Ben Reilly

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This article is about the fictional character. For the similarly named musician, see Ben Riley. For the similarly named British politician, see Ben Riley (MP).
Scarlet Spider (Ben Reilly)
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance The Amazing Spider-Man #149 (October 1975)
Created by Gerry Conway
Ross Andru
(based upon Spider-Man by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko)
In-story information
Alter ego Benjamin "Ben" Reilly
Team affiliations New Warriors
Notable aliases Scarlet Spider, Spider-Man, Spider-Carnage, Peter Parker, Henry Jones
Abilities
  • Superhuman strength, speed, stamina, reflexes, durability, and agility
  • Ability to cling to most surfaces
  • High pain tolerance
  • Able to shoot impact webbing from devices.
  • Precognitive Spider-Sense
  • Genius-level Intellect
  • Expert swordsman
  • Master hand-to-hand combatant

Benjamin 'Ben' Reilly, also known as the Scarlet Spider, the second Spider-Man, and Spider-Carnage, is a fictional character, a comic book superhero appearing in publications by Marvel Comics. He is a clone and ally of Peter Parker (Spider-Man), and is prominent in the "Clone Saga" story arc. He first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man issue 149 (October 1975).

Publication history[edit]

Ben Reilly was first featured as Spider-Man in The Amazing Spider-Man #149. The issue was later revisited in What If vol. 1 #30. The character returned to the comics during the "Clone Saga", which ran from October 1994 to December 1996 through all five of the concurrent Spider-Man titles — The Amazing Spider-Man, Web of Spider-Man, Spider-Man, Spider-Man Unlimited, and The Spectacular Spider-Man. Between November and December 1995, Scarlet Spider replaced Spider-Man in all five of the comics' titles, which became The Amazing Scarlet Spider, Web of Scarlet Spider, Scarlet Spider, Scarlet-Spider Unlimited, and The Spectacular Scarlet Spider. Reilly was also featured prominently in the supplemental material provided for the storyline, including Spider-Man: The Lost Years and Spider-Man: Clone Journals. The storyline was later revisited in What If vol. 2 #86. Reilly was passed the mantle of Spider-Man and was featured throughout the Spider-Man titles The Amazing Spider-Man, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Spider-Man, Spider-Man Unlimited, and The Sensational Spider-Man, which replaced Web of Spider-Man as an ongoing monthly title. Reilly remained as the featured Spider-Man between January and December 1996. During this period, the character was also featured in two intercompany crossovers DC vs. Marvel with DC Comics and Backlash/Spider-Man with Image Comics.

Though the character has not been used in mainstream continuity since Peter Parker resumed the role of Spider-Man, the character is often alluded to and provided the foundation to the backstory in the Spider-Girl mythology. In January 2009, Reilly returned to comics as Spider-Man in the third part of Marvel's X-Men/Spider-Man miniseries. Written by Christos Gage, the series explores episodes in the histories of both the X-Men and Spider-Man, sticking thoroughly to the source material of the timeframes the stories take place in. Issue #3 marked the first new adventure featuring Reilly in more than twelve years. Starting in 2009, and continuing into 2010, Marvel published a six-issue mini-series titled Spider-Man: The Clone Saga that was a retelling of the story as it had originally been envisioned. In 2010 Marvel began collecting the story in trade paperback form. The epic spans five books and covers Reilly's time on the road, through his encounters with Peter and Mary Jane, up to his role as the Scarlet Spider, as the lone spider hero in New York.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Creation[edit]

Ben Reilly was created by the Jackal, and was the first successful clone of Peter Parker; the first clone, Kaine, suffered from clone degeneration which made him unstable. Through arcane science, Reilly is imprinted with Parker's memories and in their first encounter believed himself to be Parker. After Parker was captured by the Jackal, both Parker and Reilly found themselves in Spider-Man costumes at Shea Stadium, and initially fought each other believing the other was the impostor. When realizing the stakes, they decided to team up in an attempt to save the Gwen Stacy clone and a captured Ned Leeds. In the process, Reilly appeared to be killed in an explosion,[1] and Parker, fearful of the consequences of a corpse of a second Peter Parker being found, dropped Reilly's body into a smokestack. Reilly survived and escaped from the smokestack. When he witnessed Parker and Mary Jane Watson in an embrace, Ben, despite acknowledging that he is a clone, also accepting Parker’s strong sense of morality as his own, refused to succumb the temptation of murdering his counterpart, and decided to embark on a nomadic life. He dubbed himself "Ben Reilly", using his Uncle Ben's first name and his Aunt May's maiden name, Ben Parker and May Reilly respectively. He took some old clothes Parker had intended to donate to charity, and he left New York deeply depressed.[2]

