Ben Reilly (Return of a Brother)

Ben Reilly

Return of a Brother

by Phil Perich for the True Believers Blog


All long term Spider-Man fans sat up and took notice last week: Ben Reilly, the first stable clone of Peter Parker who operated as Spider-Man for a time in the 1990’s was revealed to be alive again in the final pages of Clone Conspiracy #3.  This is my plea for current Spider-Man writer Dan Slott to make Ben a hero once again and not make him an adversary, mind controlled or otherwise.


Blood (and genetics) is thicker than Water

Back when Ben Reilly first made his return to New York, Peter was understandable weirded out at the thought of a clone of himself traveling the country.  Eventually the two would not only become close allies, but considered each other family.  Aside from the fact that both Peter and Ben shared identical DNA and spider powers, but up until the moment Ben was created from Peter’s DNA they both had the same identical memories and life experiences.  This made them even closer than any sibling could be. 


Trading Places

I’ve made it no secret on my podcasts and blogs that I was a big fan of the Peter Parker/Mary Jane Watson marriage.  The One More Day storyline did away with it, maybe because certain people at Marvel thought Spider-Man was not relatable to younger fans as a married man?  I loved that fact that Peter had love and a close confidante he could share everything with.  But if Ben Reilly returns as the Scarlet Spider, Marvel can have their cake and eat it too.  You can have the married family man Spider-Man and with the Scarlet Spider you get the unattached ladies man. 


Stand Up Guy

Not only did Ben share Peter’s genius level intellect, but also his sense of honor and responsibility.  When Ben figured out he was the clone years ago, instead of confronting Peter, Ben hit the road and tried to make a new life for himself somewhere he wouldn't endanger Peter’s identity.  Even later, when Ben was convinced by false test results that he was the real Spider-Man and Peter was the clone, Ben sacrificed his life to save Peter from the newly returned Norman Osborn Green Goblin. 


So to sum up my thoughts, Thank you Dan Slott for resurrecting one of my favorite 90s characters Ben Reilly, and PLEASE don’t make him an enemy of Peter Parker, but the “resurrected” brother that history says he should be.  What do YOU think? Should Ben Reilly be friend or foe? Let me know!


@Nightwingpdp & @marvel_roundup on Twitter


You can hear me discussing all things Marvel (comics, movies, TV) every week with my cohost Charlie Esser (@CharlieEsser) on the All New Marvel Roundup and Superconnectivity, both part of the Nuff Said Podcast.  I also write another blog, the Legends of DC and do a podcast of the same name.  You can find all my podcasts, blogs and those of others at You can also find all my creative endeavors at