Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Spider-Man: The Lost Years Parts 2 and 3

Remember a simpler time? When pasts were only mentioned in monologue and shadowy flashbacks? When mullets roamed free on motorcycles, and all windows were meant to be broken? We venture back into that untamed wasteland, after the Part One coverage, the 90's world of:

Comic Review: Spider-Man The Lost Years Parts 2 & 3

At the start of the next issue, Ben somehow knows that the house that exploded was Raven's, and that Tannen's men have him in the back of a car. Reilly smashes up the car and rescues Detective Raven, who is informed by the police cavalry that his wife and son are in the hospital.

Ben Reilly broods for a bit.

So does Kaine.

Back in jail, Tannen talks to the guard again, who reveals Raven's wife is dead, but the son is still alive. Tannen says he'll handle it in person. Detective Raven goes to a church and gets angry at God. After a bit of lecturing at the college, Ben runs into Janine outside, apologizing for missing their date. She forgives him, and we have a happy love montage. That night he busts up parts of Tannen's drug operations, while Kaine's gruff and mean exterior is challenged by his inexplicable love.

Things take a turn for the worst when Janine decides her relationship with Ben has to stop, and Kaine starts experiencing advanced cellular degeneration. He jumps out of a window from Louise's apartment, making about the 5th window somebody has broken so far. Kaine somehow finds Reilly about to beat up Jimmy "The Mouth" and uh, well just see for yourself.

So there's a lot of punching, after which Kaine vacates, I guess. Reilly's limp body is picked up by Mr. Mouth, but then PLOT TWIST

Turns out Kennedy's been working for Tannen. And Tannen is there, with Detective Raven's son. The issue closes on that.

The final part of this epic saga begins with Kennedy refusing to shoot Reilly in front of the kid, which gives enough time for Kaine to break through another window.

Ben regains consciousness and tries to keep Kaine from killing Louise, so she escapes in the ruckus. Ben also escapes, to find Jimmy with Raven's son. He punches "The Mouth" in the mouth, saving Kid Raven. He brings the kid to his father, who is currently brooding in the hospital. Ben decides not to tell him about Louise's treachery. He goes to Janine's house and collapses at her doorway. Upon waking up, Ben agrees to tell her everything, if Janine reveals the secrets she's been hiding. Turns out she's been named Elizabeth Tyne the whole time, and has been hiding because she's a murderer.

Before we get more explanation on that, we go back with Kennedy and Tannen, trying to regroup after their miserable failure. In actuality, Vincent Tannen is still in jail, but his twin brother Paul has been running things on the outside. That works out real well for him when Kaine sneaks up from behind and breaks his neck. Kaine's next target is Louise, who manages to talk him down.

Back with Ben, Janine, I mean, Elizabeth tells of how she shot her father after years of abuse and that she's been running from the law ever since. At the same time, Kennedy gives a rousing speech about how she's given into "the darkness" and allied with Tannen. Kaine's not too happy about it.

For some reason, Raven decides this is a good time to follow up in the Tyne case, figuring out it was Janine the whole time. Don't you want to, you know, figure out what happened with the whole Tannen thing? They killed your wife and kidnapped your son? Ringing any bells? No no, that's fine, go arrest the waitress who's done nothing to you at all. Ben takes Tyne on a superpowered joyride to convince her that he's actually a clone of Spider-Man. Instead of thinking he's a madman, she believes him, and they agree to run off together.

On their way out of town, they stop at a diner, and through some complete coincidence, that's where Raven and Kennedy were going at the same time. Huh. Ben tries to persuade them to let her go, when Kennedy recognizes him from the warehouse. She pulls a gun on Ben, who knocks it out of her hand, and rides away on his motorcycle. Kaine, however, ambushes them, trying to kill Ben again. Raven and Kennedy are in pursuit, and Raven realizes Louise has betrayed him. Amisdt the scuffle, Louise puts her gun up to Ben's head. Kaine has another idea.

After snapping her neck, Kaine burns his handprint onto her face, the first use of what's called The Mark of Kaine. It's not really explained how he does it, but he's a giant scary clone of Peter Parker, so I'll accept anything at this point. Raven finally catches up and tries to arrest somebody for his dead partner. Ben disarms him and knocks him out, and he and Elizabeth ride off into the sunset.

I really probably shouldn't like this, or at the very least I should feel guilty about liking it, but how can I?! Everyone has a troubled and sordid past, everyone falls in love instantly after meeting them, and the only way somebody can enter or exit a room is by jumping through the window! Not to mention the Clone Angst. I love me some good ol' fashioned Clone Angst. I wasn't too fond of Romita Jr's art in New Ways to Die but he is entirely in his element in this one. It's kinda dark and scratchy but it works because everyone is so serious about it! I mean, yeah, it was pretty silly if you're trying to be objective, but if you can suspend a bit of the "this is stupid" response, it's pretty enjoyable. Wishing I wasn't a clone, this is the W Defender!

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