Fresh off the pages of Clone Conspiracy, it’s everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the super secret past of Ben “the Jackal” Reilly. Peter Parker is given the chance to bring Uncle Ben back to life. All this and more! Plus a really freaky cereal picture and an elephant!
The Devil in the Details
Story Title: Seeing Red
Writer: Dan Slott and Christos Gage
Penciler: Guiseppe Camuncoli
Inker: Cam Smith
Colorist: Jason Keith
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramanga
Cover Artist: Alex Ross
Editor: Nick Lowe
Published: December 21, 2016
The Story – Pay Attention, This Will Be on the Test
We are picking this up exactly where the last Clone Conspiracy issue left off, with the Man in Red (supposedly Ben Reilly) reveals himself and his plans to reanimate Uncle Ben. Peter gives him the same response the readers had:
And then come the flashbacks… To think, for a half of a tenth of a second I thought we might actually get a real story in Spider-Man’s main title.
We get flashbacks of Peter Parker’s career. We get 13 panels that summarize the entire clone saga (both the ‘70s and ‘90s) which was still about 8 too many for my tastes.
Then we get the flashbacks of what happened to Ben Reilly once he turned into flour. It seems Miles Warren, the real one (or at least real looking one instead of the furry ‘90s Jackal), collected some clone dust (sounds like the next new street drug) and develops his reanimation process, curiously calling the results clones rather than reanimates. In order to refine the process, he continually kills Ben Reilly. He kills him so many times (27) that Ben goes crazy and finally breaks free and takes over the process himself. He then convinces Peter that giving Uncle Ben a second chance may be worth a shot.
Since I never enjoyed the ‘90s clone saga, it was nice to see Ben Reilly electrocuted, drowned, frozen, steamed, injected with diseases (was that small pox?), and burned (then told he was also poisoned, vivisected (dissected while alive), and killed via sonics). However, I thought this panel of Ben getting killed because an elephant was smashing his head in may have gone a tad bit too far.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Ben Reilly – actually looking forward to the potential Ben Reilly comic by Peter David – it just felt like delayed satisfaction from my 90s self that stopped collecting comics because of this awful story line.
The explanation for why Ben Reilly is acting out of character is acceptable to me. I don’t like Ben Reilly acting out of character, but I imagine being turned into flour, vivisected, and all the other goodies could drive someone out of their mind. I also try to remember something that Peter David said either in his Writing for Graphic Novels or on one of his interviews on this podcast – real people don’t always act in character. Things happen and we do things that surprise even ourselves.
OOTI – Sorry, Evan, there are only two onomatopoeias this issue and neither of them is up to your standards.
On a scale of 1 (POW) to 10 (BLRKBQRKPQRBLNB), this rates a 1.
Well, this is, once again, a back-up story. Something to be found in a side book, not the main title. I get that they tried something new with making Clone Conspiracies the main title, but it still just irritates me. On top of that, I’m paying full price for a flashback issue of a character that is very much like, but not quite, the character I want to read. It’s like paying full price for King Vitamin when you were hoping for Captain Crunch.
While I said that I found the reason why Ben goes down this path acceptable, I still don’t think it was the best path to take this character. Even if he thinks he is doing the right thing, Peter KNOWS what will happen. Why would he even consider it? No wonder Kaine thinks Peter’s a cotton-headed-niggy-muggins.
So what does this do for us? Pretty much nothing. We figured Ben must be either (a) crazy from his ordeal, or (b) really Miles Warren in a Ben Reilly body. So now we know.
The only way any of this works from Peter’s perspective is if he is setting Ben up to take him down. He knows this will, in all probability, go bad and bring down the zombie clone apocalypse, so why even go down that road? Then again, this is a character that made a deal with the devil, so why wouldn’t he.
I miss ‘80s Spider-Man. Oh for the days when you could just send Kingpin to his death in outer space and still enjoy Christmas Eve…
This comic is so just there, that I really have nothing from it. However, here’s a Christmas related question – what the heck is this and where would one put it?
A back up story that gives a meh reason for Ben’s out of character actions that doesn’t, as JR puts it, offend.
I might could have gone to a C- if they had shown the vivisection.
What grade do YOU give it?
I don’t get the cover of this next issue. She already knows. Why is this the lead off picture? I am assuming that from the last few covers that Alex Ross has just stopped reading the story at around issue #6.