Cover to Web of Spider-Man #124.
Art by Steven Butler.
Kaine Parker is a fictional character, a Marvel Comics supervillain and antihero who serves as both an ally and an enemy of Spider-Man. He first appeared in Web of Spider-Man #119, and is the Jackal's first failed attempt at cloning Peter Parker. The character was created by Terry Kavanagh and Steven Butler. He first appears as the new Scarlet Spider in the first issue of the second volume of Scarlet Spider.
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Fictional character biographyEdit
The birth of KaineEdit
Kaine is the Jackal's first temporary success at cloning Peter Parker but, due to the flawed cloning process is left deformed and mentally unstable. Kaine is later identified by the Jackal as "Parker 3.0"; the implications of this are unknown. The Jackal discards Kaine because the clone starts showing early signs of the degeneration process, and Kaine experiences a strong feeling of rejection similar to that between a father and son. Kaine realizes the partial degeneration also caused a slight amplification of the powers he "inherited" from Peter. Not only has his strength, speed, and agility been copied from the original Peter's, but he gains a "precognitive sense" that shows him flashes of the future (an amplified version of Peter's spider-sense). He also possesses a "Mark of Kaine," a burning touch that he uses to leave eaten away hand prints on his victims' faces. Though never explicitly stated within the story, in a later interview former Spider-Man editor/writer Glenn Greenberg revealed that the Mark of Kaine was meant to be another analog of one of Spider-Man's powers, namely the ability to cling to walls.
The Jackal goes on to create a new, better clone, the man who would become Ben Reilly. When the Jackal uses Reilly against Peter, the ensuing battle leaves Reilly and the Jackal for dead. They both manage to survive; the Jackal places himself into suspended animation in a cloning pod to awaken later; and Reilly leaves New York.
Behind the scenes, Norman Osborn manages to have the files on Ben and Peter switched, so the Jackal would think Peter is the clone and Ben is the real deal. Consulting the Jackal's files, Kaine also believes the same, so he follows Ben Reilly through his "exile". For a time, he finds love in the arms of police detective Louise Kennedy of Salt Lake City, until he discovers she is working for the criminals. This revelation, coupled with Kaine's increased cellular degeneration, pushes Kaine even further towards insanity and he kills Louise. Kaine continues to stalk Ben, making it appear as though Janine Godbe, Ben's new love, has committed suicide. Kaine, hoping to give the man who he thinks is the clone (Peter) the life he could never have, frames Ben for a number of murders he commits since both men have the same fingerprints.
Later flashback scenes reveal that Kaine worked as a bounty hunter for a time, being briefly dispatched to eliminate Kraven the Hunter. Kaine also experienced a 'vision' via his enhanced spider-sense that Kraven would kill him in the future. Despite the two engaging in a brutal confrontation—Kraven even briefly mistook Kaine for Spider-Man due to a vague recognition of Spider-Man's template in Kaine—both survive despite Kaine burying Kraven alive. Kraven dug himself out after three days, but his friend and manservant was killed by Kaine during the fight.
Trial of Peter ParkerEdit
Peter Parker is eventually tried and convicted for Kaine's crimes because they have the same fingerprints. Although Peter goes to prison for some time, Ben arranges to take his place in prison.
Kaine wanders New York, defeating and executing scores of Spider-Man's enemies, including the Grim Hunter and Doctor Octopus (Although both would later be resurrected). They grow fearful of him and form coalitions to protect themselves proactively—including the short-lived 'Sinister Seven'—but meet with little success.
Peter wants Kaine to stand for what he has done, but Kaine initially refuses. The two fight and end up getting dragged into a mock-trial where Spider-Man is on trial, Kaine is his defense attorney, Carnage is the prosecutor, several Ravencroft inmates are the jury, and a powerful being known as Judas Traveller is the judge. During the one-sided trial, Kaine tries to physically fight off all those who are against Spider-Man before Traveller returns them to their previous place of battle.
