Ben Reilly: Spider-Man #5
Ben Reilly: Spider-Man
All Good Things . . .
by Paul Hahn
Dedicated to all those Ben Reilly fans...
And to those who really, really hate clones.

My name is Ben Reilly. And since Peter Parker was killed by the Normie Osborn from the future, I've taken up the role of Spider-Man. And sure, I've had plenty of stuff happen.

I was saved from death by Normie Osborn for reasons unknown...while at the same time, a clone of me was created and dropped in this time frame...Mary Jane Watson Parker was Venom...but Eddie Brock, the original Venom, and I, saved her...and then there was the power outage...and the latest thing would be Jimmy Six. Seems he needs my protection and my help...

He's got a group of hard balls called the Scriers on his tail because he found out they have little Normie Osborn. So now Jimmy and I have to launch some sort of all-out attack to try and save him.

You all caught up? Good. So let's join my story, already in progress...

"You sure this is the best idea, kid?" Jimmy Six asked.

"Of course not," Spider-Man replied.

"Great," Jimmy sighed. "Why did I come to you for help again?"

"Got me," Ben sighed beneath his mask. "You're sure that that building there is where the Scriers are?"

"Positive," Jimmy said. "If we're lucky, I bet we'll even catch the Rose or Delilah there."

[[The Rose would be another big player in the crime world who happened to build some connections to the Scriers...Delilah is his faithful partner who loves killing things and having her words be written in BIG and BOLD fonts -- Paul!]]

"Just what I need...more people trying to kill me," Ben said quietly.

"So, are we gonna move or what?"

"Well, I was hoping my back-up would come," Ben replied. "I put in a call to the Black Cat...left a note with Daredevil...heck, I even considered giving Reed Richards a call. I do not want to tackle these guys alone."



"Uh, behind us..."

"Huh?" Ben turned his head, not thinking as his spider-sense wasn't going off. "The Green Goblin?!"

Just leaving downtown New York City...

...Inside a cab.

"You sure you're ready?" Angela Stoic asked.

Kari Kline nodded. "I've...I've gotta fess up to what I did. It was an accident...but I did it."

"I think it's a bad idea, though," Angela sighed. As the masked hero wannabe, the Marksman, she had rescued Kari Kline when she was in a bad spot. Her mutant powers kicked in and she accidentally electrocuted her ESU professor, killing him.

"My parents are probably worried sick about me," Kari sighed. "If I have to turn myself over to the police, then that's what I have to do."

"Fine," Angela sighed. "But you've got my number...if you need me, you'll know how to contact me."

Kari nodded as the cab pulled in front of a house.

"This it?" the cabbie asked.

"Yes, thank you," Kari said. She stepped out of the car and began walking to her house. Angela rolled down her window.

"Take care of yourself, okay?" she said.

"I will," Kari smiled. "Thank you...oh, and one last thing! While I think your career choice is great, you might wanna rethink the code name and doesn't work for you."

Angela smiled and rolled her window back down. Maybe a new code name and costume is in order...but then again, if I go like most female heroes go, I'm probably gonna have to show cleavage. Well...when I get some to show, that is.

"So, where to?" the cabbie asked.

"Umm," Angela pondered, "Why don't you drop me off in the warehouse district?"

"You sure?" the cabbie asked again. "It's not a place for a lady."

"I can handle myself, thanks," Angela answered. And besides, with any luck I can find some bad guys to trash.

"Hey webs," the Green Goblin's voice came through the mask with the crooked smile.

"...Well, Norman and Liz are in jail," Spider-Man began, "Harry's dead...Normie's a prisoner in that very building..."

"Which makes me the Green Goblin that used to fight crime," the Goblin said, sitting on his glider.

"Right," Spider-Man said. He doesn't know it, but we've fought alongside each other, back when I was the Scarlet Spider, [[As seen in the Amazing Scarlet Spider #2 and the Green Goblin #3]] against Joystick.

"Glad he's not another hostile Osborn," Jimmy sighed.

"What're you doing here, Goblin?" Ben asked.

"Well, I've decided to get back in the business," Phil Urich smiled under his mask, "And when that sexy-as-all-get-out Black Cat asks you for a favor, you don't say no."

"Cat sent you?" Ben raised a brow.

"Yup," Phil replied. "She told me to tell you she had some big stuff going on, but needs to catch you later. Anyway, what's up? Who're we going up against? The Rhino? Venom?"

"No such luck," Ben sighed. "A group of real nasties called the Scriers. They're totally albino and totally scary looking...always draped in black cloaks. Kinda like the Emperor from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi."

"And the objective?"

"We're trying to save little Normie Osborn," Ben said.

"Well then, let's go!" The Goblin yelled. His glider took off towards the warehouse that Jimmy and Ben had been watching.

"No, wait!" Ben called. "Don't you know anything about stealth?"

The Goblin let loose with his 'Lunatic Laugh', a laugh that proceeded to shake the walls and shatter the windows of the Scrier's base.

"Hey, webs?" the Goblin called back. "You sure this is the place? No one's come running out to try and kick our butts!"

"Believe me," Ben said as he leapt after the Goblin, "If you looked like the Scriers, you wouldn't wanna leave your house either!"

"I dunno, they can't be worse than me when I wake up," Phil joked.

"I bet that's right," Ben replied.

Jimmy Six walked to where the two heroes were, pulling out a pair of long-barreled guns. "You two ready, or are you gonna keep exchanging jokes?"

"Sorry sir!" Ben said. "We're ready sir!"

"Forget it," Jimmy sighed. "I really gotta rethink the way I run my life..."

Inside the Scrier's base.

