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The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – Ben Reilly is the Real Spider-Man!

All throughout December, we will be examining comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked.

Today we examine the rather extreme example of Ben Reilly learning (in a painful way) that he was not, in fact, the real Spider-Man.


A few years after the Spider-Man comic book series had the marriage of Mary Jane Watson and Peter Parker forced down their throats out of nowhere by editorial, the books began looking for a way to somehow get rid of the marriage without having Peter Parker have a divorce.

Their solution was to reveal that the clone of Peter Parker that had seemingly been killed years earlier (circa Amazing Spider-Man #150) did not die. He was back! And after a year or so, they revealed that the clone was NOT a clone! Rather, it was the Peter Parker who married Mary Jane that was a clone.

It was stated in Spectacular Spider-Man #226…

With Mary Jane pregnant, Peter decides to retire as Spider-Man. The clone (who has taken the name Ben Reilly, after Uncle Ben’s first name and Aunt May’s maiden name) takes over as Spider-Man, with a brand new costume and a brand-new look in his secret identity (so people don’t confuse him with Peter).

Well, that did not go over so well, so about a year later (was it even a year?), they decided to reveal that it was BEN who was the clone, not Peter. They brought Norman Osborn back to life to explain it all (everything was part of a plot against Peter by Norman, including the fake test results).

But why trust Norman Osborn?

And even if we believe him, what was to stop a later writer coming along and saying, “No, Norman lied and Peter is the real clone!”

So to alleviate those concerns and make it about as concrete as they could, Ben saves Peter’s life from an attack by Obsorn’s glider…

NOTE: In the various Clone Saga stories, they had established that when clones die, they disintegrate.

In retrospect, it was probably a bit of a mistake to write Ben out so concretely, but you certainly could understand their motivations behind it.

Next step to get rid of the Peter/Mary Jane marriage without having Peter get a divorce? Mary Jane is seemingly blown up in a plane explosion!!


I’ve never read the Clone Saga. I just bought into the negative hype. But after read this, that story idea sounds pretty good.

A little before Ben Reilly showed up, Peter went through a weird emo phase where he would say stuff like “There’s no Peter Parker anymore. There’s only the Spider”. That caused MJ to leave him for a while. I wonder if that was one attempt by the creative team to dissolve the marriage that didn’t stick.

Why did Peter say “No! Not THAT!”, and why is Ben disintegrating?

He’s disintegrating because he’s a clone and his cell structure is breaking down, further proof that Peter is the real deal.

I know why it’s in the story and all, but….why would being a clone make your cell structure disintegrate at the moment of death? That’s not even good enough to work as pseudoscience.

Dear Rob III:

That is clone degeneration. Having seem other clones disintegrate, Peter (and the readers) authomatcally knew Ben was the clone.

“A few years after the Spider-Man comic book series had the marriage of Mary Jane Watson and Peter Parker forced down their throats out of nowhere by editorial, the books began looking for a way to somehow get rid of the marriage without having Peter Parker have a divorce.

Their solution was to reveal that the clone of Peter Parker that had seemingly been killed years earlier (circa Amazing Spider-Man #150) did not die. He was back! And after a year or so, they revealed that the clone was NOT a clone! Rather, it was the Peter Parker who married Mary Jane that was a clone.”

I thought the Clone Saga was meant to be a story that ran its course and ended, but editorial insisted that they drag it out because of the high sales. I mean, if it was meant to end the marriage then why did they take so long just to get to that point?

I realize that when they eventually had Ben replace Peter that it sort of did away with the marriage of Spiderman, but I never got the impression that it was all set up the whole time for that specific purpose.

I gave Marvel props at the time for trying something so different at the time. In hindsight, that was a much better way to go than OMD, as they were obviously trying to dissolve the marriage.

I guess they poured all the outrage the fans had into that death scene, because Ben Reilly really got the shit kicked out of him THROUGH THE WHOLE COMIC!!! I still have most of those issues and love every one, but that was a BRUTAL comic!

And… the actor who played Ben Reilly went on to play the smoke monster in “Lost”.

For more on the infamous Clone Sage, interested readers are directed to the terrific 35-part “Life of Reilly” (soon to be a book).


Are you gonna do one for the Punisher limited series where he gets recruited by angels?

If you got some time to kick back and read this, it’s really worth it! http://lifeofreillyarchives.blogspot.com/ it’s a 35 chapter breakdown of the clone saga and behind the scenes stuff with the writers, editors and also the sense of knowing whats going to happen next! Great for anyone curious about marvel in that time period too!