After an incident involving a superpowered villainess named Stunner, a weakened Kaine still refuses to confess to his crimes. Spider-Man responds by knocking Kaine out and webbing him up before heading to the courthouse. Kaine reawakens before they arrive and struggles again with Spider-Man in refusing to confess. At this point, Kaine admits that he's done everything to protect Peter's life and reveals that he is the first clone of Peter, now partially degenerated. Spider-Man decides that if Kaine will not reveal the truth, then he will reveal his true identity to the entire courtroom and end everything. Kaine pleads for Peter not to do this and eventually gives into revealing the real truth about the murders and the "Mark of Kaine".
After Peter gives in to the news that he is a clone and Ben is the true Peter Parker, he allies himself with the Jackal. Kaine refuses to let him throw his life away. He confronts the Jackal with the full intent of destroying him, when the Jackal manipulates his mind once more by leading Kaine to believe he will be cured of the degeneration process. Once Jackal reveals he's once more lied, Kaine leaves feeling dejected. He goes back to Mary Jane for answers, and after a conversation of power and responsibility, Kaine returns to the Jackal's lab in time to assist Ben in a battle against numerous Spider-clones. In the ensuing battle, Spidercide impales him with a spike taken from nearby machinery, seriously injuring and possibly killing him. The Jackal, in a momentary pang of fatherly guilt, then places Kaine in a regeneration pod.
During Reilly's time as Spider-Man, some of the world's strongest fighters are pitted against one another in a fighting competition called the Great Game, a fighting tournament in which wealthy people wager on the fighters for their amusement.
One of the Game's main sponsors, James Johnsmeyer, finds the pod containing the revived Kaine, and decides to initiate him into the competition, sending the Rhino to fight him. After Kaine's refusal and escape, thanks to temporary partner Shannon, Johnsmeyer still attempts to involve Kaine by allowing other Game competitors to attack him (Joystick and Polestar).
Spider-Man interferes in the skirmish and gets sidetracked by Joystick and Polestar while Kaine puts a near-fatal beating on Rhino and escapes with Shannon. Before they are able to get away, Spider-Man manages to tag Shannon with a tracer and he pursues them once Polestar and Rhino are taken into custody. He finds them moments before the police, but after an incident that threatened to kill the officers, Kaine and Shannon escape again.
This time, Kaine's destination is Johnsmeyer's headquarters. Spider-Man finds them once again after Kaine manages to single-handedly destroy all of Johnsmeyer's rooftop security defenses, but once inside, Johnsmeyer reveals that Shannon—who was still working for Johnsmeyer during the entire ordeal—has been manipulating and deceiving Kaine. Kaine, not wanting to become a puppet of anyone ever again, tries to kill Shannon but was persuaded by Spider-Man not to do so. Kaine leaves and vows to take down every sponsor of the Great Game.
During a later encounter with Ben Reilly, in which Janine Godbe returns to the man she loved, Kaine finally brings himself to let go of his hatred for his brother, even saving Ben's life after nearly leaving him to die in a burning diner. Encouraged by his brother's example (as well as finally acknowledging Ben as his brother rather than his foe), Kaine hands himself over to the law, as Janine (who was wanted for the murder of her abusive father) does the same, both accepting that they have to face their pasts to find any peace with themselves.[volume & issue needed]
At that point, it is revealed that his degeneration is killing him, and Kaine is incarcerated in some type of hospital-prison with other killers. Initially lamenting his situation and accepting his imminent death, Kaine resolves to fight after seeing hallucinations of Ben Reilly, Jackal, Louise, himself, and Peter Parker.
Several months later, he is shown escaping from jail alongside many other superpowered criminals in an issue of Thunderbolts. Kaine breaks out to try to stop Norman Osborn after finding out that he is still alive, has masterminded the Clone Saga, and killed his brother Ben. A few issues of Spider-Man briefly mention Kaine working against Osborn's agents in southern Europe. The last mention of Kaine is an offhand line from one of Osborn's men saying that Kaine has been "dealt with", without elaborating on what that meant.
Kaine later appears in New York City, attacking Spider-Man as he tried to track down Raptor. He reveals that he has sought Raptor out, hoping that he could cure his cellular degeneration, and attacks Spider-Man to keep him from the villain. He also seems to hold some enmity towards Peter, perhaps after finding out he is the actual original Spider-Man. He also is one of the few people to have remembered Peter's secret identity after the worldwide mindwipe of this knowledge by Dr. Strange, Mr. Fantastic, and Iron Man, (Peter noting that he should have expected his clone to remember his true identity if anyone would).
