Ben Reilly: Spider-Man #4
Ben Reilly: Spider-Man
Lights Out
by Paul Hahn
Dedicated to all those Ben Reilly fans...
And to those who really, really hate clones.

Daily Grind Coffee House, bright and early.

Ben had just arrived for work, as he usually did on weekday mornings. He got paid a decent wage to serve coffee to whoever needed it.

Boy, after my visit with MJ last night, I'm actually depressed. She's had such a hard time lately. Losing little May, now Peter...she doesn't deserve so much grief. She's so young.

But then I've got more to worry about...little Normie Osborn is still missing...the fact that in the future, I'm gonna fight the Green Goblin and Norman and Liz are supposed to die...which then leads Normie to kill Peter...or something. Man, time travel hurts my head.

And then there's that comment Madame Web made...about their being another. Another what, though? Another clone? Another Osborn?

The young new Coffee slinger, Kelly, leaned over the counter right next to Ben. "At least you remembered you're working today, huh Ben?"

"Huh?" Ben asked, turning to her.

"Yesterday, you just walked in, then walked right out," Kelly smiled.

"What?" Ben asked. "No I--er...yeah, heh...I did, didn't I?"

Yesterday I was out fighting Venom and Carnage. I sure didn't stop by here any time. Maybe what I think is true...what Madame Web said about a clone? But if I say I wasn't here, Kelly'll get some suspicions...and the last thing I need is someone pondering possibilities about my life.

The day continued pretty much as normal for several hours. Ben continued slingin' coffee to customers. When suddenly...

"Eh?" Ben looked around. The lights went off. The coffee machines stopped. Looking out the window, power was down in the stores around the area. "Hey, Kell...I'm gonna go see what's up, okay? Watch the place."

Before Kelly could reply, Ben had already walked out the Central Perk. Slipping into an ally, he climbed up the wall of a nearby building, using his spider-sense to make sure no one was looking.

As he stood atop the building, he could see that the power was out for as much as he could see. Hmm...something's up. I better slip into the webs...

Five Minutes later, Spider-Man swings from building to building off of web lines, closing in on the Empire State Building. Attaching to it's walls, Ben climbed as high as he could and began looking across the city. Power's out all over...just like when Onslaught struck...only no Sentinels. Probably mass looting about to go on...

Launching a web line, Ben swung down towards the sidewalk, to survey the situation on the streets. Hmmm...I don't suppose that bunch of teenagers who just threw a brick through a glass window are looters?

With amazing swiftness, Ben released his web line, connected his left foot to the wall of a building opposite the one being looted and, on his way down, fired several shops of impact webbing. The balls of webbing exploded on contact, completely wrapping up three of the five looters.

"Shouldn't you kids be in school?" Spider-Man asked. One kid came running at Ben with a metal pole, but all Ben had to do was fire a webline at the kid's feet. He soon tripped and dropped his weapon. A few more strands of webbing and the remaining looters were down and out. Don't suppose cops'll be able to get here anytime soon...which is too bad, really. Ah well...just have to deal with things myself.

Ben webbed up the broken window on the store and then wrapped the five kids together in a web bundle. Heaving, Ben started web-slinging with five kids in tow. He quickly made his way to the police station and dropped off the kids.


Jimmy Six looked over his shoulder. The lights had gone out, so he left the restaurant he was trying to enjoy. Just yesterday someone tried to kill him. He intends to make sure no one ever succeeds.

He checks his gun, making sure it's fully loaded. He's never been a big fan of violence...but when dealing with New Yorks' Underworld, that's all they understand. Can't let 'em get me...I've gotta get to Spider-Man. He's the only one who can help an' the kid.

Looking to see that no one had followed him, he kept walking in the direction of Ben Reilly's apartment. No one would think to look for me there...and since, even though the kid's dead, the apartment hasn't been rented out, I can hide there no problem. So long as no one follows me...


Kari looked carefully out the window of Angela Stoic's apartment. A few days ago, Angela, dressed as an Avenger wannabe Marksman, saved her from a random thug. She stayed here since then. But then, it's not like she's had any other place to go. She accidently killed her ESU Professor, Mr. Beau and ran away from home. She doesn't want anyone to know she's a mutant.

