Spider-Man: Redemption #4

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 #4
Summary: Kaine & Janine turn themselves into custody
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Writer: J.M. DeMatteis
Pencils: Mike Zeck
Inker: Bob McLeod
Articles: Ben Reilly, Kaine

Kaine remembers his birth from a clone casket and his rejection by the Jackal as he rescues all from the burning diner except Ben and Janine, with whom he wishes to die. He pleads with them to welcome death, but Ben begs Kaine to let Janine live. Kaine, reluctant, saves them both just as the building explodes, wall-crawling them away to a nearby rooftop. Their freedom, he announces, has come with a price: they must kill him. Ben declines, not able to thank him enough nor able to kill him, instead telling Kaine that he must take him in.

A fight on the rooftops breaks out, and the police, arriving to take care of the fire and survivors, recognize Kaine from the Parker trial. Officers storm the rooftop and fire at Kaine but to no avail. He knocks out the officers and takes one with him, and as Kaine poses to be killed by other police, he is saved by Reilly wearing a mask. Again Kaine wonders why Ben cannot let him die, and after realizing the answer in his own heart, waits a moment and hears that Janine will give herself up and end her running in hopes of a better tomorrow. After hearing this, Kaine admits his mistakes and turns himself in to the police as well, saying he "will never forget" Ben.

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."