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Ben Reilly seems poised to return for new Amazing Spider-Man 'Beyond' era

Spider-Man Beyond
(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

When Nick Spencer departs as writer of Amazing Spider-Man with #74, it seems like a familiar face will be returning to the title - none other than Ben Reilly, the so-called Spider-Clone who once replaced Peter Parker as Spider-Man in the '90s during 'The Clone Saga' (and Newsarama's pick for the best Marvel character debut of 1994!).

Along with promotional art apparently showing Reilly in an updated version of the suit he wore as Spider-Man and the tagline "Spider-Man Beyond!", Marvel's announcement names Kelly Thompson, Saladin Ahmed, Cody Ziglar, Patrick Gleason, and Zeb Wells as the aforementioned new creative team of Amazing Spider-Man. It's unclear if Gleason will be on board as writer, artist, or both, as he has occupied both roles on different titles in the past.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

As for Thompson, Ahmed, Ziglar, and Wells, they're all known primarily as writers, which points to a possible arrangement similar to the 'Brand New Day' era, in which Amazing Spider-Man relaunched as a weekly title written by a so-called 'brain trust of rotating writers, with some recurring artists. Wells himself was a part of the 'Brand New Day' brain trust. Marvel's announcement doesn't name any artists other than Gleason.

The 'Brand New Day' era followed major upheaval in Peter Parker's life following a deal with Mephisto in which Peter and his wife Mary Jane Watson traded their marriage to save the life of Peter's Aunt May, rewriting portions of their past as a result. 

Spencer's Amazing Spider-Man run has been edging closer and closer to undoing these revisions or at least bringing Peter and MJ back together despite possible consequences for Peter's soul and his deal with Mephisto.

If something happens with Peter and MJ's deal with Mephisto, it could mean that Peter Parker could be out of commission as Spider-Man when the next team comes on board.

What's more, one of the pieces of promotional art shows Peter Parker in a tattered Spider-Man costume, kissing Mary Jane, further indicating their past and maybe their future could be the catalyst for whatever changes kick off the next era of Amazing Spider-Man.

Considering Ben Reilly is almost definitively shown as Spider-Man in the teaser, it's very possible that Spencer's run will end with another big change for Peter Parker whether Mephisto is involved or not, possibly necessitating Reilly taking up the mantle as he once did when there were questions about whether he or Peter was the 'original' and which was the clone.

Reilly was definitively revealed as the clone, dying at the end of 'The Clone Saga,' before returning years later as the villain of The Clone Conspiracy, which then gave way to Reilly returning to the mantle of the Scarlet Spider, the codename he used briefly before becoming Spider-Man. Scarlet Spider has become something of an ongoing codename for clone heroes, with Kaine, yet another Spider-Clone, also having spent some time as Scarlet Spider prior to Reilly's return.

Here's a gallery of all the promotional art:

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Spider-Man Beyond

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)
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Spider-Man Beyond

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)
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Spider-Man Beyond

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)
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Spider-Man Beyond

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)
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Spider-Man Beyond

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Oddly enough, Peter's protégé as Spider-Man, Miles Morales, will get a new costume in September which looks a heck of a lot like the costume Kaine wore as Scarlet Spider - an especially curious development considering Miles is in the midst of a 'Clone Saga' storyline of his own, written by incoming Amazing Spider-Man co-writer Saladin Ahmed.

Marvel's teaser doesn't include much information about what's on the horizon for the wall-crawler when the new creators take over, though it does promise further information about the story at hand on Thursday, June 24.

Stay tuned to Newsarama for more developments on the new Amazing Spider-Man creative team and how Ben Reilly ties into their plans as Marvel reveals them.

As Marvel prepares to tap into the '90s tale 'The Clone Saga,' catch up on the best Spider-Man stories of all time

George Marston

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)