I have to admit some level of disappointment with Spider-Man Annual #36 because of its story that’s somewhat inclusive of Ben Reilly. Basically, a man hunts down Peter Parker on looks alone to avenge his family. Y’see, his family was killed in a fire-related slaying at the hands of someone who looks just like Parker – but went by the name Ben Reilly! Since everything happened in the past, it means that Reilly may not necessarily be coming back, but we will delve into a newly discovered dark past.
I don’t like it. I don’t like the idea of Reilly’s character legacy being tarnished like this. When he popped onto the comics scene, he was immediately embraced despite being a mere clone of Peter Parker. The only reason people don’t like him is because he was involved in the overly long and convoluted Clone Saga. Otherwise, there isn’t a Spider-Man character we want back more than him.
Yes, I’m including Mary Jane in that. Her re-debut in issue #600 was unnecessary in my view, not to mention the fact that it’s blatantly obvious that her catching the bouquet was meant to bother fans of the marriage.
Marvel better be going in an interesting direction with this Ben Reilly thing. I’ve been awaiting the possibility of his return since Mephisto voodoo-ed the Marvel Universe.