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  1. #31
    I'm at least a C-Lister! exile001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scarlet Spider-Man View Post
    Ben should have shown up in Absolute Carnage since he was Spider-Carnage at one point.
    Yes. He absolutely should have, a return of Spider-Carnage mini would have been awesome!

    Although thinking about it, would the clone of the clone of the clone of the clone of the clone of the clone of the clone of the clone of the clone of the clone of the clone of the clone of the clone of the clone of the clone of the clone of the clone of the clone of the clone of the clone of the clone of the clone of the clone of the clone of the clone of the clone of the clone of Ben Reilly (a clone) still have the codex or would that only reside in the original body?
    Just. Be. Nice.

  2. #32
    Radioactive! Spiderfang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boots View Post
    this ain't wrong

    buuut

    i'm experimenting with the idea that ben's appeal largely rests on nostalgia (even in the 90s he was nostaligia with a twist). so any attempt to reinvent him, even a really inspired one, might not land with fans. the best you can hope for is to capture an entirely new audience. which is hard af in the current climate.

    the more i think about it, the more i agree bringing him back was a mistake. a fake out and reveal that "clone conspiracy ben" was actually spidercide or whatnot (along the lines of "the return of barry allen" before...well..barry actually fckn returned) might have been enough to engage his old audience, tug at the heartstrings a bit and then marvel release either a continuation of his "lost years" series or an "untold tales of 90s spider-man" telling new stories of ben in the webs back in the day. could have been a mini or maxi series rather than long term to gauge interest.
    I think claiming Ben's appeal to the readership as largely being "nostalgic" is just a write-off for people that don't like him - I also think it's kind of an insulting insinuation that everything about the Clone Saga (including Ben) was so abhorrent that no one could rationally like it unless they put on their "naw-staj" goggles and lie to themselves, which actually just translates to "I don't like it and I don't get why/it bugs me that you like it!"

    I read the majority of the Clone Saga in the mid 1990's so I was able to get a grasp of Ben and Peter's relationship, I liked seeing Ben struggle with his identity and come to grow into his own person (blond!Ben) that's not nostalgia; it's an interesting development into a character whom resonates with me. If I just liked him merely for the fact that I love 90's things, and automatically loved Ben & the Clone Saga due to their association with the 90's era, then I would agree that It's mostly nostalgia-based, but a lot of people (myself included) enjoyed the Clone Saga and enjoyed seeing Ben develop into a proper superhero. I could make the claim the current gen Spider-Man's only appeal is nostalgia, because the current iteration isn't as good as the 70's or the 80's stories but it's a subjective claim, and it doesn't really matter WHY anyone likes something.
    Last edited by Spiderfang; 12-10-2019 at 10:41 PM.
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  3. #33
    Astonishing Member boots's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiderfang View Post
    I think claiming Ben's appeal to the readership as largely being "nostalgic" is just a write-off for people that don't like him - I also think it's kind of an insulting insinuation that everything about the Clone Saga (including Ben) was so abhorrent that no one could rationally like it unless they put on their "naw-staj" goggles and lie to themselves, which actually just translates to "I don't like it and I don't get why/it bugs me that you like it!"

    I read the majority of the Clone Saga in the mid 1990's so I was able to get a grasp of Ben and Peter's relationship, I liked seeing Ben struggle with his identity and come to grow into his own person (blond!Ben) that's not nostalgia; it's an interesting development into a character whom resonates with me. If I just liked him merely for the fact that I love 90's things, and automatically loved Ben & the Clone Saga due to their association with the 90's era, then I would agree that It's mostly nostalgia-based, but a lot of people (myself included) enjoyed the Clone Saga and enjoyed seeing Ben develop into a proper superhero. I could make the claim the current gen Spider-Man's only appeal is nostalgia, because the current iteration isn't as good as the 70's or the 80's stories but it's a subjective claim, and it doesn't really matter WHY anyone likes something.
    sure, that's one reading.

    or there's also reading it the way i meant. let me see if i can expand:

    nostalgia doesn't have to be some impermeable hand wavium misty "insult", it can exist for solid and specific reasons. it resonates with our sentiments for valid reasons.

    my point was that the space that allows for ben to be, well..."ben"... doesn't really exist in the current marvel universe or spider-man family anymore. so the best way to show ben as ben might be to go back to that world instead of trying to shoehorn him into the modern one. in the same way that "updating" he-man into a sci fi spandex guy went against the nostalgia of his appeal (yeah, i just started watching "toys that made us". it's annoyingly fun).

    i like the idea of ben being almost mythic in peter's life, a presence that looms large in a similar but distinct way to uncle ben. he remains "untouchable" in that way. he represents something bigger than himself. in the 90s he represented an "untarnished" peter- in itself trading on a nostalgia.

    ben coming back in any other form than his 90s run detracts from that.

    bucky and robin as characters may not have had the same appeal in quite the same way, there's more space there to reinvent or take them down another path. the nostalgia around them is more open to subversion. for those guys their return felt like a development, for ben, it felt like a betrayal.

