By Ben Morse

The latest webslinger in the Marvel Universe may have a known name and familiar face, but that’s about it.

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.

While Kaine has traditionally been a loner at best and anti-social at worst, his role as The Scarlet Spider will bring him into contact with those around him like never before as he attempts to forge his own life for the first time ever. Chris Yost spoke on the people who will populate our hero’s expanding world.

SCARLET SPIDER #1 inked preview art by Ryan Stegman

Who will be Kaine’s supporting cast?

Chris Yost: Well, as of the POINT ONE story, Kaine has absolutely zero supporting cast members. He’s on the road heading to Mexico, trying to start a new life. And on a stop in Houston to, how shall we say, “acquire” some funds, he saves a life. And that one action snowballs into a few things that Kaine never wanted: being a hero and meeting new people. Kaine doesn’t want to be a hero, and he’s not exactly a people person.

But when he saves 16 year old Aracely’s life, things get messy. He then meets a doctor at Houston’s medical center, bringing him this half-dead girl, and nearly kills a policeman there as well. Kaine makes a memorable first impression on people. Finally, he checks into the Four Seasons hotel, where he meets a bartender/singer named Annabelle. These four people will initially be his supporting cast.

How will the characters he meets in his civilian life shape that persona?

Chris Yost: Like I said, Kaine’s not much of a people person. He scares the crap out of the doctor, he nearly kills the cop—but post-Spider Island, Kaine is increasingly aware of his behavior. His mind is no longer degrading, he can see these things more clearly now. He can stop himself and say, “What the hell am I doing?” before he breaks somebody’s neck.

And honestly, just being around other people can’t help but change him. The cast doesn’t know much about Kaine, they see him as a hero. And that’s something Kaine has never considered himself.

Will there be other heroes he encounters as The Scarlet Spider?

The Rangers

Chris Yost: While Houston is a fairly unexplored city in the Marvel Universe, there is a group of heroes that somewhat patrol the Southwest, so you can expect a visit from the Rangers. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but it’s not going to go so well. Kaine’s style of “heroics” isn’t necessarily going to mesh well with other heroes. Kaine also isn’t so much on the social niceties.

Will Kaine have a love interest? How will his past and emotional issues help or hinder such relationships?

Chris Yost: Wait, do you mean like that time he was in love with that girl who he later killed? Yes, that might be an issue for Kaine as he navigates the new women in his life. Kaine isn’t so good at the secret identity thing, so things are going to get complicated for him quickly with his supporting cast, and talk about a past that’s set and primed to come back and bite you.

You think Peter Parker’s got it bad? “Oh no, what if they find out I’m a super-hero!” Kaine’s grim past would be a little harder to deal with for a prospective girlfriend—unless one of those girls is a crazy psychopath. But she doesn’t appear until later.

How will this cast contrast with the traditional Spider-Man family?

SCARLET SPIDER #1 cover by Ryan Stegman

Chris Yost: Peter’s friends are people he’s known for a long time, people who will always be there for him. Betty, Flash, Mary Jane, Robbie—they’re good people who have a lot of history with Peter, who’s a really nice guy.

Kaine is rough around the edges to say the least. There’s something about him that people will respond to, but he doesn’t make it easy. They want to believe the best in him, but honestly, everyone in the cast is in for a wild ride on this one.

Will Kaine have any sort of mentor, in or out of the mask?

Chris Yost: No. He’s on his own. No safety net, no guide, no handbook. He’s starting a new life after years of being a psycho super villain. And he’s going to struggle with it. He’s going to fail a lot, both in his new life and as a “hero.”

Will Kaine seek people out or will they have to come to him?

Chris Yost: It’s going to be case by case, but Kaine’s going to meet people [based on the situation]. He needs a doctor, he meets a doctor. He runs into a cop, he saves a life, he gets a drink—this is how people meet people, I’m told. But when someone does seek him out, you’ll know it. Because anyone who wants to find Kaine has a very likely dangerous reason for seeking him out. Like those assassins that come calling.

Who do you think will surprise people as a possible breakout member of this supporting cast?

Chris Yost: Aracely. Despite her amnesia and the language barrier, she should be a lot of fun.

Tomorrow, we take a look at the villains who will plague The Scarlet Spider. And remember to pick up SCARLET SPIDER #1 on January 11!

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