When Raptor attacks Harry Osborn and Peter's cousins at Aunt May's house, Kaine appears, having been working with Raptor the whole time. He exposes Peter's identity as Spider-Man and states that Peter is a clone of Reilly and should be killed since he's the closest thing to Ben. Peter beats Raptor unconscious and escapes. It is later shown that Raptor lied to Kaine about being able to cure his degeneration to gain an ally in his quest for revenge. Furious, Kaine started to choke Raptor, seemingly killing him.
Kaine is next seen being hunted by Ana Kravinoff and Alyosha Kravinoff. Their next attempt to hunt Kaine succeeds in brutally beating him; he barely escapes with his life, the Kravinoffs mocking that he will be "The only spider left. Even if you are an ugly one." Kaine manages to get to Peter's apartment to warn Peter that they, the "spiders", are being hunted before he falls unconscious. Later that night, after shaving his beard and cutting his hair, Kaine aids Spider-Man, Arachne, and Anya Corazon against the Kraven clan. After the Kravens abduct Araña and Arachne, Kaine tells Peter to 'run. Run and screw the rest.' Disgusted at Kaine's selfishness even when the two of them share DNA and memory, Spider-Man bluntly informs Kaine that the difference between them is the fact that he doesn't use his life's misery as an excuse to give up the good fight. After Spider-Man is lying, defeated, in an open grave with the Kravens advancing, Kaine knocks him unconscious, puts on his costume, and fights the Kravens in his place. He is mauled, stabbed, and ultimately sacrificed to bring Kraven the Hunter back from the dead, thus achieving redemption with his last acts to save his 'brother.' The Kravens do not realize they have killed the wrong 'spider' until later that night when Kraven recognizes the scent of Kaine, and they unmask the dead Spider-Man. As a result of this, Kraven is now undead and can only be killed by the original Spider-Man.
After the battle with the Kravinoffs, Kaine is buried under the name "Kaine Parker". However, in the epilogue of Grim Hunt Kaine is shown climbing out of his own grave with mutated features, including extra eyes in a spider-like pattern on his forehead, with the narrative box saying 'Rise, cursed one. Rise... Tarantula'. This is later shown to have been spoken by The Jackal, who was present at Kaine's resurrection.
Kaine is then further mutated by the Jackal into a hulking spider-like creature: a man's body, with a spider head, covered head to toe in spider hair, with 4 spider legs projecting from his back. The Jackal makes him the first of his army of individuals to use during Spider-Island and dubs him "Tarantula".
As Tarantula, he is put under the control of the Queen, acting as a personal bodyguard and henchman to the Jackal during Spider-Island. Knowing about the genetic relationship between Kaine and Peter Parker, the Queen sends Kaine to Horizon Labs, to tamper with a cure being developed there for the "Spider-Virus". This culminates in a battle with Peter Parker (made aware of the recent access to his private fingerprint locked lab), after which he's forcefully submerged in the pool of highly concentrated cure. Kaine re-emerges, his mind-link with the Queen broken, a fully healed clone of Peter Parker. Despite the serum somehow curing him of every trace of his former degeneration, including his heavily scarred skin, Kaine claims to have retained his powers and abilities. In the final chapter of Spider-Island Kaine, now fully cured and seemingly a perfect clone in every way Ben Reilly was, helps take down The Queen. Kaine and Peter grab costumes from Peter's lab, Kaine opting for the sonic-shield "Big Time" outfit as the two head off. While Peter goes to the Empire State Building with Mary Jane to cure New York, Kaine stays behind with the Avengers to fight The Queen. As Peter weakens the Queen, Kaine and Ms. Marvel attempt a move that she had originally perfected with Spider-Man. She swings Kaine by a web and launches him at the Queen. Kaine turns on his sonic-shield to protect himself from the Queen's sonic scream as stingers (like Peter's from The Other arc) erupt from his arms and he goes through her throat, delivering the killing blow. The Other powers were confirmed in a conversation between Peter and Kaine, which Kaine said that 'he died and came back with all these new powers' that Peter confirmed he had been there and done that. After the battle, Kaine evades the other heroes during the aftermath of the battle using the suit, but Madame Web is able to 'see' him regardless, and talks to him about his future. Kaine meets up with Peter at the airport where he is seeing off Aunt May, unmasked and free of his former degeneration only looking slightly more disheveled and taller, much like Ben Reilly was in the Lost Years arc. Kaine informs Peter he is leaving New York, and that he is keeping the stealth suit due to Madame Web's advice.
