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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 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?

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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!

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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 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 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.

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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 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.

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Posted By redmanta

i was wrong

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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,

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...