One More Day stands as one of the few times comic fans actually followed through on their threats to drop a series. Sales showed a marked drop in the immediate following issues, DESPITE the fact that the creative teams did an amazing (pun FULLY intended) job with the character in the aftermath and told some of the most interesting, character-building stories in the last several decades (particularly the Grim Hunt storyline, which could have a whole other article dedicated to why it was an extremely risky idea that worked out great).
But what if there was another way? What if there was a way to bring about a "single, younger, unattached" Spider-Man withOUT having to resort to selling his marriage to the devil? We've come up with a few examples of what could have taken the place of that storyline, but none of those answers ever included one from the past, until our own editor-in-chief, Tony Guerrero, talked about it on a podcast: why not a clone?
Ben Reilly was originally meant to be a replacement for Peter Parker, but unfortunately the storyline of his succession was clouded with confounding retcons and nonsensical twists (Ben Reilly being the original while Peter Parker's twenty years of continuity as a clone being prime among them), the actual intent was quite noble: Peter Parker would remain married to Mary-Jane Watson and would be a mentor to this new Spider-Man, who was his clone...alright, it's not perfect, but these days it's feeling quite possible.== TEASER ==
Think about it: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN writer Dan Slott has claimed that he'll have to go into hiding and give no interviews after ASM #700 is released, so unless he's very intentionally misleading readers, it will have to be something big. What could trigger such a response in fans? The resurrection of Gwen Stacy or Uncle Ben?? While Ed Brubaker may have changed the retcon from dirty word to worthy plot point, the two of them (either or both) returning would be far, far worse than Jason Todd or Bucky!
And there hasn't been any indication to harbor their return, BUT Marvel has been putting out the Complete Ben Reilly Epic volumes (a practice they honed while putting out Venom's '90s books before unveiling Flash Thompson as the new symbiote's host), as well as Scarlet Spider figures and even placing the character in their multimedia empire (the costume is an unlockable in the underrated Shattered Dimensions game) even though that specific costume is widely hated by all but a select (wise) group of editors/users/freelancers on an ESPECIALLY glorious comic book website.
And lest you think we're reading too much into it: remember that Marvel has already begun promoting the Guardians of the Galaxy in their comics and games in preparation for a movie two years away (at minimum) and even created a book series (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE) that more closely mirrored the continuity of another one of their movies. But even beyond that, for fans of Amazing Spider-Man Ben Reilly's return makes plenty of sense.
Jackal, the evil mastermind behind the clones originally has returned to prominence in both the Spider Island storyline as well as returning to menace Peter's most recent protege Alpha, and even the brand Scarlet Spider has returned led by Kaine, another Parker clone, in his own title. Most of all: the presence of Ben Reilly frees Peter Parker to return to a life of relative calm AND, as has been frequently mentioned, there was no reason for Reilly to dissolve at the end of his run as it had already been mentioned that he was a so-called "perfect clone:" not possessing the genetic flaw that caused them to breakdown. It wouldn't even be the end of Parker in the comics, he could still be a mentor/advisor within the title.
The Clone Saga essentially was Marvel's first attempt at a One More Day-style resetting of Spider-Man's life, but it seemed to turn into a case of too many clashing ideas with different creators having different storylines, different visions contradicting each other and, ultimately, being impenetrably confusing and rejected by fans, requiring still ANOTHER messy retcon in the melting of the "perfect" clone.
If we consider that Ben Reilly essentially IS Peter Parker, complete with the parental figures of Aunt May and Uncle Ben (from which his name is derived) but without the inherent attachement to MJ or Black Cat: we get a completely unattached Spider-Man, which is what One More Day was supposed to achieve, but instead of an out-of-nowhere retcon involving unnecessary demonic intervention, it's something that should have happened decades ago, just more gracefully. It isn't at all that Peter Parker isn't a worthwhile protagonist, it's that Marvel has been trying to find a way for him to step aside, not be eliminated fully, even since before One More Day.