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  1. #16
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    I honestly blame clone conspiracy for everything. Ben deserves better.

  2. #17
    Extraordinary Member Celgress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sectal View Post
    I honestly blame clone conspiracy for everything. Ben deserves better.
    We all deserve better than Clone Conspiracy.
    "I'm sorry, but your story isn't adding up. I think your religion is a lie to keep my mouth shut."

  3. #18
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    Bough all of it and didn't care for any of it.

    I get the problems with doing a Ben Reilly book. Deep diving into the Clone Saga is a huge ask so I did not expect the book to be a a successor to that period of Spider-Man plus the book had to appeal to a wider audience than the ten or so left over clone sage fans although a few references or characters appearing from that period wouldn't have been a bad idea. By that same token the book needed to be more than Spider-Man in a hoodie.

    People will be quick to blame the Clone Conspiracy for giving the book a poor set up but frankly if you look at similar characters like Bucky and Jason Todd and even Kaine bringing a character back as a villain or darker anti-hero and spinning them off into a redemption story is a successful formula that I think could have really worked with Ben. Despite the series being billed as that it just wasn't the story Peter David ever seemed interested in telling,

    Character-wise Ben never seemed all that interested in redemption until the near the end. He was just jerk in the book and that's the kind of characters David seems to want to wrote these days; Spider-Man as a huge jerk , he did it with Spider-Man 2099 too except that was a character he had created and did the most to define so some would argue David had earned the right to alter Miguel in that way but it's certainly not what Ben fans really wanted or a good hook for non-Ben fans that might have been curious enough to pick up the books.

    To what degree the book was about Ben's redemption was the appearances by Death. Initially I thought that was a good as after Clone Conspiracy it made sense he was on her radar and I thought her healing his degeneration scars would be the first big step down the road to true heroism after the first arc but again that wasn't the story David wanted to tell. I get what he was trying to do; Ben faces physical rewards and punishments for his actions and it forces him to think are actions actually the right ones but it just made it seem that when Ben did good it was to heal his face. More than anything it just seemed like he wanted to shoe horn Death and Marlo Chandler into the book.

    I'm glad that Marvel just seemed to ignore the events of the book.
    Last edited by Orbus; 05-14-2019 at 07:58 PM.

  4. #19
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    Anti-hero Ben was should never be a thing. He was a rebel in the sense that he changed the spiderman formula by showcasing new technology that put efficiency before style, but everyone always knew he had boundaries and rules that he would not break. Kaine works because he knows nothing else. He has fragments of Peters memories that inspire Kaine to be good but all his life he had to solve all his problems with violence. Not to mention Kaine never thought he would live as long as he has which made him realize that their were consequences to his actions.

    If they want to fix Ben, writers need to embrace the question that many fans now have; why does Ben matter now? Make him question himself again but this time add Kaine as moral support. Showcasing their bond and roles outside Peter Parker and questioning what type of legacy they can leave behind in a world that never wanted them.

  5. #20
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    It was mediocre; could’ve been better, could’ve been worse. It was a very inconsistent and flawed run, with a lot of “wtf” characterization, sudden course corrections and a couple bright spots.
    It started poorly (#1-5) when Ben was pretty much Deadpool in a bad cosplay outfit, had a pretty good middle (#6-late teens) when Ben partially redeemed himself to save Kaine and the dying girl and then you had the Slingers storyline and the Mysterio story which were both decent. Then you had the end... #25, where Ben went full evil and tried to kill Kaine and it undid all the character rehabilitation he had gone through since Clone Conspiracy. It’s one of the most disappointing issues I’ve ever read and I have no idea what PAD was thinking. It was also wholly unnecessary, since just a month later Ben’s character was pretty much reset to “good” in Spidergeddon (in a very quick and lazy way, but I don’t even care... at least it was done). So I feel very mixed about it and don’t read the back issues anymore. Also, besides Kaine who was great, the series had some of the most boring, charmless “supporting” cast members I’ve ever seen in an ongoing book.

    Here’s my point-by-point verdict:

    Best issue: #7
    Worst issue: #25

    Good points:
    -Ben partially redeeming himself
    -The love-hate dynamic between Ben and Kaine. They worked well together in a few issues.
    -Seeing old characters like the Slingers again
    -Getting his old costume back

    Bad points:
    -The awful supporting cast (like “Diva” and her bald, murdering bodyguard, and that senile slots player “Aunt June”)
    -The fact PAD wrote Ben very inconsistently and never really knew where to take the character
    -The fact the art got progressively worse towards the end of the run. We went from Bagley (great!) to Sliney (decent..) to a series of worsening C-list and D-Listers. By the end the panels looked like doodles a bored school kid had made in his algebra book.
    -The last issue... my god, the last issue.

    Overall, I’d give it a 6/10. I’d highly recommend everything from Ben confronting “Death” in #6 and #7 to the end of the Slingers arc, and lightly recommend the “Damnation” tie-in, the Mysterio story, and up to when he faces Sauron in #21 or 22. And then nothing outside those issues.

    So, not the worst. But, it has nothing on Yost’s Kaine Scarlet Spider series that’s for sure.

