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'Ben Reilly: Spider-Man' #2 continues to flesh out a different kind of Spidey
Marvel

Comic Books

‘Ben Reilly: Spider-Man’ #2 continues to flesh out a different kind of Spidey

Ben Reilly faces Scorpion, but what’s going on inside his head? Find out here!

Marvel has been on a tear telling new stories within continuity set in the past. You see it with Symbiote Spider-Man, Silver Surfer: Rebirth, and now Ben Reilly: Spider-Man. In a new issue from J. M. DeMatteis and David Baldeón, Ben is connecting with Doctor Kafka to explore issues he’s had and must face Scorpion — this time, with a new perspective.

This issue is punctuated with captions from Ben’s chat with Kafka which gives context to Spider-Man chasing and then fighting Scorpion. It reads very much like Ben is in the therapist’s chair working things out, which helps connect the reader to his experience while also making him a bit more genuine and raw. Ben is decidedly different from Peter, even though he has the same memories growing up, which includes a bit of a temper and working through some things.

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While the first issue was punctuated by a battle with Carrion, this issue is all about Scorpion. Baldeón delivers big time with the action, be it cool blur effects or the intense power of Spidey throwing Scorpion into a sign. You can tell Ben doesn’t pull his punches and there are some full-force moves that are almost hard to watch. This is an edgier Spidey by all accounts, especially in the way he fights.

Baldeón plays with background and foreground well, too. In one panel, we see an enemy attack burst through a window into the building from a lower angle that makes it very dramatic. The blur lines help add movement and the art practically demands you throw on some 3D glasses.

Ben Reilly: Spider-Man #2

Careful, you might kill him!
Credit: Marvel

Joe Caramagna supplies the letters and there are some impressive sound effects. One in particular, when Ben is being crushed by a car that was thrown out of him, you can practically feel the “Ka-Rooooom!”

This issue also offers some surprisingly tender moments. With the first half or so devoted to fist-into-face poundage, it’s nice to see DeMatteis focus on a few friends for Ben. In a scene with Ben going to the movies, there’s a tender moment where he connects with a coworker who is a bit antisocial. It’s unclear if this character will end up being mind-controlled or some kind of villain, but the scene plays out in a realistic sort of way you don’t often see in superhero comics.

Colors by Israel Silva add a nice pop to the book that suits the superhero vibe. The use of shadow and light is well done, especially in the full-page splash that opens the book. You get a sense of Scorpion’s muscles through shadow and a nice glow of light behind him that draws the eye well.

There’s definitely a learning curve to a title like this, which makes it hard for newer readers to dig into the narrative. It’s not abundantly clear when this is taking place, for instance, or where Ben is at in his headspace. There are montage moments where Ben remembers the past which is more about connecting him to the Peter Parker experience, but it’s still a bit tricky to gauge where he’s at in his adventures.

Ben Reilly: Spider-Man is a mix of intense action with psychological elements and character development. The second issue in the series features Scorpion and further examination of what it means to be an imposter Spider-Man who is a well-rounded person.

'Ben Reilly: Spider-Man' #2 continues to flesh out a different kind of Spidey
‘Ben Reilly: Spider-Man’ #2 continues to flesh out a different kind of Spidey
Ben Reilly: Spider-Man #2
Ben Reilly: Spider-Man is a mix of intense action with psychological elements and character development. The second issue in the series features Scorpion and further examination of what it means to be an imposter Spider-Man who is a well-rounded person.
Reader Rating1 Votes
9
Great, intense action by the art and lettering team
Fun to get new wrinkles surrounding Ben's life
Can be easy to forget when this takes place
8
Good

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