Exile[edit]

Stricken with influenza, Reilly meets Seward Trainer, a scientist who was secretly blackmailed by agents of Norman Osborn into keeping track of him. Trainer helps Reilly re-establish his life, and Reilly sees Trainer as a father figure. Reilly trusts Trainer completely because he helps Reilly survive his aimless wanderings, provides Reilly with forged credentials allowing him to find work for a few months at a time. Ben subsequently moves on just before people can examine the references closely enough to learn that they are faked, using the money earned to fund himself until he next needs work. During this time, Reilly is hunted by a failed clone of Peter Parker named Kaine, who believed Reilly to be the original Peter Parker and hates him for being flawless, although initially Kaine is unsure why he is stalking Reilly other than wanting to see him suffer. Reilly finds love with a college student/waitress named Janine Godbe, who later reveals that her true identity is Elizabeth Tyne, a fugitive who killed her father after enduring his repeating incestuous abuse. Although he spends some time living with Janine, she apparently commits suicide out of guilt at her past crimes, leaving Reilly to be constantly followed by Kaine, who vows to deny Reilly happiness for as long as he can.[3]

Besides fighting Kaine, Reilly sporadically engages in heroics; although he dislikes playing the hero as it reminds him of life as Peter Parker, he finds himself unable to ignore his spider-sense. During a particularly bleak period, Reilly works in dead-end jobs and allows himself to be regarded as mentally handicapped rather than interact with others. After his spider-sense prompts him to save a family from being killed during a robbery, he accepts that he cannot give in to despair and must try to make a difference when he can. Following this, he lives for a short time in Italy and works as an English teacher, but is forced to leave after a Mafia boss investigates Reilly's past when his daughter expresses an interest in Reilly. The Mafioso learns about the gaps in Reilly's work record and forced him to leave the city. While traveling, Reilly fights the mystical villain D'Spayre and a psychopathic showman named Wild-Whip.[volume & issue needed]

Scarlet Spider[edit]

Five years later, Reilly discovers that May Parker is dying from a stroke, so he returns to New York. There, Reilly encounters Peter Parker, who has become bitter and angry following several tragedies. While they initially come to blows, they begin working together. Soon after, Reilly dons a makeshift costume, and is dubbed the 'Scarlet Spider' by the press after he defeats Venom. This victory over one of Spider-Man's major adversaries helps Reilly gain the confidence he needs to believe that he can, perhaps, be a hero in his own right.[volume & issue needed]

For a brief time, the Scarlet Spider joins the New Warriors, though none of the team members fully accepts Reilly because he refuses to reveal his identity out of his obligations to protect Spider-Man's secrets. When Peter Parker is framed and arrested for Kaine's murders, Reilly switches places with him so Peter can remain free and uncover the truth, and allows Parker to use the Scarlet Spider costume for a brief time. He and Parker eventually discover that the Jackal is alive in addition of Kaine’s motives of stalking him, and encountering more Spider-Man clones including Spidercide, whose actions are completely opposite to both Reilly's and Parker's as he does not possess the morality they share and wants both of them dead. After defeating the Jackal with Parker, Reilly attempts to build his reputation as the Scarlet Spider, but is ultimately forced to drop the identity when, after getting involved in gang warfare between the second Doctor Octopus and Alistair Smythe, a holographic version of the Scarlet Spider is created, which ruins Reilly's reputation in a vicious rampage. Reilly concludes that the deception has worked because he is too new on the scene for people to trust him.[volume & issue needed]

Spider-Man[edit]

Ben Reilly as Spider-Man. Art by Dan Jurgens, and the costume designed by Mark Bagley.

