Review: Superior Spider-Man Team Up #2/Scarlet Spider #20
With Chris Yost writing two Spider-Man related titles, it was only a matter of time before he had a crossover between the two. “Sibling Rivalry” goes through Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #2 and Scarlet Spider #20. So this ends up being a joint review!
The story itself is a good one. Chris Yost doesn’t pull any punches with continuity, and references the Clone Wars without a hint of hesitation. As always, Yost writes Kaine very well, and he has matured a lot since the days of Spider-Island. He’s clearly the better hero at the moment, no matter how much Otto likes to think he is the superior hero. The Jackal storyline has been brewing for a while within Yost’s books, and he has it come to a head nicely. The Gwen Stacey clone could have been used better though. It would have been interesting to see Kaine interact with the Gwen clone given their nature, and see if Kaine could put Pete’s memories out of his head to interact with her. It also would have been a nice romantic wrinkle. Jackal’s characterization is spot on, as he’s as kooky as the age he came out of. If you were a villain made famous from the Clone War Saga, you’d be a little weird too. Eventually a writer needs to kill off the Jackal. He’s been in too many exploding buildings recently, and he keeps getting away without a scratch. While the clone argument could solve all of this, I hope to god that’s not the case.
Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #2 continues to show Yost’s grip on how to write Otto slipping. When Otto was the lead in Avenging Spider-Man, he was a complicated character. He found ways to fit in as Peter Parker while still being Doctor Octopus. It showed the greatness that could come from a storyline like this. But since the title switch, Yost has been more blatant than Slott. I have enjoyed the storyline so far, but having every character not notice something wrong when Otto is being this blatant is starting to wear thin. It’s breaking the story. Kaine, outside Carlie Cooper, is the first person who seems to think something is really wrong with Peter. I hope that he helps her fight Otto when the time comes. That would be an interesting team up. Since Yost’s writing falters in Superior Spider-Man Team-Up, Scarlet Spider ends up being the better issue of these two. Kaine’s inner dialogue about being a monster is well written, and avoids the melodramatic clichés that can come with it.
Marco Checchetto’s artwork is superb. He’s an amazing Spider-Man artist. While his talking head panels can be slightly stale, the action scenes are brimming with energy. Spider-Man and Kaine feel like acrobats who are flying across the page. The new Superior Spider-Man costume looks it’s best in the hands of Checchetto. Next to the Greg Rucka Punisher series, this might be Checchetto’s best work. Scarlet Spider is slightly stranger, as In-Hyuk Lee creates a very lifelike battle scene with the Jackal. It’s not necessarily bad, but it seems out of place when looking at Checchetto’s. The Jackal has never looked creepier though. The action sequences look a tad off, but watching Kaine and Otto squirm in the chains looks incredibly life like.
Overall, this was a good storyline for the two books. Yost needs to write Otto better, but he has never written Kaine better than the last few issues.
Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #2 gets 3/5.
Scarlet Spider #20 gets 3.5/5.