Characters : Kaine
Being mysterious. Able to burn similar degeneration marks into the skin of his victims (the "mark of Kaine"). His more powerful Spider-Sense allows him to see glimpses of the future
Wracked by angst
Increased powers of Spider-Man
"Sting of Kaine" claws similar to those of Wolverine (but significantly smaller)
Known by the Jackal, Spider-Man (Peter Parker) and Spider-Man (Ben Reilly)
the Jackal, Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Spider-Man (Ben Reilly)
Mary Jane Watson-Parker, the Jackal, Spider-Man (Ben Reilly)
Spider-Man (Ben Reilly), Jackal, Spidercide, Green Goblin (Norman), Doctor Octopus (Octavius), Grim Hunter, the Scriers.
Jackal's secret lab
Before the Spider-Man clone later known as Ben Reilly, there was the enigmatic Kaine. This clone was the Jackal's first temporary success at cloning Peter Parker, but the process was flawed. Over time, the clone degenerated, leaving scars across most of his face. The Jackal tried to kill the clone but he escaped and grew stronger, eventually surpassing the strength of Spider-Man. The clone became angry and bitter at his existence, only finding joy in the fact that the spider powers he gained from Parker made him an excellent killer. Calling himself Kaine, he became a mercenary and seethed with resentment of his "brothers," Peter and Ben and the continuing degeneration of his body.
When the Jackal kidnapped Ned Leeds and used the perfect clone against Spider-Man at Shea Stadium, Spider-Man left the clone and the Jackal for dead. Naturally, both of them survived. Behind the scenes, Norman Osborn managed to have the files switched, so the Jackal would think Peter was the clone and Ben was the real deal. Consulting the Jackal's files, Kaine also believed the same, so he followed Ben Reilly through his "exile", and has framed Ben for murder, hoping to give who he thought was the clone, Peter, the life Kaine could never have. Kaine was responsible for the apparent death of Elizabeth Tyne, the love of Ben Reilly's life, and tried to kill him countless times.
Kaine emerged in New York shortly after Ben Reilly did, with Peter not knowing how Ben was connected to the costumed killer. (Kaine wore a containment suit that slowed down his degeneration disease.) Protecting Peter's life, Kaine desperately tried to remove Ben Reilly from the equation when he returned to New York, and ended up killing Doctor Octopus and Grim Hunter. (Kaine was later attacked by Angelina Brancale, Stunner, Doctor Octopus's lover.) This only caused more chaos for Peter, as the Hobgoblin (Jason Macendale) formed a new rotation of the Sinister Seven (Vulture, Shocker, Scorpia, Beetle, Mysterio and Electro) to kill Kaine. They reasoned that since Kaine was killing Spider-Man's enemies, they may be targets as well. It was not a good grouping (Vulture bickered with Macendale) and the alliance generally had poor team skills. They were saved from Kaine by the Scarlet Spider.
When Peter Parker was on trial for the murders Kaine committed (Kaine's finger prints were found on the body of a Salt Lake City police woman) Ben Reilly took his place and waited in jail for Peter to clear him of charges. Peter hunted down Kaine, who refused to cooperate, until Peter threatened to expose his secret identity to save Ben. Frustrated, Kaine turned himself in and confessed.
He didn't stay in jail for long, as he was released by Judas Traveller, who wanted to study the concepts of good and evil. Traveller assembled a trial to determine if Spider-Man was responsible for the creation of so many super criminals. After studying them, Traveller found that they all shared an obsession with the web slinger. If Spider-Man's existence made these criminals so obsessive, perhaps his death would end their reigns of terror. Traveller acted as the judge, Carnage as the prosecution, Kaine as the defense and John Jameson and Ashley Kafka assisting Kaine. Shriek, Chameleon, Malcolm McBride and Edward Whelan were in the jury. The jury quickly voted Spider-Man guilty and was about to carry out the execution when Kaine saved him. Traveller, seeing that Kaine was willing to die to save Peter, spared them and returned the criminals to their cells.
Of course, Kaine couldn't be held for much time, and he escaped to go after Ben again. By then, it had already been "revealed" to Ben and Peter that Ben was real and Peter was the clone. Ben, Peter and Kaine had to team up to deal with the greater menace of Jackal and Spidercide in Maximum Clonage. Kaine ended up killed by Spidercide, who died along with the Jackal after falling from a building.
Kaine didn't really die, though; he survived in one of Jackal's regeneration pods. He was brought back during the Great Game, and got unwillingly involved in it. He then escaped to prepare his final attack on the new Spider-Man, Ben Reilly.
In Spider-Man: Redemption, Elizabeth Tyne returned to Ben's life. She revealed that Kaine had blackmailed her into disappearing. Kaine chose the opportunity to strike, and after a relentless battle, he stood victorious over a beaten down Spider-Ben in a flaming diner. He said that neither of them deserved to live, and that the three of them were going to die in there. Ben begged him to save Elizabeth, who had nothing to do with it, and she begged him to save Ben. Finally putting his senseless hatred to rest, Kaine saved them both, and asked Ben to kill him. Ben refused, and told him he had to take responsibility for his actions. They fought while Ben tried to convince Kaine to turn himself in. Kaine then tried to kill himself by police fire, but Ben saved him in the nick of time. Enraged, Kaine asked why. No words were needed for him to understand. They looked each other in the eyes, and silently made peace with each other. Kaine was saved, by "[his] brother", and was ultimately convinced to turn himself over to the authorities. He was to be forever grateful for the help he was given to take the first step "toward redeeming [his] corrupted soul", and would never forget it.
