Two years ago, Marvel pressed the giant red reset button on Amazing Spider-Man. Gone were the ancillary titles and in was a three-times-a-month Amazing Spider-Man. The marriage to Mary Jane was gone, Harry Osborn was back-from-the-dead, Peter Parker’s identity was now back under wraps again – and Spider-Man’s original powers had been restored, removing the organic webshooters and other extra powers.
After two 23 months of this Brand New Day, Web Of Spider-Man has returned as the first new Spider-Man ongoing.
Kaine is being held in a steel bunker somewhere in the mountains. He remembers his birth – and bursts free to escape, before the power of the drugs in his system force him to collapse. He awakes with Spider-Man standing over him. Spidey removes the mask to reveal Ben Reilly with long red hair. Kaine is seeing things in his psyche but is sorry for his sins of the past. Ben morphs into the Jackal, who tells him that his life might not be coming to an end. Instead this could just be the beginning for Kaine.
Outside, the doctors watch Kaine’s unconscious body, thinking he won’t make the night. Back inside Kaine’s mind, he sees Louise Kennedy – his lover whose neck he snapped. He relives her death, before snapping back to his room. Peter Parkers is with him. He tells Kaine he was made from his DNA and that he must have courage to go on.
Kaine is taken back to his cell, his vitals stabilised, and resolves to carry on. This leads into ASM 608.
As much as I like a new Spidey no.1, I just can’t fathom why this story needed to be told. Kaine is a character that hadn’t been in the books to a decade – and I just cannot believe there were fans galore clamouring for his return. Also, considering the book is a new title, it might have been nice to have a story involving, y’know, the title character!
It’s not an exaggeration to say that nothing happens in this story. Kaine is sorry for his sins – but, through his psyche, finds the will to carry on. I’ve essentially told the same story in 16 words. Sure, it doesn’t look as pretty – but it hasn’t cost you $4 either.
Kaine was a 90’s creation where the books were seemingly about excess. Multiple covers and as many issues to fill out a bulging storyline as possible. So perhaps it’s apt he has been brought back to tell a story that didn’t really need to be told as part of a new book that is supplement to another book that already puts out three issues a month?
The odd thing is that, in the editor’s column at the end, Stephen Wacker says he always thought the old Web Of... book never felt as important as the main Amazing book. Yet here we are with a new No.1 that not only doesn’t feel as important as the main book – but barely even includes the main character.
The art is lovely but it’s hard to know what to take from this story.