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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 phaedrusgr
Posted By Phaedrusgr

@Undeadpool: I was reading your well-structured arguments on why should we expect Ben Reily as Superior Spiderman. I wish you were right...

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Posted By kim793

@Loise, you make $27h thats great going girl good for you! My story is that I quit working at shoprite to work online, seriously I couldn't be happier I work when I want and where I want. And with a little effort I easily bring in $35h and sometimes even as much as $85h…heres a good example of what i'm doing,

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Posted By redmanta

i was wrong

Avatar image for travmadison
Posted By travmadison

@weenman1: I still own 75, hell I am still trying to finish off my collection of the whole clone saga one of the few series and stories i want to have finished, I am about roughly i would say 85-95% completed on it, and yes it showed him clearly dying, but as i posted to blues32, there are ways around it, one of which as i said in that reply could be one way of doing so.

Avatar image for spiderfreak55
Posted By spiderfreak55

I hate to see Peter Parker go, but if anyone should take up the mantle it should be Ben Reilly.

Avatar image for csguterres
Posted By csguterres

"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."

Peter is just too popular to be put aside for good. They can't even change his costume permanently! "Superior" Spider-Man will last only for a few months and then everything goes back to normal.

Avatar image for weenman1
Posted By weenman1

and how are they going to get around Ben's death? I remember issue 75 and it was pretty clear he was dead.

Avatar image for omgomgwtfwtf
Posted By OmgOmgWtfWtf

Who said the Superior Spider-man had to be a man ;D? For all we know Marvel could be throwing us a curve ball!!! It will most likely be Spider-Woman!!!!!! The British girl with gigantic boobs!!!

Avatar image for travmadison
Posted By travmadison

@Blues32: There are simple and easy and even logical ways around the ben is dust issue. How I would do it is simple, because Osborn was behind all the Clones, and since there were so many it would not be hard to imagine that Osborn once again switched out the clone for another clone, wanting to keep Ben alive to keep punishing him since he could never seem to get the best of Peter, and because of OMD his memory of who Spider-man was is erased and because of the he forgotten that he had Ben held captive, which Harry of even Doc Ock could find, and rescue or release to help Spidey out and thus his return from the dead. Yeah seems like a semi cheap way out but if written well with that form of thought and placement would in fact be a good way to return Ben back from the dead so to speak. Not to mention it should have been pretty suspect the fact that ben did turn to dust in the first place given the fact that they kept saying that Ben was the perfect Clone, no form of degeneration of the cells, so if he died he would have just died like a normal person and not turned to cell dust. At least that is my hope for a Ben Reilly return. viva la clone!

Avatar image for travmadison
Posted By travmadison

@Mediumflyer7: Well there are a few things which have lead me to this, one, his random ass showing back up in the last issue of Amazing, I mean he has not been heard from in a long time, and was supposed to have gone totally underground yet out of no where peter calls him on a cell phone......Yeah seems a bit suspect. Not to mention Slott saying the person has history in the Spidey verse, which we all know Harry does. and the final bit is the Spidey MJ stuff, lets not forget that they were once an item. Again this is all just my random guess, but if Slott wanted to pull a fast one and use someone who is logical but angry mob worthy it would be either Ben or Harry, his "tweet" about 2099 was a clear fake out. Plus if it was him that would just be an awful jumping of the shark for the book by every standard possible. That is my evidence. any thoughts?

Avatar image for twistedbishop
Posted By TwistedBishop

Marvel is too in love with riding whatever the current pop culture craze happens to be. With the ASM movies just starting a new trilogy, no way would they give up Peter Parker as Spider-Man. I'd put my bets on them finding some way to bring Gwen back to life.

Avatar image for themess1428
Posted By TheMess1428

@thespideyguy: Peter doesn't need to kill Doctor Octopus. He's going to die on his own anyways.

Avatar image for deadcool
Posted By Deadcool


I am not sure how the heck Dan would manage this, but no, no... the new Spider-man is:

The Doctor Octopus!!!!

Avatar image for yteez
Posted By yteez

Spider-Man to me is Peter Parker and that's that. I liked Ben Reilly and it'd be great if they brought him back, but no way in hell would it be a good move to replace Pete as SM

Avatar image for draketheslaughter
Posted By DraketheSlaughter

@Icon: I agree why can't Peter Parker be Spider-Man plus Ben is dead....Dead and should stay that way. There already had a clone event don't need more. :P

Avatar image for lvenger
Posted By lvenger

@Mycroftian said:

My bad. The Alpha reference to Peter I was thinking of wasn't in the solicit, it was here:

Two things of note in this article:

  1. Peter is still with Horizon
  2. Superior is on the cover with Alpha, not the more traditional Spider-Man

Definitely interesting to see where all this is headed. Personally, I could see Peter becoming more like a Hank Pym/Reed Richards-like figure after giving up the Spider-Man mantle. Slott certainly has been emphasizing the science...