I ate up The Clone Saga when I first began to collect Spider-Man comics during the late 90s.. I bought all of the single issues I could find, including the final storyline that culminated in Peter Parker: Spider-Man #75. Bad rep aside, I was excited by the “event” nature of the saga, and enjoyed many of the issues.

So Ben wears briefs, not boxers. No wonder he’s the inferior clone.

thought ben was a unique character and sadly was going to turn out to be the clone since marvel would know not to mess with one of its crown jewels. even though hated that norman was the master mind of the whole clone saga including the fate of mary and peters baby. making it think ben was reily the real spider man only to be more mind games.

@Erick: Jinx!

I’m not much of a Spider-Man fan, so I haven’t read any of the Clone Saga issues, but I always thought that the idea at least was an interesting one. And a ballsy move. I can understand why longtime readers wouldn’t be thrilled with it, but you have to give Marvel a little credit for (at least initially) being willing to try something so drastic with their Headline Character.

I really wish the Clone Saga were available in cheaper reprint books like the Marvel Essentials. The trades they’ve been issuing are too plentiful and too expensive–they’re up to 9 volumes now at $40 each (about $26 per book after Amazon’s discount) and they’re not done yet!. I have a morbid curiosity about this story, but there’s no way I’ll ever spend $250-$300 or more to read it.

I like the clone saga. The first half is great stuff. Then it gets bogged down and runs on too long but overall it’s pretty fun. Until they start getting all Lost mystery on mystery the pace is pretty breakneck and it’s nice as a counterpoint to today’s ‘relaxed’ approach to pacing.

As horrible as the Clone Saga was (Spidercide!), you can’t help feeling something move in your gut with that “Tell her about her uncle Ben” line. Of course, we know how Ben’s niece ended up…

I like the clone saga. The first half is great stuff. Then it gets bogged down and runs on too long but overall it’s pretty fun. Until they start getting all Lost mystery on mystery the pace is pretty breakneck and it’s nice as a counterpoint to today’s ‘relaxed’ approach to pacing.

At no point in the Clone Saga is the pacing breakneck. In a fast-paced story, plot threads are resolved in rapid succession while still more threads are brought in. The clone saga brings in many elements early on, but drags its feet forever in resolving them. If you read LifeOfReilly (linked in previous comments), you’ll see the creators complaining about the way stories were stretched to two and three times their intended lengths, even in early months. The Clone Saga can only be seen as swiftly-paced in the same sense as Nascar: things are moving fast, but it’s over the same area again and again, going nowhere.

I loved the Clone Saga but there were a lot of times when it was pretty clear that they were in a holding pattern for months at a time. Great moments like May’s death and Peter Parker’s Murder Trial (the JJJ bits alone were awesome) were undercut by arc upon arc of “Peter is the real Spider-Man. No, Ben is the real Spider-Man. No, Spidercide is!”. Once Ben got to become Spider-Man (and even after he died) the line became really great – though I thought Blood Brothers was a misfire – right up until Byrne came along.

Also, if Ben was a “Perfect Clone” then why did he degenerate like the failures? The real Ben is alive!

I will never understand people’s affection for the Clone Saga. I lived through it, and it was a terrible slog all the way. I wonder if veterans feel this way when they see kids talking about how cool the Call of Duty games are.

The Clone Sage is why I stopped reading comics for over a decade. Everything about it was wrong.

This was not a very well put together article / blog…whats the point? It just restates things we already know.
It starts out by saying it’s an analysis but, fails to gather evidence toward any conclusion. Neither does it describe how or why the story was overturned.

For a better perspective on the clone saga read, “The life of reilly” blogspot.

@MaximumCake: Just think of this as an intro to the Clone Saga. It’s highlighting bits of the storyline and showing us some of the things that happened where Ben took over and then how it quite definitively (for comics, anyway) showed us, yeah, Ben WAS a clone. For someone who tried to avoid the story, it’s a nice “highlight reel” to show us, yeah, we didn’t miss much. If you WANT to read more, you can look into it more, and read the Life…blog.

Although I do believe that doctors recommend NOT looking at the Clone Saga for too long, for fear of your eyes burning, BURNING!!!

But like Kabe said, that “tell her about her Uncle Ben” bit is moving.

Nice that the entire Spider cast was right around when Ben died.

Was the Clone Saga when we first learned Aunt May’s maiden name?

