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Appearing in "Reluctant Lazarus"

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Synopsis for "Reluctant Lazarus"

Kaine wakes up and finds himself in a strange room tied to a chair. No sooner has he come around is he ambushed by five individuals all at once. Moving quickly, Kaine easily frees himself and takes down all of his attackers in a matter of moments. He is applauded by a woman named Shannon Fitzpatrick -- aka Muse -- who welcomes Kaine back to the land of the living.[Continuity 1]

Meanwhile, Spider-Man swings across the city, enjoying every minute of this for the first time since the Jackal stole his life five years earlier.[Continuity 2] The wall-crawler soon arrives outside the Daily Grind where he works in his alter-ego of Ben Reilly. Changing out of his costume, Ben enters the coffee shop and is shoved out of the way by Desiree Winthrop and her entourage of hangers-on as they rush to her favorite table to discuss fashion. Walking to the front counter, Ben overhears Buzz talking to Jessica Carridine, Shirley Washington and her son Devon. He is opinionating on the dangers of mass media, reminding them of the recent trouble caused by Mysterio's Mystery Vision.[Continuity 3] When Jessica asks Ben for his thoughts, he tells her that he has nothing against television, and if he had one, he'd watch more of it out of spite.

At that moment, at a mansion in Tahiti, James Johnsmeyer is having a teleconference with Mister Wallace, another bankroller of the Great Game to make bets on the current event, pitting their operatives against the assassin known as Kaine. Since Johnsmayer lost the wager that Kaine would die in the opening battle, he agrees to pay up his wager in the bet. Much to the horror of Johnsmeyer's current lover, she is taken away to be given to Wallace in payment. That's when he is contacted by Muse who provides James with an update on Kaine's condition and warns that once he has recuperated he will be making demands as to what is going on. He reminds Muse of the purpose of the Great Game, to pit super-powered combatants against each other for the entertainment of the obscenely wealthy.[Continuity 4] Muse was Johnsmeyer's operative until an injury took her out of action, hence his desire to recruit Kaine into the Great Game. James concludes his audience with Muse by telling her to make sure Kaine remains comfortable until he can arrive in New York. Later, Muse goes to check on Kaine who wakes up from screaming from one of his precognitive flashes. She uses her hypnotic powers to lull Kaine and explains how she and her allies recovered Kaine from the regeneration chamber that he was recovering in since his recent brush with death.[Continuity 5] She then takes him to see James Johnsmeyer so he can discuss business with Kaine.

Meanwhile, back at the Daily Grind, Ben Reilly notices Desiree Winthrop struggling with her physics homework. Demonstrating that he is knowledgeable on the subject, he offers to help her study. At first, Desiree is snotty with Reilly, until he realizes that Ben knows what he is talking about and gladly accepts his offer. By this time, Johnsmeyer has finished detailing the money that Kaine could make being an official participant in the Great Game. After considering the offer, Kaine turns it down and leaves, no longer wishing to be manipulated by anybody. On his way out, Kaine is confronted by Pierce and Mosh, but they are taken down by Muse who has decided to help Kaine make his escape, the only thing she asks is that Kaine takes her with him. While at that moment, a demolition crew is tearing down an old factory in Brooklyn. When the crew knocks down one of the smokestacks they are shocked to discover the remains of a human body inside. Upon closer examination, they notice that the skeleton is wearing the remains of a Spider-Man costume.[Continuity 6]

This story continues in Sensational Spider-Man #2...


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. Kaine was mortally wounded in Spectacular Spider-Man #227 and his body was placed in a clone regeneration tank. More recently, his body went missing during the events of Scarlet Spider Unlimited #1.
  2. At the time of this story, Ben Reilly was led to believe that Peter Parker was a clone and that he was the real Spider-Man the whole time in Spectacular Spider-Man #226. The five years is an accurate measurement of the Sliding Timescale from Amazing Spider-Man #149 to this story. However, Ben Reilly is not the original Peter Parker and is being manipulated by the Green Goblin into thinking that he is, as explained in Osborne Journals #1.
  3. Mysterio attempted to enthrall all of New York City with his hypnotic television station as seen in the Media Blizzard story arc.
    Media Blizzard
    Sensational Spider-Man #1 Amazing Spider-Man #408 Spider-Man #65

  4. Johnsmeyer's recollection includes a recollection of Joystick's battle with El Toro Negro. This battle occurred during the Cyberwar story arc.
    Web of Scarlet Spider #2 Amazing Scarlet Spider #2 Green Goblin #3 Scarlet Spider #2 Spectacular Scarlet Spider #2

  5. Among the recollections is a front page story of the Daily Bugle that identifies Kaine as the guilty of murder during the Trial of Peter Parker story arc.
    The Trial of Peter Parker
    Web of Spider-Man #126 Amazing Spider-Man #403 Spider-Man #60 Spectacular Spider-Man #226

  6. This is the same smokestack that Peter Parker disposed of the body of Ben Reilly in Amazing Spider-Man #151. The origins of this skeleton is revealed in Osborne Journals #1.

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