Reilly later becomes the replacement Spider-Man for a time at Parker's request, when Parker retires to raise his unborn child. Reilly wears his own costume style rather than using Parker's. Meanwhile, both men are misled by the Jackal and Seward Trainer, who are working under orders from Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin, into believing that Reilly was the original and Parker was the clone. Osborn hopes that the revelation that his life was a lie would make Parker give up, instead both Parker and Reilly see this as a chance to start again. Reilly starts working at a diner called the Daily Grind; the owner offers him a job after he paid her back a quarter that she had loaned him, recognizing his honest nature. He also dyes his hair blond to differentiate himself from Parker. Reilly works there for a year, battling villains. The change in costume initially prompts the Daily Bugle to claim there is a new Spider-Man, but Reilly and Mary Jane, throw them off the scent and the story is dropped. Only the Black Cat, Venom, Silver Sable, Sandman, the Human Torch, and his former teammate Firestar ever learn that they are dealing with a different Spider-Man, although Reilly also tells Daredevil the truth, and Mysterio concludes that there had been a substitution when studying newspapers after he is released from prison. A recently published storyline revealed that the X-Men — specifically Cyclops, Storm, Angel, Iceman, and Wolverine — also know the truth because Reilly told them why he was unaware of an earlier team-up involving Peter, who helped the X-Men trace Mister Sinister's activities.[4]

Reilly later dates college students from Centennial University, Jessica Carradine and Desiree Winthrop. Aside still mourning Janine Godbe's apparent death, his relationship with Jessica ends because they discover each other's secrets; Jessica's late father was the burglar who killed Ben Parker, and Jessica witnesses that Ben and Spider-Man are apparently the same man. Though Jessica saw Spider-Man as a hero after seeing him selflessly rescuing people from a burning skyscraper, she realizes she would never have a proper relationship with Ben because of their pasts. She decides not to reveal Ben's secrets and leaves. Ben tutors Desiree before his break up with Jessica, and eventually dates her.[volume & issue needed]

DC vs. Marvel[edit]

During the DC vs. Marvel intercompany crossover storyline, Reilly inadvertently travels to a parallel reality before the rest his native universe's inhabitants after passing by an alley during a patrol and being exposed to the dimensional rift within it. While stranded in this alternate reality, he encountered its heroes and villains while trying to find a way back, briefly meeting the Joker and engaging in a fight with the Man-Bat. Temporarily using his 'original' name of Peter Parker, Reilly finds a job at the Daily Planet as its staff photographer for his photos of his fight with the Man-Bat, working with the newspaper's top reporters Lois Lane and Clark Kent; he even saves Lane from being captured by a Scarecrow/Scarecrow team-up although he is subsequently embarrassed when he learns of her engagement to Kent after asking her out. Eventually, two cosmic entities force the heroes of both realities to fight a series of duels for the survival of their respective universes. Reilly is chosen to fight Superboy, the hybrid-clone of Superman and Lex Luthor, and wins thanks to his spider-sense and use of impact webbing overwhelming Superboy's raw power. Reilly later teams up with Superboy to rescue the Daily Planet's staff from the Kingpin, and Lane develops a slight attraction with Reilly's alter ego, before the realities are separated again by the actions of Batman, Captain America, and Access.[volume & issue needed]

Spider-Carnage[edit]

Ben Reilly as Spider-Carnage, from The Amazing Spider-Man #410.
Cover art by Mark Bagley.

During the "Web of Carnage" arc,[5][6][7][8] Ben Reilly is bonded with the Carnage symbiote when it escapes from Ravencroft Institute, where its psychopathic host, Cletus Kasady, is being held, through the asylum's water pipes. Reilly struggles for control of himself, and tries to prevent the symbiote from taking over, the subsequent inner battle with the creature ends when he has John Jameson take him to a cell designed to hold Carnage, willingly subjects himself to a potentially fatal dose of microwave radiation to try to kill the symbiote, which returns to Kasady via the pipes. Seward Trainer disappears while Ben fights with the Carnage symbiote. Reilly's bank account is frozen and his possessions stolen while the Grind is burned down and Reilly is framed for arson.[volume & issue needed]

Blood Brothers[edit]

