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  1. #1
    Radioactive! Spiderfang's Avatar
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    Default Has Marvel learned their lesson regarding Ben Reilly?

    Forewarning, there are various Ben Reilly-related spoilers discussed in this thread.

    I pose this question based on the fact that a Ben Reilly return has been anticipated and desired by fans for the past decade, and Marvel has acknowledged this by subtly trolling fans such as with the burning spider-hoodie for Spider-Island (which did not feature Ben), and other subtle easter eggs. His actual return was a mixed-bag for most; fans of Ben did not like his characterization this time around and stubborn readers from the Clone Saga days (not sure I would label them Reilly fans when they bash him constantly), insisted that the "real" Ben was and still is dead and that the 'new Ben' is just an imposter. Spider fans who remember Ben and Clone Saga, but were not favorable towards the clone reveal of the 90's, only cemented the fact that Ben was a poor attempt at Peter 2.0.

    The powers that be at Marvel must have listened to or at least realized that Mr. Reilly did indeed have fans among the Marvel readership and gave him his own on-going series (his second to date iirc), which would be the basis for his redemption, however it would not touch on anything from the Clone Saga or issues relating to his death during said event, which some fans found disappointing (myself included).

    Lastly, Reilly's story came to a quick and unceremonious end. His series was cancelled as a cost-cutting measure, presumably due to low sales and he was placed on the back burner until his reappearance in Spidergeddon in 2018. Marvel killed off Ben again in a truly heroic sacrifice, only to have him resurrect again only supposedly this time with all of his original faculties and persona intact as stated by Dr. Octopus himself (likely as an inarguable way of circumventing the whole "original Ben is dead, this is [X]!" by Ben critics). So with Ben finally being restored to his original self, and having remained alive through 2 (?) Spider & Symbiote-related events so far, has Marvel editorial finally learned their lesson regarding Ben Reilly? Personally I would rather Ben be on hiatus until a more definitive story can be crafted and of course written by someone who is familiar with the character. Marvel could have easily killed him off for good either during Scarlet Spider or Spidergeddon, but they seemed to have been listening to both the fans and the critics when they changed up the character as well as going out of their way to reinstate the "original Ben" via a plot device and acknowledging it in-universe, why bother going through all the trouble if they were just going to kill him off again?

    Personally I think Marvel has found Ben to be a somewhat valuable if not creatively useful character, if placed in the right hands. They may have not completely learned their lesson and depending on who you ask, the idea that Marvel's editorial needed to learn a lesson is subjective altogether and could have simply just changed their approach on Ben Reilly. I think Marvel will use him again down the road, they just haven't found his niche yet and sadly it seems that his niche has been left back when he was more prominent, in the 1990's and he will probably be in back-burner limbo indefinitely, which is better than being killed off right?
    The city I once knew as home is teetering on the edge of radioactive oblivion

  2. #2
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
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    You raise some good points. I would like to see Ben used again, or at least acknowledged, and hopefully done better than he was in the last couple of years. At the same time, though, I'd prefer him to stay in comic book limbo until a writer with good ideas for how to utilize his character moving forward comes on. Maybe they can entice J.M. DeMatteis or Christopher Yost to come back for that.
    The spider is always on the hunt.

  3. #3
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huntsman Spider View Post
    You raise some good points. I would like to see Ben used again, or at least acknowledged, and hopefully done better than he was in the last couple of years. At the same time, though, I'd prefer him to stay in comic book limbo until a writer with good ideas for how to utilize his character moving forward comes on. Maybe they can entice J.M. DeMatteis or Christopher Yost to come back for that.
    Ben Reilly was actually mentioned in Spencer's newest and latest issue and has an in-panel flashback too.

  4. #4
    Kinky Lil' Canine Snoop Dogg's Avatar
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    Spencerian Reilly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Franklin Richards
    Fragile creatures, we are taught to fear the Reaper!
    Ever running, we are dead before we meet Her!
    Quote Originally Posted by Valeria Richards
    Fearless creatures, we all learn to fight the Reaper!
    Can't defeat Her, so instead I'll have to be Her!

  5. #5
    Incredible Member xpyred's Avatar
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    I've said it in other threads and i say it again;

    There should be a a Scarlet Spiders series with Ben and Kaine. They need to move on from their past and work together in some capacity. Both their lives suck and really they should know that the person they were clone from, Peter Parker, has a shitty life too and they should finally just make their own lives and end their ridiculous feud. The series could even have "lost years" stories from various parts of both their lives. Together both of them could sell a series without the need for Peter Parker or any event series tying them to his life.

