- Who I am, who I was, none of that matters. What counts is... who am I going to be now?
- -- Ben Reilly src
Spider-Man... or Spider-Clone?
Created from Peter Parker's DNA by the Jackal, this clone was made to fight him as part of Jackal's torment of Spider-Man, whom he blamed for Gwen Stacy's death. In the fight, only one could survive in order to save Ned Leeds from a bomb. The Jackal activated the bomb, seemingly dying and killing the clone. Spider-Man retrieved the "corpse" and buried him at a industrial chimney. The clone, however, was alive and managed to survive due to the Jackal injecting him with something earlier while he was unconscious. In an attempt to sow confusion between Peter Parker and the clone, the Jackal dumped a different, already dead clone of Peter Parker down the same smoke stack Peter Parker dumped the living clone in after the Jackal had rescued him. After regaining consciousness, this clone witnessed Parker and Mary Jane in an embrace, and concluded that he must be the clone as the clone's feelings wouldn't have developed to the point where he could emotionally accept his feelings for Mary Jane.
The clone spent the next five years in exile from New York, believing himself to be a worthless clone. He dubbed himself "Ben Reilly", using his Uncle Ben's first name and his Aunt May's maiden name. After a period where he was stricken by influenza, he met scientist Seward Trainer, who inspired him with confidence to be his own person. Trainer also helped Ben by providing him with fake references to find work. Seward's references and Ben's own skills would allow him to work for a month or so at a time until people learned that his credentials were fake, forcing Ben to move on. Although he attempted to avoid attracting attention to himself, Reilly was unable to simply hide when his spider-sense went off, resulting in him helping the local police deal with various gangs during a stop-over in Salt Lake City. During his time there, Reilly found love with college student/waitress Janine Godbe, but she later revealed that her true identity as Elizabeth Tyne, a fugitive who killed her father after enduring his repeating incestuous abuse. Although Ben spent some time living with Janine, she apparently committed suicide out of guilt at her past crimes, leaving Reilly to be constantly followed by Kaine, who vowed to deny Reilly happiness for as long as he could.
During this particularly bleak time, Ben began working as a janitor in a Portland high school using the alias "Henry Jones", initially allowing himself to be regarded as mentally handicapped until he rescued a woman from home invaders, which helped him realize that he could still make a difference. Following this, he lived for a short time in Italy, where he worked as an English teacher, but he was forced to leave after a Mafia boss discovered Reilly's past after his daughter expressed an interest in Reilly. The Mafioso learned about the gaps in Reilly's work record and forced him to leave the city.
Returning to New York when he found out about Aunt May's failing health, Ben came face-to-face with Peter and had to explain his reasons for returning. His presence also inspired Peter to get through his current dark mood after recent tragedies.
After an initial distrust of each other, Peter and Ben became friends and worked side by side as Spider-Man and the Scarlet Spider it was revealed by Seward Trainer that Peter was the clone and Ben had been the real Peter Parker all along. This drove Peter almost insane and left Ben stunned. They agreed to keep their names, since Ben still didn't feel like he deserved the name. Peter soon gave up the webs when he found out that Mary Jane was pregnant, leaving Ben as New York's only web-slinger.
While Peter Parker was on trial for a murder he didn't commit, Ben Reilly took Peter's spot in prison; giving Peter the mantle of Scarlet Spider, while the police figured out how to prove Peter Parker innocent. It was later revealed Kaine had committed the murder and due to being a clone, they thought it was Peter's fingerprint on the skeleton.
With Peter and Mary Jane leaving New York to lead a more quiet life in Portland, Peter offered Ben his Spider-Man suit. Ben, having turned down Peter's original costume, continued to operate as the Scarlet Spider, and joined the New Warriors, though none of the team members fully accepted him because he refused to reveal his identity. After Peter and Mary Jane moved away however, he took over the role of Spider-Man.
He soon quit the New Warriors after Lady Octopus and Alistaire Smythe ruined his reputation using a holographic copy. Reilly concluded that the deception had worked because he was too new to the group for them to trust him.
