Originally, Ben Reilly was nothing but a tool to harm Spider-Man, but Peter Parker’s clone became something more. Ben crawled out of Peter’s shadow to establish his special personality, given both Peter’s powers and memories. It took a while, but Ben was the Scarlet Spider, who started his tough, sometimes tragic legacy as his Spider-Man.
Originally in 1975, The Incredible Spiderman #149 was created by his former instructor and enemy Miles Warren, namely, The Jackal, as an unnamed clone of Peter Parker. Without knowing which of them was the clone, Peter and his double-ganger were battling, with one of the Spider-men dead in an explosion with the jackal.
Years later, both of them were found to have survived. The clone, who didn’t want to live in New York, developed a new name as Benjamin Reilly, who paid homage to the memories of Uncle Ben and Aunt May.
Ben used his abilities to help people battle the occasional villain such as Kaine, Peter Parker’s flawed Jackal clone.
Ben created a new costume with a red bodysuit, a blue cap, and changed web-shooters when Peter’s old adversary Venom was restored and beat up the symbiotic, acquiring the reputation of “The Scarlet Spider.” Ben and Peter sometimes would work in tandem to combine Peter’s years of training with his passion to strip out some of the vilest enemies of Spider-Man.
Ben embraces the responsibility of Spider-Man, but with a new suit style, after the Scarlet Spide guy has been broken with a poor press and torn mask.
Ben juggled Spider-Man’s duties with his new life, continuing to deepen his connections with Peter, who considered him a brother and a family of his. The return of Norman Osborn will sadly wreck both their lives, exposing years of events orchestrated to torment and test Peter Parker to have been masterly tested.
As a Spider-Man, Ben Reilly was always controversial for viewers, but as an edger on the wall-cracker, the Scarlet Spider is a favorite of the fan. The clone saga was remembered as perhaps his most hateful novel. Happily, the attention has been on Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider from Peter David and Mark Bagley.
Scarlet Spider has another chance to become a hero, with a new story tackling his own (often supernatural) foes.