So, a follow up to my Spider Island post. I must admit, this has really surprised me, but this year will see not only the return of the Scarlet Spider, but he’s getting his own monthly. And even more than that, he’s a clone of Peter Parker once again. Wow.
Now, the Scarlet Spider ID has been used previously since the clone saga, turning up in Avengers: The Initiative where an elite unit of 3 Scarlet Spiders were discovered to be a secret part of the Initiative (and appropriately enough, clones of another character), as well as in the MC2 universe. However this is the first time the identity is making a big return to the main Spider-Man franchise itself since the Clone Saga wrapped up (to the best of my knowledge).
This time, in a bizarre twist of fate, its Kaine that’s under the mask. Having been cured of his degeneration (and subsequent mutations) during the events of Spider Island, he’s relocating and finding himself with his first honest chance at a normal life since he was first created. However, while he may not possess Peter’s memories, the spirit of Peter Parker looms large in his life, and its not long before he finds himself donning a costume of his own.
I must admit, despite the fact that I’d really love to see Ben Reilly back (it’ll never happen), I really like the idea of Kaine taking over the role. And the setup actually harks back to the old “Lost Years” era of Ben Reilly, which was such a big hit at the time. Like Ben at that time, Kaine finds himself on the road, and struggling with who he is. Both are clones, and both live in the shadow of Peter Parker. But while Ben was on the road purely to escape Peter and avoid Peter’s life, Kaine is genuinely on the run since he was previously arrested for various murders he committed both before and during the Clone Saga.
Its a setup that seems to be borrowing heavily from what made Ben successful as a character, so I’ve got high hopes for the series. The fact that it seems to be specifically targetting that “Lost Years” vibe really appeals to me, as does the idea of Kaine trying to figure out who he is. He’s definitely been played as a more sympathetic character since his origins as a clone were revealed, despite his murderous tendancies during the years he tormented Ben, so it’ll be interesting to see how they address that side of the character. With the degeneration gone though, its a real fresh start for the character.
The only thing I have to say against the series so far, is that I’m not a big fan of the new costume. I do really like the black mask with red eyes, but I’m on keen on the fingers being a different colour to the rest of the gloves, and I do kind’ve miss the hoodie Ben wore (a nice nod to it in the Point One book though, pity they didn’t keep that look). However its not nearly enough to kill my excitement for the book.
Roll on issue 1. Can’t wait 🙂