It was revealed in the Marvel Point One one shot that Kaine is the new Scarlet Spider in his own ongoing series. This was confirmed by editor Stephen Wacker in the "Letters to the Editor" page of The Amazing Spider-Man #673.
Having been cured of his mutation, but not his spider-powers, he takes up the mantle Scarlet Spider, and moves to Houston, Texas. Although planning to simply pass through the city and move on to Mexico, he was distracted when he discovered a human trafficking ring while attempting to steal money from criminals. Kaine managed to save the only girl still alive in a shipping container that had been used to smuggle her group into America. Kaine subsequently abandoned his plans to leave the city when the hospital where he left the victim was bombed. The policemen who responded to the call inspired Kaine to remain in the city to help them face the problems as its only superhero. However, after he is attacked by the Assassin's Guild—following a past incident where he killed on their territory without permission—Kaine is forced to make a deal with Bella Donna, where he agrees to perform one assassination for her in the future in return for her leaving him and his new friends alone.
Without his Scarlet Spider outfit Kaine finds himself face-to-face with Ana Kravinoff, who tries to kill Kaine before informing him that her father, Kraven the Hunter, is coming for him and there is nothing he can do. Madame Web's vision at the end of the issue confirms that dark times are coming for Kaine as the Kravens plan their next move. Later, he gets involved with Roxxon Energy Corporation after the daughter of the CEO blows up the top floor of Roxxon's office building with a missile. Kaine attempts to find the traffickers behind the treatment of the Aracely. Due to his investigation he encounters to traffickers who are werewolves. During the fight Aracely escapes but Kaine is beaten and eventually killed. However in death he encounters Ero, from "the Other" arc, who states she can return him to life only if he embraces the other. Kaine at first rejects Ero but realizes Aracely still needs his help, so he agrees. In the normal world, Kaine bursts out of a web cocoon, reborn not as before, but as a monstrous spider creature.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
As an imperfect clone of Spider-Man, Kaine has superhuman strength, speed, agility, reflexes, and equilibrium all at higher levels than Spider-Man due to his continued mutation.
The true limit of his strength is unknown, but he has proven able to beat the Rhino unconscious and to hold his own against three Spider-Men at the same time (Peter Parker, Ben Reilly, and Spidercide).
His precognitive spider-sense is more developed than that of Spider-Man; where Parker and Reilly can sense immediate danger, Kaine can actually see short glimpses of the future. Kaine also doesn't set off Parker or Reilly's spider-senses, but they don't set off his either.
He uses his clinging ability primarily to burn a distinctive scarring into surfaces (and people), which he calls the "Mark of Kaine". After defeating an enemy, usually resulting in death such as breaking their neck using his superhuman strength, he would burn the "Mark of Kaine" onto their face. Notable characters to have been defeated in such a fashion include Doctor Octopus (he was later resurrected). This ability also allows him to melt Spider-Man's webbing, and on at least one occasion he was able to use this 'talent' to cauterize a potentially fatal throat wound. Additionally, Kaine possesses two retractable claws on the backs of each hand, which he calls the "Sting of Kaine", reminiscent of Wolverine's bone claws, though their exact composition is unknown.[volume & issue needed]
Kaine also uses his ability to stick to walls in other ways. In one instance, he fashioned a weapon out of a large section of a building by simply sticking to the building and then pulling away with his superhuman strength, bringing a large chunk of it with him.
Due to flaws in his genetic make-up Kaine does not look like an ordinary human, his skin covered with a web-like mass of disfiguring scars. The costume that Kaine typically wears has been said to slow the degeneration process in his body. However it was recently suggested in Spider-Island: Deadly Foes that Kaine has a regeneration factor.
