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Quote1.png You've changed, Parker. You used to have a sense of humor. What happened? Why are you so angry? Quote2.png
-- Ben Reilly


Appearing in "Power and Responsibility - Part Four: Higher Ground"

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Synopsis for "Power and Responsibility - Part Four: Higher Ground"

This story is continued from Spider-Man #51...

Having come to the Ravencroft Institute to observe the psychology of super-powered individuals, the mysterious Judas Traveller has found himself facing a once in a life time opportunity: The chance to compare the psychology of a Spider-Man and his long lost clone, Ben Reilly.[Continuity 1] With the two Spider-Men side-by-side, Traveller uses his powers to make both men lose conciousness. While outside, a barrier prevents the authorities and the press from seeing what is happening inside. Among those gathered are Doctor Ashley Kafka, her assistant Edward Wheland, and John Jameson, Ravencroft's chief of security. They still don't understand why a renowned psychologist like Traveller would take control of the facility. Likewise, they are concerned about Traveller's threats to either kill the patients or unleash them upon the public.[Continuity 2] Back inside, Judas as turned attention away from the Spider-Men to observe Cletus Kasady, aka Carnage. He finds the symbiosis between a serial killer and an alien creature fascinating. His observations are interrupted by Boone and Medea who inform him that they have placed the Spiders in the basement. Judas instructs Mister Nacht to get into place to observe the experiment. That's when the Scrior warns Judas that the barrier outside is pushing his powers to the limits. He then tells Chakra to release the prisoners, as he had no intention of ever killing them.

When Spider-Man and Ben Reilly wake up in the basement, the wall-crawler attacks his duplicate, thinking he is involved with Judas Traveller. Spider-Man thinks that this is yet another ploy to drive him mad. Ben tries to convince him otherwise, as when Spider-Man states that he had his powers back in junior high, Ben reminds him that Peter Parker didn't get his powers until high school.[Continuity 3] This angers the wall-crawler, who tells the clone to stop calling him Peter, insisting that he only is Spider-Man.[Continuity 4] Ben wonders what is wrong with Spider-Man, who is grimmer and has a darker attitude than the clone remembers. Before he can get any answers, a group of Ravencroft inmates comes crashing into the room. When Spider-Man savagely attacks them, Ben pulls him away. He tries to remind the wall-crawler that he is a hero, but Spider-Man tells the clone he has no idea what tragedies he has recently endured.[Continuity 5] Ben tells Spider-Man that if the life of Peter Parker is so painful, he will gladly take him. When Spider-Man refuses, Ben begs Spider-Man to work with him to get the situation under control.

Hearing this, Mister Nacht returns upstairs to tell Judas Traveller that the Spiders are working together now. That's when Medea asks if she can eliminated them, but Judas tells her to be silent. That's when Chakra enters the room with an envelope she found that was post marked from a week ago. Judas explains that it is yet another deception integral to the game that they play. With time growing short, Traveller tells the Scrior to shut down the force field and that the rest prepare for their imminent departure. Outside, Ashley Kafka and the others witness as the energy barrier goes down. They are then overwhelmed with knock out gas making everyone outside falling asleep. Meanwhile, Mary Jane is on a flight to Pittsburg to visit her family.[Continuity 6] During the flight, she is recognized by her seatmate from her role on "Secret Hospital". As she keeps up her end of the conversation, she can't help but worry about everything her husband Peter is going through.[Continuity 7] Suddenly, Mary Jane feels sick and she rushes to the washroom to throw up.[Continuity 8]

Back at Ravencroft, the two Spider-Men have fight off the the gang of inmates that ambushed them. Running upstairs to get out of the basement, they are barred by a lunatic named Wild Whip. When Ben Reilly recognizes the villain, Spider-Man realizes that his clone operated as a hero in the past. Ben admits that there were some momentary exceptions to his self-imposed exile.[Continuity 9] Although they are ambushed, the pair manage to knock out Wild Whip, but not before Ben notices how out of practice he is. At the top of the stairs, they find Carnage waiting for them. At that moment, Judas Traveller leaves a letter in Ashley Kafka's office, finishing the scheme Judas Traveller before he and his allies leave. Back downstairs, Ben points out that they can't let Carnage get past them because he could kill the other inmates. This moment of mercy, begins to make Spider-Man remember everything he used to stand for.[Error 1] Working together, the two Spider-Men manage to knock Carnage out.

