I have been a fan of the Slingers since they were just alternate identities that Peter Parker used when he could not openly don the webs. I loved when they too, those identities and rather than just discarding them made them into a team and fleshed our each character and made them their own. The cancellation of their book was a sad day, but with Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider #10 Peter David brings back the team and makes it feel like they never left.
In part one of The Slingers Return we join the team up of Scarlet Spider and Ricochet as they look into the new Hornet that has popped up in Vegas working for Silas Thorne, a casino owner and rival of Ben’s sort of ally, Cassandra Mercury. Now it wouldn’t be a real Slingers reunion without more Slingers so David gives us Dusk, who has come to help Ricochet.
The dialog and character interactions are fun and capture the feeling of reading comics as a kid. We have an inter dimensional creature that our heroes have to contend with as well as other more human concerns, and that is if they can stop fighting amongst themselves. The book is a fun ride from the start and leaves you waiting for the next issue to see where the story goes next.
I love how Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider has become a place where the old can be new and exciting. The main guest stars were former identities of Peter Parker and Ben used to be Peter (in a kinda sorta clone memory kinda way). We’ve also has Kaine, another Parker clone and Scarlet Spider, featured prominently and as a welcome part of the story. I still want to see a showdown over the rights to the name and since Ben was the Scarlet Spider before Kaine he should get to keep the moniker. Besides, if Ben lost the name Marvel would have to change the title of the book. We could just go with two Scarlet Spiders. We have three Spider-Men (Peter Parker, Miles Morales, and Miguel O’Hara) so why not?
Each character has their own unique fighting style and way of moving and that is conveyed beautifully by the art of Will Sliney. There are no cookie cutter poses used across the board, but everyone has their own feel to where if the book were in all silhouettes you could still follow who was who in a fight scene. With such a large cast keeping everyone’s styles fresh and consistent is impressive.
The city of Las Vegas is given life through the colors of Rachelle Rosenberg. From the brightly lit offices to the seedier parts of the city the difference in color palettes really set each scene with its own personality.
I’m really enjoying The Slingers Return and I hope a Prodigy appearance is coming soon.
Overall Rating: 4
(W) Peter David (A) Will Sliney (CA) Khary Randolph