Scarlet Spider #17

Issue Date: 
June 2013
Story Title: 
Wrath – part 1

Chris Yost (writer), Carlos Barberi (penciler), Walden Wong (inks), VC’s Joe Caramagna (lettering), Rex Lokus (colors), Stegman & Delgado (cover), Max Fiumara (variant cover), Tom Brennan (editor), Stephen Wacker (senior editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Kaine gets a message from the Assassins Guild via his friend Dr. Donald Meland. He meets with Belladonna Boudreaux, who reminds him he owes them a hit. Otherwise, they will target his friends. The person they want him to kill is Wolverine. Kaine travels to New York along with his sidekick, Aracely. Kaine uses his psychic link with spiders to search the Jean Grey School. Aracely distracts Toad by ringing the bell and introduces herself as a mutant while Kaine slips in in his stealth form. Thanks to the telepaths, soon both are caught, although the psychics are frightened of Aracely’s mysterious powers. Kaine attacks Wolverine and seemingly kills him, as a secret watcher of the Assassins Guild notes.

Full Summary: 

Park Plaza Hospital, Houston medical center:

An incoming emergency. Mutiple gunshot wounds to the chest, Dr. Donald Meland is told. The paramedic tells him it’s getting worse out there. People are talking about a new gang war.

Meland finds some kind of obstruction in the wound. Oh, no, he mutters as he finds it isn’t a bullet but a small globe on which is inscripted the name Kaine.

A high-class restaurant in Houston:

Belladonna Boudreaux, leader of the New Orleans Assassins Guild, and one of her employees, Smithy, are having dinner. Smithy believes the Kaine aka the Scarlet Spider has already fled town. He carries a grudge for what Kaine did to his hands. Belladonna is certain he will come.

A moment later, something whacks Smithy in the back and Belladonna greets Kaine. What brings the Assassins Guild to Houston? he asks. Masochism?

Smithy snarls he’s dead. The other patrons flee. Kaine recalls he crushed Smithy’s hands. Looks like he’s all healed up. He liked him better maimed. He sticks something sharp through one of Smithy’s hands.

Belladonna has watched the display calmly, then orders Smithy to go. He got her message, Subtle, Kaine mocks as he tosses Belladonna the small globe Dr. Meland found. They do their best, Belladonna replies. Dr. Meland seems to be doing well. It’s so rare one of their contracts gets cancelled.

Kaine reminds her of their deal. Exactly, she agrees. Kaine promised her one murder. In return, the Assassins Guild will leave Kaine and his friends alone forever. The time has come to collect. Who does she want killed? Kaine asks. She shoves a file over to him and explains that they are facilitators. Their work isn’t personal. With one or two exceptions. Wolverine is one of them. Kaine looks at the pictures of Wolverine and the Jean Grey School. Hoo boy, he mutters.

Belladonna names his friends. Meland, Layton, the little Mexican girl. The Assassin Guild will send everyone Kaine cares about to an early grave. Unless he kills Wolverine. Will he do it? Sure, Kaine replies.

Later in his room at the Four Seasons, his protégée Aracely demands to come along. She insists he needs her and reminds him she has powers. She can make people scared. She could make a costume! When he remains unconvinced she warns him he cannot leave her unattended. She’s irresponsible, except in whatever way she can help him.

He tells her to shut up and shows her the ID he has had made for her. She’s going.

On the plane, Aracely looks out excited, babbling she wants to rent a movie. Did he know the drinks are free? Do they watch a show when they get there? Kaine reminds her he is sent to kill someone. The whole time? she points out.

Kaine broods his whole plan was getting out of New York City. And here he is again. Flying first class with a fake ID. Getting picked up by a limo. All paid for by the Assassins Guild. All to kill a man. No, an X-Man, Kaine corrects himself. Peter Parker would be so proud. In the taxi, Aracely points out Spider-Man swinging by.

Later, the two are outside the Jean Grey School. Kaine has created a psychic bond with a little spider which shows him images of the student body.

Kaine muses he is a clone with spider- powers. But this place is the weirdest place he has ever seen. And that is nothing compared to the teachers. And that is nothing compared to the headmaster, his target, Wolverine (who is currently in his office, drinking a beer).

