Scarlet Spider (comic book)

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Scarlet Spider
Cover of Scarlet Spider #1 (November 1995)
Art by John Romita, Jr. & Al Williamson
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
Format(vol. 1): Limited series
(vol. 2): Ongoing series (vol.3): Ongoing series
Publication date
No. of issues(vol. 1): 2
(vol. 2): 26 (25 regular + 1 special)
Main character(s)(vol. 1)
Ben Reilly
(vol. 2)
Kaine (vol.3)
Ben Reilly
Creative team
Written by (vol.3)'
Peter David

Scarlet Spider is the title of two comic book series published by Marvel Comics about two clones of Spider-Man while they functioned as the current version of the Scarlet Spider. The first volume lasted two issues and was published in 1995. The second volume started publishing in January 2012 and ended in December 2013 with issue 25 after a total of 26 issues, because there was a special Marvel Point One issue published between issues 12 and 13.[1]

Volume 1[edit]

The first volume starred Ben Reilly as the Scarlet Spider. It was published for two issues in November and December 1995. The book was a direct continuation, in terms of creative teams and story lines, of the Spider-Man series which the title temporarily replaced for two months between issues 63 and 64.

It was one of four briefly published books which featured the character. The others were The Amazing Scarlet Spider, The Spectacular Scarlet Spider, and Web of Scarlet Spider.

The series began when Peter Parker gave up being Spider-Man to retire with his pregnant wife Mary Jane, and the Scarlet Spider took on his duties. The title returned to its old name and numbering when Ben Reilly took on the Spider-Man name.

The writer of the two issues was Howard Mackie and the pencillers were Gil Kane and John Romita Jr.

Volume 2[edit]

Variant cover of Scarlet Spider, vol. 2, #1 (March 2012). Art by Mark Bagley.

On July 22, 2011, during the San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel released an image to the audience depicting a burnt sweater of the original Scarlet Spider.[2] This led many readers to assume that Ben Reilly would be returning and taking on the mantle of Scarlet Spider once again. However, through introduction of the Marvel Now event, Marvel Point One showed readers that Kaine Parker would be the main character in the new Scarlet Spider series.[3]

Ryan Stegman, the series' penciller states that volume 2 is set to be of a darker tone than The Amazing Spider-Man series.[4] Stage-man also states that the new Scarlet Spider is meant to be a grittier and scarier version of the original Spider-Man.[5] The writer of the series, Christopher Yost, states that Kaine would be moved to Houston, Texas due to characters in New York knowing that he was a villain in his former life, and that Kaine needed a fresh start.[5] Yost also states that due to the brand new location of Houston in a Spider-Man comic book, several new villains would be introduced in the Marvel world as well as a brand new supporting cast.[6] Yost stated that the Scarlet Spider series would be a story about a former super-villain who is finding himself and is on the pursuit of a journey of self-discovery.

The second volume stars Peter Parker's first genetic clone, Kaine as the Scarlet Spider. After helping to stop Spider-Island, Kaine has been cured of his clonal degeneration. While fleeing to Mexico he stops in Houston to steal money from criminals, but ends up becoming the superhero, Scarlet Spider.

The first issue sold over 50,000 copies, but sales dropped to an average of about 22,000 copies being sold per issue by July 2013.[7] The series introduces several new characters in the Marvel world, such as Aracely Penalba (the demigod superhero known as Hummingbird), Dr. Donald Meland and his husband Wally Layton.[8] The character Annabelle Adams is also introduced in the Marvel world as a love interest for Kaine.[8] The characters play pivotal roles in the growth of Kaine as a superhero.

On July 6, 2012 Marvel teased readers with the submission of an article displaying a logo titled Minimum Carnage, and that more information would be released soon.[9] The 2012 San Diego Comic-Con revealed that the Scarlet Spider series along with the Venom series, would be collaborating for the Marvel event, Minimum Carnage.[10]

On May 10, 2013, Christopher Yost revealed his plans of Scarlet Spider and the Superior Spider-Man meeting for the first time in Superior Spider-Man Team-Up issue #2, in a Marvel arc titled 'Sibling Rivalry'. Scarlet Spider's and Superior Spider-Man's meeting is said to collaborate with the Scarlet Spider and Superior Spider-Man Team Up series'.[11]

Volume Three[edit]

Following the events of the 2016 Spider-Man event The Clone Conspiracy, Ben Reilly was brought back after a twenty year absence, and a new Scarlet Spider title written by Peter David was launched. The title ran for 25 issues before folding in late 2018.

Collected editions[edit]

Title Material Collected ISBN Release
Spider-Man: The Complete Ben Reilly Epic Book 1 Spider-Man: The Parker Years, New Warriors (1990) #65-66, Scarlet Spider Unlimited #1, Web Of Scarlet Spider #1-2, Amazing Scarlet Spider #1-2, Scarlet Spider Vol. 1, #1-2, Spectacular Scarlet Spider #1-2, Green Goblin #3 and Sensational Spider-Man (1996) #0 And Mini-Comic. 978-0785155454 August 2011
Scarlet Spider Vol. 1: Life After Death Scarlet Spider Vol. 2 #1-6, material from Marvel Point One 978-0785163107 February 2013
Scarlet Spider Vol. 2: Lone Star Scarlet Spider Vol. 2 #7-9, 12.1, 13-15 978-0785163114 April 2013
Carnage: Minimum Carnage Scarlet Spider Vol. 2 #10-12 978-0785167266 January 2013
Scarlet Spider Vol. 3: The Big Leagues Scarlet Spider Vol. 2 #16-20, Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #2 978-0785166498 November 2013
Scarlet Spider Vol. 4: Into the Grave Scarlet Spider Vol. 2 #21-25 978-0785166504 February 2014


  1. ^ Arrant, Chris (31 October 2013). "Is SCARLET SPIDER's Conclusion the End of Kaine? Yost Teases". Newsarama.
  2. ^ "SDCC 2011: The Scarlet Spider?". 22 July 2011.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Marvel Point One #1 (Nov. 2011)
  4. ^ Beard, Jim (20 March 2012). "Tuesday Q&A: Ryan Stegman".
  5. ^ a b Dietsch, TJ (15 October 2011). "NYCC 2011: Scarlet Spider".
  6. ^ Borders, Meredith (17 January 2012). "Interview: Marvel Comics' Christopher Yost and Ryan Stegman". Badass Digest.
  7. ^ Craig, David (23 July 2013). "Marvel NOW! – 5 Books That Could Be Cancelled Next: Number 4 Scarlet Spider". WhatCulture.
  8. ^ a b Scarlet Spider vol. 2 #1 (Jan. 2012)
  9. ^ "Minimum Carnage: Find out more at Comic-Con International!". 6 July 2012.
  10. ^ "SDCC 2012: Venom & Scarlet Spider Vs. Carnage". 15 July 2012.
  11. ^ Wigler, Josh (10 May 2013). "See Spider-Man & Scarlet Spider Reunite".

External links[edit]