December 7th, 2016 - Go pick up Clone Conspiracy Issue 3. Now. I will refrain from posting more information for today out of respect for the story. Just go get it.
20 Years to the month. They brought back Ben.
November 30th, 2016 - Not sure why I forgot to post this - but this was the fantastic '92 Variant Cover for Web Warriors issue 2.
November 9th, 2016 - The Jackal has returned for The Clone Conspiracy - and he's bringing back everyone who has ever died under Peter's watch as Spider-Man. Could Ben be one of them? Looks like we'll have to wait and see for Issue 3.
October 27th, 2015 - You want to hear me say it? I've been lazy. Most of the recent news was posted to Twitter, but there hasn't been much.
So what have we missed? Those Ben Reilly clones in Wolverines #5 - all died... horribly. It was nice to see some continuity with the Spider-Man/X-Men Mini Series that featured Ben... but those clones did not last past Wolverines #6.
We've also gotten some awesome new Ben Reilly action figures in the Marvel Legends line from Hasbro. Scarlet Spider was just released as part of the Rhino Build-a-Figure Wave, and Ben as Spider-Man will be released in the Absorbing Man wave in time for Christmas. As an added bonus, Ben Reilly Spidey comes with an alternate head and hands to create Spider Carnage.
The last piece of news is speculative - but a new book coming out as part of the All-New, All-DIfferent Marvel initiative is Web Warriors. This is a spin-off of the Spider-Verse Secret Wars tie-in - which Ben will never appear in because he died in the original story. However, eagle-eyed Ben fans may notice this on one of the covers for Web Warriors:
Maybe we will get to see the universe that Spider-Verse Ben Reilly came from?
February 13th, 2015 - I guess Marvel wasn't done with Ben yet. In a very random appearance, many Ben Reilly clones show up as Mr. Sinister's personal security detail in the currently ongoing Wolverines series (Issue #5). Based on previews, the Ben clones will also be in Issue 6.
January 22nd, 2015 - Scarlet Spiders Issue 3 was released yesterday, for those of you who haven't read it - you may want to stop reading.
Rather than paste in a plot synopses from Wikipedia, I thought I should write a few words about Ben Reilly's appearance in the Spider-Verse event. I wanted to do this because, arguably, I put the site together in 2009 with the hope that Ben might return in some form one day. Since then, we've had some flashback stories and even a mini-series featuring the character who we hadn't seen previously in over a decade. Now, we were finally getting a story set in current continuity in which Ben would appear. We eventually learned that not only would Ben appear, but he would receive his own 3 issue tie-in comic to the Spider-Verse event. This was more than fans of Punk Spider-Man or Spider-Man India were getting - not just a few appearances over the course of the event - a dedicated story. To accommodate the premise of the event, Dan Slott was essentially forced to make each Spider-Man variant a character stereotype to distinguish each version from the original Peter Parker - and Ben was no different.
The Ben Reilly of Earth-094 (a nod to the year the character first re-emerged from exile) was essentially Positivity Spider-Man. He had come from a timeline where, despite being a clone with nothing of his own, he took over the mantle of Spider-Man after Peter Parker lost his powers and somehow retained a positive outlook on life. He credits his belief that everything will work out in his favor as being the key to his success as Spider-Man. From what little backstory we receive about him, Earth-94 Ben comes from a reality where he encountered everything Peter Parker had after the Clone Saga, but with more positive outcomes. He was obviously never killed by Norman Osborn, and recently managed to outsmart Doctor Octopus and avoid having his brain switched, which lead 616 Peter Parker to the Superior Spider-Man era. This characterization is an extension of why Ben was created originally: to replace a Peter Parker that had been mired in dark stories and emotional baggage. Marvel wanted a happy-go-lucky Spider-Man, which Ben would have become.
Theorizing that the Inheritors must be clones, as they dissolve once dead, Ben and Kaine decide to head to Earth-802 where the clones of Jennix originated. The original stars of the Clone Sage team up with a character created more than 10 years later as part of the Ultimate Clone Saga, Jessica Drew (now known as the Ultimate Black Widow). As they proceed into the alternate timeline which includes a more sinister version of Johnny Storm, they discover that Jennix is operating his clone factory out of that universe's Baxter Building. Thoughout the story, Ben provides the positivity and corny jokes, hoping his teammates (which he dubs Team Clone, to Kaine's distaste) can forget about the hopeless and dire situation they've had thrust upon them. After infiltrating Jennix's compound and stealing the Iron Man armor of a less-than-heroic Tony Stark, Team Clone enters the Baxter Building. They discover that the Professor Miles Warren of this reality is helping Jennix create not only regenerative clones of himself, but also horribly mutated clones of Peter Parker. The purpose of these Parker clones is to create an endless feeding supply of Spiders for the Inheritors to consume. Kaine, enraged by what they've discovered and obviously triggered by the clone experiments, gives into The Other and begins to mutate into a spider monster. In this form he kills Jennix. Ben protests that Kaine should not kill, but immediately another Jennix clone emerges from a creation tube and the fight continues. The constantly emerging Jennix clones are a great throw-back to the original Clone Saga where The Jackal was always seemingly dying only to reappear as another clone in a subsequent panel or issue.
