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Appearing in "Schemes & Dreams: For Future Screams"
- Scarlet Spider (Ben Reilly)
- Mary Jane Watson-Parker
- Dr. Ashley Kafka
- Joe Robertson
- Peter Parker (Impostor)
- John Jameson
- Detective Connor Trevane
- Detective Jacob Raven
- Carnage (Cletus Kasady) (Cameo)
- Shriek (Cameo)
- Aunt May (Recap)
- Uncle Ben (Recap)
- New York State
Synopsis for "Schemes & Dreams: For Future Screams"
This story continues from Spider-Man #57...
Imprisoned at Ravencroft Institute, the Jackal is in a session with Doctor Ashley Kafka. However, instead of answering her questions, the Jackal spends the entire session mocking Kafka and her head of security, John Jameson. After the session, John apologizes for speaking out of turn, as he let the Jackal get to him. She reminds him that the Jackal is a seriously disturbed individual, just like the other patients at Ravencroft. They then look in on Frances Barrison -- aka Shriek -- who has been in an infantile state ever since absorbing the Carrion virus.[Continuity 1] Kafka explains that Shriek has been treating this virus like a child growing inside her, and fears what will happen once she starts showing signs.
Meanwhile, Mary Jane has made tea for the Scarlet Spider who has come to her home to help her free her husband, Peter Parker.[Continuity 2] Peter has been arrested for a murder that Ben Reilly has been accused of committing.[Continuity 3] He tells her that he calls himself Ben Reilly, not liking the nickname the Daily Bugle had given his costumed identity.[Continuity 4] Ben wants to do something to get Peter out of jail, especially since he and Mary Jane are expecting a baby.[Continuity 5] When Ben takes off his Scarlet Spider mask, but this bothers Mary Jane who asks him to put it back on because she can't bear to see someone else with her husband's face.
At that moment, at Ryker's Island, Peter Parker has a visit from Joe Robertson. Joe wants Peter to give him something to work with because Detective Jacob Raven has a strong case against Peter.[Continuity 6] However, despite Joe's pleas for Peter to talk, he tells Robertson that he can't. While at the hospital, Detective Connor Trevane, visiting Jacob Raven. He vows to catch the person who harmed Jacob. That's when Jacob tells Trevane that they arrest the wrong person when they took Peter Parker into custody. When Trevane asks him how he could think this, that's when Jacob removes the bandages from his face. The burns there are the telltale patterns of the Mark of Kaine.[Continuity 7] At that moment, the other Peter Parker is still wandering the streets of New York City trying to remember who he is.[Continuity 8] He happens upon a copy of the Daily Bugle which as a front page story about Peter Parker's arrest. He wonders why who this man is and why he shares his face.
While back at the Parker home, the Scarlet Spider suggests that Mary Jane let his friend Seward Trainer to run some tests to make sure there is nothing wrong with her baby. This causes her to become upset again and she demands to know what Ben hopes to gain from interfering with their lives. Meanwhile, back at Rykers, Peter Parker contemplates what to do next. He thinks about breaking out of prison and bringing the Scarlet Spider to justice. However, he realizes that this could compromise his identity and he and Mary Jane, and their baby will never get a moment's rest as they are hounded by society. He reminds himself that Aunt May raised him to do the right thing, but right now he doesn't know what that is. At Ravencroft, John Jameson and the other security guards watch the monitors. They see the Jackal in his cell rebuffing the taunts from Carnage, in the cell next door. However, they are actually watching a video loop as the Jackal hacked into the security systems. This has allowed him to get access to the computer files about Malcolm McBride.[Continuity 9] While at that moment, the other Peter Parker finds himself drawn to the Acme Warehouse. He doesn't know why he has been drawn to the rundown building but knows that it is part of an important turning point in his life.[Continuity 10] Realizing where he can go to learn more about these mysteries he runs off. His presence here did not go unnoticed, as Peter is being observed by the mystery man known as Scrier.
