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Appearing in "Strangers"

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  • Truck
  • Ambulance
  • Bike

Synopsis for "Strangers"

It is 10 pm in the evening just outside of Salt Lake City as traffic pushes along the highway in a heavy rain. Suddenly, a truck driver suffers a heart attack causing him to jackknife his vehicle. However, before oncoming vehicles can slam into the truck, a man leaps out and pushes the truck over the shoulder and down the side of a cliff. Retrieving the driver before the truck crashes, the mystery man then gives the trucker CPR. By the time the authorities arrive on the scene, the trucker is loaded into an ambulance. Asking eyewitnesses, the police learn that the mystery hero left just as soon as he appeared, not sticking around to be congratulated for saving a life. Not far down the high way, this mystery man -- Ben Reilly -- continues down the long road he has been on for the last three years.[Continuity 1] He felt compelled to save the man due to the spider-sense that rang in his head, despite the fact that he believed that becoming Ben Reilly stipped him of all the past responsibilities that shackled Peter Parker to use his power for good.[Continuity 2]

Meanwhile, in the city, the imperfect Peter Parker clone known as Kaine has tracked Ben Reilly to Salt Lake City. Waiting for his prey to arrive, he sits by himself and nurses a bottle of vodka he purchased in a bar. His peace and quiet is interrupted by a prostitute who offers to show him a good time. However, when he ignores the woman, her pimp tries to start a fight with him. Without saying a word, Kaine quickly grabs the man by the head nad beats his head on the table until he is unconscious. Getting up, Kaine gives the prostitute some money, telling her not to spend it all in one place and begins walking out of the bar. On his way out, he is stopped by a blond haired woman named Louise Kennedy. Impressed by Kaine's show of strength, she asks for his name. Sizing the woman up, the clone tells her that he was never born and therefore never had a name, but she can call him Kaine. As he leaves, Louise is interrupted by Jimmy the Mouth, a local crook who wants to get down to business. Punching the portly criminal in the stomach, she tells him to keep his hands to himself.

The following morning, Louise is lost in thoughts about Kaine as her partner, causing her to lose her train of thought while talking to her partner Jacob Raven. Regaining her composure, she tells him how she has been playing Jimmy the Mouth, so he tells her where they can find the operations of Jimmy's uncle, a drug dealer named Vincent Tannen. Although Louise is certain they can bag Tannen and strike a huge blow to the drug trade in Utah. Raven isn't so optimistic about that given Vincent's influence in Salt Lake City. This upsets him, as he considered these sorts of things happen in other cities like New York or Chicago. Despite how disappointing this is, Jacob has faith that if he does the right thing, he can make a difference. When Lousie chides him for his Mormon upbringing, he shrugs it off, telling her that his motivation is a matter of faith. At that same moment, from his jail cell, Vincent Tannen is sitting pretty comfortably even though he is incarcerated. He is visited by one of the guards who gladly agrees to make arrangements to have someone brutally beaten. While at the local university, Ben Reilly manages to secure a job in the science department thanks to false credentials and a letter of recommendation from Seward Trainer. Although he doesn't feel right about using fraudulent information to get the job, he pushes this thought out of his head, reminding himself that he is qualified to do the work thanks to the implanted memories of Peter Parker that are in his mind. Going to a local diner for breakfast, Ben is instantly smitten by the redhaired waitress, a young woman named Janine Godbe.

While he is placing his order, Jacob Raven comes in to order the usual. Not knowing how Raven was at the time, Ben instantly liked the guy because the officer reminded him of his Uncle Ben. As Raven picks up his food to go, Reilly can't help but notice that Janine is unnerved by the officer's presence.[Continuity 3] Deciding he likes the woman, Ben tells her about how he is new in town and doesn't know anybody and clumsily asks if she would go out with him for dinner. At first, she says no, but when Reilly pays for his meal and heads out, she changes her mind, much to his delight. By this time, Louise Kennedy is working undercover, dropping money off to some drug dealers on behalf of Jimmy the Mouth. However, when she tries to arrest the man, she finds herself surrounded by gunmen. Before they can kill her, Kaine comes crashing in through one of the windows. For some reason, Kaine has been drawn to this woman, prompting him to come to her rescue. Catching the armed drug dealers by surprise, Kaine kills them all before the Lousie's astonished eyes. In the aftermath of the battle, Kennedy asks what they should do next, Kaine tells her that he has a few ideas.

Later that day, Louise's partner Jacob just misses the bus back home and curses himself for being so out of shape. Suddenly, a car pulls up next to him and some armed men forced him inside. While elsewhere, Ben Reilly crashes his motorcycle because his spider-sense goes off warning him of some serious danger. Unable to ignore it, Ben follows the signal to a nearby house that suddenly explodes into flame the moment he arrives. Despite his misgivings, Ben cannot avoid being the hero and leaps inside the burning building to look for survivors. He finds a woman and her child inside the house and quickly carries them outside and disappears before the authorities arrive. Later, at the home of Louise Kennedy, a romantic moment with Kaine is interrupted by a phone call. Louise is upset to hear that her partner has gone missing and his family narrowly avoided getting killed by a bomb that was planted in their home. Disturbed by this, Louise tells Kaine to hold her and never let go. Meanwhile, Ben Reilly listens in on the doctors at the hospital and learns that Raven's wife is going to be okay. No wanting to be the hero anymore, or be in costume, Ben Reilly decides to leave things for the police to handle, unaware that at that very moment the husband of the woman he saved is being held at gunpoint.

Solicit Synopsis

Lost in the heartland, the exiled Ben Reilly and Kaine find happiness— but will their own inner demons destroy it forever?


Continuity Notes

  1. Per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616, this story takes place roughly three years after the events of Amazing Spider-Man #151.
  2. Ben Reilly is a clone of Peter Parker, as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #149. Upon recovering from his battle with Spider-Man and leaving New York, he adopted the name of Ben Reilly as seen in the Parker Legacy story arc.
    The Parker Legacy
    Amazing Spider-Man #400 Spider-Man #57 Spectacular Spider-Man #223

  3. This is because Janine Godbe is actually Elizabeth Tyne, a fugitive on the run as revealed in Spider-Man: Redemption #14.

See Also

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