The following contains spoilers for recent versions of The Amazing Spider-ManNow on sale from Marvel Comics.
Ben Riley, the clone of Spider-Man, has gone through many changes over the years. While he was once the hero of the Scarlet Spider, his recent transformation into Chasm has excited many of his old fans. Ben, a perfect version of Peter Parker, has recently been working as Spider-Man while Peter recovers from the injuries he sustained in The Amazing Spider-Man #75 (Various writers and artists). For Riley fans, it was a dream come true seeing Peter give him his blessings to go on as Spider-Man. However, during the story, Ben’s memories are erased by Beyond, causing his mind and spirit to deteriorate until he becomes a blank slate and takes on the villainous identity.
It has been a long journey for Ben Reilly, who was created by one of Peter Parker’s enemies with the sole purpose of destroying the webslinger. After a battle with his weaknesses at Shea Stadium in The Amazing Spider-Man #149 (By Jerry Conway & Ross Andrew), Ben escapes and exiles himself on the road for five years. The years he spent away made him something completely different, because he didn’t have Peter’s support structure to rely on. He had nothing but his own and Parker’s memories to guide him on his journey of self-discovery. Ben didn’t expect help from anyone, and everything he accomplished was done despite his turbulent past.
Ben eventually returned to New York in spider-man web #117 (by Terry Kavanaugh and Stephen Butler) and made his way up as the Scarlet Spider. After a hostile encounter with Peter, the two unite to fight the jackal and begin to form a brotherly bond. When Peter’s wife Mary Jane found out she was pregnant, Parker was pressured to retire from his networks. Ben now believes he is the original Peter Parker due to a tampered test result and was happy to wear the Spider-Man costume again in Peter’s place. However, in Peter Parker: Spider-Man #75 (By Howard Mackey and John Romita, Jr.), Norman Osborne, the original Green Elf, returns from the grave and kills Ben, who heroically sacrificed himself to save Peter. Ben turned to Dust upon death (proving that he’s the clone all along) and became Peter Spider-Man again.
What was happening behind the scenes at Marvel was as complex as the story unfolding in Spider Man titles. While sales were good at first, sales began to decline once Ben took over the famous wall crawler. Marvel overreacted to the ordeal and sent it with a real ending. The publisher was so eager to put what is now known as the “Clone Saga” behind them that Ben Reilly was hardly mentioned for the next twenty years. However, he left behind a small but loyal fan base that was always eager to come back one day.
in 2016 clone plot Mini-series (by Dan Slott and Jim Cheung) Ben is finally back as the new Jackal, obsessed with a crazy plan to kill everyone and replace them with a clone. This has resulted in the predictable audience buzz that usually occurs when established characters change so much that they barely resemble their former selves. Over the next two years, Marvel seemed confused about how to properly handle Ben, oscillating between being good or evil on rounds as Peter David scarlet spider series and Spider Gdon It happened. But then it came behindAnd Ben was Spider-Man again…until he wasn’t. With many elements of his character destroyed, Riley becomes a hollow vessel bent on revenge. The actions of former Spider-Man like Chasm so far have been anything but heroic, prompting a new wave of complaints from his fan base.
Spider-Man editor Nick Lowe admitted that it’s hard to find a place for Ben in recent books, and the sentiment is completely understandable. Miles Morales already brings much-needed diversity to the mantle, and Peter is now single, which makes Riley’s original goal moot. However, works such as the installation of JM DeMatteis Ben Riley: Spider-Man Mini-series There is still a lot of ground to explore with the character who can’t be turned into another spider villain.
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