The Marksman knows. And she's done her best to protect Ms. Kline from doing anything rash. But Kari knows it's time to return home...face the consequences of her actions.

"It's...awfully dark out," Kari said absently.

"Life may seem that way for you now," Angela started, "But who knows? Things could get better, y'know..."

"No, I's dark out," Kari said again, pointing. "Besides the fact it's cloudy...all the lights in the other apartments and stores are out."

"Hmm..." Angela said, flicking a light switch on and off. "Power's out...for at least several blocks it seems. Maybe we should make a move?"

"Maybe we should wait here for awhile," Kari sighed. "Wait until it's safe again."

Angela nodded. If it'll keep you here, where you're safe, just a little longer...then I'll gladly leave the heroics to the real heroes.

Elsewhere in New York City.

Spider-Man sat against a wall, thirty eight stories up. His feet stuck themselves onto the wall, and he leaned back, surveying the city.

This is just really weird...He thought. A black out over the entire city isn't something that could just'd think there would've been some major villain involved, and some huge super hero battle...

Maybe I'll swing by the Avengers Mansion or Pier 4...heck, I might even try the Xavier Institute. Couldn't her to check in on MJ...or Desiree...

Ben took off on a web line, swinging low above the streets, searching for any more looters.

Hmmm...don't see anything too suspicious...

Ben released a web line, pulled out a flip, connected his feet onto the side of a building, sprung forward and landed on all fours on the street.

"Don't move, Spider-Man!" A voice said.

"I'd know that voice anywhere," Ben smiled. "How ya doin', Looter?"

"I'll be doing just fine once you're outta here," Looter replied. He held is special meteor ray gun at Spidey's head. Ben relaxed though, noticing no buzz from his Spider-Sense.

"Fester, how many times do we have to run the same old bit?" Spidey shook his head. "That gun of yours doesn't even work."

"It does too!" The Looter yelled. "And I'll be glad to blowing out your brains, man!"

"Gimmie a break." Ben ducked and did a sweep kick, taking Fester down to the ground. Ben picked up the horribly dumb criminal and tossed him against a wall. Two sedative stingers and a ball of impact webbing later, and the villain was all wrapped up for the NYPD.

The apartment home of Desiree Winthrop.

Desiree is supposed to be a 'Fly Fashion Chick' that's all about herself. But that's not really who she is.

Desiree is a fun, caring girl who, deep down, is an incredibly shy young woman. A young woman who really likes Ben Reilly.

She had just finished getting dressed and was preparing to head out to shop and eat. Hopefully, she could catch Ben at the Daily Grind. She hadn't really noticed the power outage.

As she put her jacket on, she heard a knock at the door. Slowly, she walked over to the eye hole and saw who it was. Smiling, she opened the door.

"Ben, I was just on my way to see you," she smiled.

"I've been looking for you all morning," Ben said slowly.

"Really?" Des asked. "I thought you were supposed to be working today?"

"You're right," he said, stepping into the room and closing the door. "Ben Reilly is working today."

"W-what's that supposed to mean?"

"Just how it sounds. Ben Reilly is working today...but as you and he will soon find out, I'm not Ben Reilly."

"Ben...y-you're scaring me..."

"My name's not Ben," the man said, grasping her arm tightly. "It's not Peter either...I work for the Scriers...and they've ordered you taken."

He grabbed her again and easily picked her up, utilizing super human strength.

"Put me down! Let go of me!" Desiree shrieked.

The man clasped a hand over her mouth. "Stop's pointless. Spider-Man won't find one can help you. Even your psi powers can't save you..."

Desiree, although not understanding what the man who looked like Ben was saying, was afraid and unable to scream.

While I've got no idea when this power outage is gonna let up, I've gotta hope it's soon...I've gotta get back to work, too.

Swinging along buildings, Ben soon returned to the Daily Grind and through his civies on over his costume. He tore off his gloves and mask and entered the restaurant through the kitchen. He quickly made his way through the dark room and back to the front.

"Ben, where've you been?" Kelly asked.

"Sorry I took so long...I had to check on a few things," Ben replied. "You holding up okay?"

"Just fine," Kelly said. "But you can actually work now instead of leaving me alone to take care of the place."

Ben smiled and nodded, helping out.

Before he knew it, it was 5:30 and his shift was over. After saying his goodbyes, he left through the back door and got back into his costume. He was about to take off for home when he noticed the lights were still out.