Being a clone of Spider-Man, Kaine is immune to the world-wide mind purging of Spider-Man's identity and retains this knowledge. However, Kaine was never implanted with Peter's memories and as a result of that lacks Peter's scientific knowledge.
The extent of Kaine's powers in his Tarantula state are not fully known. Tarantula has four large spider legs that protrude from his back much like Spider-Man's Iron Spider costume. He retained all of the abilities he had as Kaine, with the addition of organic web shooters and presumably enhanced strength.
Following the loss of his Tarantula form during Spider-Island, his degeneration is currently reversed. Kaine now looks to be a perfect clone of Peter Parker (as Ben Reilly was), and while he cryptically claims to have retained his Spider-Powers, it's still unknown if he maintained them at the same power level prior to being resurrected as Tarantula. He also had a similar rebirth to Peter Parker was during the events of The Other, as Kaine is shown exhibiting forearm stingers and organic webbing near the end of the Spider-Island story.
As the Scarlet SpiderEdit
In addition to having augmented levels of strength, speed, and agility, Kaine has organic webbing and spider stingers. He also has the ability to see in the dark, as well as some form of communication with insects and spiders. From his former powers, Kaine appears to still have the "Mark of Kaine", using the ability to burn off his beard and most of his hair.
After the events of Spider Island, Kaine retained the stealth suit, which Peter Parker created at Horizon Labs and used against the Spider-Queen. This gives Kaine invisibility to both visual and audio means, along with immunity to sonic-based attacks. However, Madame Web did something to it so that the suit is stuck permanently in red, helping perpetuate the alias Scarlet Spider around Houston.
Kaine no longer has his enhanced Spider-Sense to see future events. This ability was lost following the events of Spider-Island, which reset his power levels to what Spider-Man had during the events of The Other. He also no longer has his regular Spider-Sense, and must rely solely on his normal senses and superhuman reflexes to avoid serious injury.
In the alternate future known as MC2, Kaine successfully rescues baby May (Peter and Mary Jane's baby) from Norman Osborn and returns her to her parents. This is the main point of divergence from the Marvel Universe.
Later, Kaine allies himself with the Kingpin of Crime, but is betrayed by him during a confrontation with Daredevil. Daredevil sacrifices his own life to save Kaine. Kaine takes Daredevil's body to a regeneration chamber, where he is also attempting to assist Reilly Tyne, the son of Ben Reilly, who is degenerating as a result of his imperfectly cloned father's DNA. He attempts to summon the demon Zarathos to aid him in saving the two, but in the end, Zarathos turns on him and attempts to claim the boy's body as his human vessel. The soul of Daredevil fights the demon, and in the end Reilly Tyne is transformed into Darkdevil, with the soul of a hero and the powers of a demon.
Kaine attempts to kill the Kingpin but is stopped by Spider-Girl and sent to prison. There, he is recruited by Special Agent Arthur Whedon as part of a team of captured supervillains given the opportunity to redeem themselves by working for the government (similar to the Thunderbolts). Those under his command include Big Man (the son of Henry Pym and the Wasp, former member of the Revengers) and Quickwire (former villain, first appearing in Spider-Girl #53), and formerly Raptor (now fully pardoned and released from duty) and Normie Osborn (agreed to use his powers to work for them in place of Raptor, and since de-powered upon the death of the Venom-symbiote, can be presumed to have been released from duty).
Kaine appears to be genuinely interested in reformation, and has since been supportive of Spider-Girl and acted as an adviser to her.
Spider-Girl is clueless about her genetic relationship with Kaine, although Kaine hinted at it in their first encounter. It's implied that Darkdevil does know the truth, however, once commenting on Kaine's "twisted notions of simple concepts like family". Later on it has been revealed that Darkdevil indeed does know about Kaine's connection to his deceased father, going as far as to refer to Kaine as "Uncle Kaine". He however has not mentioned any of this to his cousin/sister May.
