Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider

This is the third comic I’ve picked up in the last few weeks that starts in Las Vegas. I wonder how these heroes aren’t all running into each other. Is Ben Reilly a hero though? Is Nick Fury? Is Elektra? Meh. All of them are pretty seedy, so I guess this is the place where the morphed hero/villain people head to.
Ben Reilly is a clone of a hero, but he’s so tortured that he’s turned into a character all his own. I love Spider-Man. I think that’s why I picked up this Scarlet Spider spin-off. Also, I really, really enjoy Reilly’s outfit choices. A cosplayer’s wet dream. I hope this series lives up to his runway skills.
I’m not really hip to the clones storyline, I did play the running Spider-Man clone game on my phone and it wasted a lot of my life, but I’m still pretty unsure of who Ben Reilly is outside of his origin story.
The picture that they’re painting of him is basically the character of Deadpool having an illusion that he is Spider-Man. The only reason I know he’s not Deadpool is because there are no yellow bubbles. All of the other major identifying points of Deadpool are there. For example; scarred up face, (that’s all I see right now, could be body as well) Imaginary friends who talk to him, and he saved a woman and then forced her to give him $50. Since I’m reading as I write, I’m currently reading in the story that he’s also picked up an old lady to befriend whose name is “June” which is, in Reilly’s words, “close enough.” There’s a merc with a mouth I know who also likes to hang out with old ladies.
If there isn’t a Deadpool spin-off where Wade Wilson attempts to steal the life of Peter Parker, which sounds great, then what we’ve clearly been missing is here in this book.
Immediately after Ben Reilly adopts a new “Aunt June,” a squad of armored and armed goons waltz into the casino and begin to threaten the patrons and demand their money.
That just seems unlikely to me because Casinos have so much surveillance! These robbers clearly didn’t think this one through. And I’m right, they did not because they are quickly foiled by a bald man who, when shot by a crap-load of bullets, is unaffected. Always a good thing to be.
Now, Reilly is intrigued by this guy because of the invincibility-thing he’s got going on, and just before the bald man came to the rescue, Reilly had broken in half the machine gun of one of the goons who threatened his Aunt June. Therefore, the bald man kinda likes Reilly too. This is my sort of meet-cute.
The unnamed Bald man brings Reilly to his boss, whom also owns the casino. She’s also really hot and scary. Her name is Cassandra Mercury and she’s the reason Reilly came to Las Vegas.
It turns out that back when Ben Reilly was going by the name of his former captor, “The Jackal” he got into the pharmaceutical industry and instead of curing his patients he was simply replacing them with healthy clones. Not cool. Very freaky actually. And Mercury was a victim of his crimes. The Jackal took away her daughter and replaced her with a clone.
Naturally, Reilly asks Mercury for help, but ummm the problem with that is, Mercury is still pretty miffed about what he did to her daughter.
And that’s that! You’ll have to check out the next issue if you want to find out if Mercury helps The Scarlet Spider or if she simply blows his brains out!

This was a pretty cool story. It did really feel to me like Deadpool and Spider-Man had a baby. Which is a dream come true, but I’m feeling back and forth about continuing with this series. He is a pretty fun character so far and I do want to see what Peter David is going to bring to the table with him. I feel like this one is going to be quite character-driven and if it’s not that’s a mistake. I really want to get to know Ben Reilly right now after all he’s been through. He seems to still have his humour despite losing his mind. Good combination. Hmm I might have just convinced myself to continue this series…0.o

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