See all reviews of Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider (8)

Are you ready to the feel the sting of The Hornet? Because I’m certainly not. Here in the south, it still feels like the middle of summer even though it’s almost October. The mosquitos are eating me alive.

Anyway, let’s check out what Ben’s up to since making a deal with Death.

First Read Reactions

  • Ah, so this all happened before Secret Empire.
  • Ben Reilly and Kaine: Still not friends.
  • Kaine has a pretty good point about who is more deserving of a chance at having their soul redeemed
  • NOW we’re caught up to the post-Secret Empire era. At least Vegas never had to deal with the NFL’s terrible decision to move a team there.
  • Nice getting to see Abby have some actual dialogue now that she’s awake. Seems like a cool kid.
  • Still dying though 🙁
  • Okay, there are forced moments of potential romance…and then there’s that.
  • Either the Hornet is a complete idiot or we are missing a very big piece to this story.
  • Surprise appearance by even more late 1990’s nostalgia.

The Verdict

Okay, so at least the issue wasn’t terrible.

That being said, I miss the “old” Ben Reilly we had during the first five issues. The one who was unpredictable and struggled with a core bit of goodness that clashed with his generally selfish nature.

Instead, we now have a version of Peter Parker who just seems a little more sarcastic. He’s still funny, at least, but not nearly as interesting.

As far as the story goes, we get a lot of bits and pieces of things that don’t really go anywhere. I understand that a story arc needs a set up, but everything that happens in this issue–and all the new characters that get introduced–just feel random and disjointed.

Add in a painfully shoehorned romantic subplot, and you’ve got a title that continues to be a far cry from it’s brilliant opening issues.

The art is really good, at least, especially when we get to see Ben Reilly go to town on the Hornet. Unfortunately, that’s not going to be enough to make me want to stick with this title unless the story gets better, too.

Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider #8 Review
Is it good?
A disjointed plot and a less interesting Ben Reilly continue to drop this book from the brilliance of its opening story arc.
The art by Will Sliney is good, particularly the fight sequence between Ben Reilly and The Hornet.
Ben Reilly may not be anywhere near as interesting as he used to be, but at least the character is still funny.
The issue works so hard at setting up various plot points that the narrative feels random and disjointed.
Ben Reilly isn't anywhere near as interesting a character as he used to be just a few months ago.
The romantic subplot feels shoehorned into the narrative.
4.5
Meh

  • Richard Lawrence

    I like Ben Reilly as Ben Reilly, not the douchbag version that was funny but I cared that little about I had to force myself to buy a copy.

    • RamblingBeachCat

      Do you like this “new” version, though? (Serious question).

  • Monkey Tennis

    So you miss a version of Ben Reilly who existed for 5 issues (maybe a few more if we include Clone Conspiracy)? Wow, that must be so disappointing for you.

    OK, so original Ben was around for significantly longer and so it follows that his fans would be/are significantly more disappointed with douchy/unpleasant/threatening-violence-against-women Ben. But who cares about them right, as long as you’ve got generic ‘edgy’ Ben.

    FTR, this still doesn’t feel like real Ben to me anyway. He just feels like a slightly less douchy version of whoever the character was that David created in #1. But it’s not Ben.

    Also, nice work to the colourist for getting Ben’s hair wrong.

    • RamblingBeachCat

      I can see your point–definitely wasn’t trying to crap on old school Ben Reilly fans, though. I just liked that Marvel was doing something that felt different. I legitimately didn’t know what this new version of Ben was going to do in any given situation.