As they rush upstairs, the pair begin to trade quips as Spider-Man begins to lighten up. Spotting Traveller and his minions making their escape and rush outside. While Spider-Man goes after Judas, his clone has a bone to pick with Boone and Medea.[Continuity 10] However, when Ben leaps inside their getaway vehicle, he discovers there is nobody inside. Suddenly, the car explodes, apparently killing the clone. Rushing inside to face Judas Traveller, Spider-Man fails to stop his foe who makes him pass out with a hypnotic suggestion. By this point, Kafka and her co-workers wake up and rush inside and find Spider-Man blacked out on the floor. With the prisoners contained again, they begin trying to make sense of the encounter. That's when Edward finds a letter from Judas Traveller, postmarked from a week before. Opening it up, they discover a letter from Traveller stating that he couldn't make it to his scheduled appearance. Falling for this, they wonder who the man they faced really was. At that moment, Traveller and his minions are driving away in a limo. Inside the car, Judas congratulates them for a job well done. As Spider-Man appears to be returning to his previous value system, the arrival of the Spider-Clone intrigues Traveller as well. Judas figures both need further observation.

Back at Ravencroft, the authorities search the wreckage of the blown up car and find no trace of a body inside. This leaves Spider-Man wondering if this was yet another manipulation created by Judas Traveller. More confused than ever, Spider-Man swings off to figure it out. Meanwhile, not far away, Ben Reilly is alive and well and walks away from the scene. He wonders what to do next. Should he remain in New York City, or should he continue going north on his self-appointed exile?

Appearing in "The Burial"

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Synopsis for "The Burial"

This story continues from Spider-Man #51...

Many years ago, Spider-Man and his clone find themselves face-to-face for the first time.[Continuity2 1] Spider-Man has been tricked into coming to a baseball stadium by the Jackal who watches from the stands with the clone of Gwen Stacy.[Continuity2 2] The Jackal also had Ned Leeds as a prisoner and a bomb set to go off should Spider-Man fail to defeat his clone. As the clone remembers it, at the last moment, the Gwen Stacy clone ripped off the Jackal's mask, revealing him to be Miles Warren. In a sudden reversal, Miles is horrified by what he was doing and frees Ned Leeds. He, and the Spider-Clone were caught in the blast, both, seemingly killed in the process.

Sometime later, the Spider-Clone wakes up he finds himself in the bottom of a smoke stack.[Continuity2 3] Thinking himself to be the original Spider-Man, the clone swings across the city, back to Peter Parker's apartment. However, he realizes the horrible truth, that he is actually the clone, when he sees the real Peter Parker embracing Mary Jane Watson. Realizing all his memories are a lie, the Spider-Clone flees the scene. Hiding in an alley, the clone decides that he has to leave, that he has to let go of all the memories and feelings that he has been programmed to have. However, before he leaves, the Spider-Clone takes a moment to mourn his situation.

Notes

Continuity Notes

Higher Ground

Power and Responsibility
Web of Spider-Man #117 Amazing Spider-Man #394 Spider-Man #51 Spectacular Spider-Man #217
  1. The Spider-Clone was believed to have died in Amazing Spider-Man #149. His survival is explained in Osborne Journals #1. He recently resurfaced in Web of Spider-Man #114.
  2. Traveller made this threat when he took over Ravencroft in Web of Spider-Man #117.
  3. Peter Parker was bitten by the radioactive spider that made him Spider-Man in Amazing Fantasy #15.
  4. Spider-Man had denounced his Peter Parker identity following the Pursuit story arc.
    Pursuit
    Spider-Man #45 Spectacular Spider-Man #211 Web of Spider-Man #112 Amazing Spider-Man #389

  5. Spider-Man is referring to the discover that the "parents" who resurfaced in Amazing Spider-Man #365 were replicants created by the Chameleon in Amazing Spider-Man #388. In addition to this, Peter's Aunt May suffered a stroke in Amazing Spider-Man #391.
  6. Mary Jane has had family problems date back to her childhood as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #259. Mary Jane decided to resolve her family problems in Amazing Spider-Man #393394.
  7. 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.
  8. This is the first clue that Mary Jane is pregnant, as will be revealed in Spectacular Spider-Man #220.
  9. A battle between Ben Reilly and Wild Whip, at this time, has never been depicted. As yet, the details of that confrontation are unknown.
  10. Ben battled Boone and Medea in Spider-Man #51.

The Burial

The Double
Web of Spider-Man #117 Amazing Spider-Man #394 Spider-Man #51 Spectacular Spider-Man #217
  1. The following events were first depicted in Amazing Spider-Man #149. Per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. This story takes place during the Fourth Year of the Modern Age. Perspectively, this story occurs roughly five years prior to the first story in this issue.
  2. This is not the real Jackal, but a clone put in his place, as revealed in Osborne Journals #1. The narrative of this story states that this battle took place at Shae Stadium. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 as Shae Stadium was torn down in 2009.
  3. Thinking his clone was dead, Spider-Man dumped him in a smoke stack in the hopes that it will burn up all evidence of the clone's existence. That happened in Amazing Spider-Man #151. Again, how the clone survived is explained in Osborne Journals #1.

Continuity Errors

Higher Ground:

  1. As the two Spider-Men fight Carnage, Ben states that he sensed Carnage's attack but was too slow to stop it. This is impossible since the symbiotes block out Spider-Man's spider-sense. This ability was first seen in Web of Spider-Man #18.

See Also

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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