The Hobgoblin (Jason Macendale) is found to be perpetrating many of these events on the orders of Gaunt and the company Multivex. It is revealed that the mastermind of these occurrences is the Green Goblin; Norman Osborn. Reilly's former lover Janine Godbe is taken to New York by Kaine, who informs the police about her crimes and whereabouts, and the two lovers go on the run. However, after a final confrontation between Reilly and Kaine in a diner, Kaine accepts that he should turn himself in to atone for his crimes. Reilly's words and Kaine's decision inspire Godbe to do the same.[volume & issue needed]

Two Spider-Men[edit]

Around the same time, Peter Parker and Mary Jane return to New York after a brief time in Portland. Parker's powers had been lost during his time away, and had erratically returned after a near-death experience in which his body apparently reset itself. Although Parker's powers only partially returned at first- this weakness proving near-fatal when he briefly lost them while trying to escape a Sentinel during the Onslaught crisis-, as time went on, he and Ben began to contemplate the possibilities of Peter returning to the role full-time, providing the city with two Spider-Men to compensate for the recent loss of the Fantastic Four and crucial members of the Avengers during the war against Onslaught. Parker's powers return for good while he helps Reilly fend off the latest attack of Gaunt after his real identity was uncovered.[volume & issue needed]

Reilly's death[edit]

Ultimately, the battle with Gaunt proves to be Reilly's undoing; Reilly is attacked by the original Green Goblin (Norman Osborn), who has survived his last fight with Spider-Man while his spider-sense was still disabled by a gas Gaunt had used. Osborn reveals Reilly's real identity as the clone, beats him unconscious then arranges for his minions to abduct Parker, dressed Parker in the original Spider-Man costume and takes him to Osborn's base opposite the Daily Bugle offices. Osborn intends to blow up the building, with most of Parker and Reilly's friends inside it after they were sent false invitations. While Parker battles Osborn, Reilly attempts to evacuate the Daily Bugle, but injures himself further after protecting Flash Thompson from a bomb. While helping Parker to remove the remaining bombs, Reilly intercepts a Goblin Glider before it can impale Parker, but the glider damages Reilly's spine. Reilly falls several stories and crashes onto a taxi underneath. As he lies dying, Reilly tells Parker that Parker is now Spider-Man and will have to resume the role for Reilly. Reilly dies and his body decomposed rapidly, although Parker was able to remove the body from public view before the collapse completed, the decomposition confirming Trainer's deceptions and that Reilly was actually a clone. This sacrifice, and concurrent still-birth of his child, leads Parker to reclaim the Spider-Man identity.[9]

Postmortem[edit]

Civil War[edit]

During the Civil War, Parker uses the pseudonym Ben Reilly and a holographic disguise device given to him by Beast.[10]

The Initiative[edit]

While on a mission to remove Spider-Man's powers, the Initiative employs three "Spider-Men" in the Iron Spider costume to aid in the capture of the Sinister Syndicate. They are called Scarlet Spiders by War Machine.[11] One of the people Mister Hyde gives Spider-Man's powers to appears in a costume that Reilly wore as the Scarlet Spider in a jail cell, where the real Spider-Man had put him.[12]

Ryder[edit]

Years after Reilly's death, a man named Damon Ryder, and using the alias "Raptor", appears during Aunt May's engagement party. He has stalked the Reilly family for some time to find Ben, mistakes Parker for Reilly and attacks. Parker changes into his costume and fights with Ryder, who claims to be looking for Ben Reilly, who murdered his family. Parker later finds that Ryder's entire family was killed in a fire started by an arsonist, and that he gave a police sketch of the arsonist that looks exactly like Parker and Reilly.[13] Ryder then appears in New York City and confronts Parker, still believing him to be Ben Reilly. The two fight when Ryder threatens to target Parker's family. Ryder gains the upper hand, then Parker's coworkers get in the way, then Ryder hands over the article on the arsonist, and leaves.[14] After a scuffle with Kaine, Parker finds Ryder holding Harry Osborn and his cousins hostage at gunpoint. As Ryder announces his plans to burn Parker's friends and family to death right in front of him after he admits his "true identity" as Ben Reilly, Kaine arrives and reveals that he has been working with Ryder. Kaine exposes both Parker's identity and Kaine's status as a "clone" of Reilly to Ryder, encouraging him to kill him, since if Reilly is a murderer, then Parker can be driven to kill as well. Refusing to accept this, Parker beats Ryder unconscious, affirms his and Reilly's innocence. Kaine and Ryder escape as police arrive.[15] It was soon revealed that Ryder promised to help Kaine find a solution to his cellular degeneration, however, upon learning Ryder had lied to him, Kaine snapped his neck, seemingly ending his looming threat to Peter Parker.[16]

