This comic issue is split into three different stories.
- Kaine in Echoes - follows through to ASM # 608
- Spider-girl -I am not a big fan of Spider-girl, although I like the idea that Peter and MJ get married and have two kids.
- Frog man -don't ask
I will be reviewing Kaine in Echoes here although the Spider-girl story isn't too bad either. Kaine in Echoes takes us through Kaine's mind, and what he has been up to all these years. It is an awesome story, has rather consistent artwork, and gives us Kaine's perspective of his own life. The story is supposed to have taken place soon after Ben Reilly's death, according to an interview on cbr.
Short history of Kaine - for the benefit of those who do not know.
Kaine was the first clone of Spider-man. He was imperfect. He was stronger, more powerful, had heightened senses, and was everything better than Peter Parker. The only problem with him was that his powers caused him to degenerate and die quickly.
As such, he was rejected by his 'father' - the jackal. Rejection, among other things caused him to mentally explode. Kaine carries all the memories of Peter. He is depicted as somewhat of an Anti-hero since he is not completely evil. He killed the woman he loved when he found out she was a crook.
Kaine eventually becomes 'good,' surrenders himself over to be imprisoned for his many crimes. He is later seen breaking out of prison to attack Norman Osborn upon learning that Norman was behind the Clone Saga. He is last mentioned as being 'taken care of' by Osborn's men.
Web of Spider-man: Kaine in Echoes review
The story shows Kaine, imprisoned in a place, tormented by his own thoughts. He is resentful for being a rejected failure and wants to die. Much like the incredible Hulk. He is visited by figments of his imagination - Ben Reilly, the Jackal, Loise (his once lover), his own evil self, and finally Peter Parker.
Important points to note: While talking to Ben, Kaine states that he does not want to die in this prison with heartless criminals, with no hint of morality in their black souls. Kaine pities himself, not even having a soul, even a black one.(remember, Kaine is not all evil, he is every bit Peter Parker as Ben Reilly)
Ben is then killed by the Jackal in his imagination. The Jackal tells Kaine how he was the most powerful clone made. Kaine is annoyed with Jackal and blames him for his degenerative state, recalling the suit he had to use to slow the degenerating process and ease the pain. The Jackal suggests to Kaine to let himself die, believing that he will regenerate a new man. The Jackal leaves telling Kaine that only he can save himself.
Below is an excerpt from their conversation.
Kaine is next greeted by Loise briefly before he (or the evil version of himself) kills her. Realizing that as he had killed his only love he killed himself, he wishes to die there and then.
Finally, Peter Parker approaches Kaine, giving him a reason to live. Peter explains how Ben was the all good of Peter and Kaine was the all bad. However, he encourages his clone to have the courage to go on just as he had moved on many times. He ends telling Kaine that he knows he has the courage, because he gave it to him.
In conclusion, we see Kaine, demented, tired and distraught, yet willing to live on another day.
As mentioned, I found this a very good story eye opening story on Kaine.
Look out for the following review in ASM # 609.