    (it may just be down to slott's preference for plot over character too. the execution could have been the issue rather than the idea. but as i said earlier, i'm experimenting with another way of looking at it. not making "claims")
    Last edited by boots; 12-10-2019 at 11:46 PM.
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  4. #34
    Radioactive! Spiderfang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boots View Post
    sure, that's one reading.

    or there's also reading it the way i meant. let me see if i can expand:

    nostalgia doesn't have to be some impermeable hand wavium misty "insult", it can exist for solid and specific reasons. it resonates with our sentiments for valid reasons.

    my point was that the space that allows for ben to be, well..."ben"... doesn't really exist in the current marvel universe or spider-man family anymore. so the best way to show ben as ben might be to go back to that world instead of trying to shoehorn him into the modern one. in the same way that "updating" he-man into a sci fi spandex guy went against the nostalgia of his appeal (yeah, i just started watching "toys that made us". it's annoyingly fun).

    i like the idea of ben being almost mythic in peter's life, a presence that looms large in a similar but distinct way to uncle ben. he remains "untouchable" in that way. he represents something bigger than himself. in the 90s he represented an "untarnished" peter- in itself trading on a nostalgia.

    ben coming back in any other form than his 90s run detracts from that.

    bucky and robin as characters may not have had the same appeal in quite the same way, there's more space there to reinvent or take them down another path. the nostalgia around them is more open to subversion. for those guys their return felt like a development, for ben, it felt like a betrayal.

    (it may just be down to slott's preference for plot over character too. the execution could have been the issue rather than the idea. but as i said earlier, i'm experimenting with another way of looking at it. not making "claims")
    The biggest problem is that the Marvel staff have to think of something that works for Ben to differentiate him from the 500,000,701 Spider-Persons that are out and about today. I hate the nostalgia criticisms because while it does hold merit for a lot of things (e.g. "remember how great life during the late eighties was?"), in the context of things like comicbooks or comicbook icons I get a bit touchy because, again it feels like what's being said is "naw you can't really like that game, it's just your memories of playing it that make you like it," which can feel like an invalidation of one's legitimate feelings and memories. It hurts because I can see your point of Ben being a nostalgic-driven selling point as true (the term sounds belittling to me and I don't like it used in this context), because Marvel really had no end game for Reilly and just brought him back to appease his fanbase, and when that time was up we already have a dozen or so Spider-Persons who are already underutilized, so we're back to square-one, only now Ben's in limbo instead of "definitely dead".

    I get that people preferred the hoodie costume because it was familiar and screams "classic Ben", so that may be nostalgia talking but I don't see anything wrong with idealizing characters with their memorable traits. If we're going down the whole "Ben's whole purpose is nostalgia" anyway route, then I'd like to point out that while I genuinely enjoyed much of the new Scarlet Spider series, I thought that it may as well have been set in New York or Salt Lake City, anywhere that was Clone Saga-related, because at least then it would appeal to the nostalgia base and gives Ben a package that he is more than capable of delivering, otherwise it may as well have been set in the Ultimate Universe with Ultimate Peter.

    I'm not saying that I don't like character developments (I thought and still think that Superior Spider-Man is the best modern Spider-comic I've read in years), just that they went in the wrong direction with Ben; made him a crook on the lamb and saddled him with tons of unresolved (and apparently unimportant) baggage (i.e. "Janine Godbe, Kaine, Peter Parker, Baby May, MJ, Aunt May, etc.") and saddled him with lots of "fake nostalgia" [I say fake because it's in a setting 'like New York' but is not New York] (big city setting like the original, suspiciously similar grandmother-like character, irrelevant surprise guests of the week bearing no significance to the overall main plot, whose only purpose was to evoke feelings of "hey I remember that!") so really it should have just been back in NYC or NJ and had more to do with Ben's life leading up to his death, and him trying to do damage control while setting up a side-life as a civilian Ben Reilly (job, friends, therapy).
    Last edited by Spiderfang; 12-11-2019 at 07:57 PM.
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  5. #35
    Astonishing Member boots's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiderfang View Post
    The biggest problem is that the Marvel staff have to think of something that works for Ben to differentiate him from the 500,000,701 Spider-Persons that are out and about today. I hate the nostalgia criticisms because while it does hold merit for a lot of things (e.g. "remember how great life during the late eighties was?"), in the context of things like comicbooks or comicbook icons I get a bit touchy because, again it feels like what's being said is "naw you can't really like that game, it's just your memories of playing it that make you like it," which can feel like an invalidation of one's legitimate feelings and memories. It hurts because I can see your point of Ben being a nostalgic-driven selling point as true (the term sounds belittling to me and I don't like it used in this context), because Marvel really had no end game for Reilly and just brought him back to appease his fanbase, and when that time was up we already have a dozen or so Spider-Persons who are already underutilized, so we're back to square-one, only now Ben's in limbo instead of "definitely dead".