Ben and Kaine battle each Jennix clone, with Ben fighting with everything he has, but sustaining major injuries. Ben decides that in order to succeed in their mission to stop the clones and protect Kaine (as his role as The Other was essential to winning the battle against the Inheritors) he would have to sacrifice himself to destroy the Baxter Building, and the clone factory within. After ensuring Kaine and Ultimate Black Widow were clear, he detonated several unstable explosive grenades at Jennix's feet. The true hero, Ben gives his life to destroy the Inheritors ability to create more clones. The narration over his death reads "At the last second, with his last thought, Ben thinks: there's probably a way I can make it out of this one, too."
Ben's death fuels Kaine to fully embrace The Other and attack The Inheritors head on. It remains to be seen if the blue-hooded Scarlet Spider will appear in the epic final battle.
As quickly as he came back, Ben was again gone. He received some fantastic attention from writer Mike Costa and artist Paco Diaz - he was given more than just a simple character trait. This may indeed be the last time we see Ben for quite some time, and I'm very pleased with how his brief return was handled. I highly recommend you pick up these issues of Scarlet Spiders if you are a fan of Ben, or are just looking for some 90s nostalgia. Though it may be a little too soon, we begin again...
Bring Back Ben.
January 15th, 2015 - Here is what's happened so far in Spider-Verse with Ben:
On Earth-94, Ben Reilly was not killed by Green Goblin. He is fighting alternate versions of the Vulture sent by Verna when Old Man Spider and Spider-Ham arrive. During the fight, they are paralyzed by poisoned knives thrown by the Vultures. Ben manages to break free due to having fought a similar type of control when he was bonded with the Carnage symbiote. He webs one of the Vultures, causing him to throw acid at one of his partners. The distraction is enough for Old Man Spider and Spider-Ham to break free and web the rest of the Vultures. They escape to Earth-13.
Meeting up with the group of Spider-Men on Earth-928, Kaine and Ben Reilly deduce that the Inheritors are clones (explaining why their bodies disintegrate upon death) and Ben opens a portal to the Inheritors' home base. Ultimate Spider-Woman joins them stating she is a clone as well.
On Earth-802, Jennix regenerates from a clone fetus. He declines to return to the battlefield complaining that eating a monkey is hardly worth his time and returns to his research. Outside, Black Widow of Earth-1610, Kaine, and Ben Reilly prepare to make an assault on his headquarters, the Baxter Building.
Finally, to ensure Dan Slott remained true to his promise that "every Spider-Man ever" would appear in the event, Spider-Verse Issue 2 jumps ahead to the final battle which seems to include every Spider-Man left. This includes the Scarlet Spider.
November 4th, 2014 - Here it is - the day Ben Reilly fans have been waiting for has finally arrived. Ben Reilly has graced the pages of Amazing Spider-Man in current continuity. This Ben Reilly is however from Earth 94 - presumably the universe that the Clone Saga Mini Series took place in.
To see how he is recruited to the team of Spider-Men to fight the Morlun family - check out Spider-Verse Team-up #1.
To follow Ben's adventures in Spider-Verse also pick up Amazing Spider-Man #9.
Before you get too excited about Ben sticking around long-term, check out the listing for Scarlet Spiders #3.
SCARLET SPIDERS #3 (of 3)
MICHAEL COSTA (W)
PACO DIAZ (A)
Cover by DAVID NAKAYAMA
SPIDER-VERSE MARCHES ON!
• The Scarlet Spiders’ adventure through SPIDER-VERSE reaches its epic conclusion!
• With the fates of the Spiders from across the multiverse in their hands, can Kaine, Jessica Drew, and Ben Reilly stop Jennix and his machinations of destruction?!
• One of the Scarlet Spiders will have to make the ultimate sacrifice!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
August 20th, 2014 - November solicitations reveal another Ben Reilly story, and a cover appearance on Amazing Spider-Man #9.
SPIDER-VERSE TEAM-UP #1 (of 3)
CHRISTOS GAGE & ROGER STERN (W)
DAVE WILLIAMS & TBD (A)
Cover by DAVE WILLIAMS
ARTIST VARIANT BY TBA
Which is obvious from the title!
• TWO SPIDEY-STORIES PER ISSUE!
• The old-man Spider-Man from AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #500 and Spider-Ham team-up to recruit BEN REILLY!
• Spider-Man Noir and a Six-Armed Spider-Man go on a mission that terrifies them more than anything they’ve ever seen!