Although most people accepted that the 'new' Spider-Man was the same person as the old one, various heroes and villains learned the truth, including Black Cat, Silver Sable, Firestar, Sandman, Venom, the Human Torch, Daredevil, Mysterio, Cyclops, Storm, Angel, Iceman and Wolverine.
Having become Spider-Man, Ben began to enjoy the chance to have his own adventures, working as a waiter at local coffee house the Daily Grind, dying his hair blonde to distinguish himself from Peter, and dating local university students Jessica Carradine (until it was revealed that she was the daughter of the burglar who killed Uncle Ben) and Desiree Winthrop.
During christmas, New York had been enthralled by a new channel: Mystery-Vision; save for some lucky individuals. It was discovered that it was Mysterio, who had discovered a chip that would create 3-D images instantly, without the use of an entire crew, manipulating it to become attractive to the human gaze. Ben defeated him and put a stop to his plans.
Peter Parker and Mary Jane then returned to New York, due to missing it. Peter got a job at the Daily Bugle, using Ben's predicament as Spider-Man as a ways of getting good cash.
When the Carnage symbiote escaped Ravencroft, Ben Reilly bonded with it to stop it harming anyone else, managing to keep himself under control long enough for John Jameson to drive it out with a potentially fatal blast of microwave radiation, forcing it to return to Kasady. Soon after this confrontation, Seward Trainer disappeared as Peter was trying to research his background, and Ben was framed for arson when the Grind was burned down. It was later revealed that it was actually the new Hobgoblin that was hired to burn down the diner.
Ben Reilly's old girlfriend, Janine, eventually found him in back in New York, seemingly out of nowhere. After a short while of bliss, Kaine had come back and seemingly killed Janine. In anger, Ben chases him down only to get drugged and was sent into a hellish trip. Kaine then reveals that Janine was also drugged to appear dead and after a long anguish filled battle, Ben convinced Kaine to stop attacking them; and give himself in. Following Kaine's footsteps, Janine turns herself in; claiming that she was done running and wanted Ben to finally be happy.
Eventually, it was revealed that Trainer was working for Gaunt and Norman Osborn. Norman had survived the glider to his chest all those years ago and created the whole clone saga in order to drive Peter mad.
During a confrontation between the Green Goblin and the two Spider-Men, Norman impaled Ben Reilly with his glider and Peter watched as he seemingly disintegrated, proving that Ben was the clone all along. Peter dispersed Ben's ashes across New York City from a rooftop.
Ghosts of the Past
Years later, Peter was attacked by a man named Damon Ryder (using the name Raptor), believing him to be Ben Reilly. Raptor showed Spider-Man a sketch of the arsonist and revealed that the arsonist looked like Peter and Ben.
Ryder then appeared in New York City and confronted Peter, still believing him to be Ben Reilly and repeatedly calling him "Ben". The two fought in the middle of the office of Front Line after Raptor threatened to target Peter's family. Ryder gained the upper hand before Peter's coworkers got in the way, then left after handing over the article on the arsonist, with Ben Urich noting that it appeared to be Peter in the sketch. Ryder ditched his jacket not knowing a spider-tracer was on it, and headed to Peter's apartment to seemingly attack his roommate. When Spider-Man reached the tagged jacket, he was attacked by Kaine. After a scuffle with Kaine, Peter returned to his apartment and found his roommate unharmed, though she gave him the address of Aunt May's home. Peter headed there, only to find Raptor holding Harry Osborn and his cousins hostage at gunpoint. As Raptor announced his plans to burn his friends and family to death right in front of him after he admitted his "true identity" as Ben Reilly, Kaine arrived, revealing that he had been working with Raptor. Kaine exposed both Peter's identity and his status as a "clone" of Reilly to Raptor, encouraging him to kill him, since if Reilly was a murderer, then Peter could be driven to kill as well. Refusing to accept this, Peter beat Raptor unconscious, while affirming his and Reilly's innocence and the fact that they would never murder anyone. He was forced to flee when the police arrived, which allowed Kaine and Raptor to escape.
