they seem. After saving a woman named Zoe from an exploding building, Scarlet learns that she was responsible for it and it was a planned attack against Roxxon (Marvel’s evil mega-corporation). While doing some investigating, Scarlet finds out that a mysterious incident at an offshore drilling rig near Galveston was the reason for Zoe’s attack and that no one but the C.E.O. has any real information on what happened. When SS gets to the top floor of the Roxxon headquarters, he finds not only the C.E.O, David Walsh, but his daughter-Zoe! Oh, and the Texas super hero team, the Rangers!

Story 'The Second Master Part 2'

  Scarlet Spider (Vol. 2) #8
Summary: Scarlet Spider vs the Rangers and Roxxon
Arc: Part 2 of 'The Second Master' (1-2-3)
Executive Producer: Alan Fine
Publisher: Dan Buckley
Chief Creative Officer: Joe Quesada
Editor In Chief: Axel Alonso
Senior Editor: Stephen Wacker
Editor: Tom Brennan
Writer: Christopher Yost
Pencils: Khoi Pham
Inker: Tom Palmer
Cover Art: Edgar Delgado, Ryan Stegman
Lettering: Joe Caramagna
Colorist: Antonio Fabela, Edgar Delgado

Again, we open to a scene occurring several month ago, at a Roxxon offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. C.E.O. David Walsh arrives on the scene, asking about the explosion and how the scientists on site were able to contain “it”. The answer? Inside one of the workers, whose eyes and mouth are exuding a weird light.

Back at Roxxon tower, Scarlet Spider is running through the list of the Rangers and sizing up their personalities based on appearance- Firebird is self-righteous, Living Lightning is experienced and wants to prove himself, Fifty-One is…an alien, and the Texas Twister is arrogant. Right behind him is Shooting Star (she’s got guns!) and Red Wolf, on whom he provides no comment. Shooting Star is ready to…well, shoot…Scarlet as he sizes up the situation: It seems that while the Rangers are there to prevent SS from doing anything crazy, they are in no way supporters or Roxxon. He realizes he needs to handle the situation delicately, so naturally, he throws Shooting Star out the window and at Texas Twister.

The rest of the Rangers proceed to attack, but Scarlet dodges them, grabs Zoe and bolts. The Rangers confront him while he clings to a building and Fifty-One uses some sort of bizarre power and gets in Scarlet Spider’s head. He throws Zoe at him and begins to fall, momentarily blacking out in mid-air. He awakens quickly, webs Zoe out of Fifty-One’s arms and swings off. With the Rangers unable to find them due to the Scarlet Spider suit’s cloaking ability, the team heads out.

Back at Roxxon, David Walsh gives a report to the police and Texas Twister, but Twister doesn’t think that Scarlet Spider would break in without a reason. Walsh brushes it off, claiming Scarlet is the villain. Meanwhile, Scarlet Spider is arguing with Zoe (seems odd for Kaine to rescue her and then tell her to stay away). While he tries to tell her what she did is wrong, she insists her father is evil and she had no other way. She offers to take him to Galveston so Scarlet can stop what is going on there. The pair steal a motorcycle and head off!

The Rangers show up a bit later and track his trail. While Shooting Star and Firebird seem unsure of SS, Texas Twister is willing to give him a chance. Living Lightning arrives and announces about an alarm at the Roxxon facility in Galveston, assuming it is Scarlet Spider. Walsh is also made aware and orders that Scarlet Spider should be killed…as well as the Rangers and Zoe, if they get in the way! While there appears to be chaos somewhere in the offshore rig, SS and Zoe are not near it- as far as they can tell, things are all quiet! Kaine starts panicking, assuming his whole chance at a second life is over because of the mistakes he’s made trusting Zoe. Before he can worry too much longer, the Rangers arrive and put him down, crumbling the floor beneath everyone. This reveals all the chaos and bodies that were shown mere panels earlier!

Firebird immediately notices all the bodies are of people from Central America, while Red Wolf hears screaming in the distance. Putting their differences aside, the heroes go further in and find the Roxxon scientists attempting, and failing, to contain the mysterious force from earlier. It seems that Whatever it is, humans are no longer enough for it, and it reveals itself in the form of some kind of…lightning…monster thing! SS graciously offers to leave this to the real heroes.

General Comments

Again, I was somewhat less impressed with this issue. It’s basically just introducing some guest heroes for Kaine to tussle with. Now I certainly like this idea, and I hope they build a dynamic here that lasts beyond this issue, but from what I have seen so far from Yost, I just don’t believe it will go anywhere.

While I like this idea of Kaine interacting with other heroes, I would like to see him interact with some of the really established ones as well. Right now, the Rangers don’t really have much of a personality. As far as I know, this is really the first comic to feature them. And again, while I hope Kaine has to deal with them or they help to bring more depth to this character and book, I’d like to see how he handles himself when dealing with someone that’s more of a staple of the Marvel universe. That, or someone who KNOWS Spider-Man and can see the difference. Another perspective on the character, you know?

I would like some more detail on whatever this mysterious force is that Roxxon is containing. And also how they know about it and why they want it. It seems to be a bit…uncontrollable…so I am not sure why they would want to mess with it.

Overall Rating

Nothing too remarkable about this issue. Hopefully what we’re seeing is set up for future stories as well here. For this arc, not much happens to advance the story, though. Also, still not digging Pham’s art. The panel where Scarlet webs Zoe back into his arms for instance…her face is just some crudely drawn eyes and a mouth. I really hope either his art improves or they switch artists up again soon.