After Kaine’s potentially disastrous deal with the Assassins Guild in the pages of ‘Scarlet Spider’ #4, the unlikely hero is trying to get back to protecting his adopted city of Houston.

This issue is a one-off story that gives readers (if not Kaine) a breather between his run in with the Assassins Guild and the start of a new arc next issue. When the story opens, Kaine and Officer Layton are tracking down a group of terrorists who have set a nuclear bomb somewhere with in the city.  Kaine further sets himself apart from his constant associations with Spider-Man when he tortures a couple of hoods in an attempt to get the bomb’s location.

As Kaine and Layton race through Houston, the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. call in Iron Man to deal with the nuclear threat. Things continue to get more an more tense as Kaine seems to run into dead ends at every turn, getting no closer to finding the bomb as time rapidly runs out. Can Kaine get to the bomb before the city is leveled? To tell you that would be spoiling!

Chris Yost has delivered a great one-shot issue that not only provides a fun story but is a great jumping-on point for curious readers who have yet to pick up ‘Scarlet Spider’. The banter between Kaine and Layton is firmly entrenched in buddy cop territory, with Kaine constantly denying being a superhero. And the throwaway line right after Kaine learns that the public have finally given him his superhero name… priceless.

The art this issue is from Neil Edwards and, while is not bad by any stretch, it’s a bit jarring after Ryan Stegman’s more cartoon-like style for the first four issues. Edward’s is more harsh and realistic, but it lends itself well to a story that reads so much like an episode of a fun cop television series.

Verdict: Buy

Written by CHRIS YOST