Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Twin (Kaine)

"...the Twin..."
John 11:16

I'm sure that I don't have to tell you that there are many versions of Spider-Man out there. There's always the basic Amazing Spider-Man (the normal one of Earth 616). There are the Identity Crisis Spider-Man(s). There's a powerless Spider-Man, there's a zombie Spider-Man, and there's an Indian Spider-Man. There are "What If?" universe Spider-Man(s). There are Spider-Man(s) from different time periods (1602, Noir, and 2099). There's also an Ultimate universe that includes at least one Spider-Man (Peter Parker) who is now deceased and his replacement, Miles Morales. For a longer list click here.

It is always interesting to read how different these Spider-Man(s) can be while remaining so similar. They tend to believe the same things ("With great power comes great responsibility."), they tend to act the same (both nerdy and heroic), and they all could be the real Spider-Man under different circumstances. There's always a little bit of Peter Parker in there somewhere.

One of the most interesting series of different Spider-Man(s) is in the realm of the clones. The Jackal decides to defeat Spider-Man by creating clones of him. The first of Jackal's clones is Kaine.

Being Jackal's first attempt at re-creating Peter Parker, Kaine has some physical defects. Not only that, he slowly degenerates. Yet, in other areas Kaine is stronger than Pete ever was. Not only does he have Pete's strength, speed, and agility, he has also been created with a "Precognitive Sense" which is like the "Spider Sense" on steroids (granting glimpses of the future instead of only a warning feeling). He also has the "Mark of Kaine" that releases acid from his hands (from an enhanced version of clinging to walls like Pete's hands do).

I'm not sure how Kaine overcomes his degenerating problem, but by the end of it he switches sides. Instead of remaining brainwashed by the Jackal, Kaine sides with Pete. Yet, because of his dark background he walks off into the sunset.

Recently, Kaine has resurfaced as Houston's protector: Scarlet Spider (a semi-darker version of Manhattan's [Peter Parker] Spider-Man).

In the Bible, the disciple Thomas was known as "the Twin" (literally what his name [T'oma] meant in Aramaic) or duplicate. It is not clear who Thomas' other twin was. He could have been ours. In a different time, in a different place, under different circumstances, we could have been Thomas. Thomas could have been us.

We could have been the one who, after Jesus had finished discussing his death along with Lazarus's, stated (perhaps skeptically or sarcastically), "Let us also go [with Jesus], that we may die with him" (John 11:16).

Or, we could have been Thomas here:

"Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, 'We have seen the Lord.' But he said to them, 'Unless I see his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe" (John 20:24-25).

We could have been the one missing when Jesus returned. We could have been the one to make the claim, in denial, that we could never believe that Jesus had resurrected unless we saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands.

"...Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you.' Then he said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.' Thomas answered him, 'My Lord and my God!' Jesus said to him, 'Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed'" (John 20:25-29).

Jesus came back to Thomas, just as he had come back for us (in his resurrection). He comes back in faith through the Holy Spirit. As long as we do not deny Christ (as Thomas originally had), we can believe.

In many ways, we could have been Thomas. We doubt. We are unsure. We become skeptical or sarcastic. But, at the same time, we are not quite the same.

Like Kaine, Thomas lived his own life. Even though it may be similar to ours, both living out the Gospel and sharing it with those around us. We live 2000 years later. We cherish the faith that Christ has died and rose to redeem us for the sin that we constantly commit. We trust the news that he is risen, instead of being filled with doubt. We believe although we "have not seen."

God's peace.

For more information specifically on the clone saga:

This has been part of the Spider-Man Series

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