A few weeks ago, Marvel revealed that the long-dead Spider-Man clone, Ben Reilly has resurfaced as the Jackal, the villain behind The Clone Conspiracy. Although Reilly has been gone for the better part of two decades, it appears that Marvel has had long term plans to keep him around. According to Comic Book Resources, writer Peter David and Ultimate Spider-Man artist Mark Bagley will be the creative team for Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider; which includes a very “friendly” redesigned costume that’s similar to the outfit that Reilly wore in the ’90s as the original Scarlet Spider.
David told CBR that Reilly won’t entirely be free of his villainous persona when the series starts. “[Ben Reilly] spent so long trying to emulate Peter Parker, to be a hero, and then he had as huge a fall from grace as anyone could imagine. And now, he has died literally so many times that it’s completely unhinged him to the point where he doesn’t know what the hell he wants anymore. Someone like Peter is truly fixed in his personality and life’s ambitions. Ben is trying to understand the world around him and his relationship to it. He’s a hero at heart, but a villain in his head and he is constantly trying to sort everything out.”
As for the most recent Scarlet Spider, Kaine Parker, it appears that he will also be surviving the events of The Clone Conspiracy, as he attempts to hunt down his clone-brother. We still don’t know exactly how The Clone Conspiracy will end, but this report seemed to indicate that most of the characters will believe that Ben Reilly died again, while Kaine insists that he survived. It seems likely that the rivalry between Reilly and Kaine will continue in this series as well.
Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider #1 will be released in April.
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Images: Marvel Comics