Meanwhile, back at the Parker residence, Ben Reilly admits that he first came back to New York City he did so to reclaim the life of Peter Parker. However, now that he has seen the life that Peter has made for himself and the life that he has, he realized that he doesn't want to be Peter Parker because he likes being Ben Reilly. He also tells her that clones have a limited lifespan and that they eventually degenerate and die and he wants to be there and help the Parkers before his time is up. Realizing that Ben is being sincere, Mary Jane decides to trust him, and tells him to he can call her Mary Jane instead of Mrs. Parker. While back at Ravencroft, security notices that the video feed in Shriek's cell has gone off and begin mobilizing. In the cell, the Jackal has come to reclaim the Carrion virus, explaining that it was created to cause the cloning degeneration factor in human beings. He finds it amusing that Shriek would consider the virus a growing baby. Although she tries to defend herself, the Jackal easily knocks out Shriek. When a guard arrives at the cell, he is knocked out by the Jackal. As he flees the cellblock, Carnage threatens to kill him if he harmed Shriek, but Jackal doesn't feel slightly threatened.[Continuity 11]
Back at Rykers, Peter Parker tries to convince himself that Ben Reilly isn't a kill since he is a clone of Peter Parker. He can't believe that someone that is based on his genetics could be capable of murder. At that same moment, the third Peter Parker is drawn the cemetery where Aunt May and Uncle Ben are buried.[Continuity 12] Seeing these graves causes this Peter Parker to remember who he is, remembering his beloved aunt and uncle and how he became Spider-Man. Re-reading the newspaper article about Peter's arrest, he believes that this man is an impostor. He also learns that he is married to Mary Jane and decides to go to her and find out what's going on, fearing that she might be in grave danger. Finding Mary Jane, the pair goes out to talk about things unaware that they are being stalked by Kaine.
Appearing in "The Beginning"
- United States of America
- Roadside Motel
- Greyhound Bus
Synopsis for "The Beginning"
This story continues from Spider-Man #57...
Five Years Ago[Continuity2 1]
The man who is to become Ben Reilly is aboard an out of control bus going across the country. As the vehicle skids out of contro lin the pouring rain, he struggles about doing something about it. Believing himself to be a clone of Peter Parker, he wonders if he should do something to get the bus back under control or if he should just accept his fate.[Continuity2 2] Thankfully, the decision is taken out of his hands as he driver regains control of the vehicle. However, with the unsafe driving condition the passengers are directed to a nearby motel. Everyone heads to the motel except for the Parker clone.
This is noticed by Clifford Gross, the man who was seated next to him on the bus. Clifford refuses to let this strange continue on in the pouring rain. The clone agrees to join Clifford a few drinks at the motel bar. After drinking a couple of beers, Clifford tells his new friend that his life is less than happy. How his wife left him, his children have disowned him, and his business went belly up. With nothing left, he decided to leave town to keep ahead of the lawyers hired by his ex-wife. Clifford wonders if it would matter if he just disappeared. With the alcohol affecting his mood, the clone tells Clifford that this thinking isn't stupid. Losing his temper he begins trashing the bar, saying that Clifford is a hollow man who is worthless and should disappear. When the bartender pulls a gun on the clone and tells him to calm down, he laughs in his face. He then easily disarms the bartender and is about to hurt him, when the clone stops himself and flees the scene.
He is instantly sick outside, and realizes that he shouldn't have been drinking. He keeps on thinking about how Aunt May and Uncle Ben raised Peter Parker and refuses to think those things. Fearing that the bartender called the police, the clone decides to get his things from his room and get out before the authorities arrive. In the hallway, his spider-sense goes off and he can't ignore it. It draws him to the room rented by Clifford Gross. Kicking in the door he catches Cliffort putting a gun in his mouth. Before the man can pull the trigger, the clone slaps the gun out of Clifforts hand and tells the distraut man that everything he said in the bar was wrong. Sitting down, he tells Clifford that while his old life was a mess, he should keep fighting and strive to create a new life for himself.
The following morning, the clone is preparing to get back on the bus. Clifford is staying behind, telling his new friend that he paid off the bartender to keep the cops out of the previous evening's outburst. Clifford has decided to take the clone's advice to heart and start rebuilding his life. The clone tells him that he has decided to do the same thing, although he isn't sure what his future has in store for him. Before leaving, Clifford asks his new friend what his name is. Leaning out the bus window, the clone tells Clifford that his name is Ben Reilly. As the bus leaves, the clone thinks about how Ben Reilly is a fitting name as it is the first name of Ben Parker, and the maiden name of his beloved Aunt May. Since he can no longer be Peter Parker, he is satisfied with having a name that keep alive the values that Peter Parker was raised on.
Ben Reilly's journey continues in Spider-Man: The Lost Years #1...