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Why Ben Reilly Could Return as SUPERIOR Spider-Man

Small, subtle things have been leaning toward the return of the original Scarlet Spider, and despite his controversial status, many would definitely approve.

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).

There were...certainly other solutions...
There were...certainly other solutions...

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!

The master cloner's been involved in not one but two major storylines recently.
The master cloner's been involved in not one but two major storylines recently.

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.

Still holding out hope for this costume's return.
Still holding out hope for this costume's return.

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.

110 CommentsRefresh
Avatar image for master_thief
Posted By Master_Thief


Avatar image for redmanta
Posted By redmanta

not going to happen SUPERIOR Spider-Man is going to be spider man and he will give up peter parker idintey

Avatar image for mycroftian
Posted By Mycroftian

I'd be behind Ben Reilly taking up the Spider-Man mantle again. Relationship with Kaine alone would be worth it.

Avatar image for guttridgeb
Posted By guttridgeb

As much as I don't want Peter to be replaced, I wouldn't mind of Ben was the new Spider-Man. I would prefer Miguel though.

Avatar image for gui22
Edited By gui22

While I think this Superior Spider-Man idea may be more risk than reward, I always was a big Ben Reilly fan. I just hope Pete isn't put on the sidelines, but that may be hard to pull. Two Spider-Men sounds a bit stupid on paper, but Marvel can just go the DC route after Batman came back from the dead. Peter taking on a new identity sounds a bit complicated but we'll just have to see as it unfoulds I guess.

I still don't get how Miguel would show up in this time era, why is everyone hoping it's him?

Plus, the link has the cover of Superior Spider-Man 4, notice the background fight? Pretty sure that is the Armor suit from the Nobody Dies arc (IIRC that was the name):

Avatar image for avenging_x_bolt
Posted By Avenging-X-Bolt

Ben would be ok for me.

Avatar image for maddpanda
Posted By maddpanda

PLEASE. I loved the Clone Saga so much, PLEASE BE BEN

Avatar image for duo_forbidden
Posted By Duo_forbidden

You know, I was ready to accept (somewhat) that Miguel could POSSIBLY be The Superior Spider-Man, but after reading this article, Ben Reilly would make more sense.

I'm also not fond of Peter not being Spider-Man, but I will be giving Superior Spider-Man a shot.

Avatar image for ME24601
Posted By ME24601

My theory is that Spider-Man will still be Peter Parker, but he won't be going by the name Peter Parker anymore.

Avatar image for jonny_anonymous
Posted By Jonny_Anonymous

@darkrider: that would be a massive let down if thats what Slott did but I don't think it will be Peter. Slott has been hinting for months and months, before any mention of issue 700, in his letter columns, asking what pepole thought of someone else taking the mantle

Avatar image for jonny_anonymous
Posted By Jonny_Anonymous

@gui22: Pepole think it will be Miguel because he was a lot more no nonsense than pete and the term superior really fits the character also the pics shown this new Spider-Man has claws just like Miguel has

Avatar image for powerhouse1122
Posted By powerhouse1122

This gonna be so interesting. So excited!!! :) yeah ben reilly would be a great Idea but please don't put parker on the sidelines... I mean, He is The legendary Peter Parker.

Avatar image for pspin
Posted By pspin

This is interesting and makes sense but honestly I don't know what Marvel has against Peter Parker. They killed him in the Ultimate books, fine it is an ultimate universe but to get rid of the original is just stupid, his death, while a good story, really wasn't that great. I don't understand why Marvel wants to make the regular 616 so much like the Ultimate Universe. But that is a whole other topic.

This is a great article and makes sense, I wish they would keep Peter though.

Avatar image for looper
Edited By looper

Ben Reilly is, was and the best clone. The original Scarlet Spider should come back, but as himself as Ben Reilly. Not with any other alias (spiderman and/ or pet. parker). Come to think of it

What ever happen to Ben?

I read the real Clone Sage (well the newer version with Todd Nauck's artwork) and at the end of the comic, Ben rides away in his cycle and after that gone.

Get The Point
Get The Point

This wasn't the cause of disappearance ----->

Avatar image for malonius
Posted By Malonius

Why didn't Peter and MJ just get divorced?

Avatar image for datnigga

Its Miguel

Avatar image for smart_dork_dude
Posted By Smart_Dork_Dude

In terms of Spider-Men Ben is my favorite. Given how many alternate versions there are I don't see Spider-Man as one character, I see him as an ideal. A symbol of responsibility and sacrifice, which is why on my top favorites list I only list one Spider-Man even though I have numerous other favorite versions aside from Peter Parker.

As such I would be fine with any version we get and look forward to the explanation.

Avatar image for cosmic_flare
Posted By Cosmic_Flare

I would love to see him return, My question is......How could anyone hate that costume?

Avatar image for haydenclaireheroes
Posted By haydenclaireheroes

I wouldn't mind seeing Ben Reilly as Spider-man

Avatar image for smashbrawler
Posted By SmashBrawler

It would be awesome if he returned, to be honest.

Avatar image for decept_o
Posted By Decept-O

Yeah they know about deals with the devil all right. My head is spinning from this, not because I object but it is a bit muddled to grasp.

Avatar image for tyrannotaur
Posted By Tyrannotaur

I think the majority of theories are its either Ben Reilly Miguel O'Hara, Peter Parker with some circumstance that makes him no longer "Peter Parker", or something out of left field. I am hoping it is Ben or Miguel. If they have to replace Peter, then either of them would do a good job.

