Is this town really big enough for another webslinger?
While I was checking out Marvel’s interview with card-carrying Spider-Man brain trust member Marc Guggenheim about Amazing Spider-Man #600, one thing really stuck out at me:
“Who says it’s just one thing?” queries Guggenheim in return. “How about reintroducing a character whose last name is ‘Reilly’? How about the introduction of a new villain who will play a pivotal role in the upcoming series arc, ‘Who Is Ben Reilly?’”
Forget Bucky and forget Barry Allen: Ben Reilly is like a can of worms stuck inside a barrel of gunpowder. Or worse yet: a clone of Peter Parker.
Ben (who took his uncle’s first name and his aunt’s maiden name) represented the Clone Saga, and the outrage that many Spider-fans felt when it was revealed (and later retconned) that the Peter Parker we had been following for decades was really a clone. Following this revelation — and the fact that Mary Jane was pregnant with a baby — Peter was swiftly depowered and had to make way for a newer, blonder Spider-Man.
Now, this story could mean many things — it could mean he is returning, or that another character is acting out in his name. Or it could simply mean that someone has remembered Ben even existed (something that Marvel had previously avoided, even going so far as to making “clones suck” jokes for much of this decade) — in this case, it could be Norman Osborn, whose return was punctuated by impaling Ben on his Goblin Glider in Spider-Man: Revelations. Thoughts?