Review: Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider (2017) #14, spotlight on Kaine


In this one-off story, Kaine fights a hippopotamus guy, and Mysterio’s past return from the dead gets clarified a little.

Writer: Peter David
Artists: David Williams & Ray-Anthony Height
Inker: Scott Hanna
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Artists: Khary Randolph & Emilio Lopez

The name of this series may be Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider, but Ben’s not the only one to have donned that mantle. Before the classic Scarlet Spider returned from the dead, fellow Spider-clone Kaine took the name for himself. This fan-favorite web-slinger has been a major presence all along, but in this filler story between major arcs, he gets to take the spotlight.

More from Spider-Man

Last arc, Kaine aided Ben and the Slingers to convince Cassandra to save a veterans’ shelter. The success of this mission has endeared him to his friend, Terry, in a way that may extend beyond “friends.” While spending time with her, Kaine meets her brother, Kerry, who’s a back-up quarterback. Inevitably, this friend of a friend’s introduction serves to bring this Scarlet Spider into conflict with a super-villain. In this case, it’s an anthropomorphic bruiser called “The Hippo.”

While the big action of the main plot unfolds, Ben goes on his own journey, one to see what a certain Quentin Beck is up to. If that name sounds familiar, that’s because he’s the original Mysterio. Though, if you haven’t read comics in the past 15 years, you may be wondering what he’s doing alive.

Photo credit: Marvel/Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider #14

Watch your favorite shows on fuboTV: Watch over 67 live sports and entertainment channels with a 7-day FREE trial!

After all, a cancer-ridden Beck killed himself in an old Daredevil story by Kevin Smith and Joe Quesada. The character made a supernatural return in a Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man story written by this series’ writer, Peter David. Somewhat confusingly, though, a later writer ignored said story and brought Beck back with a claim that his death was faked. Ben Reilly acknowledges that claim here, but the former Mysterio here admits that he was actually dead. His time in Hell has seemingly motivated him to live a good life now, though we’ll see how that pans out.

. Peter David, David Williams, Ray-Anthony Height, Scott Hanna, Rachelle Rosenberg. . Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider (2017) #14. B

Must Read: Review: Amazing Spider-Man Annual (2018) #42

Next issue is a tie-in to Donny Cates and Nick Spencer’s Doctor Strange story, Damnation. Considering the mystical elements already present in the series, though, hopefully it’ll feel like a continuation, not a detour. After all, the effects of Secret Empire tied in subtly in past issues without any hick-ups. Regardless, the next chapters should be interesting.