Dead No More
Ben Reilly was brought back to life by Miles Warren through a new cloning procedure he devised that allowed his subjects to retain old memories, in the case of Ben, to the point of his death. As the procedure caused the clones to suffer from cellular degradation, Reilly was constantly killed and resurrected by Warren in an attempt to find a cure for it. Reilly managed to break free from the shackles used to restrain him and attacked Warren, almost killing him. However, at the last second, Reilly realized there were other ways to deal with Warren and decided to knock him unconscious instead and cloned him. Tricking Warren into thinking he was a clone, Reilly convinced him and his clones to work for him in return for the pills he created to keep the cellular degeneration at bay. Ben took on the identity of the Jackal, impersonating the real Miles Warren, and created New U Technologies with the intention to use Warren's new cloning technology for good.
As the Jackal, Ben started laying a network of influence across the United States, using New U's cloning procedure to bring back to life the loved ones of members of government, law enforcement agencies, medical institutions and even the media. At one point, Ben also resurrected Gwen Stacy, offering her a place among his circle because he couldn't "trust himself with this." At first, she wasn't enthusiastis about it until she encountered her father, George Stacy, whom Ben had resurrected earlier, which convinced her to join.
In order to strengthen his enterprise, the Jackal recruited numerous of Spider-Man's foes, including the Rhino, the Lizard, and a depowered Electro. He also attempted to approach the Kingpin, who refused, claiming the Jackal had tained the memory of his dead wife Vanessa, whom Ben had brought back to provide Fisk with an incentive.
Ben eventually had New U come to light, appearing in the world as a pharmaceutical company which provided high-end medical solutions using cloned organs. As part of Ben's plan to slowly convince Peter Parker to join his enterprise, he had New U doctor Rita Clarkson enter in contact with Peter Parker to offer him to save the life of his step-uncle Jay Jameson. Peter was initially reluctant, but ended up paying for New U's services, albeit for another patient, an employee of his named Jerry Salters who had suffered a near-fatal accident while working at Parker Industries and had but hours left to live. However, when the "cured" Jerry Salteres triggered his spider-sense, Peter became suspicious of New U, and had his ally the Prowler investigate their base of operations at San Francisco.
The Prowler arrived at New U's base when the Jackal attempted to submit Electro to a procedure that would restore his powers, but ended up powering up his lover Francine Frye instead, who Reilly had resurrected in order to make Dillon cooperate. The Prowler was accidentally killed by Frye when he was discovered snooping around, but Ben made a clone of him and convinced him to join his cause.
The Jackal later brought back to life the late wife of John Jonah Jameson to use his news chain for publicity, as well as countless of friends and foes of Spider-Man. Through the machinations of a duplicate of Doctor Octopus, Ben also acquired the corpse of the original Doc Ock. The duplicate agreed to work for Ben once he took control of his new cloned body.
After Jerry Salteres mysteriously disappeared, having being taken by New U after suffering from cellular degeneration when he forgot to take his pills, Spider-Man personally investigated New U. When he infiltrated their base of operations, Peter was confronted by the Jackal, along with all of villains who had been resurrected by him, Gwen and Captain Stacy. Ben offered Peter a chance to join him, in order to use the combined power of New U and Parker Industries to help the world, but Peter turned him down. When Gwen Stacy was outed as an impostor, with the original having being replaced by her superpowered counterpart from an alternate universe who had been investigating the Jackal's operations, Peter found the chance to escape with her.
Eluding capture from other villains, Ben caught up with Peter, who overpowered him easily. Finally, Ben unmasked and revealed his identity to Peter. He made his offer again to Peter, this time offering up the chance to bring back Uncle Ben as an incentive. After hearing Ben's story of his resurrection, Peter accompanied him to his secondary base of operations, seemingly giving Ben a chance.
