Appearing in "The Worth of a Man"
- Doctor Octopus (Carolyn Trainer) (First appearance) (Shadow only)
Races and Species:
- New York City
- Rachel (First appearance) (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for "The Worth of a Man"
This story continues from Web of Spider-Man #128...
Ben Reilly has decided to leave New York City, however this time around it proves more difficult than the last time.[Continuity 1] Now, however, that he has learned that he is the real Peter Parker and the person who has been calling himself that for the past five years is really the clone, he finds it more difficult to leave.[Continuity 2] He is conflicted now, as he resented Peter Parker for the life he lived for five years. Although the life he wanted is not the same as Peter's, Ben at least wanted some kind of life and a place to call home. Ben has been speeding because he is upset and ends up skidding on the wet pavement and crashes his motorcycle. Leaping to safety, Ben decides he needs to get away and clear his head. Up on the rooftops, Ben muses that New York is his city, his home, where he is drawn, and bellows out that he belongs here.[Continuity 3]
Changing into the Scarlet Spider, Ben web-slings through the city, trying to convince himself that he is doing it one last time before leaving the city. He subconsciously swings toward the Brownstone owned by Peter Parker and his wife Mary Jane.[Continuity 4] Seeing them sleeping peacefully makes Ben come to the conclusion that this is Peter's city and his world. He decides that for Peter to have a normal life with his wife and the coming baby he needs to leave.[Continuity 5] After Ben web-slings away, Peter Parker wakes up from a nightmare. Unfortunately, he doesn't remember anything about it, but knows that he needs to remember something important. Still he is glad that he didn't wake up Mary Jane. Watching her sleep, he thinks to himself how much he loves her, and how he will never let anything hurt her.
Meanwhile, the Scarlet Spider has called his friend Seward Trainer and gets permission to spend time in his cabin in Vermont. Alone in the cabin with a fire going, Ben realizes that this is just the thing he needed. He then begins to wonder where he is going with his life from here. Wherever he goes next, Ben thinks he will face it as a different person, as a changed man with more discipline, rather than who he was four years prior…
Ben Reilly walked into the town of Rachel, Vermont in the pouring rain, his thoughts matching the weather around him. Thinking himself to be a clone at the time, Ben Reilly sought out Seward Trainer, a noted geneticist, hoping that he could become his assistant and use Trainer's resources to learn more about himself. Ben then arrived at the Milliway's Inn and tried to get a room for the night. Unfortunately, he is twelve dollars short of the cost, and the innkeeper refuses to give him a room. Before Ben can lose his temper, a man offers to spare the difference. When Reilly refuses the charity, the man assures Ben that he will be paid back because he seems like an honorable man. Although he didn't know it at the time, this was the first time that Ben met Seward Trainer.
Ben's thoughts are interrupted by the phone ringing. When he answers it, Seward is on the other end of the line. He tells Ben to get out of the cabin right away. With his spider-sense going off the scale, Ben leaps out of a nearby window just moments before the cabin explodes. Recovering from the blast, Ben realizes that this wasn't an attack on Spider-Man or the Scarlet Spider, but his friend Seward Trainer. Putting on his mask, Ben Reilly vows to apprehend whoever is responsible and make the bomber pay. Returning to New York, the Scarlet Spider comes upon Seward Trainer's lab in ruins. Picking up an old photo of himself and Seward hiking, Ben vows to find his friend because he owes him so much.
The following morning at the Milliway Inn, a feverish Ben Reilly comes downstairs and demands something to eat and drink. When the innkeeper tells him the kitchen is closed, Ben begins to lose his temper and shove people. Seeing this, Seward Trainer tries to calm Ben down. This interrupts Ben long enough that the fever gets the best of him and he passes out. When he came around moments later, Ben is told by Seward that he needs a friend. Finally accepting help, Ben took Seward's hand.
Continuing his search of Seward's lab, Ben's spider-sense draws him toward some strange spheres. Suddenly, the devices sprout mechanical arms and begin attacking him. Despite his spider-sense and enhanced speed and reflexes, the Scarlet Spider is restrained by the devices. Ensnared, he is then electrocuted and shocked into unconsciousness. His final thoughts are wondering where his friend Seward Trainer could be. Elsewhere, Seward is huddled in a darkened cell. The person who has put him in there observes him for a moment from the doorway. With a mechanical arm, his captor slams shut the door on his cell.
... This story continues from Spider-Man #62.
|Web of Spider-Man #128||Amazing Spider-Man #405||Spider-Man #62||Spider-Man Unlimited #10|
- As the Spider-Clone, Ben was seemingly killed in Amazing Spider-Man #149. He survived however, as revealed in Osborne Journals #1. Realizing that he was actually the clone of Spider-Man, Ben left New York City as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #400.
- Peter Parker is believed to be the clone due to a test conducted in Spectacular Spider-Man #226. However, this is a deception created by the Green Goblin. Ben Reilly is the real Spider-Clone. This deception is explained in Osborne Journals #1.
- The original twin towers of the World Trade Center are depicted as part of the New York City skyline here. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. The original towers were destroyed in a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, and have since been replaced by the Freedom Tower.
- Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife here. However, years later, their marriage is erased from existence by Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such they should be considered a common-law couple here.
- Mary Jane revealed that she was pregnant in Spectacular Spider-Man #220.
A flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters: