Comic Reviews: The Raid and Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider!
The Raid #1 (Titan Comics)
I’m a gigantic fan of The Raid and The Raid II, but when I heard that Titan Comics would be taking that world and putting it into comics, I was very hesitant. Both Raid films are known for insanely kinetic (and violent) action, which is very hard to translate to the paneled page. Impressively though, writer Ollie Masters and artist Budi Setiawan’s The Raid #1 is actual really cool, and fills in some unknown areas of the film world as well.
Set during the events of The Raid II, this opening issue finds Rama, under his “Yuda” alias, in prison. When a former trainee arrives in the same jail, he tries to strike up a friendship with Rama, who quickly makes it known that he’s not into the idea of making friends during his stay. But with enemies at every corner, Rama’s going to find out that he may need some help if he’s going to make it out of jail alive.
Ollie Masters’ script is really well done and effectively tense, which is no small feat when you consider the fact that we already know Rama’s fate from the end of The Raid II. Despite this, Masters fills in a segment of that film in an interesting way, and while it didn’t need to be fleshed out, it’s also done in such a way that it doesn’t ruin any aspect of The Raid II in hindsight. There’s not a whole lot of dialogue to this issue, but Masters is still able to effectively script some pretty great fight scenes and action.
Of course, that action wouldn’t look good if it didn’t have a great artist, and Budi Setiawan’s art perfectly fits the bill. His style not only works extremely well for this action heavy book, it also does the incredibly difficult balancing act of looking like the actors from the film, but also keeps Setiawan’s distinct style as well. In the wrong hands, the fights in this comic could be boring. Luckily that’s not the case.
Fans of The Raid films should definitely seek this comic out. Even though it may not be on your radar, it’s a cool way to jump back into the world those films set up, and it might even give you the itch to rewatch those movies. I know I’m thinking of jumping back in now.
Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider #22 (Marvel Comics)
I’ll be completely honest, I haven’t been keeping up with the adventures of Ben Reilly. In fact, I kind of forgot that his comic was still being published. Maybe it’s because I have bad memories associated with the character (I was both the right and the wrong age when “Maximum Clonage” hit and tried to tell me that Peter Parker was the “fake Spider-Man”), but I’ve never been able to give the character the shot he deserves. But every once in a while I feel the need to check in with him, and Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider #22, from Peter David and Will Sliney, was the issue I went with.
Peter David is a legend in the comics world, and deservedly so. With a pedigree that includes lengthy runs on Incredible Hulk and X-Factor, it comes as no surprise that his script is perfectly capable here. But aside from the recap page at the beginning, there wasn’t a whole lot for me to latch onto with this issue. Yeah, jumping in on the twenty-second issue of an ongoing series will do that, so I’m partly to blame, but at the same time, a little extra background knowledge wouldn’t have hurt. That being said, I like David’s characterizations of both Ben Reilly and Kaine Parker, two characters that have a come a very long way from their 90’s beginnings. They’re both great examples of the old “any character can be compelling with the right writer” adage, and David’s voice is perfectly suited for the two of them.
Will Sliney has been on this series (and a collaborator of David) for quite some time now, and his art, like David’s writing style, is pretty much perfect for this book. Sliney has an interesting style that’s a little bit Mark Bagley, a little bit Chris Bachalo, and that odd combination makes for artwork that’s very visually striking and pleasing. Sliney has a gift for layouts and compositions, making every page a new surprise.
While this issue of Ben Reilly didn’t exactly set my world on fire, it did get me intrigued in what Ben’s been up to lately. Next time I’ve got some extra room in the comic budget, I’ll probably snag some back issues, which is something I definitely wasn’t expecting when I read this comic.
Posted on August 1, 2018, in Comic reviews and tagged Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider, Budi Setiawan, Marvel Comics, Ollie Masters, Peter David, Scarlet Spider, The Raid, Titan Comics, Will Sliney. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.