Kaine's voluntary imprisonment didn't last too long, either. When the maximum security prison facility The Vault was destroyed in the pages of Thunderbolts, Kaine (along with lots of other villains) ran free. Instead of turning himself in, Kaine now had another purpose. Ben Reilly, the man who saved his life had been killed by the returned Norman Osborn. Kaine would not rest while Osborn still drew breath. He followed the Scriers to Europe, on the trail of the mysterious package that supposedly was baby May Parker. The package was actually one of the pieces to the Gathering of Five. He killed a few Scriers and retrieved it, but the object was eventually returned to Osborn. Don't try to make much sense out of it, because it's not a bright plot.
Kaine disappeared for 12 years, real time. He had a small but very vocal fan following, tough enough to keep demanding his return to comics. Marvel repeatedly promised that no clone would ever be seen in a Spider-Man book ever again...until they changed their minds.
Kaine had giving himself up again, this time to The Vault in Colorado. He stayed in restraints and in solitary confinement. When he eventually got out, he started following a shady character named Damon Ryder (Raptor), who had a mad on for Ben Reilly. Ryder blamed Reilly for the death of his family and Kaine was happy to let the hate fueled scientist obsess over Ben. Years later, Ryder's obsession brought him to New York. Ryder began stalking Peter, mistaking him for Ben. Kaine betrayed Peter and helped Raptor take Peter's cousins and Harry Osborn captive at May Parker's home. Kaine watched as Spider-Man and Raptor fought, and thought back to years ago when he first met Damon. The police arrived and Raptor and Kaine escaped. Later, Raptor told Kaine that he had lied when he said that he could cure Kaine's degeneration and only wanted his assistance against "Ben." In return, Kaine broke Ryder's neck.
After Raptor was dead, Kaine was hunted by Kraven's kids, Alyosha Kravinoff and Ana Kravinoff. They knew from kidnapping the psychic, Madame Web, that Kaine was related to Spider-Man. He thus became a target of the hunters. He was badly beaten by them, and escaped to warn Peter that "they're hunting spiders." While Peter and Spider-Woman turned their attention to the Kravinoffs, Kaine had a vision of Peter's death. He later knocked Peter out, and took his place. Kaine was sacrificed by Sasha Kravinoff, in order to resurrect her dead husband, Kraven the Hunter. After Kaine was buried at the Parker family plot (I wonder how Peter was going to explain the new addition to Aunt May), Kaine rose from the dead. He had a new look, and called himself Tarantula. Apparently, the Spider-God from The Other (See: Ero) was still offering "come back to life" deals to dead Spider-Men. After he emerged, he had acquired the ability to create organic webbing from his wrists.
Little did Kaine know, but Miles Warren was waiting for him as he crawled out of his grave. He took the weakened clone back to his lab underneath the former Shea Stadium and further engineered him into a spider/man hybrid. He became the Jackal's henchman and bodyguard, along with the similarly mutated Spider-King (Captain America.) After saving Warren from a defective Gwen Stacy clone, Jackal and Spider-King joined with Ana Soria, aka the Queen. Together, Warren and Soria mutated the people of Manhattan into human spiders, creating their very own Spider-Island. When Reed Richards found a cure for the mutation, with help from Anti-Venom, Soria sent Tarantula to destroy the antidote.
At Horizon Labs, Tarantula was about to contaminate the antidote when he was stopped by Spider-Man, who knocked him into a vat of the cure. After he emerged, Kaine was not only cured of the mutation but seemingly of the clone degeneration disease as well. (He also lost his spider sense.) He told Peter that he knew where to find the Jackal and the Queen. Peter kept his spare costumes at his office at Horizon Labs, and Kaine found the invisibility/sound negation suit that Peter invented to fight the Hobgoblin (Phil Urich). Kaine joined the Avengers in the battle against the Queen, now monstrously changed into an enormous spider. He impaled her through the skull, stunning the Queen long enough for Iron Man, Gravity, Firestar and Storm to fry her.
After the fight, Madame Web (Julia Carpenter) spoke to Kaine about his destiny. It prompted him to leave New York, where he ran into Peter at the airport as he said goodbye to Aunt May and JJJ Sr as they left for Boston. Kaine also took the invisibility suit with him.