Hmph...wonder how much longer it'll be...omigod, wait! The subway tunnels! I wonder how many commuters got trapped on their trains!

Subway tunnel.

Ben looked both ways. As Spider-Man, he had come down here, hoping that he wouldn't find any people stuck in trains. Unfortunately, in the middle of nowhere, one such train exists.

Climbing along the ceiling, Ben had reached the lead car of the Metra train. Hoping down to the tracks, Ben used his spider strength to shove the doors on the first car open.

"Ladies and gentlemen...I'm afraid you won't be making your stops today," Spider-Man said in a happy tone, trying to cheer up the mood. He pointed. "Head thattaway for the nearest stop...and be careful, power's out all over the city."

Ben proceeded to the next car, and the next, opening the doors and letting the passengers out. When he reached the last car, he came to a dilemma.

Hmmmm...on this turn the train's on, the last car doesn't have enough room on either side to escape through the doors...

Climbing on top of the car, he sunk his fists into the metal of the roof. Then pulling, he ripped it off. "Ladies and gentlemen, this is the last stop..."

He reached down and started pulling people onto the roof, and then onto the tracks, slowly but surely.

"Okay, you're the last, try and get to your homes or something, okay?" Spider-Man asked. "You'd be better off avoiding any trouble down town."

"Spider-Man, look!" A man said, pointing behind him. A man was running the opposite way, away from the train.

"Wonder where he's going," Ben said, and then quickly took off after him. He soon dropped to foot, finding the space too small too web sling, and chased after the guy. "Hey buddy, wait up! The nearest station's the other way!"

Shooting a web line, he caught the man's feet and he tripped.

"Sorry man, but you're going the wrong way...and looking rather suspicious while doing it."

"I...I'm sorry," the man said slowly, turning around and trying to free his feet from the webbing.

"You seemed like you were in a...a panic?" Ben said, raising his eyebrows as his Spider-Sense went off.

The man kicked Ben in the head, moving incredibly swiftly. He did a back flip to stand up and began running the other way. This time, Ben fired a pair of impact webbing balls, totally wrapping up the guy.

"What was that for?" Ben asked, looking at the guy. "Either you really don't like me, or you're hiding something."

"I...I...I..." the man stuttered.

"You...You...You...what?" Ben asked.

The man fainted.

Ben sighed. He ripped the webbing off and searched the man. He found a gun, an extra clip, and a wallet. He picked out the driver's license and looked it over.

"Menken...why does that name sound familiar?" Ben asked out loud. He snapped his fingers. "He worked at Osborn Industries...hmmm...coincidence? Or maybe he knows something about Normie? I'll just drop him off at the NYPD station, and see what they can get out of him."

After a quick drop off at the police station, Ben swung home to his apartment window. He flipped it open and hopped inside, slowly removing his costume. He flipped off the gloves and mask and shirt, but then was quickly assaulted by his Spider-Sense.

Jimmy Six stood looking at him, a gun trained on his head. "Ben Reilly?"

"Jimmy Six?" Ben smacked his head.

"You're Spider-Man?" Jimmy's jaw dropped. "Man is that a weird tellin' me you just faked your death or something like that, so know one would know?"

"Er, it's not how it looks..." Ben said, trying to come up with some reason to explain why he was alive and wearing a Spider-Man costume.

"Don't worry...your secret's safe with me," Jimmy smiled. "But I'm glad I found ya, kid...I need Spider-Man's help."

"Like that's a surprise," Ben sighed, putting his Spider-Man shirt back on. "Who'd you piss off now?"

"Some nasty fellas who call themselves the Scriers."

"The Scriers?" Ben's jaw dropped. He remembered those guys...they had a hand in the clone saga and some major ties to Norman Osborn. "Man are you in deep..."

"They're after me 'cause o' what I found out," Jimmy said.

"And what did you find out?" Ben asked, sighing.

"I found out that they were the ones who kidnapped Normie Osborn."

Next Issue: It's Ben Reilly's final issue (at least for the time being), and he's going up against the Scriers to save Normie Osborn! Teamed up with Jimmy Six, can Ben save the day? And what about his clone and Desiree? All this, and a shocking revelation that may give Ben the reason to and up the webs for good!