Ah I hadn't seen this before. That adds a wrinkle to mine and Strider's theories that Peter's still Spider-Man. Still Slott is a master of misdirection so he might be concealing the truth amongst all the rumours so that it's staring us in the face. In any case, I guess we'll have to wait until ASM 700 and Superior Spider-Man 1 to find out the truth.

Avatar image for wr3h
Posted By wr3h

That's a nice idea.

As long as Peter's alive in 616 then it's all good.

Avatar image for bigmaraspence
Posted By BigMaraSpence

I feel like the beginning of SSM is kind of casting a shadow over the end of ASM. One of the greatest comic books, ever, is coming to an end (temporarily or permanently) and I am more interested in that, as of now. I'll worry about who the new guy on the block is when he shows up.

Avatar image for tdk_1997
Posted By TDK_1997

I have never liked Ben Reily.He hasn't been a character that was ever and can be interesting to me.I think that Miguel would be a better choice and particulary would like him more as Superior Spider-Man.

Avatar image for mediumflyer7
Posted By Mediumflyer7

@travmadison: Whats the evidence it might be Harry then?

Avatar image for maki_p
Posted By Maki_P

I never understood why Ben had to die. I mean, sure we didn't need 2 spider-men, but that doesn't mean he had to die. He could've just sit in the background and have a bastard son like in MC2 or something

Avatar image for Degalon
Posted By Degalon

If they brought him back...i'd want him back in his Spider-Man costume. I loved that costume. SO Much. I still think of it over the regular Spidey costume just because that costume stands out more, to me.

If I could see that costume come back (Spider-Man 2, not Scarlet Spider), I'd be happy. Plus that way, Kaine wouldn't have to give up his new identity as the second Scarlet Spider.

Avatar image for redheadedatrocitus
Posted By RedheadedAtrocitus

Funny how you came across that idea, because frankly its something It hought about years back, bringing back Ben Reilly just for purposes similar to what you state. I'm all for it, and if that's what Slott's intending, then good for him I say. Ben Reilly 4 Superior Spider-Man!

Avatar image for rscotth08
Posted By RScottH08

I'm still leaning to Miguel. The pic with the claws, the comments about the superior spidey having something wrong with his eyes, makes more sense to me that way. Then again it could just be Slott leading us all on.

Avatar image for mycroftian
Posted By Mycroftian

My bad. The Alpha reference to Peter I was thinking of wasn't in the solicit, it was here:

Two things of note in this article:

  1. Peter is still with Horizon
  2. Superior is on the cover with Alpha, not the more traditional Spider-Man

Definitely interesting to see where all this is headed. Personally, I could see Peter becoming more like a Hank Pym/Reed Richards-like figure after giving up the Spider-Man mantle. Slott certainly has been emphasizing the science...

Avatar image for travmadison
Posted By travmadison

There are two logical outcomes for this, One it will be Ben Reilly (which i am hoping for) or the big piss off need to hide moment will be the fact that Harry will become the new Spider-man. And there is evidence to support both claims.

Avatar image for mrpandopool
Posted By mrpandopool

I think the superior spiderman is going to be someone close to Peter and Mj beacuse I don´t think Peter even in a depowered or retired state (yeah I´m pretty sure he going to be depowered or retired of the shocking event of #700 at least for the superior series) he is going to give someone completly unknown his alter-ego, his image, his legacy. Even Slott said on twitter that the new spidey has a serious spider-pedigree (thats how he said it) so it has to be someone who has experience using powers and the trust of Peter to be Spiderman. And I said MJ too beacuse it´s obvious that Peter is going to ask her for some advise or she is going to be there when the new spidey is born but as it was established MJ and this Spidey are maybe going to be a couple (I doubt that) but MJ it´s not the type of character that falls in love in two issues (considering the cover for number two although her expresison shows surprise more than love) she has to know him if they are going to establish a relationship so fast and if not I bet she is going to unveil the truth pretty fast.

Avatar image for blues32
Posted By Blues32

For god's sake, he's dead! I liked Ben too, but he died properly! I don't mind some comic book resurrections, but not Ben Riley. He turned to dust! There's no way he'd be alive. And the reason he turned to dust was because he DIED! That's why the "perfect clone" turned to dust. Because his metabolic processes came to a sudden, screeching halt. Just leave the man dead. Besides, he's hardly a more hardcore version of Spider-Man. He's identical to him! There would be no change in behavior at all. How would he be a "Superior Spider-Man"?