Once there, Ben showed Peter the apparent utopia he had built, a place where Spider-Man's friends and foes coexisted peacefully. Having realized that Ben possessed power but not responsibility, Peter reprimanded him, prompting Ben to order the villains he had brought back to attack him. Reilly returned to the lab, where Doc Ock and Ben's hostage Anna Maria Marconi had discovered it was a specific type of frequency which caused the cellular decay, and an inverse frequency could stop the decay altogether.
Doc Ock amplified the frequency responsible for the decay and piped it throughout the base after discovering that the Jackal was a clone, having decided to sabotage his enterprise for having disrespected Anna Maria, whom Otto loved. When all the clones in the base began to break down and turn into Carrions, Ben decided to broadcast the decaying signal across the entire world, causing an outbreak of the Carrion Virus globally, with the intention to bring every single person back as a clone once they had died.
Ben kept fighting Doctor Octopus while Spider-Man hacked into the emergency system of his Webware and had all of these devices globally emit the inverse frequency, stopping the outbreak and curing all those who hadn't yet completely broken down. During their fight, Octavius shattered Ben's Webware, preventing both of them from being cured. Ben then attempted to transfer his mind to a prototype body of New U's ultimate clone template created by Octavius. However, Octavius was already expecting Ben to do so and set a trap on the mind-transferring device that rendered Ben unconscious.
When Ben woke up, the proto-clone was gone and Doc Ock's old body was dissolved, suggesting that Octavius was able to transfer his mind to the clone before his body broke down and fled. After using the dissolved remains of a Miles Warren clone to make it seem he had perished, Ben escaped the building and stole a Webware to stabilize his own body.
Arriving at his safe house, which had been built by the Miles Warren clones to resemble Aunt May's house, Ben was confronted by the real Miles Warren in his original Jackal costume, bent on getting revenge on Reilly for stripping him of his identity. The Jackal started a fire to burn what was left of New U's resources and attacked Ben, but was ultimately defeated and buried under the wreckage of the burning house. Leaving the Jackal to die (metaphorically and literally), Ben set out to pave a new future for himself.
As a clone of Spider-Man, Ben possesses the same powers he does.
- Superhuman Strength: The Scarlet Spider possessed the proportionate strength of a spider, granting him superhuman strength. He was capable of lifting 10 tons or more when under extreme stress. The Scarlet Spider's strength extends into his powerful leg muscles which allows him to leap heights and distances far beyond human capability.
- Superhuman Stamina: The Scarlet Spider is able to exert himself at peak capacity for several hours before fatigue begins to impair his performance.
- Superhuman Durability: The composition of the Scarlet Spider's skeleton, inter-connected tissues, and nervous system had all been enhanced. His bodily tissues were somewhat more durable and resistant to impact or trauma than an ordinary human, although he was certainly not invulnerable. While his body was tougher than an ordinary human, he could still be injured in ways comparable to an ordinary human. He was seemingly killed when impaled in the back by the Green Goblin's goblin glider.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: However, if injured, his body is capable of regenerating faster than an ordinary human being.
- Superhuman Agility: The Scarlet Spider was extraordinarily limber and his tendons and connective tissues were twice as elastic as the average human being's, despite their enhanced strength.