SCARLET SPIDERS #1 (of 3)
MICHAEL COSTA (W)
PACO DIAZ (A)
Cover by DAVID NAKAYAMA
VARIANT COVER BY MARK BAGLEY
• The first issue in an explosive limited series tying into the biggest Spider-Event ever: SPIDER-VERSE!
• In the midst of Spider-Verse, Kaine, Ben Reilly, and Ultimate Jessica Drew must come together for a mission of vital importance!
• There is more to their mission than meets the eye – what dangers await the Scarlet Spiders across the multiverse?
August 13th, 2014 - Marvel has announced that a key tie-in to the Spider-Verse event will be called Scarlet Spiders and feature Ultimate Jessica Jones, 616 Kaine and Ben Reilly from an alternate universe - where he took over the role of Spider-Man after defeating the Green Goblin and Peter moved to Portland with Mary Jane. Read more about the series here. This is likely the closest we will get to Ben's return - so make sure you enjoy it and maybe buy an extra copy of every issue!
April 1st, 2014 - Marvel announced this year's Spider-Man event called Spider-Verse. Starting in November, Dan Slott and Olivier Coipel are bringing "every Spider-Man from every universe together for the first time." The story kicks off in "Amazing Spider-Man" #9, continuing in that book and other, yet-to-be-revealed titles. The story will be previewed with a five-page back-up story in Marvel's Free Comic Book Day offering this May. Here are two parts of the image released with the announcement. Click either for the full teaser image.
November 27th, 2013 -Two nice surprise Ben cameos today. One in Scarlet Spider #24:
The other from Superior Carnage #5.
September 8th, 2013 - Ben didn't come back, so I figured his fans could use some new art!
September 3rd, 2013 - Scarlet Spider #21 came out last week, and while we got some cool new art featuring Ben Reilly - ultimately my original suspicions were confirmed (spoiler).
August 26th, 2013 - Check out the Preview for Scarlet Spider #21.
June 22nd, 2013 - Sorry for the delay. Here is the cover for Scarlet Spider #21! Now with 100% more impact webbing!
May 16th, 2013 - ...and the solicitation for Scarlet Spider #21:
SCARLET SPIDER #21
CHRISTOPHER YOST (W) • CARLO BARBERI (A)
Cover by RYAN STEGMAN
Issue #21 – INTO THE GRAVE PART 1 (of 3)
• After last issue’s shocking ending, everything has changed for Kaine. His second chance at life is over.
• At his lowest point, he comes face to face with the one man that’s fueled his obsession, hate and guilt his entire life... BEN REILLY.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99
May 10th, 2013 - Marvel has posted an interview with Christopher Yost about the upcoming crossover with Kaine and the Superior Spider-Man. Not only will the two battle it out, but The Jackal will play some part in this story. Oh, and here is the most interesting news - check out the last question Yost was asked:
Marvel.com: Looking even further down the line, the solicitation for SCARLET SPIDER #21 promises that "everything has changed for Kaine" following the events of Sibling Rivalry, and that he's about to cross paths with none other than Ben Reilly. What more can you say about what the end of this story means for SCARLET SPIDER going forward?
Christopher Yost: The last page of Sibling Rivalry really changes the game for Kaine. Something happens—I mean the entire series is based on the fact that this is a guy who has a second chance at life. Sometimes, second chances can be taken away. This is where SCARLET SPIDER has been building to for basically the entire series. You're going to see everything kind of implode. You think you've seen bad things in Kaine before? You haven't seen anything yet.
We haven't seen the solicitation yet for Scarlet Spider #21, so I'm not sure what exactly to expect at the end of this new Sibling Rivalry arc.
March 29th, 2013 - Newsarama has posted a Teaser for next week, which they are calling Superior Spider-Man Week.
Marvel has hinted for weeks that something happens in next month'sSuperior Spider-Man #9 that they think will get Spidey-fans up-in-arms more than even Amazing Spider-Man #700 or Superior Spider-Man #1 did. And Friday they teased what they're calling "Superior Spider-Week" next week.
"What’s in store for the Superior Spider-Man in the coming months? Find out next week!" reads Marvel's release.
This is why you should care:
It looks like there may be a costume change to something very familiar to Ben Reilly fans.
February 13th, 2013 - Scarlet Spider #14 was released today, and we finally get another actual Ben appearance! It's a manifestation in Kaine's mind, but I'll take it! This is a very interesting issue for those who liked The Other story line several years ago in Amazing Spider-Man.
December 27th, 2012 - Amazing Spider-Man #700 came out yesterday... love it or hate it (not a fan of the revelation, personally) it DID feature a quick flashback shot of Ben's death as defining moment in Peter Parker's life. The shot will make more sense once you've read the story... but it's nice to see Ben acknowledged, again.
That's him! Dead in front of "Peter." Yeah, it's not much... but it's all we got until Ben shows up in Scarlet Spider somehow.
UPDATE: Nevermind, Humberto Ramos confirmed on Twitter this is actually Billy Connors.