Marvel Comics 2017
Written by Peter David
Penciled by Mark Bagley
Inked by John Dell
Coloured by Jason Keith
Lettered by VC’s Joe Caramagna
Unwilling to let Ben toy with the power to create life, Spider-Man destroyed his entire facility and Ben himself seemed to be killed in the blast. Unbeknownst to Spider-Man however Ben survived. Now he just needs to figure out what to do next.
Can’t some people just stay dead? I got used to Kaine being the Scarlet Spider and really got to love the character in his last series and in the shorter lived New Mutants. I mean c’mon this is Peter David though and while i’m not happy this book centers on him at least I know it’s going to be extremely interesting. With the background out there that the Jackal didn’t kill him, that Peter didn’t kill him and he kept himself on the downlow until the most recent Clone Conspiracy means he’s got nothing to do, nowhere to go and voila we’ve got a book.
So while i’m not a big Ben fan and that’s mainly because I skipped his whole phase as Spider-Man and how he came into being. That Peter starts us off here with a very emotionally damaged person piqued my interest. I like that he talks to himself and by that I mean literally he sees a version of himself that he converses with. He doesn’t see himself as a bad guy but a victim of life and circumstance. So anything he does is done with the best of intentions and a very warped perspective. Points for making him cuckoo for cocoa puffs because that alone is what is going to sell me on this series.
Honestly I don’t think they could have gotten a better artist than Mark for this one! His depiction of the characters is dead on what it needs to be. He knows these characters and this universe extremely well. His eye for storytelling is still utterly amazing to see play out on the page. That we see how the Jackal’s procedure makes their skin still so kind of scary looking is fantastic, not to be confused with Wade Wilson’s face. Love the new costume even though hoods are the new shoulderpads.
So the new attitude to go with the new suit seems to suit Ben for now. While he still has to deal with his past and what he’s done, of which we’re seeing some of that this issue already, and we get to see some old characters return and take their rightful place in this series. There’s enough going on here that will put these characters through their paces as they try to discover what life has in store for them now.
The story development is great and I like the degree of characterisation that is already on display. While I may never come around and be a fan of Ben Reilly I am a big fan of Peter and Mark’s. This is fun, different and the kind of book that I find myself gravitating towards, in a sense it kind of reminds me of Hyperion. Also while we are introduced to some key players there’s no sign of a supporting cast yet and that kind of intrigues me more than I want to admit. Bad guys, those who don’t Ben around or have a grudge to bear sure.
All in all while I wasn’t wanting Ben back i’ll be sticking around for awhile because this is different, interesting and incredibly well illustrated.