10 Things Only Spider-Man Fans Know About Ben Reilly

Spider-Man: No Coming Home featured a trio of different Spider-Men on screen, but one version of Peter Parker he didn’t portray was his clone, Ben Reilly. Ben Reilly is a product of The clone saga, one of the most controversial storylines in Spider-Man comic book history. However, comic book fans know that he has since become a key part of the modern Spidey mythos and one of Peter Parker’s closest allies.

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He has now become one of Spider-Man’s greatest enemies. Ben Reilly has become Chasm, and his evolution could signal his possible future screen appearance as part of the MCU or more likely the Sony Marvel universe. Ben Reilly’s comic book history is worth digging into as his importance grows in the Marvel Universe and his live-action debut seems inevitable.

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First impression


Spider-Man in the clone saga issue 149.

Although Ben Reilly is generally considered to have first appeared in The clone saga 1990s comic Spider-Man storyline that the MCU should avoid, it actually appeared much earlier. Ben Reilly actually appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #149 from 1975.

He wasn’t called Ben then and wouldn’t be for decades, but Spider-Man fought the clone of himself to his apparent death. Clone Survival Would Be Considered A Classic What if..? years before it was actually brought back in 1994.

Created by the Jackal


The Jackal playing with the Spider-Men using his DNA-stylized strings

The Jackal, one of Spider-Man’s most underrated comic book villains, is responsible for Ben Reilly. In The Amazing Spider-Man #149, the Jackal obtains a DNA sample from Peter Parker and creates a clone of him as part of his attempt to clone the late Gwen Stacy.


The confusion of which Peter Parker is the clone begins immediately and The clone saga he would later take full advantage of this by playing the mystery for years on every active Spider-Man title at the time.

Fight Kaine


Kaine Parker in a web in Spider-Man.

Ben Reilly was a wanderer for many years after his apparent death. During this time, he battled Peter Parker’s first unsuccessful clone, Kaine. Kaine is one of the most powerful versions of Spider-Man, and one of the most dangerous.

Kaine would go on to threaten both Ben and Peter Parker for The clone saga but her first encounters with Ben were perhaps the most perverse. He killed Ben’s mentor, a scientist who encouraged Ben’s growth and value as an individual.


The Scarlet Spider


Ben Reilly as Scarlet Spider.

Believing he is the real Peter Parker, Ben Reilly returns to New York after learning of Aunt May’s declining health. This leads to an identity crisis for the real Peter and a major shift in Spider-Man’s status quo, with Ben becoming the Scarlet Spider.

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Thinking he is the clone, Peter Parker leaves Spider-Man and New York behind, and Ben takes over. He dons a new costume that in some ways reflects his mid-’90s era, but the hooded look has since become synonymous with another major Spider-Man, Miles Morales.

Maximum Cloning


A comic panel with Jackal tricking Spider-Man with overpowered Ben Reilly.

The jackal returns to the Maximum Cloning storyline to add to the confusion over who the real Peter Parker is. Things get even worse when Peter teams up with The Jackal due to severe confusion over his identity, despite The Jackal’s plan to wipe out humanity.


This leads to more conflict between Peter and Ben, and for a time after the story ends and The Jackal’s apparent death, Ben Reilly wants nothing to do with Spider-Man. However, he cannot escape his fate.

Spider-Man, Spider-Man


Spider-Man-Ben-Reilly-Suit-Upgrade-Featured

Ben Reilly would officially become Spider-Man when Peter decided to step down. Ben created a new costume that echoed Spidey’s original look but with an exaggerated, off-center Spider icon that would become his default look for years.

This suit includes enhanced web shooters that are more powerful than Peter Parker’s. They also introduced new abilities, like “stinger” webs that could incapacitate enemies, a concept that would be further developed in the MCU with Peter’s various suits.


Death


Ben Reilly dies in the Spider-Man comics.

The clone saga would apparently end up with Ben Reilly when he died at the hands of Norman Osborn, who returned after being dead for nearly twenty years in the comics. Ben died saving Peter’s life, seemingly ending his story.

His death also answered the question of which clone was, as his body dematerialized, like all the other clones did. No one ever died in Marvel Comics, however, and Ben would return after a long absence as another clone.

The new jackal


The New Jackal takes on Spider-Man in Marvel Comics.

Ben Reilly would initially reappear as the New Jackal, an ominous echo of his villainous creator. This version of Ben is a clone that has been replicated dozens of times after a scientist named Miles Warren initially failed to recreate him.

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The New Jackal takes on his predecessor’s clone ambitions, perfecting the process and bringing back many Spider-Man villains who were previously thought to be dead. He also tries to carry out the Jackal’s original plan to replace all of humanity with clones.

The New Warriors


The Scarlet Spdier joins the New Warriors in Marvel Comics.

The New Warriors have a shot at becoming one of the top MCU teams with the news that Nova is coming to the franchise. Ben Reilly could join them live like he did in the comics, becoming a member for a brief period in the mid-90s.

Ben joins the team of young superheroes in The New Warriors #62 and begins a brief romance with Firestar, who was originally introduced as Peter Parker’s friend and partner in the animated series Spider-Man and his amazing friends.

chasm


Ben has been a close ally and friend of Peter Parker in recent years, with the two forming a strong bond. This took a dark turn in recent comics, with Ben becoming a powerful new enemy named Chasm after being manipulated by Beyond Corporation.

Ben bonds with what appears to be an alien symbiote similar to Venom and Carnage, a development that makes him very likely to appear in the context of the Sony Marvel Universe, where Venom and Carnage have previously appeared. Ben and Chasm could appear in the MCU, however, thanks to Venom leaving behind some symbiote matter in the final moments of No return home.


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