SCARLET SPIDER (MVP)
I wasn’t sure what to title this post as the name of this character is harder than most to pinpoint. It’s origins stem from a massive storyline that took place in the Marvel Universe a few years back: The Superhuman Civil War. This was great story that drastically changed the face of Marvel Universe and it’s repercussions are still being felt today. This is the kind of story that I like. There’s nothing worse than reading an Avengers comic book where the whole world has gone to hell because an army of super-nazis are destroying everything in sight, meanwhile over in the Spider-Man book which supposedly takes place just down the road, Spidey’s worrying about petty crooks pulling a jewellery heist with no mention of the nazi warzone. There’s a disconnect there that makes the whole thing seem less believable. Well this was not the case with Civil War. The world was going to s**t in every book. The basic premise was that the government wanted super-heroes to register their secret identities so that they could be monitored. I actually don’t think this was that big a deal and I think some characters over reacted. Captain America seemed out of character for example as he kinda blew things outta proportion. Anyway, the idea was to have super-heroes fighting each other and something had to be the catalyst; the superhuman registration act was as good a reason as any I suppose. So the super heroes were divided. Iron-Man lead the pro registration government sanctioned side of things and Captain America lead the underground rebels who were anti-registration. To show his support of Iron Man, Spider-Man pulled a shocking move and unmasked himself on television. Iron Man had won Spidey’s favour by housing him and his family and by giving him this new high-tech suit. The suit was metallic, full of fancy gizmos and painted in Iron man’s trademark colors. After the civil war was over and heroes settled into the new status quo, Spidey went back to his old read and blue pajamas and fans thought they had seen the last of the Iron Spider-Man suit.
A few months later a new character named MVP showed up in the Avengers: Initiative book. The Initiative directly spun out of the civil war. Teens with powers were now put through rigorous military like training courtesy of inactive Avengers like Ant-Man and Tigra before being allowed to register as sanctioned super heroes. MVP was cleverly the character’s initials (Michael Van Patrick) as well as an apt Super-Hero name because his powers were basically that he was a super athlete. In a training exercise gone wrong poor MVP got his head blasted off. A few issues later the surviving Initiative members are introduced to a trio of mysterious characters called the Scarlet Spiders. All 3 of them are wearing identical costumes, the Iron Spider-Man suit. The identities of the Scarlet Spiders stayed a secret for a few months, unknown to the readers as well as their teammates. Eventually we learn that a sketchy scientist cloned MVP into 3 duplicates which he named Michael, Van and Patrick. 2 of the clones are later killed in battle leaving only Patrick as the lone Scarlet Spider. After the Initiative book was cancelled this Scarlet Spider kinda disappeared. I’d like to see him return but that seems unlikely now that Marvel has a much more popular character using the name Scarlet Spider in his own monthly book. That would be Spider-Man’s recently reformed evil clone Kaine. Don’t ya just love comics.
When this figure was released the package said “Iron Spider-Man” so I guess it’s intended to represent Peter Parker in his short stint wearing this costume during the civil war. I already have plenty of Spider-Man toys so I would rather think of this as one of the MVP cloned Scarlet Spiders. Making this toy an individual character makes it much more appealing to me. I probably wouldn’t have even bothered buying it if it was just another Spider-Man, I never really cared for the look. I’ve actually considered buying this toy 2 more times so that I can have all 3 clones on display. Common sense has prevailed for the time being and I haven’t yet bought 2 more. The figure is nice with comic accurate colors and a nice overall sculpt. I actually prefer this one to my regular Marvel Universe Spider-Man figure who is just too scrawny. My only gripe about this guy is I find the mechanical legs fall off a little too easily. Extra points for this guy because in my head it’s a figure of a very obscure marvel character. 8 out of 10 as MVP. 6 out of 10 as Spider-Man.