  6. #6
    iMan 42s
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    The Spider-office didn't learn a damn thing.
    They brought him back knowing what the audience had been looking for and did everything in its power to make that return suck as much as it possibly could. It doesn't matter if Spidergeddon supposedly saved the character. If there isn't a book to sell on the shelf your efforts are wasted since it's going to be some time before you can build up the interest again anyways. You can't just relaunch with a failed book, the audience has to be there and in the end it just wasn't for Ben. Thanks for wasting your time on a book you didn't like, now we might sell you what you want.
    That just doesn't work.

    Until Ben gets another shot I stand by the Spider-office failing the character. He can cameo or have supporting roles but his time with a title of his own I'd be genuinely surprised if it happened again any time soon. It's a shame since I do like the character but that was not the way to bring him back.
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  7. #7
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Ben Reilly was actually mentioned in Spencer's newest and latest issue and has an in-panel flashback too.
    His time as the Jackal and that being the reason Hitman isn't/wasn't dead anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by Snoop Dogg View Post
    Spencerian Reilly.

    Cowritten by Donny Cates, no less.

    Quote Originally Posted by xpyred View Post
    I've said it in other threads and i say it again;

    There should be a a Scarlet Spiders series with Ben and Kaine. They need to move on from their past and work together in some capacity. Both their lives suck and really they should know that the person they were clone from, Peter Parker, has a shitty life too and they should finally just make their own lives and end their ridiculous feud. The series could even have "lost years" stories from various parts of both their lives. Together both of them could sell a series without the need for Peter Parker or any event series tying them to his life.
    I would love to see that, but like SuperiorIronman indicated, it's gonna take a while to wash off the stink of The Clone Conspiracy.

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperiorIronman View Post
    The Spider-office didn't learn a damn thing.
    They brought him back knowing what the audience had been looking for and did everything in its power to make that return suck as much as it possibly could. It doesn't matter if Spidergeddon supposedly saved the character. If there isn't a book to sell on the shelf your efforts are wasted since it's going to be some time before you can build up the interest again anyways. You can't just relaunch with a failed book, the audience has to be there and in the end it just wasn't for Ben. Thanks for wasting your time on a book you didn't like, now we might sell you what you want.
    That just doesn't work.

    Until Ben gets another shot I stand by the Spider-office failing the character. He can cameo or have supporting roles but his time with a title of his own I'd be genuinely surprised if it happened again any time soon. It's a shame since I do like the character but that was not the way to bring him back.
    Seconded.
    The spider is always on the hunt.

  8. #8
    Kinky Lil' Canine Snoop Dogg's Avatar
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    They should do a new series modeled after the current Ghost Rider book. Ben, the original (clone), comes into control over Facebook (hell) and Kaine, the successor, must stop his latest crazy scheme: saving America by running for president.
    Quote Originally Posted by Franklin Richards
    Fragile creatures, we are taught to fear the Reaper!
    Ever running, we are dead before we meet Her!
    Quote Originally Posted by Valeria Richards
    Fearless creatures, we all learn to fight the Reaper!
    Can't defeat Her, so instead I'll have to be Her!

  9. #9
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snoop Dogg View Post
    They should do a new series modeled after the current Ghost Rider book. Ben, the original (clone), comes into control over Facebook (hell) and Kaine, the successor, must stop his latest crazy scheme: saving America by running for president.
    That would be an interesting one, though I might tweak it a bit. Ben is trying to take responsibility for his mistakes and misdeeds in The Clone Conspiracy by rounding up all the surviving "reanimates"/clones he created, especially the ones who were, became, or remained as criminals despite their "second chance at life," and Kaine is following him because he doesn't fully trust that Ben won't go off the deep end again. It would be largely about Ben and Kaine overcoming their past animosity, as well as their past assumptions and beliefs about each other and about themselves, and learning to come together as brothers who'd been (and put each other) through hell, figuratively or literally, and come out on the other side with a chance to do and be better. Maybe not as good as their mutual genetic template, but then they don't necessarily have to be defined by that, or by their pasts with each other.
    The spider is always on the hunt.

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member boots's Avatar
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    “diet spider-man”

    ouch

    but also lol
    troo fan or death

  11. #11
    I'm at least a C-Lister! exile001's Avatar
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    I think editorial believed they had a good thing with Ben Reilly - Scarlet Spider. They had a beloved character that a vocal fan-base had been desperate to return for over a decade, they had a safe creative team (Peter David and Mark Bagley), Ben was coming off a huge cross-over and they already had the end-point of Spider-Geddon in mind.

    I think the main problem was that the book didn't give anyone what they wanted.

    Original Ben fans wanted that version, maybe even his original supporting cast. They wanted to see the evolution of what Ben could do now after so long away, how he reacts to the new world, how he could interact with Kaine and MJ and May (who he thought was dead). They wanted to see the mistakes of the Clone Conspiracy dealt with and for classic Ben to return.

