Spider-Man: Redemption #2

Background

Kaine, the first failed clone of Peter Parker, has ever led a troubled existence. After being abandoned by his creator, the Jackal, after showing first signs of degeneration, he found a way to hate whom he thought was the real Peter Parker gone into exile - Ben Reilly. He tracked Reilly across the country, trying to throw him off the track that would inevitably lead him back to New York so that Peter, whom Kaine believed the "perfect clone," could live in peace.

His plan failed and Ben returned, not only to the city but as a super-hero, and finally as Spider-Man. During this course of events Kaine inadvertently put Peter's life in danger through involvement in a trial where the actual object of his framing was Reilly (See The Trial of Peter Parker); he was killed by Spidercide, another Parker clone (See Maximum Clonage), and then resurrected against his wishes through the work of both the Jackal and later the masterminds of "The Great Game" (See The Return of Kaine).

Once released from his service in the Game, he returned to the shadows, waiting, planning, until now... and he has more than a few surprises in store!

Story Details

  Spider-Man: Redemption #2
Summary: Kaine vs. Ben Reilly, Janine arrested
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Writer: J.M. DeMatteis
Pencils: Mike Zeck
Inker: Bob McLeod
Articles: Ben Reilly, Kaine

After a brief scuffle with the police, Ben discovers that Kaine has tricked him, that he was fooled by a mannequin dressed as Janine, from which Ben, in darkness, could not tell the difference. A message on the unmasked head: "Meet me in the Womb." In "The Womb," actually Professor Warren's lab, Kaine keeps Janine safe while pondering his plan. Spider-Man arrives on the scene and is confronted by Kaine, who beats him unconscious and then injects him with a formula which simulates clone degeneration. Ben awakens and screams, finding both himself and Kaine at May Parker's old home in Forest Hills, where Peter and Mary Jane now live.

Kaine gets them inside and they both mourn their losses before Kaine takes Ben back to his apartment. Ben awakens, feeling that Kaine has cured him of his pain -- and also finding Janine in the next room. A few hours later as they try to leave, the police arrive and escort Janine away on the charge that she murdered her father (See Spider-Man: The Lost Years) while Kaine watches the tableau from above.

General Comments

I will freely admit that this was a very good story, and, unfortunately, the last such tale involving Ben Reilly and his counterpart, Kaine. Loose ends were tied up efficiently and expertly, and most of all, though it wasn't "Kraven's Last Hunt" quality, J.M. and Mike haven't failed to disappoint with the mix of psycho-babble and great art. Even though some plot elements were a bit of a stretch, the ride was enjoyable indeed. A surprisingly good tale.

Overall Rating

"An impressive story woven by DeMatteis, and above-average artwork by Zeck and McLeod, plus the return of Janine and lots more combine to force me to give this miniseries four-and-a-half webs, your honor."