Spider-Man Amazing Spider-Man: Remember Ben Reilly?

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E

Moderator
Excelsior Club
Via Marvel:

Don't you just hate it when your clone pops back into your life at the most inconvenient time?

The man who shared Spider-Man's DNA reaches out from beyond the grave as writer Marc Guggenheim sets out to answer the question "Who Was Ben Reilly?" beginning in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #608 on October 7, illustrated by Marco Checchetto and Luke Ross.

Ben Reilly, one of the central figures in the Clone Saga that ran through all of Spider-Man's titles in the late 90's, met his demise at the hands of Norman Osborn at that story's conclusion. But while Guggenheim's upcoming tale will revisit the character, its origins didn't begin with Spider-Man's most infamous clone.

"Well, the original idea behind this story wasn't related to Ben or the Clone Saga at all," reveals Guggenheim. "Rather, I was interested in the idea of a villain who hated Peter Parker, not Spider-Man. But Pete's such a nice guy. What could he do that would ever make someone mad enough to kill him? And then I tumbled to the idea that he wouldn't-but perhaps Ben might. And that's what set me down the Ben Reilly path."

Just because Ben and Peter share the same genetics doesn't mean they share a personality. Looking back at the character, Guggenheim found a number of disparities between Peter and his clone, beginning with Ben's "lack of baggage."

"I don't just mean the fact he wasn't married," the writer elaborates. "I'm also thinking of all the years of continuity he wasn't carrying around upon his 'return.' Plus, the idea of a super hero fallen from grace was really interesting. Inner torment is a big part of what makes Spider-Man-the comic, not the character-Spider-Man, and the idea that Ben was a 'cast-off' made for a lot of interesting drama. He's a much darker character than Peter was and I found that interesting."

In recent years, a vocal contingent of fans have expressed their desire to see the Clone Saga revisited, something Guggenheim attributes to their own first encounters with Spider-Man's world.

"Well, I think it just goes to prove Stan Lee's axiom that 'every comic is someone's first,'" posits Guggenheim. "For a lot of people, the Clone Saga was their first exposure to Spider-Man and I think they justifiably have fond memories of that virginal experience. Plus, it had never really been done before in comics-and, arguably, since-so while one may quibble with the execution at times, it was, and remains, a truly bold and interesting idea."

Beyond Ben Reilly, Guggenheim hints that at least one other character from the Clone Saga will make a return in the upcoming story arc.

"One word: Kaine," teases the writer. "Well, that's not really a word, it's a name. But still...Kaine. I'm just saying."

Moving to the present day, readers of this summer's AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #36 may recognize this story's main antagonist: the Raptor.

"Raptor is a formerly 'regular' guy who blames Ben Reilly for the death of his family," Guggenheim divulges. "We'll see over the course of the arc whether Ben really is to blame, but maybe my response earlier regarding Ben's 'darkness' provides a hint. And now he's come to New York to take revenge on Ben, who he believes is living under the assumed alias of Peter Parker. You can't blame the guy, really. A new identity is a whole lot more believable than the idea that Peter is really Ben's clone."

The question of Ben's guilt will also haunt Peter as he begins to learn more about the Raptor and his history.

"Guilt is the central star in Peter's universe," notes Guggenheim. "Everything is the poor guy's fault. He even feels guilty that Paula Abdul left 'American Idol.' And he really doesn't know whether Ben killed Raptor's family or not, and that thought plagues him."

Guggenheim's upcoming story will also mark his last outing in Spider-Man's world for the foreseeable future, as the writer reveals that commitments elsewhere have forced him to step down from the Webheads.

"This will be my last arc on the book as a member of Spidey's 'Webheads,'" Guggenheim confirms. "I'd been thinking of an exit strategy for a while now because my workload has gotten so heavy, and the inter-coordination required to write Spider-Man was something I found myself having less and less time to devote to. I was going to write one more arc, but I was so happy with the way this one was turning out that I thought this should be my swan song. Hopefully, people will buy the book, read it and agree with me.

But I'm still keeping my toes in the Spidey-Pool. I'm writing the three- with AMAZING SPIDER-MAN PRESENT JACKPOT that guest stars Spidey-on sale in January. Check it out!-and I hope to do future Spidey projects that don't require as much inter-coordination as the semi-weekly does."
HELLZ YES.
 

Grocer Man

Well-Known Member
You know what I love about Ben Reilly?

As you know, he was intended as a young, slightly immature replacement for Peter because editorial felt the married Parker was too old and unrelatedable. Like OMD, with significantly less crap.

Ben's backstory (abandoned clone, traveling from place to place, never settling down because Kaine kept hunting him and killing those he loved) made him even more aged and mature then Peter was.
 

E

Moderator
Excelsior Club
I guess this can be used as a general Clone Saga discussion thread since we don't have one.

I mentioned in the TPB thread that I picked up the first volume of the Complete Clone Saga Epic. I'm totally engrossed in it. Granted I'm at the beginning before things started getting ridiculous, but it's surprising for the amount of criticism this story gets how solid the writing is.