    Newer Ben fans wanted to see the aftermath of the Clone Conspiracy, is he still a villain? Would he try again? Has he seen the error of his ways and will try to be better? Would he interact with the surviving clones?

    Mostly, I think we all wanted to see him interact with Peter and a get resolution/closure to the Clone Conspiracy (which ended without Peter and Ben concluding their feud).

    But we didn't get any of that.

    Instead we got a strange new setup with an unlikable, occasionally crazy Ben (characterised very differently from either classic Ben or Clone Conspiracy Ben). A weird Vegas setting where his motivation is kind of trying to save a little girl whose mother is a mob boss, also very unlikable, but also he sometimes fights crime. We get a returning Kaine, whose motivation is to kill Ben except when he changes his mind. And then Death came along (never a good sign) and his aim is maybe to save his own soul, which he couldn't do selfishly. It was muddled, unfocused and mostly unlikable. Heck, the original intention was even to change Ben's iconic hoodie costume.

    Here's Ben in a holding pattern, Kaine in a holding pattern. No New York, no original supporting cast and no Peter - all of which I suspect was editorial decision with Spider-Geddon on the horizon.

    But for now Ben's gone and won't be getting another book anytime soon. Kaine is gone as a result of Ben's book. And I can't see a Spider-man editor commissioning a new book anytime soon, as the last one failed.

    I don't think they've learned a lesson, as I don't believe they know why the last book failed or it would have been changed - or perhaps it simply isn't a concern. They had a release window for the book (X-number of Spider-books per month), they wanted to keep Peter David on a monthly, it sold moderately well and was ultimately disposable because of Spider-Geddon.

    Hopefully, Spencer (or the next writer) will bring Ben and Kaine back to New York and make something of these characters.

    Also, Diet Spider-man is hilarious but doesn't really give me hope that Spencer wants to show Ben any love.
    Just. Be. Nice.

  12. #12
    Radioactive! Spiderfang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by exile001 View Post
    I think editorial believed they had a good thing with Ben Reilly - Scarlet Spider. They had a beloved character that a vocal fan-base had been desperate to return for over a decade, they had a safe creative team (Peter David and Mark Bagley), Ben was coming off a huge cross-over and they already had the end-point of Spider-Geddon in mind.

    I think the main problem was that the book didn't give anyone what they wanted.

    Original Ben fans wanted that version, maybe even his original supporting cast. They wanted to see the evolution of what Ben could do now after so long away, how he reacts to the new world, how he could interact with Kaine and MJ and May (who he thought was dead). They wanted to see the mistakes of the Clone Conspiracy dealt with and for classic Ben to return.

    Newer Ben fans wanted to see the aftermath of the Clone Conspiracy, is he still a villain? Would he try again? Has he seen the error of his ways and will try to be better? Would he interact with the surviving clones?

    Mostly, I think we all wanted to see him interact with Peter and a get resolution/closure to the Clone Conspiracy (which ended without Peter and Ben concluding their feud).

    But we didn't get any of that.

    Instead we got a strange new setup with an unlikable, occasionally crazy Ben (characterised very differently from either classic Ben or Clone Conspiracy Ben). A weird Vegas setting where his motivation is kind of trying to save a little girl whose mother is a mob boss, also very unlikable, but also he sometimes fights crime. We get a returning Kaine, whose motivation is to kill Ben except when he changes his mind. And then Death came along (never a good sign) and his aim is maybe to save his own soul, which he couldn't do selfishly. It was muddled, unfocused and mostly unlikable. Heck, the original intention was even to change Ben's iconic hoodie costume.

    Here's Ben in a holding pattern, Kaine in a holding pattern. No New York, no original supporting cast and no Peter - all of which I suspect was editorial decision with Spider-Geddon on the horizon.

    But for now Ben's gone and won't be getting another book anytime soon. Kaine is gone as a result of Ben's book. And I can't see a Spider-man editor commissioning a new book anytime soon, as the last one failed.

    I don't think they've learned a lesson, as I don't believe they know why the last book failed or it would have been changed - or perhaps it simply isn't a concern. They had a release window for the book (X-number of Spider-books per month), they wanted to keep Peter David on a monthly, it sold moderately well and was ultimately disposable because of Spider-Geddon.

    Hopefully, Spencer (or the next writer) will bring Ben and Kaine back to New York and make something of these characters.

    Also, Diet Spider-man is hilarious but doesn't really give me hope that Spencer wants to show Ben any love.
    These are a lot of good points, my biggest gripe with current Ben was that he or no one for that matter mentioned the Clone Saga or Norman (the guy who killed him the first time), there was no attempt at reconciliation with Peter or Kaine (the latter who had gotten so much creative development that it was really sad to see him be relegated back to the 90's "I hate Ben becuz he not original Peter" mungo of a villain). I realize that there were storyboards for everything involving Ben, and perhaps the writers and editorial wanted Ben to deal with the current stuff first and then eventually deal with the aftermath of Clone Conspiracy and Peter - if the book did well and time allowed for it.

