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Ben Reilly (Earth-616)

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Quote1 Please, Peter. This is darker than red. It's more of a... scarlet. It's me, Peter. Ben Reilly. Your brother from another blood cell. Quote2
-- Ben Reilly src
 
Peter Parker (Earth-616) vs. Peter Parker (Ben Reilly) (Earth-616)

The first battle

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.[3] 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.

Exiled

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.[8] 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.

Scarlet Spider

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.[9]

Peter Parker (Benjamin Reilly) (Earth-616) from Web of Spider-Man Vol 1 118 0001

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. Although Ben turned down Peter's original costume, he continued to operate as the Scarlet Spider, and joined the New Warriors to deal with the Carrion Virus,[10] though none of the team members fully accepted him because he refused to reveal his identity. He soon abandoned the Scarlet Spider identity 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.

As Spider-Man

Redemp1b

Ben Reilly as Spider-Man

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.

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.

Amazing Spider-Man The Complete Ben Reilly Epic Vol 1 3 Textless

Ben Reilly as Spider-Carnage

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. During 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.

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.[11]

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.[12]

Ghosts of the Past

Ben Reilly (Earth-616) from Spider-Man Vol 1 75 001

Ben Reilly is killed... for the time being

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.[13]

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.[14] 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.[15]

Legacy

After his further mutations were annulled during the Spider-Island incident in Manhattan, Kaine, Reilly's fellow clone, took on the mantle of the Scarlet Spider.[16]

Kraven the Hunter pretended to be Ben Reilly for a time in order to torture Kaine.[17]

Kaine and Peter later encountered a version of Ben from a different universe, where Ben remained Spider-Man. This Ben later sacrificed himself to stop the Inheritors' plans.[18]

After the death of Wolverine, Mister Sinister created various clones of Ben to battle the Wolverines.[19]

Dead No More

Ben Reilly was brought back to life by Miles Warren through a new cloning procedure he devised. 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 clone Warren. 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. Together, Ben Reilly (now as the Jackal and impersonating the real Miles Warren) and the Miles Warrens created New U Technologies to use their cloning technology for good.[20]

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.[21]

Ben later travelled to Tahuexco, Guatemala, to offer a job to Aleksei Sytsevich, formerly known as Rhino. Although Aleksei rejected his offer at first, Reilly changed his mind when he showed what he could give him as payment: a revived Oksana.[22]

Ben's next stop was the Andru Correctional Facility to visit Dr. Curt Connors, a.k.a. the Lizard, who quickly accepted his offer after seeing his resurrected wife and son.[23] Reilly provided Aleksei with a black Rhino Armor and sent him to break Connors and a depowered Electro out of the Andru Correction Facility.[24]

Assisted by Dr. Connors and his wife, Reilly submitted Electro to a procedure that would restore his powers,[25] but it didn't work. However, the suit that was meant to transfer its energy to Dillon started to discharge into Francine Frye, who Reilly had resurrected in oreder to make Dillon cooperate. Reilly theorized that having used genetic material from Francine's cheek after she kissed Electro had mixed up her DNA.

Reilly tried in vain to prevent Francine from killing Dillon when she started to absorb the rest of his powers. He then decided to give her a second chance by sending her after the Prowler, who had infiltrated New U Headquarters, but Francine ended up accidentally killing him during the chase, much to Ben's dismay.[26]

When Peter Parker unexpectedly called Dr. Clarkson to save one of his employees' life, Reilly allowed her to let the procedure happen.[25] After giving Francine a costume modeled after Dillon's and bringing the Prowler back to life, Reilly revealed his secrets to the Prowler, convincing him to join his cause.[26]

Ben next approached Wilson Fisk in San Francisco, asking him to join New U by giving him back his wife Vanessa. However, Fisk was furious that the Jackal tainted the memory of his dead wife. He snapped Vanessa's neck, then ordered his bodyguards to kill him. Ben was rescued by the Rhino.[27]

Ben, at some point, acquired the bodies of the Spider-Slayer and a ton of other Spider-Man villains to resurrect. 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.[28]

Ben Reilly (Earth-616) from Clone Conspiracy Vol 1 3 001

Ben reveals himself to Peter

The Clone Conspiracy

When Peter went to investigate New U after Jerry Salteres mysteriously disappeared, he found himself encountering a masked Ben,[21] along with all of the others who had been resurrected by him. Ben offered Peter a chance to join him, but Peter turned him down. However, when George Stacy realized something was wrong with Gwen, her revelation as her Earth-65 counterpart allowed Peter to escape with her, while the others gave chase.[29]

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.[30] Though horrified at that thought, Peter heard out Ben's story of his resurrection and the creation of New U. Offering the chance a third time, Peter asked: "tell me more."[20]

Powers

As a clone of Spider-Man, the Scarlet Spider possessed the same powers he did.

  • 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.
ScarletSpider1

Ben Reilly as Scarlet Spider

  • 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.

Abilities

Photography

Strength level

10 Tons




Weapons

  • 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 paralitic 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. However, Ben himself has never been seen consuming these pills, possibly because he was resurrected by Miles Warren so many times. Whether this is due to his perfect cloned body, or a permanent cure for himself that he created, is still unclear.[20]
  • Ben dyed his hair blond, to lessen his resemblance to Peter Parker.[6]
  • Ben, like all of Peter's clones, did not set off Peter's Spider-Sense and vice versa.[31]
  • 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.[32]
  • 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.[33]

Discover and Discuss

Footnotes

  1. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #9
  2. Free Comic Book Day Vol 2016 #Captain America
  3. 3.0 3.1 Amazing Spider-Man #149
  4. Web of Spider-Man #120
  5. Spider-Man #52
  6. 6.0 6.1 Sensational Spider-Man #0
  7. Amazing Spider-Man #410
  8. The Spectacular Spider-Man #223
  9. Web of Spider-Man #117
  10. New Warriors #16
  11. Amazing Spider-Man #122
  12. Spider-Man #75
  13. Amazing Spider-Man Annual #36
  14. Amazing Spider-Man #608
  15. Amazing Spider-Man #609-610
  16. Scarlet Spider Vol 2 #1
  17. Scarlet Spider Vol 2 #21
  18. Scarlet Spiders #3
  19. Wolverines #5
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Amazing Spider-Man Vol 4 #22
  21. 21.0 21.1 Clone Conspiracy #1
  22. Amazing Spider-Man Vol 4 #2
  23. Amazing Spider-Man Vol 4 #4
  24. Amazing Spider-Man Vol 4 #10
  25. 25.0 25.1 Amazing Spider-Man Vol 4 #16
  26. 26.0 26.1 Amazing Spider-Man Vol 4 #17
  27. Amazing Spider-Man Vol 4 #19
  28. Amazing Spider-Man Vol 4 #20
  29. Clone Conspiracy #2
  30. Clone Conspiracy #3
  31. The Spectacular Spider-Man #217
  32. The Spectacular Spider-Man #240
  33. Wolverines #6



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