    I get that people preferred the hoodie costume because it was familiar and screams "classic Ben", so that may be nostalgia talking but I don't see anything wrong with idealizing characters with their memorable traits. If we're going down the whole "Ben's whole purpose is nostalgia" anyway route, then I'd like to point out that while I genuinely enjoyed much of the new Scarlet Spider series, I thought that it may as well have been set in New York or Salt Lake City, anywhere that was Clone Saga-related, because at least then it would appeal to the nostalgia base and gives Ben a package that he is more than capable of delivering, otherwise it may as well have been set in the Ultimate Universe with Ultimate Peter.

    I'm not saying that I don't like character developments (I thought and still think that Superior Spider-Man is the best modern Spider-comic I've read in years), just that they went in the wrong direction with Ben; made him a crook on the lamb and saddled him with tons of unresolved (and apparently unimportant) baggage (i.e. "Janine Godbe, Kaine, Peter Parker, Baby May, MJ, Aunt May, etc.") and saddled him with lots of "fake nostalgia" [I say fake because it's in a setting 'like New York' but is not New York] (big city setting like the original, suspiciously similar grandmother-like character, irrelevant surprise guests of the week bearing no significance to the overall main plot, whose only purpose was to evoke feelings of "hey I remember that!") so really it should have just been back in NYC or NJ and had more to do with Ben's life leading up to his death, and him trying to do damage control while setting up a side-life as a civilian Ben Reilly (job, friends, therapy).
    i don't disagree.

    and i'm glad that i was able to communicate that i think of nostalgia as a good thing. most of my memories of the character are extremely fond childhood ones... more fond than my memories of peter.

    and that's the itch that i would've liked scratched. instead, marvel seemed to think scratching me on my eyeball would work.

    again, i understand why they did what they did. but it was a miscalculation.
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  6. #36
    Y'know. Pav's Avatar
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    As far as differentiating Ben (and Kaine) from other Spiders / giving them purpose...

    Well, others may disagree, but I feel like their very existence differentiates them: as clones, they are both Peter and not Peter, and that paradox should be the heart of any story on which they star. Examining the contradiction of their existence allows the writer to tell stories about Peter Parker that you can't tell with "the real Peter." Certainly you can say that SIMILAR things can be done with someone like Miles or even Mayday, but Ben and Kaine have a unique position that is unlike these other Spiders, and the lack of philosophical musing on their existence in each of their last series was to their detriment, I think.

    -Pav, who wonders what a cross between Kaine's two suits would look like...
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  7. #37
    Astonishing Member Captain Craig's Avatar
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    "Diet Spider-man" isn't even a good or funny dis. I read over that line and kept going. That, that was 'degrading'? Come on now.

    Ben Reilly when he was done right was as strong a Spider-man as Rhodey was an Iron Man or Walker as Captain America in my book.
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  8. #38
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pav View Post
    As far as differentiating Ben (and Kaine) from other Spiders / giving them purpose...

    Well, others may disagree, but I feel like their very existence differentiates them: as clones, they are both Peter and not Peter, and that paradox should be the heart of any story on which they star. Examining the contradiction of their existence allows the writer to tell stories about Peter Parker that you can't tell with "the real Peter." Certainly you can say that SIMILAR things can be done with someone like Miles or even Mayday, but Ben and Kaine have a unique position that is unlike these other Spiders, and the lack of philosophical musing on their existence in each of their last series was to their detriment, I think.

    -Pav, who wonders what a cross between Kaine's two suits would look like...
    Yeah, I can agree with that, though I'm trying to imagine a merger of Kaine's Clone Saga look and his Scarlet Spider look, so thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Craig View Post
    "Diet Spider-man" isn't even a good or funny dis. I read over that line and kept going. That, that was 'degrading'? Come on now.

    Ben Reilly when he was done right was as strong a Spider-man as Rhodey was an Iron Man or Walker as Captain America in my book.
    Agreed.
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  9. #39
    Astonishing Member boots's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Craig View Post
    "Diet Spider-man" isn't even a good or funny dis. I read over that line and kept going. That, that was 'degrading'? Come on now.

