It’s tough to be a clone, especially a clone of the erstwhile Spider-Man, Peter Parker. But the Spider-clone known as Kaine has had a long, two year run under the moniker of Scarlet Spider in his own series – and all that comes to an end this December.
Launched in January 2013, Scarlet Spider saw Kaine take up the mantle of the Scarlet Spider and become a reluctant hero while trying to run away from his problems. Crossing paths with everyone from the Assassin’s Guild to Kraven the Hunter and a drunken Armadillo, Kaine’s time as the Scarlet Spider has proven unique to say the least – but series writer Christopher Yost says these two years of trials and tribulations are all for a reason. As the hero begins the transition from his solo series over to membership in the upcoming New Warriors book, Newsarama spoke with Yost about the upcoming finale, and the writer is coming into it with some grim humor which is oddly appropriate for Kaine’s path.
Newsarama: In September Marvel announced that the Scarlet Spider series would be ending with December’s #25. What do you have planned for the finale, Christopher?
Christopher Yost: A happy ending! Love, friendship, puppies, possibly rainbows. OR… death, explosions, monsters, betrayal, tears and heartbreak.
Nrama: Back in August Newsarama interviewed you about Scarlet Spider, and at the time the series’ ending hadn’t been announced but you spoke awfully dark about Kaine’s path, talking about how people try and be heroes but how “it’s possible to fail.” Did you know then the fate of the book, and if so, how did the knowledge it was coming to a close affect these final issues?
Yost: I did in fact know then that the book was ending. Kaine's story is not a happy one, and to expect it to end in happiness is probably ill advised. But there may be some surprises in store.
Nrama: As this series ends, it looks like Scarlet Spider and Aracely are moving over to the upcoming New Warriors series launching next year. Where does that leave Houston, which Scarlet Spider’s called home for the series?
Yost: Well, no one said he's leaving. His body could be buried there, for instance. Or his puddle. I think you'll see Houston's reaction to Kaine in Scarlet Spider #25 very clearly, and it's much different than Kaine's perception of how Houston feels about him. You'll get both sides of the argument in #25.
Nrama: Well, I suppose we only know Scarlet Spider is on the team, not Kaine, technically! And in addition to that, the solicitations for the final issue promise Kaine is going a little south of the border to Mexico. What can you tell us about that?
Yost: The solicit didn't say that exactly, but Mexico does figure into things, as does Aracely. Mexico was always where Kaine intended to go after leaving New York and super-hero-ing behind. He knew in issue one he was no hero. At journey's end, how will he feel?
Nrama: That idea that not everyone is cut out to be a hero is a stark revelation you often times don’t get in comics. How did that come to you for Kaine, and was it hard getting Marvel to go along with it?
Yost: They loved it so much they cancelled the book. Ha ha, no. I'm kidding. But if you can't do something different in a book like Scarlet Spider, where can you? Steve Wacker and Tom Brennan have been nothing but supportive. And patient. Like Kaine, we did our best.
Nrama: Whether Peter, Doc Ock or any other Spider-Men will admit it, Kaine has a spot in the Spider-side of the Marvel U. How would you describe Kaine’s role in comparison to Peter and the others?
Yost: I think Kaine is a dark mirror for Peter. He's what Peter could have become without the family and friends, without the life lessons that Uncle Ben and Aunt May taught him, without the love.
It's bad. Those things matter. Kaine did horrible things. He killed people. Tortured others. But even with the lack of Peter's life, there was still something within Kaine that pushed him to at least try and be a hero. Call it DNA, genetic memory, who knows… but there's something more of Peter Parker inside Kaine than just his cells. Clones need love too!