- Spider-Sense: The Scarlet Spider possessed an extrasensory "danger" or "spider" sense which warned him of potential immediate danger by the manifestation of a tingling sensation in the back of his skull, and links with his superhuman kinesthetics, which enabled him to evade most any injuries, unless he cognitively overrode his automatic reflexes. The precise nature of this sense is unknown. It appeared to be a simultaneous clairvoyant response to a wide variety of phenomena (everything from falling safes to speeding bullets to thrown punches), which had given several hundredths of a second warning, which was sufficient time for his reflexes to allow him to avoid injury. The sense also could create a general response on the order of several minutes: he could not discern the nature of the threat by the sensation. He could, however, discern the severity of the danger by the strength of his response to it. The Scarlet Spider's spider-sense was directional and could guide him to or away from hidden weapons and enemies. Sudden and extreme threats could cause his spider-sense to react with painful intensity. The Scarlet Spider could also sense and dodge attacks directed randomly or by a computer. Using his spider-sense to time his enhanced reflexes, the Scarlet Spider could casually dodge attacks up to and including automatic-weapons fire, provided there was sufficient distance. His spider-sense was sufficiently well-linked to his reflexes to the point that a threat could trigger them even when the Scarlet Spider was asleep or stunned. His spider-sense had helped him preserve his secret identity since it alerts him to observers or camera when changing into or out of his costume. The spider-sense did react to those who Ben does not consider to be a threat. The Scarlet Spider could choose to ignore his spider-sense, and distraction or fatigue diminished its effectiveness. The Scarlet Spider's fighting style incorporates the advantage that his "spider-sense" provides him. An interesting side-note was that, because Ben was not the host of the Venom Symbiote and was cloned before the Symbiote was bonded to Peter, his spider-sense did not see the Venom symbiote as himself, and Venom therefore triggered his spider-sense.
- Superhuman Reflexes: The Scarlet Spider's reflexes were faster than an average human by about a factor of 15 (he was often able to dodge bullets only inches from hitting him). His practical reaction time was at least a dozen times that of a normal human. In combination with his spider-sense, the speed of his reflexes allowed him to dodge almost any attack, even bullets only inches away from his face.
- Superhuman Speed: The Scarlet Spider was capable of running and moving at speeds that are far beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete. Scarlet Spider has shown to be fast enough to catch up to an accelerating car while on foot, but preferred to travel by webs.
- Superhuman Equilibrium: The Scarlet Spider possessed the ability to achieve a state of perfect equilibrium in any position imaginable. He seemed able to adjust his position by instinct, which enabled him to balance himself on virtually any object, no matter how small or narrow. He had developed a unique fighting style that made full use of his agility, strength, and equilibrium.
- Wall-Crawling: The Scarlet Spider possessed the ability to mentally control the flux of inter-atomic attraction (electrostatic force) between molecular boundary layers. This overcame the outer electron shell's normal behavior of mutual repulsion with other outer electron shells and permitted the tremendous potential for electron attraction to prevail. The mentally controlled sub-atomic particle responsible for this has yet to be identified. This ability to affect the attraction between surfaces was so far limited to the Scarlet Spider's body (especially concentrated in his hands and feet) and another object, with an upper limit of several tons per finger. Limits to this ability seemed to be psychosomatic, and the full nature of this ability has yet to be established.
Pill Dependency: Originally, Ben Reilly was most perfect & successful clone of Peter Parker that created by Jackal since he didn't suffered the cellular degradation like other clones. However, after being brought back to life through Miles Warren's new and experimental cloning procedure, Reilly's body suffered from cellular degradation, requiring him to ingest a pill he created daily in order to keep it at bay.
Web-Shooters: Ben originally had webshooters that were duplicates of Peter's. After his first encounter with Venom, Ben redesigned his webshooters. Ben's webshooters were redesigned to use twisting wrist motions as opposed to Peter's double tap. He also added the following to his arsenal:
- Impact Webbing: Web pellets that upon impact (hence the name) release tendrils the ensnare the target.
- Stingers: Metal darts with a paralytic element that is used to temporarily incapacitate foes.
- Between his first appearance and the Clone Saga, modern science seemed to conclude that cloning wasn't possible. The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #8 and The Spectacular Spider-Man #149 attempted to address this revelation by having the High Evolutionary determine the Jackal's clones of Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy weren't clones at all, but individuals who were exposed to a recombinant-DNA virus that altered them into exact doubles. The Spider-Man Clone was therefore "really" a man named Anthony Serba, under the influence of the RNA virus. When the second Clone Sage brought back the clones (and medical science swung back to believing cloning was possible), Scarlet Spider Unlimited #1 just had the High Evolutionary admit he lied, and Ben Reilly was a clone, not Anthony Serba.
