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Post By
The Silver Surfer

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
In Reply To
Iron Matt

Member Since: Wed Apr 17, 2013
Subj: Re: The Back of Beyond (Amazing Spider-Man #93)
Posted: Thu Mar 31, 2022 at 09:50:00 am EDT (Viewed 131 times)
Reply Subj: The Back of Beyond (Amazing Spider-Man #93)
Posted: Wed Mar 30, 2022 at 04:27:27 pm EDT (Viewed 205 times)

Previous Post

Well, meh.

I'm one of those folks who really really liked Ben Reilly in the 1990s. Don't get me wrong, my teenage self was well aware that much of the reviled Clone Saga was drek -- particularly the nonsense with Judas Traveller, Scrier, and Maximum Clonage. But Ben? I liked Ben.

I didn't much care about the mock drama around "who is the clone, and who is the real Peter?" I certainly didn't care for Peter slapping Mary Jane. That was so transparently artificial, done just to make him less sympathetic. Sort of like a sloppy version of "Hal Jordan goes Parallax" (which I actually rather enjoyed).

However, I was perfectly fine with Peter losing his powers (again) and riding off into the sunset to be a parent with Mary Jane. And the stories that followed, with Ben starring as the Sensational Spider-Man, whilst working in the Daily Grind? Those were fun!

I was very sorry when Marvel killed Ben off, but hoped they would have the dignity to keep him dead. Nope. Bringing him back as the Jackal was pretty damn awful. Giving him his a new turn as Spider-Man in October 2021 -- twenty-five years to the month since they killed him off -- seemed hopeful.

But no. Once again, Ben is there to be kicked around. Gah.

I get it. He's not the primary Spider-Man, and never will be. Marvel could still treat the character with a bit more respect, though. Miles Morales is not Peter Parker, and he gets by just fine. Same for Miguel O'Hara.

Man, just pack Ben off to California with Janine and let him do his the webslinging bit there, as Spider-Man West Coast.

Marvel has trouble realizing the true potential of Ben.

One thing that made him interesting was that he accepted he could never be Peter Parker again. He may mourn that fact, but he was forging a new life. Something also being showcased currently in Ben Reilly: Spider-Man.

However, Dan Slott wanted to make him just the evil "twin". I don't know if it was because he never like d the character, or just his trademark unoriginality. Either way, that is where Ben stays... in some form or another.

However, stories like the Lost Years showed what he could really do. He is a man who had to give up his past, and his home. He could be a great vehicle to tell atypical or non-superhero stories.

They keep forcing him into the mask again, and as much as I love Scarlet Spider, it is a waste.

J.M. Dematteis even said that two back up features he wrote starring Ben around 2009/2010 were sort of back door pilots for that very thing. He did not get enough response.

Ben could be thrown into Noir-ish crime thrillers, horror stories, or sci-fi tales in a variety of strange locations, and not miss a beat.

You know... really open up the types of stories Marvel tells, and give Ben a unique place in the Marvel universe.

But this is Marvel in the 21st century, why be interesting right?