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Appearing in "Of Wages and Wars"

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Synopsis for "Of Wages and Wars"

The Return of Kaine continues from Sensational Spider-Man #2...

Ben Reilly examines the remains of a skeleton in a Spider-Man costume that was found in the smokestack that Spider-Man seemingly disposed of his clone five years ago. This greatly complicates what is going on in his life. For five years, Ben thought he was a clone of Peter Parker. It was later revealed that he was the original Peter Parker all along and that his clone had taken over his life. The discovery of a third body throws all past claims into question.[Continuity 1] He thinks about how the real clone, took over his life as Peter Parker, married his old girlfriend Mary Jane, and are expecting their first child.[Continuity 2] The only friend he had during this period of time was Seward Trainer, who is no help to him now as he has been in a coma since his mind was trapped in cyberspace.[Continuity 3] Putting the bones away and changing into Spider-Man, Ben also recounts the return of Kaine and his recent battle with the Rhino. He doesn't know why the two were fighting but intends to put them behind bars.

Meanwhile, James Johnsmeyer has a conference call with other backers of the Great Game. The other backers are concerned about the involvement of Spider-Man and Kaine in the current wager They want to know if they should cancel the current wager or factor the new elements into the bet. James tells them not to be hasty and insists that they incorporate the two outsiders into their current game and begins asking for wagers. While at a warehouse on the Lower East Side, Kaine and Shannon Fitzpatrick -- the woman known as Muse -- have been laying low after Kaine's battle with the Rhino. She insists that Kaine use this opportunity to rest and heal, pointing out that Johnsmeyer is a man of many resources and won't like Kaine's lack of interest in participating in the game. When Kaine questions Shannon's trustworthiness, she reminds him that she put her own career into jeopardy in helping him out.[Continuity 4] Their discussion is interrupted when the Rhino comes bursting through the wall intent on eliminating Kaine. While at the Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson with his senior staff. After seeing Spider-Man stealing the mysterious corpse in a Spider-Man costume, he has jumped to the conclusion that the original Spider-Man was murdered by this new comer. While Ken Ellis is eager to roll with this narrative, Urich isn't sure they should jump to a conclusion, pointing out that Spider-Man has changed his costume in the past.[Continuity 5] Joe Robertson cautions Jonah about going with this angle until Urich and Ellis learn the facts. Jameson points out that the Daily Bugle reports facts, not the truth and that truth is in the eye of the beholder. Elsewhere in the city, Spider-Man continues his search for Kaine and the Rhino and comes up with nothing. He decides to change his strategy by hitching a ride on a nearby news helicopter figuring they'll take him to the villains faster when they show themselves.

Back on the Lower East Side, Kaine continues to battle with the Rhino, a battle that becomes more complicated when Joystick and Polestar joins the fray. Kaine quickly finds himself overwhelmed and begins losing the battle. That's when Muse tries to join the fight and use her powers to incapacitate the other members of the Great Game. Sadly, this fails when Joystike manages to ambush her. This distracts Kaine, allowing the Rhino to finally land a blow. That's when Spider-Man arrives on the scene to lend a hand, despite Kaine's insistence that he doesn't need help. While Spider-Man deals with Joystick and Polestar, Kaine tries to get to Muse only to be impeded by the Rhino. While at a hospital, a nurse checks on Seward Trainer who is still in a coma. He is visited by his daughter Carolyn. Unaware that Carolyn is also the new Doctor Octopus she decides to give Trainer some privacy with his daughter. Carolyn thanks the nurse, ominously telling her that she doesn't how much time her father has left. While back at the scene of the battle, the Rhino's confidence begins to waver when Kaine uses his rarely used wall-crawling ability to rip a large section of a building and uses it to club the Rhino into submission. Shannon has recovered by this point and tells him that he doesn't need to kill the Rhino as he has already won by scoring first blood in this game. Kaine is disgusted that they treat violence so frivolously, telling her that it is all he has known his entire life. Meanwhile, Spider-Man manages to stop Joystick by crushing the wrist bands that power her weapons. She congratulates the wall-crawler for finding this weakness as she flees, vowing he won't be lucky next time they meet. Before Spider-Man can go after her, he is ambushed by Polestar. However, Polestar is too busy complaining over how unfair the battle has become that Spider-Man is able to knock him out as well. However, once the members of the Great Game is down, he is angry that they prevented him from catching Kaine.

Later, while Kaine is off looking for refuge, Shannon contacts James Johnsmeyer. Kaine's suspicions prove to be valid as she is working with Johnsmeyer to ensure large profits before Kaine is destroyed. While back on the Lower East Side, Spider-Man waits until the authorities arrive to collect Rhino the Polestar. With the two villains in police custody, Spider-Man resumes his search for Kaine. He is certain that he'll track his old enemy down, as he managed to tag Muse with a spider-tracer during the battle.

... The Return of Kaine continues in Spider-Man #66.


Continuity Notes

The Return of Kaine
Spectacular Spider-Man #231 Sensational Spider-Man #2 Amazing Spider-Man #409 Spider-Man #66 Spectacular Spider-Man #232
  1. These skeletal remains further complicate the Clone Saga. The true facts are as follows:
    • The Jackal created a clone of Spider-Man to battle the wall-crawler in Amazing Spider-Man #149. Per the Sliding Timescale those events happened roughly five years prior to this story. The battle ended with the clone seemingly being destroyed.
    • This is where things get complicated: The Jackal attempted to swap Spider-Man with his clone, but this was undone by the Scriers under the order of the Green Goblin, as seen in Osborne Journals #1.
    • The real Peter Parker, believing his clone to be dead, disposed of it in a smokestack in Amazing Spider-Man #151.
    • In reality, Ben Reilly was put in a death-like state as explained in the Osborn Journal. His escape from the smokestack was detailed in the Parker Legacy story arc.
    The Parker Legacy
    Amazing Spider-Man #400 Spider-Man #57 Spectacular Spider-Man #223
    • After this, the Jackal dumped another clone body in the smoke stack to further complicate matters, as seen in the Osborn Journal.
  2. Some facts about the relationship between Peter Parker and Mary Jane:
  3. Seward Trainer's mind was trapped in Cyberspace in Amazing Scarlet Spider #1.
  4. Muse assisted Kaine in Spectacular Spider-Man #231.
  5. Ben Urich is referring to when Spider-Man started wearing his black-and-white costume in Amazing Spider-Man #252. He wore a variation of this costume from then and Amazing Spider-Man #300.

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