I still say Peter will be Spider-man again in 2 years once "Amazing Spider-man 2" is out. So whoever takes over will have until then to be Spidey before being replaced by the original.

Avatar image for vincie_pooh
Posted By Vincie_Pooh

I'm all for it! Ben Reilly please be it. I would like to see his 90s outfit go to a mordern day look. But let's see. I've been loving how Scarlet Spider & Venom have been. I would love to see this happen.

Avatar image for sinfulplayerx
Posted By Sinfulplayerx


Avatar image for timelordscience
Posted By TimeLordScience

YES! An article by Corey! Sweet :D

Avatar image for jaredbright
Posted By jaredbright

Ben Reilly was a great incarnation of the character. Certainly a better single Spider-man than the current one. I tried reading after all that Unmasking, OMD stuff but they ruined it for me. I don't think they would help my hand from reaching for a Spider-man comic, unfortunantly. I can't even pick up the book just to look at the cover anymore.

If they wrote him as they did back then, that would help.

Avatar image for jawshco
Posted By Jawshco

@undeadpool Corey you're alive!!! Will you be back to the podcasts soon?

Miguel O'Hara from 2099 was my favorite comic for awhile. I'm really rooting for it to be him. I understand the interest in Ben Reilly and why he makes sense, but I would prefer Miguel.

If Peter does get to retire and reunite with MJ, I want to see some May Day Parker!!! Spider-girl from M2 rocked!

Avatar image for hollowprince665
Posted By HollowPrince665

@guttridgeb: It cant be Miguel. He's 2099 Spider-man. I'd be down for a relaunch of that btw.

Avatar image for iaconpoint
Posted By iaconpoint

Only Ben or Miguel would make me want to pick up this book and Ben doesn't have talons.

Hasn't history proven that trying to replace Peter is doomed to failure? Time and time and time again?

Avatar image for evilandy
Posted By EvilAndy

I don't know. The Clone Saga was ultimately a failure, is Marvel really so inept as to recycle that idea? But then after OMD I guess anything is possible.

Avatar image for brewski420
Posted By brewski420

I have a feeling its going to be Harry Osborn for some reason

Avatar image for hollowprince665
Posted By HollowPrince665

I really hate to burst everyone's bubble but...Miguel O'Hara is 2099 spider-man. Unless he can travel back like... 80 year, its not him in that suit. Ben Reilly is more possible.

Avatar image for jamdamage
Posted By JamDamage

isn't already known it's the Miguel O'hara or what ever his name is from SM 2099

Avatar image for jawshco
Posted By Jawshco
@HollowPrince665. Ah, but Miguel O'Hara was in the Exiles, a time and dimension traveling team that could easily drop him off in the current 616. I believe it's certainly plausible to have this Superior Spiderman be Miguel.
Avatar image for deadcool
Posted By Deadcool

I thought that it would be Miguel, and that he would be able to do something with his eyes.

Avatar image for sideslash
Posted By Sideslash

*Starts chanting.* Ben. Ben. Ben. Ben.

Avatar image for tmul501
Posted By Tmul501

I would love for it to be Ben. Not sure why he would have different powers this time around (the claws and all that). We'll see. But I would love to see Ben return...but i'm not holding my breath.

Avatar image for peevo
Posted By Peevo

Slott accidentally tweeted who SSM is in what he thought was a dm to Ryan Stegman.

Avatar image for gothamred
Edited By GothamRed

I've heard rumors that it could be Miguel O'Hara as well.

I hope it's ben though, he was a good character and it'd be nice to see him come back and finally take his rightful spot at peter's replacement. Marvel's been making good moves with Marvel NOW! so far, so who knows?

Avatar image for bloggerboy
Posted By bloggerboy

@Sideslash said:

*Starts chanting.* Ben. Ben. Ben. Ben.

Beni Beni Basara Basara!

Avatar image for baberaham_lincoln
Posted By Baberaham_Lincoln

Ben or Miguel... but i reckon Ben would be better, especially with his old costume

Avatar image for jawshco
Posted By Jawshco

BTW- as great as Grim Hunt was, I thought Skin was the most exciting and crazy storyline of the post Brand New Day ASM. That was just shocking!

Avatar image for spiderturtle
Posted By spiderturtle

Peter and MJ remarry but MJ cant take Pete being Spidey so with him being a genius and all he's going to "Oracle"....BEN REILLY. dum dum dummmmm.

Avatar image for frogoat
Posted By frogoat

Ben Reilly returning could be a great creative opportunity, if done right. That said, I doubt it somewhat. The preview images and covers we've seen in solicitations look more like Miguel O'Hara. But, hey, either way, I'd still give it a chance.

Avatar image for andrewbullheaded
Edited By andrewbullheaded

The title of this post is surely written by the real deadpool.

Avatar image for htb106
Posted By htb106

@darkrider: Are you Dan Slott? Stan Lee? Joe quesada? Stephen Wacker? Ryan Stegman?

No, you're not so don't act like someone else's theory could NEVER happen.

Avatar image for tximinoman
Posted By tximinoman

Ben Reily was one of the (many) things that were awful in the 90's.

Please, don't bring him back.

Avatar image for guttridgeb
Posted By guttridgeb

@HollowPrince665:DATNIGGA made a pretty good case for why it could be Miguel here.

Avatar image for lvenger
Posted By lvenger

Ben was far more optimistic than Peter and that's saying something. The Superior Spider-Man is a far darker character. I still think that the two most likely solutions are either it's Peter Parker undergoing a major change to make him darker and be completely different to the Peter Parker we know today or it's Miguel O'Hara