This is the moment we’ve been waiting for, “we” being fans of a particular hoodie wearing clone. Surprising no-one who has been following the Spider-news, Marvel has announced that the Peter David (Spider-Man 2099, Web of Spider-Man) and Mark Bagley (Ultimate Spider-Man, Amazing Spider-Man) led title spinning out of The Clone Conspiracy is none other than Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider. Spoilers ahead, so those who do not want details about the title (which would give away some of the twists and turns of the yet-to-be finished Clone Conspiracy), stop reading now!
The title picks up after the end of The Clone Conspiracy and deals with its fallout. Just like the Kaine-led Scarlet Spider, the Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider features its protagonist wrestling with his own identity and purpose after suddenly being thrust back into the spotlight. Ben will be striking out on his own, but not everyone is happy to see him free. Kaine will be hunting down Ben, with Ben trying to keep one step ahead while trying to rebuild himself after the psychological torture he detailed in Amazing Spider-Man #22.
CBR held an interview with David which gave us a few more details. Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider will not take place in New York, but “a wholly new city, one that we’ve explored a bit before in Marvel Comics, but haven’t set an entire series in from the begging.” As for support characters, David mentions a new character named Cassandra Mercury, who’s daughter disappeared due to the actions of Ben as the Jackal. In his civilian life, Ben will “acquire” a woman named Aunt June who is “a rather formidable senior citizen who neither knows nor cares about him.”
Finally we have the costume, a new creation by Mark Bagley which seems to be a combination of the “hoodie” costume and the red-and-blues that Bagley originally designed for Ben when he took over as Spider-Man. The hood is worn Spider-Gwen style – drawn, but not enough to obscure the face with plenty of extra room around the neckline. The bodysuit (no jacket this time) is primarily red, with blue accents running down the middle of the torso, as well as from the shoulders to wrist in a pattern that is reminiscent, but colored opposite, of the original Spider-Man, a design element I’m sure is intentional. The costume is broken up at the waist by a silver belt, but sorry guys, no exterior web shooters nor are there ankle pouches. No shot of the back yet!
Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider comes out in April.