Mooted return[edit]

After the release of Spider-Man: The Clone Saga miniseries, various blogs reviewed the series. Howard Mackie and Tom DeFalco, creators of the miniseries told Brad Douglas, manager of the Spider-Man Crawl Space website: "Thanks, Brad. I truly appreciate all the kind words, and that Tom gets all the blame for the minor negatives! Tom and I would LOVE to continue with Ben — and have pitched a series — but that is Marvel's call. Maybe a grassroots movement would help? Thanks again."[17] On July 25, 2010, at the San Diego Comic-con, fans expressed their desire to see a return of Ben Reilly. To this, assistant editor Tom Brennan replied, "It's being worked on."[18]

The mini series Spider-Man: The Clone Saga, in which Reilly survives the "Revelations" battle, has been collected in paperback and hardcover forms titled Spider-Man: The REAL Clone Saga (ISBN 978-0785148050). During San Diego Comic Con 2011, a teaser image was posted on Marvel.com of Reilly's shirt in flames, entitled "The return of The Scarlet Spider?".[19] It was revealed in The Amazing Spider-Man #673 and the Marvel Point One one-shot that Kaine will be the new Scarlet Spider in his own ongoing series, which was confirmed by editor Steve Wacker in the "Letters to the Editor" page of #673. Later, Ben Reilly on his Scarlet Spider uniform appears to be fighting Kaine on the cover of Scarlet Spider issue #21. In the issue itself it seems Ben has indeed returned and fights Kaine for all the troubles he had to endure from the former-villain, even removing his mask to prove to Kaine he was actually Ben, however at the climax of the issue it is revealed that Ben Reilly was actually Kraven the Hunter, who had drugged Kaine at some point, Kraven appearing as Reilly only to torment Kaine.

Spider-Verse[edit]

At least one alternate-universe version of Ben Reilly is confirmed to appear in the upcoming event, Spider-Verse. A limited series, Scarlet Spiders, will be published starting in November 2014, and will feature an alternate Ben Reilly from a universe where Peter Parker's powers did not return, and would remain in Oregon. This version of Ben Reilly will lead a team featuring fellow-clones Kaine and the Jessica Drew from the Ultimate universe.[20]

Powers and equipment[edit]

As Spider-Man's clone, Ben Reilly possesses powers identical to Peter Parker's, including superhuman strength, speed and agility, and the ability to cling to almost any surface. At the time of his death, he also has a precognitive "spider-sense" that warns him of danger. Reilly's reflexes operate up to 40 times faster than those of a normal person, while his strength allows him to lift 150 times his own weight, although he has lifted much more. Because Reilly was not in the role of Spider-Man for five years while traveling, his fighting style is less polished than that of Parker's. However, as per the "Spider-Man Encyclopedia",[citation needed] Reilly seems to enjoy fighting more than Parker. In additions, he also possesses Peter Parker's genius-level scientific intellect.

In the five years that Ben Reilly traveled the United States, he made improvements over Parker's original web-shooters. Reilly's web-shooters still had triggers on the inside palm to fire a web-line. However, three new weapons were designed. When using a twist of the wrist on the shooters, impact webbing is fired out as miniature web-pellets that explode on contact, encasing a target within a web cocoon and rendering him or her virtually immobile. Stingers are small, diamond-shaped darts coated with a paralyzing chemical agent to incapacitate opponents. Mini-dot tracers are smaller and lighter than Parker's spider-tracers, which are much faster when fired from his web-shooters. Reilly wears his web-shooters on the outside of his costume. Like Parker, Reilly also wears a belt that contains spare web cartridges should he need replacements.