I stopped reading Spider-Man before the Clone Saga. The stories had been pretty bad for some time, and I was really sickened by the idea of his dead parents returning. Every so often, I would look through an issue to see if things had improved yet, but it always looked bad. And when the clone stuff started, I had no interest.

And then I stopped buying comic books altogether for other reasons.

I’ve read a few clone issues since I started buying comic books again, but I still don’t see much appeal in the story. I didn’t even know Norman Osborn was alive until a few years ago (right after the Civil War, I guess it was). Maybe it was different for people reading at the time, but to me, bringing Osborn back just adds to all the horrible decisions they’d done already. He’s just one of those characters that work better as a memory. Characters whose deaths are really important and have a big impact on other characters should always stay dead. (Also, villains who know a hero’s secret identity are usually a mistake anyway, but I guess that no longer matters for the current Spider-Man situation.)

Mr. Mxyzptlk 52

December 4, 2011 at 2:43 am

Great idea for a theme, Brian! Are you accepting suggestions? If so, I would love to see you include Neil Gaiman’s revamped origin for Batman villainess Poison Ivy in a Secret Origins issue. When someone asks Ivy about her past (which was originally revealed in a story written by Gerry Conway), Ivy just laughs it off and says something like, “Oh, I just make stuff up sometimes, here’s what REALLY happened!”

I can still remember when I read that issue the first time, I was stunned to see a writer so blatently dismiss another writer’s work! Which is amusing in retrospect, considering how disregarding past stories later became a common occurence (i.e. Scarlet Witch’s “what’s chaos magic?” moment)!

Spider-Man 75 is one of the most beautiful-drawn comics of JRJR. The clone saga spawned Spider-Girl, which to mecwas an oasis in the middle of the worst creative era in the Spidey books. Now certain elements have returned, such as Kaine ( by far the best chaacter created during those days).

In all, I believe the Clone saa was not as bad as other stores that followed, such as the Byrne/Mackie era, The Other, Dissassembled, Sins Past/Sins remembered, OMD, etc.

For people who love the character but haven’t read the Clone Saa, I would recomnend such. At least the firt part, when Ben was the Scarlt Spider.

randypan the goatboy

December 4, 2011 at 6:55 am

I worked out a very simple mathmatic equasion involving Spiderman in the 90’s…. Spiderman + mega event nonsense- good writing+ smell of ass+ Spiderman’s parents returning as robots x maximum carnage- Dr Octopus+ the spiderclone= dog shit taco… Or as I like to put it…make mine DC. Not that everything DC touched was gold. but at the end of the day it’s the devil you know.

Another shout out for Life of Reilly. It’s very long but exteremely interesting and fun to read about what happened behind the scenes during the Clone Saga.

I actually liked the Ben Riley Spider Man issues. It breathed new life into a stale concept.

A couple of questions:

1) Was the marriage of Mary Jane Watson and Peter Parker really “forced down their throats out of nowhere by editorial”? I thought Peter and MJ had a reasonably long relationship before they got married. IOW, that their marriage followed naturally from the previous stories.

2) Did Marvel really intend Ben Reilly to be the new, permanent Spider-Man? Or was it a foregone conclusion that they’d eventually restore Peter to the role?

Wanted to recommend the 4-issue “Spider-Man: Redemption” mini-series from the Clone Saga. While a lot of the Saga could be considered mediocre, these 4 issues highlighting Ben Reilly and Kaine are stand-outs. Definitely a must read from that period!

@Rob: No, MJ hadn’t been a major character in the comics for some time when Stan declared that they were going to get married in the strip and therefore had to get married in the books. Priest (who was editor on the Spider-books at the time) mentions it at the end of his Why I Never Discuss Spider-Man piece, http://www.lamerciepark.com/legacy/comics/spidey.html .

And yes, it sure FELT at the time like Ben was supposed to be the regular Spider-Man and they backpedaled in a hurry.

If they’d intended for Ben to be the clone after all, I think there would have been more clues building to it. Instead we’re left with a Green Goblin deus ex machina (and keep in mind that Normie had been dead for 20 years at this point) and a bunch of dangling plot threads that don’t make any sense (did they ever explain how Miles Warren could have programmed a vision of himself into Peter’s brain if Peter wasn’t actually one of his clones?).

@Van GoghX: That sounds right. I haven’t touched my 1990’s Spidey collection since the first time I read them, but I recall Redemption being pretty good compared to the rest. It was JRJr too, right?