- Ben claimed that he has found a cure for degradation cellular in the form New U Pills. They apparently prevent the cloned bodies from breaking down as a consequence of a flaw in their cloning process, and need to be ingested daily since the effect of these pills isn't permanent. Ben himself suffered from the same cellular degeneration as the other clones recently resurrected by New U.
- Ben dyed his hair blond, to lessen his resemblance to Peter Parker.. Ever since his return in Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy, it's been returned to brunette. It's suggested by Peter that he's kept it this way to replace Peter should he not go along with his plans.
- Ben, like all of Peter's clones, did not set off Peter's Spider-Sense and vice versa.
- Venom was not hidden from Ben's Spider-Sense as the symbiote was never bonded to Ben.
- In the story "What If Spider-Man's Clone Had Lived?", it presents an alternate climax to Amazing Spider-Man #149, where the clone knocks Peter out, thinking he is the clone, and is able to rescue Gwen Stacy's clone and Ned Leeds. He then locks Peter in a Cryo Tube and, after living Peter's life for a day, realizes that he is the clone. He wakes Peter up and informs him about the Kingpin challenging him. After the defeat of the Kingpin, Peter and his clone agree to live together and share duties as Spider-Man. Since, in this tale, he doesn't go in to exile, the clone is never referred to as Ben in this story.
- In the Amalgam Universe, Ben (during his time as Spider-Man) was combined with Superboy, creating Spider-Boy.
- Spider-Man's clone appeared in the 1970's Live Action Spider-Man series in the 1978 episode Night of the Clones.
- Ben died on Halloween day.
- The one to give Ben the Scarlet Spider moniker was Ken Ellis.
- During his time as Scarlet Spider, Mister Sinister got a hold of Ben's genetic information and has cloned him.
- 286 Appearances of Ben Reilly (Earth-616)
- 12 Minor Appearances of Ben Reilly (Earth-616)
- Media Ben Reilly (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- 120 Images featuring Ben Reilly (Earth-616)
- 29 Quotations by or about Ben Reilly (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Ben Reilly (Earth-616)
- Life of Reilly - A very detailed 35-part exploration of the Clone Saga
- The Clone Saga Timeline
- reilly.html Ben's Profile at Spiderfan.org
- The Official Fans of Reilly Thread - Long Running Ben Reilly Fan Thread at the Superherohype
Discover and Discuss
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- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #9
- ↑ Free Comic Book Day Vol 2016 #Captain America
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Amazing Spider-Man #149
- ↑ Web of Spider-Man #120
- ↑ Spider-Man #52
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Sensational Spider-Man #0
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Amazing Spider-Man #410
- ↑ The Spectacular Spider-Man #149
- ↑ The Spectacular Spider-Man #223
- ↑ Web of Spider-Man #117
- ↑ Web of Spider-Man #128
- ↑ New Warriors #62
- ↑ Web of Scarlet Spider #4
- ↑ Sensational Spider-Man #1
- ↑ Spider-Man #65
- ↑ Sensational Spider-Man #3
- ↑ The Spectacular Spider-Man #233
- ↑ Spider-Man #69
- ↑ Spider-Man: Redemption Vol 1
- ↑ Sensational Spider-Man #8
- ↑ Spider-Man #75
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man Annual #36
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #608
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #609-610
- ↑ 25.0 25.1 Amazing Spider-Man Vol 4 #22
- ↑ 26.0 26.1 Clone Conspiracy #3
- ↑ 27.0 27.1 27.2 Clone Conspiracy #1
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man Vol 4 #2
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man Vol 4 #4
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man Vol 4 #10
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man Vol 4 #19
- ↑ 32.0 32.1 Amazing Spider-Man Vol 4 #16
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man Vol 4 #17
- ↑ 34.0 34.1 Clone Conspiracy #5
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man Vol 4 #20
- ↑ Clone Conspiracy #2
- ↑ Clone Conspiracy #4
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man Vol 4 #24
- ↑ The Spectacular Spider-Man #217
- ↑ The Spectacular Spider-Man #240
- ↑ Wolverines #6
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