Ben Reilly has appeared under many aliases since his introduction in The Amazing Spider-Man #149 (October 1975). Among them are Spider-Man, The Jackal, Spider-Carnage, and The Scarlet Spider. But as a clone of Peter Parker, Reilly was apparently killed at one point, sacrificing himself to save Parker’s life.
In Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy, a resurrected Reilly was revealed behind an Anubis mask, masquerading as The Jackal. By the end of the event, Reilly took back up the mantle of The Scarlet Spider, stealing a costume off a cosplayer and heading off to Vegas.
Peter David is no stranger to writing for the Spider-Family. In Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider #1, David picks up the story seamlessly right were Clone Conspiracy left off.
The Controversy Has Only Just Begun
In a desperate attempt to become the hero he feels Vegas deserves, Reilly tries to recreate Peter Parker’s life. His efforts to find his own versions of Mary Jane and Aunt May are two of the many high points in this chapter. Of course, things don’t quite work out to plan.
Mark Bagley does a fantastic job creating three distinct looks for the faces of Reilly. The past Scarlet Spider phase has an innocent, bright appearance. His Jackal phase is dark and twisty. The current embattled and confused phase lands somewhere in between.
Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider #1 is a great jumping on point for new readers. Unfamiliar readers are brought up to speed nicely with just the right amount of exposition. There’s plenty of meat on the bone for seasoned readers as well. This first chapter flows right out of the previous event.
FOLLOW BEN REILLY’S ADVENTURES AND PRE-ORDER THE NEXT ISSUES
Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider #1, Marvel Comics, Released April 26, 2017, Written by Peter David, Pencils by Mark Bagley, Inks by John Dell, Color by Jason Keith, Letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna, $3.99