Amazing Scarlet Spider #1
Issue(s): Amazing Scarlet Spider #1
Anyway, this is where the Spider editorial staff was forced by marketing to try to replicate the magic of Age of Apocalypse by replacing the regular Spider-Man titles with Scarlet Spider titles. You may remember that the original idea behind the clone stuff was to replace Peter Parker and all his "baggage" (a fine way to refer to his wife, Mary Jane) with a version of the character that was "fresh", with a clean slate, so that Marvel could tell original new stories about him without getting bogged down in old continuity. And now, with that theory being put into practice, we've got the new Spider-Man, uh, fighting a virtual-reality Carnage.
The backstory here is that a new Doctor Octopus is involved in some kind of gang war. She's not the real boss; she apparently works for... Zzax?
The rival gang is run by Jason Tso, who happens to run the restaurant that our hero works for. And he's not his own boss either; everyone's got a mysterious uberboss on a viewscreen nowadays.
The fight seems to be about a virtual reality helmet designed by Ben Reilly's friend Seward Trainer (who is not Mentallo, despite appearances).
You have to love what people thought "virtual reality" was going to be in the 90s. It's always these weird, abstract, kind of Ditko-esque worlds. I guess everyone saw the horrible 1992 Lawnmower Man movie.
Like, why would virtual reality look like that? What is it meant to be? In reality, decades later, virtual reality means getting a slightly more immersive experience when playing a 3D Shooter. But in the 90s, it was the exciting new technology to be overused for lame plots. Kind of like getting stuck in a Pac-Man game in a 1980s issue of Marvel Two-In-One.
The one thing i'll say about the new Doc Ock is that she's dedicated to making the most of her Word of the Day calendar even if she hasn't quite gotten the hang of the word yet.
"Destroy him expeditiously!!" really needs to be up there with " His webline -- advantageous!" in the fan lore.
Anyway, i don't know what the F is going on in this comic and i don't really care. The one thing that is almost interesting is the re-emergence of the Looter.
The idea seems to be this is a villain from the classic old days, prior to the time when Spider-Man was cloned. So he can be a villain for Ben Reilly without having to worry about all the continuity between now and then. The problem is that the Looter has actually appeared (and faced Spider-Man) quite a few times since then. So you might as well use Electro or some other villain who is actually a good character.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations:
Crossover: Virtual Mortality
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAlistair Smythe, Carrie Bradley, Doctor Octopus II, Jason Tso, Joe Wade, Looter, Master Programmer, Orlando Kannor, Scarlet Spider, Seward Trainer
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