Avatar image for kid_apollo
Edited By kid Apollo

if they brought Ben back it would be sick. Pete, Ben, Kaine, Eddy, and Flash as the spider clan. id read that event any day

Avatar image for sinfulplayerx
Edited By Sinfulplayerx

I think it's all a temporary stunt to either get Ben Reilly back from the dead or SpiderMan 2099 into the currect Earth 616. Getting rid of Peter parker would be like getting rid of Clark Kent Or Bruce Banner. Then again....... look what they did to Nick Fury....

Avatar image for ronzimmerman
Posted By ronzimmerman



Avatar image for scarspider
Posted By scarspider

Please let Ben be Superior Spider-Man! And if he's not, just bring him back already Marvel!

Avatar image for redhood21
Posted By redhood21


Avatar image for zghost
Posted By Zghost

I think Peter is going to get really hurt where he wont be able to be spiderman anymore. I would love for it to be ben and it would mak more sense sense you see superior spider-man kissing mj on one of the covers as he knows the history. My biggest question is how how would they bring him back and how is doc oct involved sense he knows peters secret

Avatar image for mewmdude77
Posted By mewmdude77

Either Ben or Miguel is fine with me, they're both awesome, and it would be neat to see either of them back. I do have a problem with this article though. The part about the Grim Hunt. I liked Grim Hunt until they brought Kraven back, and then just did nothing with him after Grim Hunt. I mean, Kraven is one of my favorite villains, and they're not using him to his full potential. why bring him back just to put him in comic limbo?

Avatar image for barkley
Posted By Barkley

ive always liked Ben Reily

Avatar image for jeanroygrant
Posted By jeanroygrant

What about both ? And wouldn't they have to kill peter first ?

Avatar image for jeanroygrant
Posted By jeanroygrant

@Master_Thief said:

Avatar image for icon
Posted By Icon

I'll never understand Marvel's desire to get rid of Peter Parker. Spider-Man is Peter Parker. Spider-Man isn't a job title you can pass onto whoever wants it. It is an identity created by Peter Parker. It is him. All these other Spider-Men are in bad taste imo. Anyway we'll see what happens.

Avatar image for clintseviltwin
Posted By ClintsEvilTwin

@Onemoreposter said:

The superior spiderman will be Ben Parker. Cloned and given his nephews powers by the Jackal.

Interesting. I dig this theory.

@Lvenger: This would be pretty cool

Avatar image for cmaprice
Edited By cmaprice

Anyone consider them plucking Miles Morales out of the Ultimate continuity?
Not saying I want it to happen, or that I think it's likely.
As for the image of Spidey kissing MJ, that could be Peter, while someone else takes over the superhero stuff.

Avatar image for nxh
Posted By NXH

I'd be okay with that.

Avatar image for onemoreposter
Posted By Onemoreposter

The superior spiderman will be Ben Parker. Cloned and given his nephews powers by the Jackal.

Avatar image for d_knight
Edited By D_Knight

i think alpha may use his diminished alpha powers to fake spider powers like super strength and wall climbing to fill in for peter for some reason like peter powers go out or someone dies causing him to take a step back for a bit.

though, i would love for ben to come back!

Avatar image for bluelantern1995
Posted By BlueLantern1995

I hope Ben returns, that would be AWESOME!

Avatar image for realitywarper
Posted By RealityWarper

Let's Spidercide get back.

He's not really dead.

Ben Reilly has returned to dust.

Avatar image for stmichalofwilson
Posted By StMichalofWilson

I still think it's gonna be Harry Osborn, but if Ben's coming back, that'll be good too.

Avatar image for lvenger
Posted By lvenger

@Mycroftian said:

That's a pretty sweet theory (I'd be all for it), but Peter is in the solicits for February's Venom and Alpha issues, so it seems unlikely.

He's not in the Alpha solicitation but I didn't notice that in the Venom one. However it has to be admitted that

  1. Peter's been replaced before and Slott promised something new for Peter, something that had never happened before
  2. Slott is a huge Spider-Man fan, especially a Peter Parker fan. And when someone's a huge fan of a character, killing him off or replacing him isn't something Slott would like to do. So the other option is to do something that changes his status quo but keeps him as Spider-Man

Peter's in the February 2013 solict for Venom so I don't think everyone will forget about him.

Avatar image for wowlock
Posted By Wowlock

Sometimes, I wonder if Marvel really want to cripple their titles by going through with their '' smart'' twists that would ultimately end in failure ...and then they want to cover it up with even MORE failures.

I keep thinking that this 'Superior' Spider-man may try to be too much of a Batman and lose it's uniqueness of Spider-man.

If it is Ben Reilly and Peter might get a time off with his life with MJ or Aunt May , I can say '' fine , give the guy a break and bring the new guy '' but the early info we have does not sound promising to me.

Avatar image for mycroftian
Posted By Mycroftian

That's a pretty sweet theory (I'd be all for it), but Peter is in the solicits for February's Venom and Alpha issues, so it seems unlikely.