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Appearing in "The Final Verdict"
- Ben Reilly (See chronology)
- Mary Jane Watson-Parker (See chronology)
- Daily Bugle Staff
- Detective Jacob Raven
- Seward Trainer
Synopsis for "The Final Verdict"
This story continues from Spider-Man #60...
Peter Parker's murder trial has just been crashed by Kaine, who knows that Ben Reilly took Peter's place and has come to kill him.[Continuity 1] Ben wonders how he can stop Kaine without revealing his powers and compromising Peter Parker's double identity. This worry is taken out of his hands when Spider-Man arrives to stop Kaine. Still, when Ben tries to slip away and change into the Scarlet Spider, he is stopped by Mary Jane. She knows the look in his eyes and tells him not to blow her husband's chance at freedom.[Continuity 2] That's when the courtroom guards enter the room and try to restrain Kaine. However, he easily fights them off as he is much stronger then they are. Spider-Man manages to bowl Kaine over with a single punch. This puts him into the gun sights of Detective Jacob Raven. Raven tells Kaine to surrender or he'll shoot. Surrounded and outgunned he surrenders. However, Kaine is unphased by this, vowing to break out of custody later. Ben and Mary Jane then congratulate Spider-man for helping catch Kaine.
Peter Parker is cleared of all charges, and when they news reach the Daily Bugle the staff celebrates. Everyone except for J. Jonah Jameson, who tells everyone to get back to work. However, when Jameson is alone in his office it allows himself to celebrate Parker's exoneration. The news also reaches the secret lab of the Jackal. Watching this is the man who thinks that he is the real Peter Parker.[Continuity 3] This Parker is itching to get revenge against both Spider-Man and the Scarlet Spider. The Jackal assures him that the time will come soon as he is almost finished making alterations to his Carrion Virus. While at the police station, Kaine confesses to all them murders he committed.[Continuity 4] Watching this on the other side of the one-sided glass. Finally hearing Kaine admit to killing his parents in Salt Lake City three years previous.[Continuity 5] While at the same time, Seward Trainer has finished going over the data he got from examining Peter and Mary Jane's unborn baby.[Continuity 6] He is concerned about how this data is going to impact the lives of Peter Parker and Ben Reilly.
Meanwhile, Ben Reilly -- still posing as Peter Parker -- returns to the Parker brownstone with Mary Jane. They are joined inside by Peter, who came in through the skylight as Spider-Man. With Jacob Raven off Ben's trail, Ben can finally start a new life. However, Ben isn't sure what to do next, as this is the first time he has not been on the run. That's when they get a call from Seward Trainer asking Ben and the Parkers to come to his lab right away. At that very moment, Kaine is being led away by the authorities. Suddenly, he has another precognitive flash of Mary Jane getting murdered, and wonders who the killer might be.[Continuity 7] There, Peter feels uneasy that Ben has been so open with his secret identity to someone he hardly knows. Seward is surprised to see how much they resemble each other. He tells the Parkers that his tests on their baby are done and that their baby is going to be healthy. He then explains that the strange readers were due to a genetic shift, pointing out that he discovered that the man they always thought was Peter Parker was a clone and that Ben Reilly is the original.[Continuity 8]
Peter becomes angry, refusing to believe this, accusing Ben of trying to steal his life, pointing out that Seward is in league with him. However, Seward insists that his tests are accurate, offering Peter and Ben to use his equipment to verify his finding. After hours of work, Ben and Peter come to the same conclusion that Seward Trainer did. Upon this discovery, Ben apologizes to Peter for this revelation. However, Peter refuses to believe it and attacks Ben, accusing him of trying to steal his life. Ben is also upset, pointing out that Peter stole his and lived it for the past five years. Ultimately, Peter overpowers Ben and begins choking him with a pipe. Mary Jane pushes past Seward Trainer and tries to get her husband to stop, telling him that he might kill Ben. Without thinking, Peter knocks his wife aside, sending her crashing into a wall. Realizing what he has done, Peter storms out the door. At that moment, the Jackal has perfected his new version of the Carrion Virus and is ready to get started. He then gives his Peter Parker a newly designed costume, telling him that once he has replaced the world with clones he will be the one and only Spider-Man.
... The Clone Saga continues in Spider-Man: Maximum Clonage Alpha #1.