    Ben Reilly when he was done right was as strong a Spider-man as Rhodey was an Iron Man or Walker as Captain America in my book.
    to be fair, in-universe it’s probably how he’d be seen. like how the bugle sees peter as a “menace”, a lot of other heroes would naturally think of the scarlet spider as a copy cat hero (keeping in mind that they have no idea ben took over as spider-man for a while. as far as the rest of the world is concerned, peter just altered his costume in the 90s). even the scarlet spider costume was conceived as a poor man’s copy, a thrown together make-do

    i feel like ben could take the jab and eventually become recognized as a hero in his own right over time

    besides...diet soft drink is better for you
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  10. #40
    The Superior Spider-clone SpideyClone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pav View Post

    -Pav, who wonders what a cross between Kaine's two suits would look like...
    I actually have an image of this, I don't know how to post it here though

  11. #41
    Kinky Lil' Canine Snoop Dogg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boots View Post
    besides...diet soft drink is better for you
    are you saying peter parker is poison? completely agree tbqh
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  12. #42
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    I think the lesson Marvel learned from the recent volume of SS unfortunately is to don't touch or use the character very sparingly. Seems like most people rejected the changes to the character they thought would best differentiate Ben from Peter so they're back to square one with the character in terms of what to do with him.


    Unless there's a major change in how the character is viewed i think the best fans of Ben can realistically hope for are cameo appearances and some throw away lines referencing the character here and there.

  13. #43
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by classicgmer View Post
    I think the lesson Marvel learned from the recent volume of SS unfortunately is to don't touch or use the character very sparingly. Seems like most people rejected the changes to the character they thought would best differentiate Ben from Peter so they're back to square one with the character in terms of what to do with him.


    Unless there's a major change in how the character is viewed i think the best fans of Ben can realistically hope for are cameo appearances and some throw away lines referencing the character here and there.
    Of course they did, but they honestly shot themselves in the foot by having Ben brought back as a deranged villain who nearly wiped out the human race. Differentiate him from Peter, yes, but there were and are better ways to do that than having him twisted and tortured (literally and metaphorically) into a megalomaniac with a deluded messiah complex. That route was an obvious dead end, though maybe something could have been salvaged from it with better writing and characterization. Still, the idea that Marvel thought that was a viable path forward for Ben Reilly as a character says something, especially given that a year or so later, they followed that by revamping another somewhat controversial 90s hero, Nate Grey from the X-Men's Age of Apocalypse timeline, as a villain with a messiah complex.
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  14. #44
    Y'know. Pav's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huntsman Spider View Post
    Of course they did, but they honestly shot themselves in the foot by having Ben brought back as a deranged villain who nearly wiped out the human race. Differentiate him from Peter, yes, but there were and are better ways to do that than having him twisted and tortured (literally and metaphorically) into a megalomaniac with a deluded messiah complex. That route was an obvious dead end, though maybe something could have been salvaged from it with better writing and characterization. Still, the idea that Marvel thought that was a viable path forward for Ben Reilly as a character says something, especially given that a year or so later, they followed that by revamping another somewhat controversial 90s hero, Nate Grey from the X-Men's Age of Apocalypse timeline, as a villain with a messiah complex.
    I don't think Ben as a villain is inherently a dead end for Ben, nor do I think it was the root of the problem. I think the real issue was Ben no longer being effectively characterized as a second Peter.

    A Ben who isn't pretty much Peter isn't really Ben, y'know?

    A story about Ben/Peter losing his way down the path of villainy could hypothetically be done well. But Ben's story was rushed and weird and often unbelievable from moment to moment.

    The foundational idea of differentiating spinoff characters from the original doesn't apply to Ben, at least in personality.

    Ben is Peter. Ben is Peter. Ben is Peter.

    Except that he isn't

    -Pav, who is nobody's clone...
    Last edited by Pav; 12-17-2019 at 04:08 PM.
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  15. #45

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    The clone saga left a bad taste in my mouth severely.
    the original "reveal" was too much of a gut punch for a guy like me who had grown up reading everything post-1975 or whenever the original story ended. it was a cheap way to make "Peter" single again and get out of the Pete/MJ Marriage angle.
    Batman doesn't have a bunch of clone brothers. Neither does Superman. (No, Conner doesn't count as a full-blown "clone equal" down to the memories, which was the conceit with Ben, Kaine, etc.)

    I'm one of the few people who doesn't relate to there being "three" "Peters" (OG Pete, "Ben", "Kaine") with the exact same memories up until, uh, whenever his blood cells were first sampled by Miles Warren.
    The clone caskets and Warren's secret bases, much like the umpteenth refugee from the Weapon X program, have become a creative crutch that have worn out their welcome. saying that there's always another clone casket to give Octavius another Peter-body or another "Ben" or "Gwen" etc., is just egregious to me. I'm not feeling it. Whoever else can read it. that's their business. I won't. I'm glad for one Peter and that's it.

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