Spider-Man: Redemption #3

 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Gary Miller


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 #3
Summary: Ben frees Janine from police custody, Kaine
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Writer: J.M. DeMatteis
Pencils: Mike Zeck
Inker: Bob McLeod
Articles: Ben Reilly, Kaine

En route to the courthouse to see the judge, Janine Godbe is "kidnapped" by Ben, who pretends to be a murderous maniac. Janine balks, saying that she thought he was Kaine. Kaine's plan is finally working, he says, now that Ben is becoming more and more brutal and angry when it comes to protecting those he holds dear. Furthermore, Kaine discards the suit he uses to ward off his degeneration.

Finally, at a diner, Janine tells Ben the story of what happened to her in Santa Cruz, that made him believe her dead: in the middle of the night Kaine came to see Janine, asking her to come with him, and when she did, he took her to San Francisco on top of the Golden Gate Bridge, and threatened her to leave Ben alone or else the Santa Cruz Police would find out about her real identity as a "murderer". "He's better off without you," he said, and she left, while Kaine planted a clone he had made in her place, this being the Janine Ben identified.

After that fact is out of the way, Ben and Janine are about to leave New York forever when Kaine bursts into the diner. Ben fights him savagely and Janine ushers him to stop, or else he will become like Kaine. Kaine says this has already happened and that it is "all over", proving his point with the detonation of many explosives.

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."

 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Gary Miller