Other versions[edit]

MC-2[edit]

  • In the alternate future known as MC2, Ben Reilly's "niece", May Parker (Spider-Girl), wears Reilly's version of the Spider-Man costume and webshooters, having been raised on tales of her heroic "Uncle Ben". Like her father, May has an Uncle Ben. However, May never knew her uncle. Reilly's last words before his death are about her: "Take care of my niece, Peter... tell her about... her Uncle Ben."[21] May Parker keeps Reilly's in storage since his death, and uses them herself. When May asks her father about Reilly, however, Parker does not tell her that Reilly was a clone, but tells her that he was a cousin.[22]
  • Ben Reilly had a son by Janine Godbe (Elizabeth Tyne), named Reilly Tyne, who becomes a superhero called Darkdevil. Kaine's efforts to save his "nephew" from cellular degeneration resulted in him being partly possessed by the demon Zarathos and the spirit of the deceased Matt Murdock. Later in the series, Kaine reformed.[23]
  • Felicity Hardy, the daughter of Felicia Hardy (Black Cat), assumes the Scarlet Spider identity in an attempt to become partners with Spider-Girl. Peter Parker is angry at what he considers an inappropriate use of the identity.[24]

Marvel Zombies[edit]

See also: Marvel Zombies

Ben Reilly was one of the heroes on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier who survived the zombie plague. He is seen battling the zombies; however this plan falls apart, as Reilly is seen as one of the zombie masses.[volume & issue needed]

Ultimate Ben Reilly[edit]

The Ultimate Marvel version of Ben Reilly appeared in Ultimate Spider-Man as an African-American lab assistant (instead of a clone) at Empire State University that worked with Dr. Curt Connors. Ironically, this version combines Spider-Man's DNA obtained from Connors with ingredients from "the suit" to make a clone of Spider-Man. At the end of the arc, Reilly steals a second sample of Spider-Man's blood from the lab,[25] after which he creates the five Spider-Man clones while employed by the CIA. However, Carnage attacks the lab and the four clones escape. One of the clones (an amalgam of Ben Reilly and Kaine of the 616 Universe) has Kaine's insane personality and facial scars, and wears a tattered, makeshift version of Reilly's costume. On a related note, Spider-Woman's character plays the same role that Scarlet Spider from the original "Clone Saga" did.[26]

What If?[edit]

  • What If? #30, "What If Spider-Man's Clone Had Lived?", depicts a world where, after the Jackal's bomb explodes at Shea Stadium, both Spider-Men are knocked unconscious and the clone awakens before the original. The clone, believing that he is the original Peter Parker, puts Parker into stasis in one of the Jackal's clone-growing devices and attempts to continue with life as normal. However, the clone has no memories from the time before the cell samples he had been grown from were taken, and is confused and lost in the world of the real Peter Parker. This memory gap and the discovery of the Jackal's notes on his cloning process, leads the clone to realize what he truly is, and he frees the real Parker just in time for both of them to confront a threat from the Kingpin. Afterwards, the clone prepares to leave to seek his own fortune, but accepts an offer from Parker to co-operate in "shifts", switching between being Parker and Spider-Man. In this story, the clone never establishes a separate name for himself, and is referred to as "Spider-Clone", "brother", or "bro" by the original Parker.[27]
  • What If? vol. 2 #86, "What If Scarlet Spider Killed Spider-Man?", gives an alternate ending of the "Clone Saga". During the time Spider-Man is under the Jackal's control, the Scarlet Spider and Spider-Man fight until there is an explosion. Reilly's body is later found washed ashore and Peter Parker is believed to be dead. Reilly awakens in hospital and finds Parker's friends and family, who believe he is Parker, around his bed. The following year, Reilly and Mary Jane discover that their baby, May, is dying of blood poisoning. One night, Reilly wakes to find that May has been kidnapped. Ben searches for her and meets the Green Goblin, who reveals that he is behind the "Clone Saga" and needs May's blood for a serum. The two fight atop the George Washington Bridge, where Gwen Stacy was killed. During the struggle, they both fall into the river below. Reilly resurfaces with the Goblin's mask and the serum and is met by Mary Jane. Reilly discovers that she knows that his true identity is Ben Reilly. Mary Jane thanks Reilly and tells him to find his own identity.[28]

Spider-Man: The Clone Saga[edit]

In September 2009, a six issue miniseries based on the clone saga comics of the 1990s, titled Spider-Man: The Clone Saga, was issued. The purpose of the miniseries was to tell the story as it was initially conceived. It is a condensed version of the Clone Saga without the plot points involving Traveler, Scrier, and covers several months of a fictional time period. The first issue introduces readers to the characters Ben Reilly and Kaine, and addresses Mary Jane's pregnancy and Aunt May's hospitalization. Reilly and Parker bond after Kaine attacks them, and Reilly decides to stay in New York, pretending to be Peter's blond haired cousin so he can build his own life. Reilly adopts the identity of the Scarlet Spider and begins working at the Daily Grind.

