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Marvel Database

Quote1.png Because I've been alone all my life too, Desiree. Makes it real easy to spot in other people. That veneer of carefree fun you put on for the world... doesn't hide your loneliness from me. Quote2.png
Ben Reilly

Appearing in "The Ultimate Responsibility"

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  • Fire truck

Synopsis for "The Ultimate Responsibility"

Jessica Carradine is visiting her father's grave for guidance and advice as she is dealing with conflicting emotions. She thinks about how their lives were ultimately changed by Spider-Man. She thinks about how her father went to prison for the murder of Ben Parker. However, she believes what her father told him, that Ben Parker had a gun and that it went off as they were struggling with each other. This didn't stop Spider-Man from arresting him, that they believed his lies about how her father was the one with the gun.[Continuity 1] After that moment, she was passed from foster home to foster home. She waited for her father to get out of prison, but when he did, she thinks Spider-Man killed him.[Continuity 2] She vowed to get revenge against Spider-Man, that was until she discovered that Spider-Man is really the man she has been dating, Ben Reilly.[Continuity 3] As she took a photo of Ben taking off his mask, she could easily ruin Spider-Man's career by taking to the authorities or the press. However, she can't bring herself to do it because she realizes that she has fallen in love with Ben.

Elsewhere in the city, Ben Reilly watches as the Daily Grind is being rebuilt after it was destroyed in a fire.[Continuity 4] This reminds him of his early career as Spider-Man where everyone close to him had died.[Continuity 5] He wishes this didn't happen to Shirley, but is relieved that nobody died. His thoughts are interrupted by the arrival of Desiree Winthrop, who tells Ben that she is relieved that he was cleared as a suspect in the arson committed on the Daily Grind.[Continuity 6] Ben thanks her for the kind words and tells her that he needs to get out of the rain. That's when she decides to invite Reilly out for lunch, an offer that he gladly accepts. As they eat lunch together, Ben becomes very clear that Desiree is romantically interested in him. He points out that she is lonely since she spends all her time with vapid individuals who are more interested in her good looks and wealth than they do about her as a person. Ben then concludes that she is interested in him because he didn't immediately fall for her and she knows that he is above judging her on her appearance or net worth.

At that moment, Jessica Carradine walks the streets wondering what to do about the photo that reveals Spider-Man's identity. On the one hand, she owes it to her father to get revenge, but on the other hand Ben has insisted that what she believes is not the truth and he has always been faithful to him. That's when she sees Ben Reilly sitting in a restarant with Desiree Winthrop. She immediately assumes the worst and decides to send the photo of Ben unmasking to the Daily Bugle. She prepares an envelope then begins to look for a mailbox. However, inside, Ben finishes his observations of Desiree's life when he spots a building on fire nearby and makes up an excuse to cut lunch short so he can change into Spider-Man. Jessica notices Spider-Man swinging past and decides to go and see what the hero is doing. Spider-Man arrives at the burning building and is informed by fire fighters that there are still people trapped on the upper floors of the building. The wall-crawler selflessly rushes in and finds a group of people trapped inside. In order to get them out, Spider-Man uses his webbing to fashion a slide for them to get down to the ground. Having breathed in a great deal of smoke, the wall-crawler is given an oxygen tank. That's when one of the people he saved tells Spider-Man that there are two children unaccounted for prompting the hero to go back inside. After searching through the raging inferno, he finds the trapped children and manages to get them out just as the upper floors of the building collapses.

After the children are handed off to their parents, paramedics begin going over Spider-Man. Having seen all of this, Jessica rushes up to thew all-crawler in all the confusion. She hands the damning photo to him and tells him that he has been wrong about him the whole time. She then runs off. Spider-Man tries to go after her, but the crowd is too thick to get past. Later, she pays her respects to the graves of May and Ben Parker as a way of apologizing for what her father did to their lives.[Continuity 7] Having reconciled this part of her life, Jessica Carradine walks away with a smile, because despite the horrible crime her father committed, something good did come of it: It helped create a hero like Spider-Man.


Continuity Notes

  1. This, of course, is a distortion of the truth. Ben Parker never had a gun, and the Burglar killed him in cold blood, as seen in Amazing Fantasy #15.
  2. As she explained in Sensational Spider-Man #3, she believes that Spider-Man strangled her father to death. The truth is, he died of a heart attack upon learning that Peter Parker was Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #200.
  3. Jessica discovered Ben Reilly's secret identity in Sensational Spider-Man #4.
  4. The Daily Grind was burned down by an arsonist in Amazing Spider-Man #412.
  5. The people who died due to their relations to Spider-Man were Captain George Stacy (Amazing Spider-Man #90) and his daughter Gwen (Amazing Spider-Man #121). Ben is talking as though he is the real Peter Parker. This is because he was led into believing this in Spectacular Spider-Man #226. However, he is a clone of Spider-Man as clarified in Osborne Journals #1. the reason Ben remembers this and has all the same emotional attachments is that he shares all of the real Peter Parker's memories up to Amazing Spider-Man #149.
  6. Ben captured the real arsonist as Spider-Man in Spider-Man #69.
  7. At the time of this story, everyone believes that Aunt May is dead. A woman posing as May Parker died in Amazing Spider-Man #400. She is revealed as an impostor in Spider-Man #97.

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