Spider-Man: Redemption #1

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 #1
Summary: Kaine vs. Ben Reilly, Janine (Elizabeth Tyne) kidnapped
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Writer: J.M. DeMatteis
Pencils: Mike Zeck
Inker: Bob McLeod

While Kaine ponders his mortality over the corpse of a dead man in a funeral home, Spider-Man (Ben Reilly) silently observes the grave of "his" friend, Harry Osborn. Kaine decides that he should not die alone, and so he formulates a plan. He sends a stranger across the country in search of Ben, and in the meantime visits Ben, "firing the first volley in a war that, with luck would destroy us both." He leaves Ben's apartment in shambles, and so Ben goes to a bar to relieve himself of frustrations. In the bar he runs into Flash Thompson, who is drunk and philosophizing about his glory days. Ben gives him advice and leaves, and upon returning to his apartment finds the one person he never expected to see - Janine Godbe, whom he believed dead.

What he does not realize is that her presence is due to the manipulation of Kaine, who, after letting them have a few weeks of peace, reenters their lives. After a fight in a closed department store among many mannequins, Kaine appears to have killed Janine, who is hanging limp in Ben's arms when the police arrive.

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."