Reilly and Parker later work with Kaine to reach the lair of the shadowy figure responsible for infecting Mary Jane and Aunt May with a deadly genetic virus. The mysterious villain is revealed to be the Jackal, who captures all three and reveals his plans to make an army of Spider-Man clones to take over the world. Since Reilly is the only stable clone, Jackal takes a sample of his blood to perfect his cloning technique. When Jackal reveals another stage of his plan, to clone Gwen Stacy and another unknown figure, Kaine goes berserk, breaks himself, Parker and Reilly, free. During the subsequent fight, the clones dissolve and Jackal plants the first seed of doubt over who is the original Peter Parker. After Kaine kills Jackal, Reilly and Parker escape with the cure for Aunt May's and Mary Jane's virus. Parker retires and hands the Spider-Man identity to Reilly. Reilly spends several months in the role, while Parker gets ready to become a father. Reilly is shown as a less-polished Spider-Man and is somewhat insecure due to his relative inexperience because of his exile. Eventually, Mary Jane gives birth, Allison Mongrain kidnaps the baby, and later gives it to Kaine.

When Reilly goes searching for the baby, he is attacked by the Green Goblin, who is revealed to be Harry Osborn and working with Kaine. Though Reilly appears to gain the upper hand in the ensuing fight, the Goblin impales him in the back with his glider. Miraculously, Reilly survives the attack. Osborn had been plotting his revenge against Parker since his apparent heart attack. Osborn creates a clone of his father, Norman, to help him defeat Parker and Reilly; however, Norman jumps in front of Harry's Goblin Glider as it is about to hit Parker and is impaled in the back. Afterwards, Kaine returns baby May to Parker and Mary Jane, Aunt May survives and wants to help raise the child, and Ben Reilly leaves once again to travel the world and find a life for himself.[29]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • Scarlet Spider made his first animated appearance on the 1994 Fantastic Four episode "Nightmare In Green". His shadowed figure can be seen hanging underneath a building ledge where Doctor Doom fools the Hulk into believing that the Fantastic Four are his enemies and then Rick Jones is hanging out with the Human Torch.
  • Scarlet Spider appeared in the X-Men animated series episode "One Man's Worth (Part 1)" where he is briefly featured in one of the scenes depicting a large battle.
  • Scarlet Spider and Spider-Carnage appear in a central role for Spider-Man: The Animated Series, both voiced by Christopher Daniel Barnes. In the series finale "Spider Wars", numerous versions of Spider-Man from different realities team up, including Scarlet Spider (Ben Reilly). As Scarlet Spider explains his origins, he and Spider-Carnage (the series finale's main villain) realize they're related—Scarlet Spider is Spider-Man's clone or vice versa; the Miles Warren in their reality had "robbed them of their pasts". The Spider-Man of that world, already struggling with the idea that he might not be the real Peter Parker and infuriated by Scarlet Spider's existence, was bonded with the Carnage symbiote and driven completely mad, becoming Spider-Carnage. Hearing this, the "mainstream" Spider-Man remarks "This is starting to sound like a bad comic book plot!".[30][31]
  • The character is alluded in the Ultimate Spider-Man television series. In the episode "Awesome", Spider-Man referenced a 'Spidey Clone'. In the episode "I Am Spider-Man", a bunch of teenagers try out the Spider-Man role in Mary Jane Watson's play and wear various costumes, one of which is Ben Reilly's Spider-Man costume.

