Our hero is at a crossroads, one populated by confusion, loved ones, terrible dark secrets, and werewolves. SCARLET SPIDER #14 asks a simple question: is the Scarlet Spider a man who dreams of being a spider? Or a spider who dreams of being a man?
Just when Kaine (no, not that Cain) began to get his life together, he and Aracely get attacked by werewolves. Aracely, an amnesiac Hispanic girl Kaine saved from slave traders, has many enemies she doesn’t know about, probably owing to her great and undefined psychic powers and the implication that she may or may not be a god of some kind. Or thought to be a god, it’s really not clear. Point is, they got attacked by a pair of werewolves that want her dead, and in the process they kill Kaine.
Not the best of nights.
But Kaine’s been dead before, and he came back. Specifically, he came back from the dead as a product of Spider Island, a storyline I never read but researched briefly. Now that he’s in a death (or near-death) state, he’s presented with a choice: die as a man, or accept his “true nature” as a monster.
See, for a while now the Spiderman titles have been toying with the idea that when Peter Parker gained his spider powers, they weren’t conferred to him because of the radioactive spider. That spider powers have some quasi-mystical origin to them, or something. Much of Spider Island revolved around life webs, and how those with spider powers access them. Madam Web, the woman from Amazing Spiderman that could predict the future, did so by reading the life web. It’s all abstract and stuff, and various writers have played with the concept for the last few years. One story in particular attempted to do some stuff with the nature of the spider powers, though from what I’ve heard it was a concept largely abandoned at the time. It was called The Other.
It would seem the concepts brought up in The Other are now being resolved here. Hurray?
I’m sorry, but didn’t we just go through a whole story arc where Kaine learned he could be a better person? Why is this getting reversed all of a sudden? Moreover, I only know about all this Other stuff because I’d heard of it in passing. What chance does somebody have of understanding this storyline if they hadn’t heard of it? From what I understand, The Other wasn’t all that popular or well-used. Just seems like SCARLET SPIDER is reaching for this one.