By Ben Morse
When SCARLET SPIDER #1 swings into stores on January 11, Peter Parker’s clone, Kaine, lands in a new city—Houston, Texas—where he’ll encounter new friends, new threats and build a new life for himself. Spinning out of Spider-Island, SCARLET SPIDER promises a wallcrawling experience the likes of which you’ve never seen.
All this week, with the help of writer Chris Yost and artist Ryan Stegman, we’ll be exploring the World of The Scarlet Spider in order to prepare you for a hero unlike any other.
Kaine has spent many years walking on the dark side and knows what villainy looks like. In his new role as The Scarlet Spider, he will be confronted by threats in various forms and face them as a hero for the first time in his life. We spoke with Chris Yost about what kinds of bad guys to expect when SCARLET SPIDER gets underway.
|Kaine during his own villain days|
What types of threats will Kaine be up against as The Scarlet Spider?
Chris Yost: Kaine isn't your typical super hero, so he's not going to be running up against your typical villains. In the first issue, he tracks down what appears to be a drug deal and beats everybody up—that's what super heroes do, right? But instead of waiting for the police, Kaine robs them. He's really not focused on heroics initially, he's more focused on getting out of the country so that he can start this new life he's been given.
But all that being said, once he gets his act together, Scarlet Spider is going to go up against some serious stuff, from general crime to super villains, monsters to corporations, and finally himself. Because Kaine's past may be his biggest villain. The shadow of all the horrible things he's done looms large over Kaine.
Will super villains or general crime by taking up most of his time?
Chris Yost: There will be a pretty decent split between the two. Kaine's day to day life isn't going to be normal. He's never been a hero before. He's going to mess up; we see it as early as issue one when he tries to save a little old lady. It goes horrifically bad. So when he goes out on “patrol,” he's as dangerous as the criminals. Part of the fun is watching him learn all this. After all, up until recently, he was a super villain.
And while Kaine is going to try being a hero, he's also learning to be a regular human being, too. This is a man who's never had a life. So a lot of his focus will be on himself, too.
|SCARLET SPIDER #1 cover by Ryan Stegman|
Are there already threats in Houston when Kaine arrives or does The Scarlet Spider attract their presence?
Chris Yost: There are threats in Houston, and then Scarlet Spider's arrival makes it worse. His presence has a ripple effect. He stumbles across a crime, intervenes, and then things go out of control. And soon enough, Scarlet Spider will attract threats. There's a good reason Kaine's on the run, not just from the law. There are other people out there that wouldn't mind finding Kaine.
What about Houston makes it a place bad guys will want to set up shop?
Chris Yost: Well, there [are] people there. Money. Business. A great location, proximity to the Gulf and Mexico. And it's a major U.S. city. There's going to be crime. There's crime there right now, even as we speak. And even though Houston's never had its own super hero before, who's to say they never had their own super villain?
When Scarlet Spider comes to town, there [are] a lot of people very happy about a super hero finally coming to Houston. And there's a pretty good reason why.
Will we see any familiar villains in Scarlet Spider?
Chris Yost: Absolutely. At least one major Spider-Man villain is slated to show up, a group from the X-Men books will make an appearance, [and] a little company by the name of Roxxon has a branch in Houston. Marvel's villains are going to be well represented here in SCARLET SPIDER.
What new villains have you created for this series? Where did the ideas for them come from?
|SCARLET SPIDER #2 cover by Ryan Stegman|
Chris Yost: The very first time we talked, artist Ryan Stegman expressed the desire to really create a lot of new characters, so that's what we're going to do. The villain in the first two issues is a very nasty guy called Xiuhcoatl, named after the mythological Aztec Fire Serpent. He's come to Houston to clean up a mess, and The Scarlet Spider is standing in his way.
In every case, the new villains are designed to give Scarlet Spider the biggest challenge possible.
Will there be alliances between various villains or groups?
Chris Yost: There's a lot of connections here, some that will be obvious, some that won't be clear until later. There's a general arc in SCARLET SPIDER that's going to tie a lot of disparate elements together, including the villains.
How is Kaine’s approach to dealing with enemies different from, say, Spider-Man’s?
Chris Yost: Well, Kaine's first instinct when dealing with an enemy is to kill them. So that's a little different. I think the biggest challenge Kaine is going to have in dealing with all these threats is that the easiest solution in every single case is to kill them. By not killing them, Kaine is going to be acting against his nature; against his instincts. Against what he feels is common sense.
Kaine is going to be able to understand some of these villains better than Spider-Man ever would, because he's been in their shoes. He's been a super villain and killer. And he's going to use that understanding to his own advantage.
Tomorrow, we highlight SCARLET SPIDER artist Ryan Stegman. And remember to pick up SCARLET SPIDER #1 on January 11!