Film[edit]

Video games[edit]

Toys[edit]

Action figures of Ben Reilly have been released over the years, including some released after the character's death:

  • 1996: Reilly, as the Scarlet-Spider, as an action figure by ToyBiz in the "Marvel OverPower Card Game – PowerSurge Invincibles" toyline.
  • 1996: Reilly, as New Spider-Man with venom containment gear, featured as an action figure by ToyBiz.
  • 1997: Reilly, as Spider-Carnage, featured as an action figure by ToyBiz in the Spider-Man/Venom – Along Came a Spider toyline.
  • 2002: Reilly as Scarlet Spider was a KB Toys exclusive in the Spider-Man Classics toyline.
  • 2004: The Spider-Man Classics range from ToyBiz featured a Ben Reilly Spider-Man figure, which is slightly over-sized compared to other figures in the range, is missing his wrist mounted web-shooters, and comes with a missile launching backpack.
  • 2004: Reilly, as the New Spider-Man, featured as a Kubrick in a 5-figure Spider-Man box set released by Medicom Toy.
  • 2005: Reilly, as the Scarlet-Spider, featured as a Kubrick in Medicom Toy's Marvel Super-Heroes Series 4 toyline.
  • 2005: Spider-Ben and Spider-Carnage Minimates were available in Series 10.
  • 2007: A Scarlet Spider Minimate was sold with Hobgoblin.[33]
  • 2008: Ben Reilly, in his redesigned Spider-Man costume, was featured as a figure in the Ares Build-A-Figure series of Marvel Legends. Although he is in his Spider-Man costume, his figure is labeled as "Scarlet Spider" to differentiate him from Peter Parker versions.[34] Additionally, just one of the pictures on the package is Ben Reilly, being one art from the cover of Spider-Girl #94, and another from The Amazing Spider-Man #509.
  • 2009/2010: Marvel's Super-Hero Squad range features both a Scarlet Spider figure (named "Ben Reilly Spider-Man" and packaged with Bullseye) and one of his re-designed Spider-Man costume (packaged both individually and with Carnage).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Conway, Gerry (w), Andru, Ross (p), Esposito, Mike (i). "Even If I Live, I Die!" The Amazing Spider-Man 149 (October 1975), Marvel Comics
  2. ^ The Spectacular Spider-Man #223 (April 1995)
  3. ^ Spider-Man: The Lost Years #1–3
  4. ^ Spider-Man/X-Men #3
  5. ^ The Sensational Spider-Man #3
  6. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #410
  7. ^ Spider-Man #67
  8. ^ The Spectacular Spider-Man #233
  9. ^ Peter Parker: Spider-Man #75 (December 1996)
  10. ^ Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #14
  11. ^ Avengers: The Initiative #3
  12. ^ The Sensational Spider-Man vol. 2[volume & issue needed]
  13. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #36
  14. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #608
  15. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #608–609
  16. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #610
  17. ^ "Ben Reilly Solo Series Pitched to Marvel". SpidermanCrawlspace.com. February 25, 2010. 
  18. ^ "CCI: The Marvel: Spider-Man Panel". Comic Book Resources. July 25, 2010. 
  19. ^ "SDCC 2011: The Scarlet Spider?". Marvel.com. July 22, 2011. 
  20. ^ "SDCC EXCLUSIVE: Costa Assembles "Scarlet Spiders" For "Spider-Verse"". Comicbookresources. July 25, 2014. 
  21. ^ Peter Parker: Spider-Man #75
  22. ^ Spider-Girl #44
  23. ^ Darkdevil #1–3
  24. ^ Spider-Girl #46–47
  25. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #61
  26. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #101
  27. ^ What If? vol. 1 #30
  28. ^ What If? vol. 2 #86
  29. ^ Spider-Man: The Clone Saga #1–6
  30. ^ "Spider Wars, Part One – I Really, Really Hate Clones review". Toonzone.net. Archived from the original on 20 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-21. 
  31. ^ "Spider Wars, Part Two – Farewell Spider-Man review". Toonzone.net. Archived from the original on 20 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-21. 
  32. ^ "Interview: 'Amazing Spider-Man 2' Producers Avi Arad & Matt Tolmach Talk Spin-Off Plans, Crossovers & More". India Wire. April 30, 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  33. ^ "Hobgoblin/Scarlet Spider Minimates Exclusive". OAFE.net. Archived from the original on 3 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-02. 
  34. ^ "ML: Scarlet Spider". OAFE.net. Archived from the original on 5 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-02. 

External links[edit]