  6. #21
    Kinky Lil' Canine Snoop Dogg's Avatar
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    Gage should've done the book.
    heroine addict we love you come back

  7. #22
    I'm at least a C-Lister! exile001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snoop Dogg View Post
    Gage should've done the book.
    He is nailing it on SSM!
    Just. Be. Nice.

  8. #23
    All-New Member Reilly's Avatar
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    It had ups and downs. The last chapter is the worst thing ever, though. It's good that it was ignored in Spider-Geddon.

  9. #24
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sectal View Post
    I honestly blame clone conspiracy for everything. Ben deserves better.
    Same.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sectal View Post
    Anti-hero Ben was should never be a thing. He was a rebel in the sense that he changed the spiderman formula by showcasing new technology that put efficiency before style, but everyone always knew he had boundaries and rules that he would not break. Kaine works because he knows nothing else. He has fragments of Peters memories that inspire Kaine to be good but all his life he had to solve all his problems with violence. Not to mention Kaine never thought he would live as long as he has which made him realize that their were consequences to his actions.

    If they want to fix Ben, writers need to embrace the question that many fans now have; why does Ben matter now? Make him question himself again but this time add Kaine as moral support. Showcasing their bond and roles outside Peter Parker and questioning what type of legacy they can leave behind in a world that never wanted them.
    Cosigned. Very much cosigned, especially given the reset in Spider-Geddon's finale.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reilly View Post
    It had ups and downs. The last chapter is the worst thing ever, though. It's good that it was ignored in Spider-Geddon.
    Exactly, though I would like to see where Ben could go from there. I mean, just because his soul has been cleansed and he's morally and spiritually intact again, that doesn't mean the legacy and aftermath of The Clone Conspiracy isn't still running around making trouble. A lot of the rogues he "reanimated" have gone right back to crime, and if Curt Connors or J. Jonah Jameson ever run into Ben again, you think they'll be satisfied with a "My bad" after Ben's actions during his derangement cost (or nearly cost, in Curt's case) them their second chances with their dead families? In that vein, I could see a Supernatural-style series where Ben and Kaine travel the country tracking down the surviving criminal "reanimates" as a way for Ben to clean up the mess he created. Going beyond that, I would like to see Ben reunite with Elizabeth Tyne/Janine Godbe and take on some of his old enemies again like Joystick and Carolyn Trainer/Lady Octopus, as well as both he and Kaine reuniting with the New Warriors (especially so Kaine and Aracely/Hummingbird can meet up again).
    The spider is always on the hunt.

  10. #25
    Moderator oldschool's Avatar
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    It was terrible IMO. I was a huge fan of the original series and character and I wanted to like this but it just was a mess; hard to read honestly.
    I miss Kevin Nichols. Not as much as bacon, but still...

  11. #26
    Fantastic Member Sparko's Avatar
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    Damn. Not a whole lot of love for this series! Haha! I had started collecting them, but wasn’t able to read past issue 10 or so. It was already feeling off for me. I will probably read it digitally at some point in MU vs collecting trades.

  12. #27
    Moderator oldschool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    Damn. Not a whole lot of love for this series! Haha! I had started collecting them, but wasn’t able to read past issue 10 or so. It was already feeling off for me. I will probably read it digitally at some point in MU vs collecting trades.
    Yeah, Marvel really screwed the pooch with this character. I get why he was initially killed off to bring Peter back but Ben should've been resurrected---the right way, as a West Coast Spidey----long ago. Even when the Scarlet Spider book (with Kaine) was initially announced and we didn't know who the title character would be, people were ecstatic. Even when it came out, it still won people over even though there was no Ben. Then Slott really blew it with the whole Clone Conspiracy story; no writer could have salvaged that mess but I think Peter David (who I usually like quite a bit) made it even worse; this recent title was a convoluted, confusing mess-----this character needs a hard reboot at this point.
    I miss Kevin Nichols. Not as much as bacon, but still...

  13. #28

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    In my world, Ben died at the end of Spider-man 75 and never came back. No series after this death has even remotely felt like the same character. If the real Ben were to come back, I would have him wandering on the road acting as a hero, like the "lost years". How would you do a real Ben Reilly book?

  14. #29
    Spectacular Member JTait's Avatar
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    I really didn't care for it. The title character bore no resemblance to the Ben Reilly of the original Clone Saga, which I felt rendered his return pretty pointless. I don't really understand why they decided to go the 'anti-hero' route with Ben, when exactly the same thing was done with the Kaine-starring Scarlet Spider series a couple of years ago.

    This would have been more forgivable if the quality of the stories was better, but Peter David never seemed sure where the title was going. The supernatural nature of many of the stories was not fitting for a title grounded in Spider-Man's universe and most of the supporting cast were dull. The series clearly would have performed much better if Mark Bagley had stayed on as artist, as his work was head and shoulders over the artists who replaced him, and much better suited to the tone of the series.

    I agree that the character needs to be completely reset. He is better off dead than as the garbled, confusing, mess of a character currently running around as Ben Reilly.

  15. #30
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    It reminded me why I'm not a fan of PAD.

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