    It would have been nice for Ben to try and pick up the pieces of where he left off, he could have even asked Kaine in an attempt at bonding with him - hell there were several instances in BR: SS where the two weren't at each other's throats and were quite cordial with one another any of those instances Ben could've simply said "What happened after I died? Recap me." And Kaine could have done his best to interpret fully knowing he was behind bars.

    The lack of creative villains was annoying as well, I think I said it before in the old Ben Reilly thread but I don't see why Carolyn Trainer couldn't have made an appearance, already hating Ben and being a big Doc Ock fan herself - it wouldn't been appropriate for her to show up demanding to know where he was, and ultimately accuse Ben of murdering him.
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  13. #13
    Y'know. Pav's Avatar
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    I'm obviously biased, but I hold strong to the belief that a Scarlet Spiders title, with the right creative team, could be the kind of ancillary title that can maintain a long run and maybe even one, like Venom, that never goes away for long.

    At this point, due to where their stories have led, I agree that a title co-starring Ben and Kaine makes the most sense. The complexities of their relationship being the heart of the book feels like a strong foundation, especially if we often get flashbacks to the Lost Years for comparison's sake.

    While I understand why others want Ben (and Kaine) on the road, I'm in favor of a stable setting and, therefore, a stable supporting cast. And I actually liked Las Vegas as their home base; I think it offers a lot of opportunities for telling stories with strong moral thematics -- plus it still places Kaine in the Southwest US, so Aracely's plotlines could be brought easily into the fold.

    While Peter doesn't have to show up much, I think a book about Ben and Kaine does need to contain a heavy dose of philosophical pondering about the human condition, among other things. The Jackal and clones shouldn't be the only conflict, but it should never be far from the minds of Ben and Kaine as an ever-present danger. Similarly, characters and unresolved plotlines from throughout each character's history need to be incorporated, not purposefully neglected like in BR:SS.

    Oh, and personally? I think Kaine should be degenerating and Ben not.

    To me, that's a great foundation for a Scarlet Spiders book. Beyond that is writer discretion.

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  14. #14
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
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    Excellent points from both exile001 and Spiderfang, though I'll add in that same vein that it was a waste not to see some of the villains that Ben fought make a comeback, or a reference to Ben's time as Spider-Man when confronting Mysterio, since Mysterio's whole scheme in "Guardian Devil" hinged on him writing Ben off as an imposter unworthy of his villainous magnum opus. Given Las Vegas as a hub for gambling, they could have easily set up a new version of the Great Game there (basically a superpowered fight club where rich people make wagers on the superpowered participants), complete with a reappearance from Joystick, who also debuted during Ben's run as the sole web-slinger of New York City and has been in comic book limbo since Fabian Nicieza's Thunderbolts. Ultimately, as said before, the story of Ben Reilly's revival is one of missed and/or wasted opportunities and potential, which is why I hope in the event someone at Marvel does decide to take a chance on the Scarlet Spider(s) again, they do so with a better plan for him/them --- something like what Pav set up in his post would be just fine by me.
    Last edited by Huntsman Spider; 12-05-2019 at 03:16 PM. Reason: Taking Pav's post into account.
    The spider is always on the hunt.

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member boots's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiderfang View Post
    These are a lot of good points, my biggest gripe with current Ben was that he or no one for that matter mentioned the Clone Saga or Norman (the guy who killed him the first time), there was no attempt at reconciliation with Peter or Kaine (the latter who had gotten so much creative development that it was really sad to see him be relegated back to the 90's "I hate Ben becuz he not original Peter" mungo of a villain). I realize that there were storyboards for everything involving Ben, and perhaps the writers and editorial wanted Ben to deal with the current stuff first and then eventually deal with the aftermath of Clone Conspiracy and Peter - if the book did well and time allowed for it.

    It would have been nice for Ben to try and pick up the pieces of where he left off, he could have even asked Kaine in an attempt at bonding with him - hell there were several instances in BR: SS where the two weren't at each other's throats and were quite cordial with one another any of those instances Ben could've simply said "What happened after I died? Recap me." And Kaine could have done his best to interpret fully knowing he was behind bars.

    The lack of creative villains was annoying as well, I think I said it before in the old Ben Reilly thread but I don't see why Carolyn Trainer couldn't have made an appearance, already hating Ben and being a big Doc Ock fan herself - it wouldn't been appropriate for her to show up demanding to know where he was, and ultimately accuse Ben of murdering him.
    lack of reconciliation was a big part of what was missing with his return. there was no emotional impact. no heart
    troo fan or death

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