Anyhow. I agree with the consensus: the Clone Saga was a train wreck but, ultimately, a more elegant solution to the marriage problem than One More Day ended up being.

The majority of the Clone Saga is in trades now. The first bundle of issues featuring the introduction of Ben, Kaine, etc. came out in trades last year (5 of them).

I believe the second collection of Ben as Spider-Man just came out.

Having read all of it together, I am going to say its pretty terrible. The story goes in circles, the dialogue is awful, and the art is mostly bad. If anything in super-hero comics is “decompression” its this.

I really miss all those ‘lets end the marriage because its hurting the character but we can’t have them divorce as it would be even worse’ stories that marvel tried – I may be misremembering them but off the top of my head…

‘The spider man of the last 15 years was a clone so the real one never married’
‘Lets blow Mary Jane up in a plane accident’
“Lets have Mary Jane just leave for a bit’
‘Lets send Peter to an alternate planet of animal men without Mary Jane’ (cartoon version)
‘The marriage was actually an elaborate scam set up by Mysterio and the Chameleon was the priest so technically wasn’t legal’
‘Mary Jane is actually a man and the marriage was never consummated’
‘Mary Jane and Peter get a pet dog – the dog eats their marriage certificate thus annulling the marriage’
‘Superboy Prime punched reality and altered time so it didn’t happen’
‘Some crap about magic and the devil and Dr strange and (a ressurected) aunt may (who was never actually dead because that was an actress hired by norman osborn to pretend to be peter’s Aunt, after he got Gwen Stacy pregnant years before) being shot…”

I think there was another one too but can’t quite remember the details.. didn’t it involve monkey tennis? Or am I thinking of Robin / Jason Todd?

Yep.. classic stories one and all, all told in the merry marvel manner..

Heinous marriage comments aside, the Clone Saga rules. From the magnificently done documentary-style series of articles, it’s established that it was never intended to convince people that Ben was the one try Spider-Man.

Instead, the plan was for the saga to begin in ASM #394 (it did), and then in ASM #400, Peter would be revealed as the clone (didn’t actually happen). But, the story wasn’t well organized enough and they weren’t ready for the big reveal by then, but it was an anniversary issue, so they had to do something big. No one wanted it, but they decided to kill off Aunt May. JM DeMatteis did a marvelous job, but that wasn’t the intended story for ASM #400.

Anyways, after Ben had been “revealed as the true Spider-Man” in ASM #400, the plan was to reverse the decision about 6 months later after 6 months of Ben having adventures as the real Spider-Man. The scheme would prove to be false and Peter would be reinstated, while Ben would then go off and star in his own ongoing series.

Tom DeFalco had established many versions of these new generation “copy” characters, who had successful ongoing series, such as War Machine and Thunderstrike. But, DeFalco was fired (I believe) and the successors of the story never received the original plan, similar to the way no one received the original plan for Roger Stern’s big Hobgoblin reveal.

In summary, the plan was two have two cash-grabbing Spider-Man type characters, one single and one married.

I was tentatively keeping up with the ongoing spiderman series when the clone saga began. I really enjoyed the first mini series and actually liked the concept of Ben Reilly and the “who is the clone?” question. In the beginning it was a very human story. I soon realised that the clone saga was getting dragged out and the quality of the stories were getting worse with every issue. I stopped buying them and never got to the finale and saw what happened with Ben Reilly. Thanks for showing me in this post what happened.

The clone saga started off really well, with some great stories and new characters and even for the first few months that Ben was Spiderman, it was still good. Then it just took a nose dive! And I stopped collecting till that final 4 parter where Ben dies. Which again, was pretty good.

“The plan was two have two cash-grabbing Spider-Man type characters, one single and one married.” For the record: not true. There’s a lot of misinformation out there about the Clone Saga. Check out BACK ISSUE #44, where many of us who were there talked about the story.

What is “BACK ISSUE #44″ ?

The sad thing is the Sensational Spider-man #0 and onward was the single Spider-man that the 20 writers Marvel hired for it’s ‘Brand New Day’ Stuff is the Spider-man they WISHED they could do. But they sabotaged the book and obviously told the writers that ‘nothing can happen’ and ‘Peter doesn’t have much of a personality anymore’. Who wants t read a book where nothing can happen? I don’t know why they want to write the book, either. I notice most of them quit. Back then, stuff happened. Sometimes good or bad. we didn’t get magical resurrected unmaskings where everything is an empty promise, because they just keep promsing stuff. Aunt May actually died. Ben had emotions and conflict.