In particular, I'm reading Spider-Man: The Lost Years for the first time. The writing is incredibly good - I'm kind of floored by how good it was. It deals with Ben Reilly's time in Salt Lake City. I know things sort of take a dive in terms of quality after this, but it was nice to read such a good story.
 

Captain Canuck

The poster formerly known as captaincanuck65
yeah, Lost years is good. I have the singles of it.

It's the Maximum clonage and spider-cide stuff that starts to get ridiculous
 
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vmenge

Well-Known Member
yeah, Lost years is good. I have the singles of it.

It's the Maximum clonage and spider-cide stuff that starts to get ridiculous
Yeah, I really enjoyed Lost Years, and I didn't get why people hated the clone saga so much until I got to Maximum Clonage urgh :dazed:
Not all the writing was bad after that, but there were lot of ****ty issues, although Ben's run as Spidey somehow still managed to be fun after that :)
 

Random

Didn't **** any of those *****es
In particular, I'm reading Spider-Man: The Lost Years for the first time. The writing is incredibly good - I'm kind of floored by how good it was. It deals with Ben Reilly's time in Salt Lake City. I know things sort of take a dive in terms of quality after this, but it was nice to read such a good story.
I should check this out, because the one concept I liked about the clone saga was the idea of a freelance Peter Parker/Spider-man. Like what if spider-man no longer had a place in New York City, how does he character progress from the real Parker? They definitely should have kept Ben Reilly around and played with that idea
 

Random

Didn't **** any of those *****es
The Lost Years was just the right length - I don't think I'd have wanted to read more of it.
He might now be able to support his own title forever but I'd like him to be around the Marvel Universe maybe join a team or something
 

E

Moderator
Excelsior Club
He might now be able to support his own title forever but I'd like him to be around the Marvel Universe maybe join a team or something
He was in a team of younger heroes which I can't seem to find reference to and can't remember the name of.
 

vmenge

Well-Known Member
His run in New Warriors was awful IMO though :(
So if Reilly ever does come back from the dead I think he should have another shot with some other team :D
 

E

Moderator
Excelsior Club
The New Warriors.
That's it.

I finished Vol. 1 and it has it's moments, but The Exile Returns was pretty bad.

Also I had forgotten about the amount of repetition...Ben saying over and over and over again about how he's "just a clone!" and how worthless his life is. It's tiresome.
 

Captain Canuck

The poster formerly known as captaincanuck65
yeah, I haven't read it but I've heard it was pretty bad. The New Warriors stuff isn't collected in the later volumes of the Complete Clone Saga tpb, is it?
 
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E

Moderator
Excelsior Club
yeah, I haven't read it but I've heard it was pretty bad. The New Warriors stuff isn't collected in the later volumes of the Complete Clone Saga tpb, is it?
Not in Volume 1. I don't know what issues it was in but there's no mention of New Warriors issues in Vol. 2. I haven't seen solits for Vol. 3 or on.

Wikipedia says that it is being collected in 2 volumes...I find that hard to believe since Vol. 2 only collects up to Spider-Man #56, nowhere near Revelations which wrapped up in Spider-Man #75. It has to be at least 4 volumes.
 

Captain Canuck

The poster formerly known as captaincanuck65
yeah, i'm guessing four or five volumes...but I think the New Warriors stuff all took place while he was Scarlet Spider. So if it's included it would be in the first two volumes.
 

Captain Canuck

The poster formerly known as captaincanuck65
yeah, i'm guessing four or five volumes...but I think the New Warriors stuff all took place while he was Scarlet Spider. So if it's included it would be in the first two volumes.
I was just looking at the solits for The complete Clone Saga Epic Book 3, and I realized that book 3 hasn't even progressed the story to the Maximum Clonage storyline. So Ben will still be Scarlet Spider until AT LEAST the end of the fourth volume and there will have to be about 7-8 volumes total...

so maybe the New Warriors stuff will still make it in. Even though i've heard that it was pretty awful.
 

E

Moderator
Excelsior Club
I was just looking at the solits for The complete Clone Saga Epic Book 3, and I realized that book 3 hasn't even progressed the story to the Maximum Clonage storyline. So Ben will still be Scarlet Spider until AT LEAST the end of the fourth volume and there will have to be about 7-8 volumes total...

so maybe the New Warriors stuff will still make it in. Even though i've heard that it was pretty awful.
Has Marvel ever done an Complete Epic series with that many volumes? I'd be more inclined to think they would cut a lot of stuff out.
 

Captain Canuck

The poster formerly known as captaincanuck65
Has Marvel ever done an Complete Epic series with that many volumes? I'd be more inclined to think they would cut a lot of stuff out.
nope, but they've only done a few and they've all been X-titles. And The Clone Saga dragged on a lot longer than most.
 

Captain Canuck

The poster formerly known as captaincanuck65
so amazon has a solit for The Complete Clone Saga Epic - Book 4 up (coming out in December)

and it lists New Warriors #61 as one of the collected issues.
Now New Warriors is a prologue to the Maximum Clonage story, but I don't think it's super important. So we may still get the rest of Scarlet Spider's appearances in New Warriors (He joins the team in #62 and appears in every issue until #71, even after he becomes the New Spider-Man)
 
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