cap’n loves him some scarlet spider

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While Kaine attempts to keep everyone in the hotel and casino, who have been transported to an alternate dimension by Mysteria, safe from the murderous creatures, our other Scarlet Spider confronts Mysterio and his daughter to discover what the hell is going on.

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The arrival of Mysteria, the daughter to classic Spidey-villain Mysterio, who has now been hired by the same casino he is working for prickles Ben Reilly‘s Spidey-Sense to the level that he decides it is time to call in some back-up. Enter Kaine and Dusk. Unfortunately, neither prove to be all that helpful with the illusionist actually makes the casino disappear (by temporarily displacing it in another dimension).

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The latest issue of Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider is a bit of a departure for the comic as the primary story focuses not on Ben Reilly but on the other Scarlet Spider, Kaine. Really the only thing you need to know about the issues is this: Kaine fights a hippopotamus dude who would fit right in with Bebop and Rocksteady. If that doesn’t interest you, I don’t know what to say (partially because there’s really not much more to the issue). Still, Scarlet Spider versus Hippo!

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Already confused about what direction to take now that the Slingers have kidnapped Cassandra Mercury as leverage to force the Scarlet Spider to turn himself in for the brutal attack on Thorne, the sudden return of Kaine (who has his own agenda in freeing the kidnapped club owner) only further complicates the situation. In the end the two Scarlet Spiders agree to work together.

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Following the events of last month’s issue, the Scarlet Spider makes a pair of new friends (well… if you are grading on a curve) and works with Ricochet to track down the other hero’s former (and now resurrected) partner Hornet. Knowing there’s far more to the story that Ricochet is willing to divulge, and the fact that it’s been some time since he’s played well with others, Scarlet Spider’s team-up doesn’t last that long (although the consequences do involve our hero getting in over his head and Richochet racing through a casino without any pants).

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The death of Ben Reilly‘s patient marks the end of Kaine‘s patience. However, before pitting the two Scarlet Spiders against each other once more, the comic introduces a wild card in Marlo Chandler-Jones who seems to have an unusual effect on both Ben and Kaine. Inspiring Ben to go after a pair of thugs shooting up Las Vegas, the Scarlet Spider jumps into action (although he does have to be talked out of gunning down the villains in the middle of the street by one of their would-be victims).

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Kaine finally catches up to Ben Reilly in Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider #5. The comic is most memorable for the fight between the pair that takes up most of the issue. Despite his vow to kill the other clone, Kaine decides to let Ben Reilly live for now leading to a temporary halt in hostilities between the pair until Reilly can cure a sick child (who he neither knows how to cure nor really wants to).

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While the third issue of Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider does offer a cameo of Kaine on the hunt for his clone brother, the majority of the comic deals with Ben Reilly‘s fucked-up Las Vegas adventure. With his lies buying some time from Cassandra Mercury, at the cost of a bomb in his neck, Ben is at least able to breathe again. However, when a group of spider-clad would-be heroes decides to show up in the casino our protagonist springs into action, playing the hero whether he wants to or not (at least for a little while).

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With the set-up of the team settled and the New Warriors victorious over the High Evolutionary I decided to pop back in on this title and give it a look. New Warriors #9 has two things going for it: lots of Scarlet Spider and an insane giant basketball mascot intent on proving himself a hero. This my friends is a good time.

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I never expected anyone would ever make me want a Kaine action figure, but Christopher Yost’s terrific Scarlet Spider run makes grabbing this 4in. Marvel Universe Scarlet Spider Action Figure tempting. You should be able to find one for between $13 and $18 online.

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