Wearing a strange green costume, Aracely muses it’s weird he can talk to spiders. Why is she doing this to him? he sighs regarding the costume. She asks if he names the spiders. Are they pets? He doesn’t really talk to them. He can just sense what they sense. What does he sense now? Walking the spider through Storm’s bedroom, he announces that if they stay here longer they are dead. Aracely decides her name is Hummingbird. He reminds her of the plan. She forgot the plan. Just knock on the door. Can she ring the doorbell? Just go!

Arcely rings the doorbell. When a suspicious caretaker, Toad, answers the door, she informs him that she is the scariest mutant ever. And this is her scary mutant costume. She uses her power and Toad bursts out in a flash of fear; her costume is horrible. Overcome by fear, he runs away.

Kaine remarks her costume is horrible, as they both enter the building he clinging to the ceiling, she normally. It is great, she insists. They are observed by a sniper who is told to report when one of them is dead.

Kaine goes into stealth mode on the ceiling as students Indra and Dust walk by. He is surprised that Aracely is manifesting a psychic rapport with him. She wonders if she is a mutant. Suddenly, she is caught by Rachel Grey, who remarks she shouldn’t be here. Who is she? Scary mutant, Aracely ventures, trying to use her powers.

Rachel tries to scan her and gets that her name is Hummingbird. Aracely panics, shouting she is Huitzilopochtli. She brings fire to destroy the dark! And she needs blood! Rachel screams and all the psychics in the building – Marvel Girl, Quentin Quire, Blindfold – feel the backlash. Kaine and Wolverine also both notice. Several of the kids flee in panic and Kaine wonders what Aracely did.

Apparently, she doesn’t know either as she nervously babbles, asking if she hurt Rachel. Rachel mutters there is something in Aracely’s mind… it’s on fire! There’s someone else here, she realizes belatedly and calls Beast.

The classic flaw in cloaking technology: perspiration, Hank McCoy announces as he tackles Kaine. He figures that, despite looking and smelling like Spider-Man, he is not. Good guess, Kaine agrees and kicks him.

He barely breaks free when Iceman advises him to slow down. Did he really just break into the headquarters of the X-Men? There’s like a hundred mutants here who could make him explode just by thinking about it. Not too smart.

He wants to know what else is not too smart? Kaine asks. Getting that close to him. He shatters Iceman. He’ll keep that in mind with his other icemen, the real Iceman remarks from some distance. What does he say? he asks Hank. Original X-Men versus fake Spider-Man beat down? Quite, Beast agrees. Iceman attacks with ice blasts which Kaine dodges. He blinds the X-Men with his webbing but suddenly finds fingers poking out of his forehead. Kitty Pryde has phased her hand through his head. She suggests he surrender.

Jean Grey joins them whining there is someone in her head. Kitty points out this doesn’t narrow it down around here. Suddenly, she screams in fear when Aracely joins them. Aracely apologizes; she can’t seem to stop hurting her friend here (referring to Rachel). Kitty shouts at her to get away.

Kaine uses the moment to kick Kitty away. Beast attacks again but Kaine kicks him off and right into Iceman. Any more icemen for him to break? Kaine asks. Nope, just him, Wolverine snarls, as he unsheathes his claws.

Kaine announces he’s going to have to kill him now. Nothing personal. As Wolverine comes for him, Kaine reminds himself that he is stronger and faster than Wolverine. Nevertheless, Wolverine almost disembowels him in the first second of the fight. When Kaine hits his chin he almost breaks his hand. This guy’s an animal! Kaine’s stronger… faster but Wolverine keeps on getting up. Keeps coming at Kaine.

Prey, another voice in his head says. A claw-like stinger manifests from Kaine’s lower arm and he pierces Wolverine’s heart.

When Kaine’s mind clears again, he feels the stinger in his heart and, without thinking twice, he pulls, shredding Wolverine’s heart in two. He hits the ground dead.

Kaine looks at the shocked faces of Wolverine’s teammates and can only say: “Who’s next?

Characters Involved: 

Kaine / Scarlet Spider


Dr Donald Meland

Beast, Iceman, Kitty Pryde, Rachel Grey, Storm, Wolverine (X-Men / teachers at the Jean Grey School)

Anole, Blindfold, Broo, Dust, Glob Herman Indra, Kid Omega, Match, Mercury, Rockslide (students at the Jean Grey school)

Marvel Girl (time-displaced original X-Man)


Belladonna Boudreaux


Unnamed assassin

Story Notes: 
Issue Information: 
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