In the comic's final story-arc, and a replica of May appears on the scene, a comment is made about trying to find out which one is the real May Parker to which Kaine comments, "Are you saying clones aren't real?"[volume & issue needed]
Spider-Man: Clone SagaEdit
Kaine appears during the miniseries exploring the Clone Saga as it was originally conceived. He is working for both a shadowy figure and Jackal for unknown reasons and attacks Ben Reilly and Peter Parker when they first meet. After Jackal targets Mary Jane, Kaine leads them to Jackal's lair, only for all three to be captured. It is at this point that the two learn that Kaine is another Parker clone. When Kaine sees Gwen Stacy being cloned, he breaks all three free before burning the Mark of Kaine into Jackal's face and breaking his neck. When the building explodes, Kaine escapes, having stolen both Jackal's clone stabilizing agent and a second pod containing an unknown clone for his shadowy boss. The figure is later revealed to be a still-living Harry Osborn, with the pod containing a clone of his father. The duo have Doctor Octopus make a clone-stabilizing agent. Later, Kaine is shown obtaining the infant May from Allison Mongrain for Harry. He begins having doubts over Harry's plans when he holds the baby. After more soul-searching, he finally convinces himself to defy Harry's orders and returns the baby to Mary Jane before escaping.
In the alternate universe Ultimate Marvel imprint, Ultimate Spider-Man, Kaine is a misguided and disfigured clone of Peter Parker. He kidnaps Mary Jane and attempts to give her superpowers. He is killed after Fury's Spider Slayers shoot while he tries to prevent them from taking Mary Jane. Although never stated in the comic his 'name' is revealed in Ultimate Secrets. He also wears a tattered version of Ben Reilly's Spider-Man costume.
Kaine possessed superhuman strength, reflexes, and equilibrium. Like Spider-Man he can stick to most surfaces and had a danger warning "spider-sense".
In other mediaEdit
- In the series finale of Spider-Man: The Animated Series, Spider-Carnage, although initially by design was based on Ben Reilly's encounter with the symbiote in the comic book arc "Web of Carnage", was mirrored to have the role of Kaine, who was the rogue clone that the true Spider-Man was destined to stop from destroying all reality.
- ↑ The Amazing Spider-Man #666
- ↑ "The Life of Reilly: Part 9". http://lifeofreillyarchives.blogspot.com/2008/03/part-9.html.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Web of Spider-Man vol. 2 #1 (2009)
- ↑ The Sensational Spider-Man vol. 1 #32
- ↑ The Amazing Spider-Man #608
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 The Amazing Spider-Man #609
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 The Amazing Spider-Man #634
- ↑ The Amazing Spider-Man #610
- ↑ The Amazing Spider-Man #632
- ↑ The Amazing Spider-Man #635
- ↑ The Amazing Spider-Man #636
- ↑ The Amazing Spider-Man #637
- ↑ Spider-Island: Deadly Foes (2011)
- ↑ The Amazing Spider-Man #666
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 The Amazing Spider-Man #671
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 The Amazing Spider-Man #672
- ↑ The Amazing Spider-Man #673
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 Marvel Point One
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 19.2 Scarlet Spider vol. 2 #1 (Jan. 2012)
- ↑ Scarlet Spider vol. 2 #2 (Feb. 2012)
- ↑ Scarlet Spider vol. 2 #4 (Apr. 2012)
- ↑ Scarlet Spider vol. 2 #6 (June 2012)
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 Scarlet Spider vol. 2 #7 (July 2012)
- ↑ Scarlet Spider vol. 2 #12.1 (Dec. 2012)
- ↑ Scarlet Spider vol. 2 #13 (Jan. 2013)
- ↑ Scarlet Spider vol. 2 #14 (Feb. 2013)
- ↑ The Amazing Spider-Man #409
- ↑ Scarlet Spider vol. 2 #5
- ↑ Scarlet Spider vol. 2 #6
- ↑ Spectacular Spider-Girl #7
- ↑ Spider-Man: Clone Saga #1-6
- ↑ Ultimate Spider-Man #103-108
- ↑ The Sensational Spider-Man #3
- ↑ The Amazing Spider-Man #410
- ↑ Spider-Man #67
- ↑ The Spectacular Spider-Man #233
- ↑ "Scarlet Spider Costume Announced For The Amazing Spider-Man". Just Push Start. 23 June 2012. http://www.justpushstart.com/2012/06/scarlet-spider-costume-announced-for-the-amazing-spider-man/.