Scarlet Spider #25

The opening of "Scarlet Spider" #25, written by Chris Yost with art from David Baldeon serves as an excellent mirror to the opening of "Scarlet Spider" #1. As with the start of this series, its final issue opens with Kaine trying to shed what he is and become something new. The best way for him to wrap his head around what that might be, however, is to get violent with some bad guys. Like that first issue, Kaine walks away after putting a hurt on the thugs and taking their cash.

Yost's commitment to this title and perseverance through the end of the series is impressive, especially as he weaves things together from the start to now. After all, it's not very often that a writer sticks it all the way through on a big two series that has to fight to find readership. Essentially, Kaine has become Yost's character, as the series is his from start to finish. Yost has found comfortable ways for all of the characters to behave, grow and engage readers, making "Scarlet Spider" #25 an unfortunate farewell. It's not a bombastic conclusion, more a ride into the sunset, but the end is here all the same.

Since "Scarlet Spider" #1, cover artist Ryan Stegman has kicked off every single issue with a dynamic splash, contributing interiors for a major chunk of the title's first year. While Stegman started it, artist David Baldeon finishes it. His work is not terribly unlike Stegman, but has a different finish to his work, closer to the texture of Batista, with rougher finishes and slightly more cartoony faces, but it all works in this final issue which flashes back to Kaine's departure from Houston and his present identity quest in Mexico. Along the way, he scraps with Shathra, a wasp-wisp that serves as the impetus for fleeing Houston. Chris Sotomayor's colors are as dynamic as always, enhancing Baldeon's lines and working with Chris Eliopoulos' letters, which are scenery and sound effects, magnifying bits of the script for the reader to use as bridges into the artwork.

A book set outside of the norm, but so closely tied to the rest of the Marvel Universe, "Scarlet Spider" affords Yost a chance to stretch and to continue growing a character that he took from nowhere and made readers want to read more of. Unfortunately "more" won't be in a regular Scarlet Spider series, but the dark clone of Peter Parker will move over to "New Warriors" as Yost himself reveals in a quick note from. That note shows the vitality of being composed in the moment, perhaps as the writer was traveling between cons or shortly after sending this final script in. Whenever it was written, there is imply no mistaking that it is heartfelt and that Chris Yost is going to miss "Scarlet Spider" as much as some of the readers will.

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