Flashback Friday: Kaine, the Scarlet Spider
Find out how Kaine evolved from a mad clone into a Super Hero!
Every Friday, we use the powers of Marvel Unlimited to look back at the most notable appearances of a character that made waves this week.
Get ready for legions of Spider-folk to come swinging out of all corners of the multiverse as SPIDER-GEDDON continues the chaos with issue #3 next week. With so many arachnids in action, there may be a few who leave readers scratching their heads.
Take Scarlet Spider for instance. Starting this week, he began leading a team consisting of Jessica Drew, Ashley Barton, Spider-Kid, and Astro-Spider on what might prove to be a suicide mission in the pages of SPIDER-FORCE.
So, who is the man behind the mask known as Scarlet Spider? Why, Kaine of course.
Wait...isn't he the clone of Peter Parker created by Jackal who ran around as a villain, suffering from cellular degeneration given his unusual birth? The guy who later seemed totally okay with letting Peter take the fall for Kaine's crimes but who eventually supported Parker during the Clone Saga? Or is he the guy who become the monstrous new Tarantula during the Spider-Island event wherein lots of folks sprouted eight legs?
The answer to all of those questions is: Yes.
Kaine's gone through plenty of changes since his first appearance in WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #119 in 1994. His current status as Scarlet Spider goes back to a Spider-Island tie-in, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #671, wherein he fell into a vat of chemicals that not only turned him from a beast back to a man, but also took care of his problematic cellular degeneration.
In the following issue, he helped Peter cover his secret identity before slipping on the Big Time suit to help fight the event's villain, Spider Queen. Ultimately, Kaine struck an important blow that helped the other heroes take down the menace. After which, in issue #673, Kaine said goodbye to Peter at the airport, but refused to give back the suit because Madame Web told him he might need it...
Kaine then jumped over to 2011's MARVEL POINT ONE wherein he tried to find his way in the world, initially ignoring screams of panic for a simpler life. However, a voice gnawed at him and he finally chose to leap back into the Super Hero game to help. He finished his section of the anthology understanding his past as a monster driven by self-preservation, but looking forward to a life that could bring good into the world.
That lead directly into SCARLET SPIDER later that same year. In that series, Kaine unexpectedly settled down in Houston, Texas and worked to form a new life for himself as a costumed hero. During the 25-issue run of that book he encountered Bella Donna and the Assassin's Guild, Agent Venom, and the Kravens among others. He even died for a minute only to return via web cocoon as a monster before reverting back to normal.
When his series ended in 2014, he joined up with the New Warriors and fought with them when SPIDER-VERSE began. He then jumped in with his fellow arachnids and even starred alongside Ben Reilly and Ultimate Jessica Drew in SCARLET SPIDERS.
During another major Spidey story, Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy, Kaine realized he had a disease that lead to zombie-like apocalypses in a variety of alternate realities. He searched those places for cures and also worked with Spider-Gwen to try and save anyone with clone cells from dying thanks to Jackal's evil plan. At the end of that event, Kaine found himself cured once again, but took on a new mission to find fellow Peter Park clone Ben Reilly to make him pay for the crimes he committed posing as the Jackal during Clone Conspiracy.
The two Scarlet Spiders then appeared in BEN REILLY: THE SCARLET SPIDER wherein Kaine died once again, but when Ben offered his own soul in exchange for Kaine's and another's, all three were given their lives back.
Now in SPIDER-GEDDON, Kaine fights alongside Superior Spider-Man to stop the Inheritors' most recent attempt to destroy our eight legged heroes!
SPIDER-FORCE #1 cover by Shane Davis
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