- This wasn't about me-- about Spider-Man or Scarlet Spider-- this was directed at Steward!! The man who became my friend-- my-- ...mentor-- the man who believed in me-- and pulled me back from the edge!! Someone's after him-- trying to kill him-- and whoever he is, he's about to find out just how big if a mistake he's made!!!
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, he has learned that he is the real man and the person who has been calling himself Peter Parker 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 bike. Leaping to safety, Ben decides he needs to get away and clear his head. Up on the rooftops, Ben bellows out about how unfair this all is, as New York is his city, his home.[Continuity 3]
Changing into the Scarlet Spider, Ben webslings through the city, trying to convince himself that he is doing it one last time before leaving the city. He subconciously swings toward the Bronestone 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. Reilly 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 it will be something vastly different from where he was four years prior.....
Ben Reilly walked into the town of Rachel, Vermon in the pouring rain. His thoughts matching the weather around him. Thinking himself to be a clone at the time, Ben Reilly was seeking out Seward Trainer, a noted scientist, hoping that he could 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 in inn keeper 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 track down whoever is responsible and make them pay. Returning to New York, the Scarlet Spider finds Seward Trainer's lab in ruins. Finding an old photo of himself and Seward, Ben vows to find his friend because he owes him so much.
It was 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. 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, his 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. The arms become electrified and is shocked into unconsciousness. His final thoughts are wondering where his friend Seward Trainer could be. Elsewhere, Seward is hudled in a darkened cell. The person who has put him in there observes him for a moment from the doorway. With one of their mechanical arms, his captor slams shut the door on his cell.
... This story continues from Spider-Man #62.