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October 30, 2009


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WantedPoster7Who is your friendly, neighborhood wall-crawler?

WANTED! is the article that gives me the opportunity to feature characters who are currently not being used, characters who are being used rarely, or characters who are being used but not correctly in comics today. ComicAttack.net presents Stephen Hatfield’s WANTED! … THE SCARLET SPIDER!

Scarletspider4aClones, clones, clones! Just when you think you’ve gotten rid of them, they just keep coming back like a bad penny. But sometimes having a clone around can be a good thing, even though they do get a bad rap. And no clone gets more of a bad rap than Benjamin “Ben” Reilly, the Scarlet Spider! I can think of no other character that generates this kind of flack. And why you ask? Because Ben Reilly makes a much better Peter Parker and Spider-Man than the one that’s running around. There…I said it! Now, all the Spider-Clone haters need to just get over it!

I remember owning the copy of Amazing Spider-Man #149 that had Spider-Man throwing his clone down the smoke stack. I was all of 9 years old and had no idea this comic I had would be worth something years later. If memory serves me, I believe this story lasted only 2 issues, and the fallout of the events from these issues would not be revisited again until his return during the mid-1990s. And what a return it was for the Spider-Man universe with the introduction of Ben Reilly.

Up to this point, I had quit reading Spider-Man. I still bought some Marvel titles like Avengers or Thor, but primarily at this time, I was more into the DC titles. When I saw the first issue of the return of Spider-Man’s clone, I knew this would be something big, and decided to pick up the series and watch the events play out with great anticipation. And I was not disappointed!

scarletspider5We got to see what had happened to the clone after his fateful confrontation with Spider-Man. From assuming the name “Ben Reilly” and making a new life for himself, to being on the run with Kaine on his tail. We saw his transformation into the Scarlet Spider with his fancy new gadgets, to whether or not he was the real deal. And what about those new web-shooters? Who else but the “real” Peter Parker could have come up with the neat way of firing off his spider tracers, or come up with the impact webbing, or even the paralyzing stingers? And let’s not forget the much needed update to the Spider-Man costume when he assumed that role. Peter Parker or not, Ben Reilly deserved better than to be killed off and left in limbo for the past 15 years or so. Ben Reilly came into his own, and should have been treated with more respect by Marvel Comics despite the outcries of fans who didn’t like the direction they had taken with Peter, Ben, Aunt May and the rest of the Spider-Man cast.

In September 2009, a new miniseries called Spider-Man: Clone Saga has started with a telling of “what should have happened” back during the 1990s’ series run. Hints about the outcome suggest that Ben will survive at the end of this. But what then? Will this story become “real” because of the deal Spider-Man made with Mephisto?

Bring back Ben Reilly as the Scarlet Spider and move him into another part of the country away from New York and Spider-Man. And could we please give him back his brown hair and get rid of the blond hair? Ugh, we have enough blond hair and even black hair heroes already. Anyway, give him his own series and I will certainly have to add this to my pull list. And while I’m at it, if someone from Marvel Comics should read this… how about putting out his past stories into trade paperback? This is long overdue!


Stephen Hatfield



  1. Decapated Dan

    I loved me some Scarlet Spider. It was all about the costume too. This and the Black costume, hands down faves.

    I agree lets get Ben back and put him in Chicago, it’s about time we got some coverage in the comics!!

  2. InfiniteSpeech

    I figured Marvel would find a way to bring him back up in the current Amazing Spider-Man arc since its dealing with the effects of the clone saga.

  3. Kristin

    How can a character who isn’t Peter Parker be a better Peter Parker than the real Peter Parker? Lol, that sounds so confusing….

  4. billy

    I stopped reading Spidey around the same time all the clone business started. I don’t remember thinking that I wanted to read it but it doesn’t sound so bad.

  5. Eli

    I’m almost sorry to say (well, not really) that I may well be one of those clone haters. I never could really get to like ol’ Ben, though I did try. Maybe I can give him another shot, though I do hate that costume.

  6. Ok, so the current ‘Spider-Man: Clone Saga’ series is almost exactly like ‘X-Men Forever’…

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