Ben Reilly – The Scarlet Spider – Which Costume You Prefer?


It seems as though Marvel is backtracking on The Scarlet Spider’s new costume. Newsarama reported that Ben’s new costume is temporary and he will be returning back to his classic Scarlet Spider costume at the end of the first story arc. Honestly his new costume looks more like a combo of Spider-Gwen and Spidercide’s costume to me anyway. You may be asking, who is Spidercide? Well…


Have you read the Clone Saga in the Spider-Man books of the 90s? It was a continuation of a 70s story where Peter was cloned by the Jackal and supposedly his clone died.


Then in the 90s it was revealed that his clone did not die and had been living under the name Ben Reilly (Uncle Ben’s name and Aunt May’s maiden name). The 90s story was such a convoluted mess.


The gist of it was – Lots of Spider-Man clones. LOTS. Good ones, evils one, some misunderstood and some mindless clones too. It was ridiculous. It seemed like each issue just got crazier and crazier. Even for comic book standards in the 90s. The benefit was that Ben Reilly and Kaine were there and both became fairly cool at first.


Then some genius decided to make Peter Parker, the Spider-Man we all knew from several decades, turn out actually be a clone himself. And that Ben was the real Peter. You can imagine that not everyone was a fan.


So after just about every reader jumped ship and swearing off the Spider books, Marvel realized their mistake. They took it back and said Peter was Peter and that Ben was the clone. They ‘killed’ Ben very brutally. They even had Ben’s body deteriorate to dust to prove he was the clone. They were making sure to definitively show that Peter was the real deal and Ben was the clone. No questions whatsoever. Keep in mind though, when a death takes place and there is no body, the character is usually not dead. Although seeing Ben turn to dust seemed clear and Marvel has mostly kept him dead since then.


Besides Kaine and Scarlet Spider, Spider-Girl came from this story as the daughter of Peter and Mary (albeit alternate dimension), and another clone that was shown was the shape shifting evil Spidercide.


Spidercide is also suppose to be dead, but we know how that goes in comic book world. Regardless though, I’m happy that Ben is back. I did like his character a lot before Marvel totally screwed him up. There’s already lots of Spider-people running around, so I think there’s room for the Scarlet Spider to return. Kaine filled in as the Scarlett Spider for a bit, so it should be worth seeing their relationship in the comic.


The new Scarlet Spider costume seems to be inspired by Spidercide and Spider-Gwen. Curious, which costume do you prefer? Classic or new one?