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Quote1.png We were born to misery-- Don't you realize that? The only peace we can ever know-- --is the peace of the grave! Quote2.png

Appearing in "Yesterday"

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  • Train

Synopsis for "Yesterday"

Kaine has broken into a funeral home in order to get in touch with the concept of death. As he looks at a body in one of the coffins, the deformed clone is interrupted by a group of police officers who order him to get back or they will shoot. Kaine dares them to do something, pulling off his mask to reveal his horribly scarred face. When the officers become afraid, Kaine attacks them. When one of the officers begs Kaine not to hurt him, the clone tells him that he doesn't know anything about pain. In order to prove his point, Kaine burns his own face with his Mark of Kane before fleeing from the facility. After years of trying to find a cure for his cellular degeneration, he has decided that the only cure he can find is in death. Thinking about Spider-Man, Kaine decides that he will not die alone.

At that moment, Spider-Man has come to the graves of Harry Osborn and his father Norman to pay his respects.[Continuity 1] Ben Reilly thinks about how he and Harry were friends for years and this was the first time he had a chance to mourn his death.[Continuity 2] As he swings away, Spider-Man thinks about how much the Jackal messed up his life by switching him with his clone, leading to five years in a self-appointed exile. Now that he has come back and begun redeeming himself, he realizes that the reason why he hadn't visited Harry's grave was that he didn't want to come to terms that his friend was dead and there was nothing he could do to stop it from happening. He stops at the home of Harry's widow, Liz Osborn and watches as she checks in on her son, Normie. The wall-crawler wishes that he could at least be there for Normie, and be the father figure he will need growing up, but because of his situation, Ben Reilly can't even do that.

Meanwhile, aboard a New York-bound train, a red-haired woman thinks about how she always put off this voyage. However, she has decided that she is going to stop running anymore because he has decided that she no longer wants to wear masks anymore and is looking forward to being reunited with Ben Reilly.

Later that evening, Ben Reilly wakes up from sleeping on his couch. When he goes to the fridge to get something to drink he is ambushed by Kaine. The purpose of Kaine's attack is to make the opening salvo in a war with Ben Reilly that he hopes will end in both of their death's. Ben tries to fight off his attacker, but Kaine quickly disappears as quickly as he appeared. Unaware of the purpose of Kaine's attack, it causes Ben to think about Kaine has always been a shadow that was constantly a part of his life. Outside of his clone-brother, the only other people who were constantly in his life were Seward Trainer, and his long-lost lover Janine. The thoughts of Janine motivate Ben to go to a nearby bar for a drink. However, since he doesn't drink alcohol, Ben only orders a club soda. This amuses the person who is sitting at the bar next to him. Much to Ben's surprise, it is Flash Thompson, the man who tormented Peter Parker when they were in high school. Intoxicated from a night of drinking, Flash decides to tell Ben all about his life. He recalls how great his life was in high school, Flash was popular, he got the girls, and he was a football star. Now he is twenty-five, sporting a beer belly, and barely makes a living working at a youth center.[Continuity 3] He has been trying to find a new job, but potential employers are either uninterested in hiring him or he is unskilled to do the work. This gets him thinking about Peter Parker, the kid he used to tease in high school. Unaware that Ben Reilly knows all about Peter Parker, he talks about how Parker lucked out, ending up getting married to a model when all Flash has left are dusty yearbooks and old football trophies.[Continuity 4] After paying the bartender to stop serving Flash, Ben gives him some advice: The past is dead, it is never as great as you remember, and he should stop wallowing and live in the here and now. It takes a few moments after Ben is gone before his words sink in. Straightening up, Flash decides that perhaps the stranger was right.

Changing back into Spider-Man and web-slinging home, Ben wonders if he what he said was for Flash's benefit or his. When he climbs into his apartment window he is shocked to discover Janine standing in the doorway. Elsewhere in the city, Kaine is still trying to come to terms with his feelings about himself and for Ben Reilly. With a rage welling up inside, Kaine goes into a bar and picks a fight with the patrons. Easily overpowering them, he demands that they get back up and keep on fighting. When nobody moves, Kaine storms back out into the rain, realizing that the only way he is get closure is if he ends things with Reilly. Back at Ben Reilly's apartment, he cannot believe that Janine Godbe is in his apartment because he thought she had died a year before. Even more confusing, she seems to know all about his double-identity because he has, apparently, been writing to her all this time and even sent her keys to his apartment. At first, Ben thinks this is some kind of trick, that Janine is another one of the Jackal's clones created to torment him. However, all of his doubts quickly dissolve when she kisses him on the lips.

The couple spends the next few days rekindling their romance and getting reacquainted. Ben insisting on her explaining what happened over a year ago in Santa Cruz when she is comfortable talking about it. One night as they are finished going out for dinner, Janine decides that it is the time to finally talk. However, before she can get into her story, Kaine appears and pulls her into a store through the shop-window. Enraged that Kaine is threatening the love of his life, Ben leaps in after her. He thinks about everything Janine had been through, murdering her father in self-defense, being on the run from the law, and now this.[Continuity 5] In the darkness of the ship, Ben is ambushed by Kaine, who informs Reilly that he wants him to feel the same pain he has for so many years. During their battle, Ben stumbles upon Janine's body laying on the ground. Before he can check if she is still alive, Kaine knocks him out. By this point, police have been alerted and are searching the building. This prompts Kaine to flee the scene. When the police find Ben Reilly, he is in tears cradling Janine's body in his arms.


Continuity Notes

  1. At the time of this story, everyone believes that both Norman and Harry Osborn are dead. Norman seemingly perished following a battle against Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #122. His survival is explained in Osborne Journals #1. He will resurface again in Amazing Spider-Man #412. Harry Osborn appeared to die in Spectacular Spider-Man #200. However, unknown to everyone at the time, Harry survived as explained in Amazing Spider-Man #581. He will resurface again in Amazing Spider-Man #545.
  2. At the time of this story, Ben Reilly thinks that he is the original Peter Parker after a genetic test that was taken in Spectacular Spider-Man #226. However, this is a lie orchestrated by Norman Osborn as revealed in Osborne Journals #1.
  3. According to Civil War #3, Peter Parker was 15 when he first got his spider-powers in Amazing Fantasy #15. Per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616, that was roughly 9 years prior to this story. Assuming that Flash was roughly the same age as Peter Parker at that time, the fact that Flash is 25 in this story would be about accurate.
  4. Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife here. However, years later, their marriage is erased from existence by Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such they should be considered a common-law couple here.
  5. Janine's father molested her for years until she killed him in self-defense. Wanted for murder, she was on the run from the law when she first met Ben Reilly. This was all detailed in Spider-Man: The Lost Years #13.

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