Thursday, August 19, 2010

Where's The Love for the Scarlet Spider?

Does it strike anyone else as odd that there isn't a Scarlet Spider running around in the Marvel U? And no, I don't mean the Iron Spider, MVP clone that popped up in Avengers: Initiative. I'm talking about this guy:

I know there are many who disagree with what I'm about to say (I'm looking at you Wizard, circa 1998), but: I really dug this costume when I was a kid.

The deep reds, the slanty spider, the exposed webshooters, the belt!; It was awesome! I've always said that my younger self had no account for taste, but this is one of those times that I don't disagree. I've always really liked the design; an under-appreciated classic from Tom Lyle.

So what's with the lack of love?

It seems like most big costume changes eventually spin off into their own character. Spider-Man has a whole litany of spinoff characters just based on his laundry: Venom, Spider-Girl (May Parker, she wears Ben's suit), Ricochet, Dusk, Prodigy, Hornet (WOO SLINGERS!), and the aforementioned Scarlet Spider (Iron Spider suit).

It's a phenomenon that's not just tied to Spider-Man. Check out: Captain America (Nomad, USAgent, Super-Solider [10 bucks says Bucky takes it over this time next year]), Superman (Steel, The Eradicator, Superboy, The cyborg Superman [technically they were people pretending to be him, but whatever it still works]], or to a lesser extent Iron Man (War Machine) and Wolverine (Daken).

Crazy, right? So what's the problem with the Scarlet Spider?

You think it might be the history, but that doesn't make sense. A few years ago Marvel was a little shy to mention all the clone stuff, but the recent Brand New Day stuff has brought Kaine (Peter's deformed clone) back into the fold and at least name checked Ben.

You'd think Marvel is trying to distance themselves from knockoff characters. But then you realize that recently War Machine got a huge push, and currently Thunderstrike is poised to make a comeback. Not to mention Daken and X-23 riding the Wolverine wave. Or hell, all the Dark Reign nonsense when all the villains were dressed as the heroes, giving us two versions of each character.

Maybe they just don't want to acknowledge Tom Lyle?

In the decade (PLUS!) since the scarlet threads were retired, they've only showed up once... In Spider-Girl. Good for Tom DeFalco.

In all seriousness, the ties to The Scarlet Spider was what got me to pick up Spider-Girl in the first place. And then when they flirted with the idea of having someone else pick up the mantle, I was super excited. When it just ended up being a tease, I was kinda done with the whole thing.

What makes this so weird to me is that it's not as if Marvel shies away from the scarlet one when it comes to outside media. Toys, statues, appearances in video games, Ol' Scar-Spi shows up all over the place. Except in the comics.

So I'm putting this out in the universe: I want the Scarlet Spider (or at least the costume) return to the pages of Marvel Comics. It'll take some doing, and maybe some letter writing, but it can be done.

Who's with me?


  1. a lil lat to say so but I'm with you lol

  2. I know right?! The Scarlet Spider is a beast!