Ben Reilly Is Returning as the Scarlet Spider And Everything Old Is New Again

I’m not sure which I feel more conflicted about—that Spidey-clone extraordinaire Ben Reilly is getting his own comic series again as the Scarlet Spider, or the fact that you can see his mouth through the suit and that smile is scary as hell.

In the wake of Ben’s return as the current main antagonist of the ongoing Spider-Man event The Clone Conspiracy, Marvel has announced—through CBR—that the newly-revived Ben will seemingly cast aside his villainous role at the end of the series and become a hero once more in Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider.


Written by Peter David and with art from Mark Bagley, The Scarlet Spider will see Ben dealing with his personal demons with the pull of his past as a Spider-Hero, as the clone-happy Jackal, and even as a normal human being who’s gone through some horrific stuff. Kaine Parker, fellow Scarlet Spider and clone, will play a major role in the series, as he goes on the search for Ben after the events of the Clone Conspiracy help convince him to find a better life for himself.

Honestly, as much as the return of Ben Reilly as the Scarlet Spider is super weird and another example of Marvel relying on the same old twists and characters for its big new stories, the creepiest thing about this might just be his new costume. Not only the hood—which, despite being an homage to his original ‘90s Scarlet Spider design, today feels like a bad attempt at replicating the design success of Spider-Gwen’s hooded spandex—but the fact that you can see Ben smiling through his Spidey suit.

Spider-Man should never be able to express with anything other than his eye pieces in that suit. This is comics law and seeing that smirk is really freaking me out.


Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider is set to begin in April.

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James Whitbrook

James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!