- He already has become me. In his heart of hearts, he always was. And I...I was him. But it's over now, Ben. At long last--it's over.
- -- Kaine
Appearing in "Chains"
- Elizabeth's Father (Mentioned)
- An unnamed boy (Only appearance; dies)
- Aunt May (Mentioned)
- Peter Parker (Mentioned)
- Gwen Stacy (Mentioned)
- Seward Trainer (Mentioned)
- Uncle Ben (Mentioned)
- Harry Osborn (Mentioned)
- Richard Parker (Mentioned)
- Mary Parker (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- United States of America (Main story and flashback)
- Prison van
Synopsis for "Chains"
Elizabeth Tyne—aka Janine Godby—has finally run out of luck and her past has caught up with her and she has been arrested for the murder of her father.[Continuity 1] She is taken out of her cell so she can be put before a judge. Outside, there is a swarm of reporters hoping to get a word from Elizabeth as she is being loaded into a prisoner transport. The only thing she tells them is that her name is Janine Godby. This is because, after so many years on the run, Janine Godbe is who she became. Now, as her past is catching up with her, Janine Godbe is another person she has lost running away from it all, just like she also lost Ben Reilly. However, Ben is not as lost to her as she thinks, as a masked man follows the prisoner transport from the rooftops. Meanwhile, the drivers have noticed that the news crew is following their vehicle and decide to try and lose them down an alley. While this works to lose the news crews, it leaves them open to the masked man ambushing their vehicle. This man leaps through the windshield of the van, demanding to know where Elizabeth Tyne, the murderer, is. After incapacitating the drivers, this masked man then rips open the back of the transport, and after announcing that he is going to kill Elizabeth, grabs her and carries her away to the rooftops.
As it turns out, this vengeful man is actually Ben Reilly, who put on the whole show in order to free her from police custody. Despite his good intentions, Janine wasn't entirely sure it was Ben and is upset with him at first because she thought he might have been Kaine.[Continuity 2] However, she is relieved to know that it was Ben after all. Ben tells her that now that she is free he is willing to leave everything behind so the pair can start a new life somewhere else. As they begin to kiss, they are unaware that Kaine is watching them from another rooftop. He was the one who set them up for the police, all part of Kaine's plan to make Ben Reilly suffer as he has. Suddenly, Kaine's body is wracked with pain due to the cellular degeneration of his body. The pain is so intense that Kaine stumbles off the rooftop and falls into the alley below. This is followed with a new wave of anger and loathing toward Ben Reilly and everything he stands for. He is so furious he refuses to wear the costume that hides his hideously deformed body and begins ripping it off his body. That's when he notices a homeless man watching him. At first, Kaine confuses this person for Ben Reilly and is about to kill them with his Mark of Kaine. However, as the homeless man begs for his life, Kaine stops himself and runs away.
By this point, Ben and Janine have ducked into a diner where they begin planning their escape from New York. As Ben plans to sneak back to his apartment to get a stash of money he has saved up, Janine asks if he is sure if he willing to give up this new life he set up for himself. He tells her that the only reason he came back to New York—his Aunt May—is now gone and there is nothing keeping him here.[Continuity 3] Even though he discovered that he is really Peter Parker, that fact is irrelevant because he has lived as Ben Reilly for so long.[Continuity 4] However, before they go, Ben needs to know what happened when Janine disappeared a year ago while they were in Santra Cruz. Janine agrees that the time has finally come to tell him the truth. As she begins to tell her story, Kaine arrives outside the diner.
Ben Reilly and Janine Gadby had started a new life for themselves in Santa Cruz, taking on the alias of George and Mary Bailey. Things were good, the couple had an apartment that they lived in together. One night, as Ben was running late for his job selling septic systems by phone, Janine managed to convince Ben to be later still by seducing him.
Later that evening, after Ben had left for work, Janine's peaceful sleep was interrupted when Kaine broke into her bedroom. Ordering her to get dressed, Kaine forced her to accompany him to San Francisco. There atop the Golden Gate Bridge, he then told her about the fate of the last woman who was foolish to love Ben Reilly, a woman named Gwen Stacy, who fell from a bridge just like this.[Continuity 5] Kaine then goes on to say that he cannot stand to see Ben happy and will do whatever it takes to see it end. He then told Janine that he sees no reason to actually kill her and threatens to call the police on her if she remains with Ben Reilly. He gives her an alternative, leaves Ben and never look back, telling her that he will be better off without her.
Janine then tearfully explains that she went along with Kaine's demands. In order to make sure that Ben wouldn't just follow after her, Janine wrote a convincing suicide note to leave Ben to think Janine killed herself. This comes as a shock to Ben, creating so much hurt. Ben tells her how lost he was after she left, how pointless his life was until he later began working with Seward Trainer.[Continuity 6] Despite this shocking revelation, Ben decides that it is all in the past and decides to move forward. As they get up to leave the diner, Kaine bursts up through the floor. Furious, Ben then attacks Kain and begins beating him senselessly. However, before Ben can seriously harm Kaine, Janine gets him to stop, pointing out that this is what Kaine wants, to force Ben to stoop to his level. Still, Kaine refuses to lose and since he is laying on a stove with the gas on he causes a spark that ignites the fuel causing the diner to erupt in a massive fireball.
- Elizabeth's father molested her for years until she killed him in self-defense. Accused of murder, Elizabeth was on the run for years under the alias Janine Godbe. This was all chronicled in Spider-Man: The Lost Years #1–3.
- Ben states that he wore clothes from his Salt Lake City days to tip her off. He is referring to the time they spent together in Spider-Man: The Lost Years #1–3.
- At the time of this story, May Parker is believed to have died in Amazing Spider-Man #400. In reality, this was an impostor posing as May as revealed in Spider-Man #97. Part of the reason why Ben returned to New York—circa Web of Spider-Man #117—was when May was believed to be in frail health following a stroke in Amazing Spider-Man #391.
- Ben was convinced that he was the real Peter Parker after a genetic test in Spectacular Spider-Man #226. However, this is a lie orchestrated by the Green Goblin as explained in Osborne Journals #1.
- Gwen Stacy was the first true love of Peter Parker. She was murdered by the Green Goblin in Amazing Spider-Man #121.
- How Ben ended up meeting and working for Seward Trainer was detailed in the Exiled story arc.
The Exiled Web of Spider-Man #128 Amazing Spider-Man #405 Spider-Man #62 Spider-Man Unlimited #10
A flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters:
- First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
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