Scarlet Spiders # 2
Spider-Verse: The Other
In Scarlet Spiders # 1, Ben Reilly, Kaine, and Ultimate Black Widow ( Jessica Drew) had broken into the Baxter Building, the source of the cloning. They were caught by Johnny Storm of that world, who stopped Ben ( dressed as their Iron Man), asking why Peter Parker was in custody.
This issue, being titled “ The Other” is obviously about Kaine. Again, as with the first issue, our mystery narrator, does his job of narrating all of Kaine’s feelings, while adding some backstory. Johnny is astounded to see Peter Parker. Unlike my assumption in the last issue, that Peter of that Universe was probably his friend, it appears that it is understood that Peter Parker is Spider-Man.
Johnny is shocked to see Peter caught and being brought to Jennix without his knowledge. He questions Iron Man ( actually Ben). Growing tired of the trouble, Kaine goes invisible and starts to fight Johnny, whom has now “flamed on.” Ben eventually helps Kaine and knocks Johnny out cold. Things go from bad to worst and soon their stealth mission is no longer so stealthy. The two eventually find themselves knocking out a whole security team.
Jessica then informs the guys that the search for her has been called off, and that all security is now looking for them. She gives them the location of Jennix’s clone bodies at their request and the two very quickly find their way in. They get a scientist to let them into the lab, who explains that there are thousands of cloned bodies of each inheritor.
Meanwhile, Dr Warren approaches Jennix, informing him of the breach they have. After having a rather sarcastic discussion with Dr Warren, who seems like an idiot, Jennix reminds him that he is around because he was once the most brilliant mind on the planet. Dr Warren can’t seem to remember ever being so smart, but Jennix assures him that occasionally he does remember.
Throughout the issue, Jesscia is providing intel support on the building and security, but is unable prevent them from being picked by surveillance. Kaine solves the problem easily by taking out every guard in the area, thus rendering the surveillance pointless.
Kaine then goes to find Ben, who is fooling around with the lifeless clone bodies. The three, including the scientist go to a secret room. Kaine then asks the scientist to explain what is taking place in there. The scientist explains that they are in a forbidden room where only Jennix conducts his experiments, and that they are looking at his failed experiments.
The sight makes Ben sick, and enrages Kaine, who proceeds to destroy every incubation tank in the room. Very soon, Jennix appears on screen over a live telecast of some sort, explaining his experiments. Unlike his siblings who simply drained the life force out of the spiders, he conducted experiments on the spiders he caught, trying to clone them. Though he successfully was able to clone a whole world of people, he failed, much like the Jackal, at cloning Spider-Man.
He also explains that Kaine’s invisibility is pointless as he had already previously experimented on Susan Storm (Invisible Woman). Kaine grows furious, asking Jennix to show himself. We then see the scientist’s neck being twisted with one hand as he appears in person, delighted to have two successful clones of Spider-Man in his lab.
Kaine and Ben Reilly teaming up on the same side can’t really go wrong. This issue, focused much on Kaine and almost none at all on Jessica Drew. The issue focuses on Kaine, being a beast bred for violence, as he easily uses violence to solve most of his obstacles. He is good at what he does as it is what he knows best. He steals the show in this issue, pretty much single handily taking both himself and Ben from the front door to the cloning lab. Strangely however, despite his violent tendencies Kaine’s no killing rule seems to dictate his actions much more than expected.
Being a failed clone himself, he grows furious at the sight of so many failed experiments still in their incubation tanks, terribly deformed. Ben is in this issue to lighten the mood with his comical jokes and fooling around while still somewhat maintaining the leader status.
In this perfect world, which is actually Jennix’s little cloning project (at least that is what I am assuming at the moment), we see familiar characters, all working for Jennix. It yet remains a mystery what actually happened to this world. For example, Dr Warren behaving like a delinquent, yet being praised by Jennix as being once the smartest man alive leaves the reader curious as to what took place. The element of mystery remains prominent throughout the story, as we still do not know what is really going on.
By now we know why Jennix is the slimmest and oldest, almost unhealthy looking Inheritor. It is as Daemos mentioned in Amazing Spider-Man # 9, that he does not feed on enough life force, but rather prefers to be a man of science and study (not mentioned in my review though). Now we know that he has been experimenting on his prey as well!
The next issue will conclude this mini, but very crucial series, for the spiders, which will probably be the break even point. (Having bad guys who can spawn again is not an even battle)
Fortunately for Jennix, he visited Earth-13 and was killed by Captain Universe before our spider clone friends did as seen in Amazing Spider-Man # 11.