On his way to Mexico, Kaine robbed a group of criminals at the Houston port, not knowing that they were smuggling illegal immigrants. He found the container that the immigrants were being held in, and most of them had died of heat. A lone young woman survived and he took her to the hospital. Later, a fire throwing killer named the Salamander came to murder her. Kaine, still trying to leave for Mexico, saw the hospital on fire, cynically guessed what was happening and went to save the girl. He tackled the Salamander viciously, strangling and shooting at him with an officers gun. It was only after he nearly smothered the criminal with webbing that the fight ended. Wanting to kill him, Kaine only stopped upon hearing the cheering on the onlookers. (Scarlet Spider vol 2, #1)
Kaine stopped to check on the girl, Aracely, and her doctor (Dr. Meland) asked him to stay in Houston, as the city needed a superhero. Kaine left the hospital, deciding to stay to make up for the murders he committed in his past. While Kaine never called himself "the Scarlet Spider," the name was given to him by a TV reporter who called him the Amazing Scarlet Spider-Man. Aracely moved into his hotel room with him and Kaine was kept tabs on by Dr. Meland and his partner, officer Layton, and the hotel bartender, Annabelle Adams.
One of Kaine's challenges was against a returned Cletus Kasady, who had escaped from prison and killed people in Houston. Carnage escaped to another dimension with mysterious, tiny accomplices and a wounded and furious Scarlet Spider swore to kill him, just as Agent Venom (Flash Thompson) arrived to bring Kasady down. (Minimum Carnage Alpha) The symbiote went crazy in Kaine's presence and tried to kill him. After Flash calmed it down, Kaine warned him not to touch him again or he'd be dead. Scarlet Spider was more than happy to let Carnage stay in the microverse and be forgotten but he was persuaded to follow him by Agent Venom.
By luck, Kaine arrived in the Microverse near the supreme being of that dimension, The Redeemer. He quickly acted as Redeemer's bodyguard against a giant creature (which Kaine assumed was probably an amoeba) and defended the being against Carnage. (Kasady had been brought there by order of Marquis Radu, who wanted him to kill Redeemer so he could take his place.) Carnage was soon apprehended by Radu's forces and Kaine learned from Redeemer that if Radu succeeded and Redeemer died, the Microverse and Macroverse would fall apart. Scarlet Spider and Redeemer arrived just as the cloning of Venom and Carnage was completed. Carnage escaped back to earth (even the Redeemer wasn't sure how) and Redeemer sent them after him. Back in Houston, Agent Venom defeated Carnage but Kaine took him down, lobotomizing him with a spike. Agent Venom said that there had to have been a better way, which Kaine was doubtful of. (Minimum Carnage Omega)
After dealing with a group of Santa Clause themed thieves (Scarlet Spider #12), Kaine investigated the murder of a 14 year old girl that had been forced into human trafficking by the cult known as The Hand. Confronting The Hand's leader, Scarlet Spider witnessed a "hostile take over" by The Arranger, the representative of Wilson Fisk. Kaine told Arranger that he wasn't intimidated by the Kingpin and Arranger told him that it didn't matter. Also, Arranger told him that the Kingpin thanked Scarlet Spider for dealing with an old debt for him, which left Kaine confused. (Scarlet Spider #12.1) He began to understand when he and Aracely were attacked by Carlos and Esmeralda Lobo. The werewolves knew by scent that Kaine was "related" to Spider-Man, as the Lobo Brothers had fought the web head in their war against the Kingpin years prior. The Lobos were currently involved in human trafficking and were the ones that had brought Aracely to America. They overpowered Kaine and began to tear into him as he lost consciousness. (Scarlet Spider #13)
In the afterlife, Kaine met The Other, a mystical being that Peter Parker had rejected after being killed by Morlun. Peter was returned to life by The Great Weaver but rejected becoming a host for The Other. It was The Other that brought Kaine back to life after he was killed by the Kravens. Reluctantly, Kaine agreed to join with The Other. (Scarlet Spider #14) Kaine returned and saved Aracely but was changed into the form of a man spider. He defeated the wolves and changed back to human form, but knew that he was now a monster. (Scarlet Spider #15)
Kaine got into a relationship with Annabelle at a rodeo after stopping the Armadillo, who was drunkenly trying to get back together with his ex-girlfriend. (Scarlet Spider #16) Kaine was soon contacted by the Assassin's Guild, who returned to Houston to demand the favor that he owed them. In return for the Guild calling off their vendetta against him, Kaine would carry out one hit for them. The target was Wolverine and if he didn't complete the job, he and his friends would die. Kaine traveled to New York with Aracely and snuck into Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. Beast saw through the Scarlet Spider's cloaking system and knew that he looked and smelled like Spider-Man but clearly wasn't. Kaine was subdued by Shadow Cat but was confronted by Wolverine. The battle between them was brutal but Kaine managed to spear Logan in the chest with a wrist spike, impaling his heart. (Scarlet Spider #17)
Quiz: Quick Quiz on Kaine.
|Dec 1994||App: Web of Spider-Man #119|
|Aug 1995||App: Spider-Man: The Lost Years #1|
|Sep 1995||App: Spider-Man: The Lost Years #2|
|Oct 1995||App: Spider-Man: The Lost Years #3|
|Nov 1994||App: Web of Spider-Man #118|
Here is the Full Appearance List (47 Apps) for Kaine.
The assistance of the Marvel Chronology Project is gratefully acknowledged.
Some of the above information is extracted from the various versions of the Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe and the more recent Marvel Encyclopaedias.