Who Spider-man supposed to be now? He doesn’t seem like a character at all anymore.

Did a bit of Googling, and found what DeMatteis was referring to :

Enjoy the read!

When the clone saga was originally coming out, I kind of half-assed followed it. I probably bought maybe half of the spider clone books. I suspect that this is the best way to enjoy the clone saga. I managed to catch all the major plot points, but skipped quite a bit of the filler.

And honestly, I liked having two spider-men. I wish they would have brought back Ben Reily for the new Scarlet Spider comic. Although, now that I think about it, a Ben Reily comic would be redundant at this point. Thanks to OMD, Peter Parker is Ben Reily now.

How crazy would it be if Ben Reily came back from the dead and married MJ now? They could name the storyline “Continuity Eats Itself.”

Thanks for posting Jon – that was a good read.

@ DeMatteis – your Spectacular Spiderman run that came out of the end of the clone saga is still one of my favorite to date. A nice drama, action and comedy balance. And with some great villians showing up. But it seems like you left abruptly at #257. Was that always in the cards? Or did you have more plans?


As I recall, Faust, I just kind of burned out and realized I was done. But thanks for the kind words, I enjoyed that run very much.

Thats a shame :( And Thanks for the reply! :)

I think the last great Spider-man stuff was probably Spectacular Spider-man right around #250 (I think) You had stuff like Kraven’s (apparent)ghost appearing to the Chameleon who kidnaps Spider-man and puts him in a mental institution. Then you have that stuff with the new Green Goblin.

After they ended Spectacular and started the renumbering it really started to go down hill with bizarre origin retcons and the biggest non-events of all time. Imagine a story about everyone finding out who Spider-man really was. No, as an actual story. Not just promising people stuff. There we go. That would of been cool.

So, if Ben was or wasn’t the real Spider-man? Whose the magic guy who got his powers from a Spider-totem?That’s a question.

I liked the clone saga, It was an interesting story even do they started doing stupid stories with the clones invasion and all that but when it came to Ben reilly, Peter and Kane relationship it was cool. I was sad to see them get rid of Ben Reilly, he still could have been around but at least they didnt get rid of Kane, he’s the new scarlet spider.
Another thing that was interesting about Reilly when he became spiderman is that he added new things to the spiderman arsenal, stuff that peter had stop doing for a very long time, It was a kind of a fresh start, of course I didnt want him to be the real spiderman but I didnt want the charcter dead either.

I feel like this series has been misnamed; it’s more like retcons than abandoned storylines

Just want to let folks know that if you have any questions or comments you can always find me at http://www.jmdematteis.com and on Twitter (@jmdematteis). Thanks, guys!

Love how Green Goblin’s plan was to just give Peter a nice long vacation. Great cracked article

Just found these blogs, so fun!!I know I am getting old when the story was coming out but the story was going well. Untill the Green Goblin came back as villian (but I stayed). I did not care who the clone was. There was 4 books out with Spider-man, I was hoping 2 each of adventures for Ben and Peter. It could of been done well, answering the debate Peter with MJ and Peter without MJ, instead leading to “deal with the devil” which cause me to drop Marvel till now. Still mad.

I hate the fact they brought Norman Osborn as the green goblin, i put up with whole story line. I enjoyed it at first Kane, Ben and death of aunty may. But whole thing was born out of money they had a hit on there hand. they told the writers to extend the story so they could get more money added more things to it till it made no sense what so ever. They said let start a spider reboot give ben his the comic but we keep peter in the background so we can bring him back at any time not that we didn’t notice.
But when they brought norman back to explain it all that when i turned off. it cheapen the whole death of Gwen Stacy it was a intrinsic part of whole spider-man mythology even though i wasn’t born at the time i could understand the reverence. Norman killed Gwen and he died for it.
I’ve never pick up up a spider comic since.

And what happened to the “niece” of uncle Ben Reilly? What happened to the daughter or Mary Jane and Peter Parker? I remember that she was born “dead”, and later it was revealed that in fact she was stolen by Norman Osborn or something… But that was all. She was gone without further explanation.

Clone Saga destroyed everything I loved about Spider-Man and Marvel Comics. I thought Marvel were better than this, but turned out they got too money hungry. They were already king of the comics hill, but nooooooo they wanted more and took the biggest risk ever. I never saw Spidey at the same light again and haven’t bought an issue since.

Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that Peter hit Mary Jane after being told he was a clone, yet, she still stood by her man despite believing she married the real thing and that he would never strike her. That really effected me more that the revelation. In later issues after Clone Saga, Peter and MJ act like it never happened. Not to mention we had to see Peter hit MJ again in Spider-Man 3. Stupid Sam Raimi!

Writing Ben out of continuity was a HUGE mistake. I for one liked the Clone Saga. I think there was an incredible amount of naivety at the time in regards to cloning and genetics. Coming from a medical student/graduate genetics student, I can tell you that if Peter was a clone, he would be no less “fake” than the original that he came from. Clones and originals are all made from the same material. There’s about a million different factors going into it to explain, but that sums up the main idea.

Personally I like tha clone saga, as an idea and as a story, but I have to admit that there are portions of it that are terribly bad.
First of as much as I liked all of Mackie’s subplots and plot points, they never went nowhere, and that was frustating. Kavanagh was not good for me either. Also, there was this other thing, the team up of Buchema and Sienkiewicz, which in theory sounded like a much made in heaven, but it was the other way around…
One other thing is that I read the clone saga after I knew a few things, and bought a lot of comics altogether, I was not waiting week after week for the next issue, not knowing where this is heading, so I guess for a real time reader this could be hard.
Plus, marvel editorial did not know where they wanted to go. I think DeFalco had a backdoor plan, if this went to shit, but after he was fired it was never used, maybe there can be an article about it? However everyone from marvel that period will tell you different things, one will tell that they wanted to eliminate the mariage, other will say that it was a one of story.
However, if I remember corecly, clones (regular, or miles waren clones) when they die, digeneration was something that could happen at any moment.

Looking at the third image, I was just thinking “dude, calm the fuck down…”

I think Ben’s death should be referenced more often. But then again, that’d bring the whole Baby May stuff to the surface too soooo…

Good article the only thing I’m questioning is the opening comment,
“A few years after the Spider-Man comic book series had the marriage of Mary Jane Watson and Peter Parker forced down their throats out of nowhere by editorial…”
I don’t know how old the writer of this article is but I grew up around this event and it wasn’t forced down anyone’s throats or out of nowhere. There was about 10 or so issues of Amazing Spider-man leading up to the wedding.

I don’t know how old the writer of this article is but I grew up around this event and it wasn’t forced down anyone’s throats or out of nowhere. There was about 10 or so issues of Amazing Spider-man leading up to the wedding.

There were not. Peter was single he decides that he wants to propose to Mary Jane out of nowhere in Amazing Spider-Man #290. She accepts in Amazing Spider-Man #292 and they were married by the time Amazing Spider-Man #293 came out (they married in the Amazing Annual that came out between #292 and #293).

It was an editorially-driven decision that was not the idea of any of the people then writing Spider-Man comic books.

Travis Stephens

October 23, 2013 at 2:41 am

Some crap about magic and the Devil and Aunt May who was resurrected but was never dead….


Steven Simmons

April 26, 2014 at 6:05 am

One thing to remember is that Ben’s death sparked even more conspiracy theories as perfect clones were not supposed to disintegrate. That was a fate only for imperfect clones. This has led some to believe the real Ben Reiley did not die.

See this story line? This horrible, horrible story line? THIS is THE reason I stopped buying comic books. I was so disappointed and disgusted with Ben being the “real” Spider Man that I never saw the “fix” because I had stopped buying comics completely.

The Clone Saga was awesome – those that bash it really need to have a reality check. Seriously. Comics are fantasy! The Clone Saga had everyone guessing – it was awesome. My only issue with it is that they didn’t stick to the original concept: Pete (the clone) and MJ swing off into the sunset with little baby May and Ben (the real Peter) takes over as Spider-Man and as the Peter Parker. Peter (clone) would be married to MJ, Spider-Man (the real Peter) would be single and swinging it, AND no need for OMD! All winner via a solid story. Yet, the meandering pattern that evolved still entertained, intrigued, and delivered an iconic era. So, those that hate it – really just don’t get it.

Ben Reilly is my favorite Spider-Man but Peter is the real Spider-Man has been since the start, regardless of how the writers or editorial tried to retcon it. I always liked the Peter & MJ marriage as long as the writers werent clearly making one or both of the behave like a-holes (Maximum Carnage is a good example of that). Ben Shouldve been the surviving clone instead of Kaine and got his own book, Kaine is a jerk.

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