Movies & TV / News

Is the New Scarlet Spider Series a Good Idea?

January 11, 2017 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
scarlet-spider

I’m Steve Gustafson and thanks for stopping by. Don’t forget to check out 411mania’s Comic Book Review Roundtable, every Thursday! Read up on the best reviews and let us know what you’re reading as well. Click to read the latest Comic Book Review Roundtable! Civil War II #8, Hulk #1, and more!

Now, on with the show!

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Last week we asked, “Do We Want More Watchmen Comics?” Here’s what you all had to say:

SaintOrleans: “”Watchmen” as a story stands on its own. The same way “The Killing Joke”, “JSA: The Golden Age”, and “The New Frontier” do. This does not mean those characters can’t be expounded upon, especially as DC owns their rights.

Alan Moore did create the story script to Watchmen, and re-painted the Charleton heroes that DC had acquired, Personally? I believe “Minutemen” was a better story than the original Watchmen, as its more coherent, doesn’t require multiple readings and a magnifying glass and simply inspires deeper emotional connection.

Its only logical that Geoff Johns ,a talented writer in his own right, who’s body of work is beginning to, if not surpassing Moore’s, would use all the toys in his box. There’s no reason for DC NOT to use its assets creatively and if he can tie everything in a bow, Godspeed to him. Let Moore stay angry with the comic world, and movies, and everything that’s not Alan Moore penned.”

mpw2012: “I wish to be entertained”

James Jennings: “I’ve enjoyed the Before Watchmen series that I have read. The Dr. Manhattan story had a fun time theme to it, and the origin story of Adrian Veidt leading right up to the beginning of Watchmen was fantastic.”

WlNBACK: “People no longer believe in ending age-old legacies on a high(er) note, especially if the name still has some easy money in it. These crappy people are the reasons we had drab sequels/remakes for the movies Ghostbusters & Point Break, to the games Flashback & Parasite Eve, and coming soon: Blade Runner, Shenmue, and The Watchmen.”

Mojotheclown: “I’m torn on this. As much as I love Watchmen and want it to be left alone, I want to see Dr Manhattan meet Batman.”

Dorath: “Not even Darwyn Cooke was able to save Before Watchmen.”

Rehab: “Only if it leads to more movies.”

To read ALL the comments, CLICK HERE! As always, thanks for the input!

This week we discuss…

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Is the New Scarlet Spider Series a Good Idea?

Marvel announced a new Scarlet Spider ongoing series from writer Peter David and artist Mark Bagley. The series stars Ben Reilly returning to the identity he originated in the 1990s.

In case you didn’t know, Reilly returned as part of The Clone Conspiracy and the new series will also feature Kaine, another clone of Peter Parker, in a supporting role, as well as a new villain named Cassandra Mercury who blames Ben Reilly for her daughter’s untimely death.

Reilly was created by the Jackal, re-entered Spider-Man’s life as the hero known as the Scarlet Spider in the mid-’90s, before assuming the Spider-Man identity in 1996. It was briefly introduced into continuity that Ben as the “real” Peter Parker. As expected, Ben’s tenure as Spider-Man was extremely controversial and came to an end in December 1996’s Spider-Man #75.

For those who didn’t read Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy #3, the Jackal, unmasked and revealed himself to be Ben Reilly, who had claimed his creator’s identity and was determined to rid the world of the suffering of death by resurrecting people as clones. Trippy stuff.

Peter David did an interview with CBR about his take on Ben and I included some of the highlights here:

On the appeal of a monthly Ben Reilly book: “I love the fact that he’s a character who has been around for a long while, but that he has a history that has caused major changes in his personality. He spent so long trying to emulate Peter Parker, to be a hero, and then he had as huge a fall from grace as anyone could imagine. And now, he has died literally so many times that it’s completely unhinged him to the point where he doesn’t know what the hell he wants anymore. Someone like Peter is truly fixed in his personality and life’s ambitions. Ben is trying to understand the world around him and his relationship to it. He’s a hero at heart, but a villain in his head and he is constantly trying to sort everything out.”

On Reilly’s emotional state and status quo in Scarlet Spider #1: “He is trying to decide what to do with his Jackal personality, and he is literally being haunted by his earlier incarnations. He has his Scarlet Spider identity on one shoulder, urging him to follow his better angels, and the Jackal on the other hand, trying to get him to return to the path that led him to disaster. He’s trapped in the middle, endeavoring to balance the two. Of all the characters I’ve written who are having identity problems — and God knows, I’ve done a few — Ben is easily the most unhinged.”

On how Kaine Parker fits into the book: “Oh, yes, Kaine Parker has a major place in this comic. Kaine is not going to believe that Ben is really dead, and he feels that it’s up to him to be the one to track him down. He’s on the hunt, right from issue #1.”

On supporting character, Cassandra Mercury: “Cassandra Mercury. She is the premiere administrator of blackmail in the Marvel Universe. She has something on literally everyone, which gives her tremendous power. The one thing she doesn’t have is a daughter. Something happened to her daughter and Ben (as the Jackal) was involved. This leads her to come gunning for Ben to settle the score. She has a top aide, a gentleman named Slate who is something of a badass on his own. Then there’s Ben’s attempts to recreate a life for himself that’s based on Peter’s life, which is where he acquires Aunt June, a rather formidable senior citizen who neither knows nor cares about him.”

How you feel about this will depend on your thoughts about clones in Spider-Man’s history. I have a feeling this will be either a “love it” or “hate it” type deal. What do you think?

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That’s all the time I have. Check out our Comic Book Reviews tomorrow and see you next week!

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