The masked Rose stood beside the tall Delilah. One of the Scriers stood with them, as well as someone wearing a black Spider-Man costume, similar to that of Venom's, but with enough differences.

A man in a black suit entered their little group. "This is falling apart," he said. "The Osborns are in no condition to pay us...and some lunatic is attacking! Spider-Man is with him."

"We don't have to worry about Spider-Man," the Rose said. "Between Delilah and our own little clone here, he's toast."

"I expect my money doubled," the black Spider-Man said. "Bringing in Desiree earned me some bucks, but taking out the web-head should be worth plenty more."

"Don't worry," The Rose said, "You'll be taken care of very nicely."

"It is of no concern to us what any of you want," the Scrier said. "Just eliminate our foes so that we may take the young Osborn away from here and complete our plans."

"I'm well aware of your plans," the Rose sighed. "Raise the Osborn, make him the ultimate Goblin, etc..."

"But you can't do it until my men and I are compensated," the man in the black suit said again.

The Scrier ignored him. "Rose, send your people...eliminate Spider-Man."

Ben peeked his head inside a shattered window. "Looks clear..."

"Great," the Goblin said, flying in. Ben hopped in after him, followed shortly after by Jimmy Six.

"Hmmm...I was expecting more resistance," Ben said.

"You want it? You got it!" Delilah popped out of the shadows, swinging at Ben. He easily dodged her.

"Now that's what I'm talking about!" Ben jumped back. "Goblin, why not give it a round or two?"

"Sure!" Phil said, hiding his nervousness as he grabbed a pair of pumpkin bombs out of his bag.

"Hey, Spidey?"

"Hmm?" Ben turned just in time to see a Black Spider-Man deck him. Needless to say, the proportionate strength of a spider sent him flying out of the building.

Ben eventually landed hard on the cold street ground. He looked up to see a shadow standing over him. "Hawkeye...?"

"Not quite, Spider-Man," the character smiled. "Name's the Marksman. I know, I know, I'm a woman...the name's gonna get changed soon. But anyway, it looks like you could use a hand again!"

"Again?" Ben asked, accepting her help up.

"Guess I didn't make a good enough impression on you when I help you and Hawkeye stop the Green Goblin a week or two back."

Wait! The Black Cat told me about that...Peter fought along side her.

"Er, I remember now!" Ben said. "And actually, I probably could use your help. A good Green Goblin and a good mobster, Jimmy Six, are trying to help me save little Normie Osborn."

"I heard about that kid on the news," Angela said. "He was kidnapped some time ago."

"Yup," Ben said. "And we're trying to rescue him...only the kidnappers are some serious baddies."

"We can handle 'em!" Angela said, gripping her bow and a pair of arrows. "Let's go!"

Back at the Scrier's Base.

Jimmy Six kept ducking behind a couple of boxes, firing random shots when he got the chance. "How you holdin' up, kid?"

"I've been better!" Phil said as he dodged punches from Delilah and the black Spidey.

"I sure wish Spider-Man would get his act together and get back here already..."

The Black Spider-Man kicked aside Jimmy's cover and grabbed his guns. "If Spider-Man knows what's good for him, he'll stay down! He can't stop me...he can't save Normie...and he sure as hell can't save Desiree!"

Just before the black Spidey could deliver a blow to Jimmy, an arrow hit him and knocked him back.

"That was an electro-shock arrow, one of my favorites," Angela smiled.

Ben leapt over to the black Spider-Man. "Did you mention Desiree?"

"You bet," the black Spidey said. "Took her yesterday to insure I'd have some leverage on you, Benny."

Ben punched the already downed clone. "You know my name, you know my girlfriend's name...that's great. Who are you?"

"I'm you!" he replied, kicking Ben off. "And because I'm you, your spider-sense doesn't mean jack!"

"Kill you!" Delilah yelled, punching the Goblin hard.

"Back off!" Angela yelled, firing a pair of explosive arrows at her. Delilah shrugged them off, but a gunshot to her left shoulder sent her down.

"She can take punches better'n Spidey," Jimmy said, "But she sure can't handle a bullet into a joint."

"Good job!" Phil said. "All that leaves now is the Black Spider-Man..."

"Where is she?" Ben asked, kicking his opponent in the chest,

"The worst place you could possibly imagine!" the clone replied.

"Take me to her or I'll beat you to a pulp!" Ben ordered, dodging a kick.

"You want her...then you'll have to follow me!" the clone said, jumping out a window.

"Jimmy, Goblin, Marksman!" Ben called. "I've gotta go after him...find Normie!"

Ben leapt out after his foe, leaving the three alone.

"You heard the man!" Angela said, grabbing more arrows. "We've got a life to save!"

The three charged forward, deeper into the Scrier's base. As they continued on, they met no resistance.

"Anyone else think this is a trap?" Phil asked from atop his glider.

"Of course it's a trap," Jimmy said.

Just then, a Scrier stepped out in front of them. "You must leave...or die."

"Not gonna happen!" Phil said.

"We're not gonna leave until we get Normie Osborn out of here," Marksman said.

"It's over," Jimmy said after hitting a few buttons on his cell phone. "I just told the cops...besides the fact that Delilah's unconscious out there and that I'm here...Normie Osborn is here. You're gonna have the entire NYPD on your butt in a matter of minutes."

The Scrier breathed heavily. "We are net ready to go public yet. You have won this round, then. But know this: The Osborns belong to the Scriers!"

With that, the ugly creature fled the building. The three began searching the building and found another room ahead. Inside, behind a locked door: Normie Osborn.

"I hear sirens," Phil said.

"We should beat it," Jimmy said. "I'd rather not let the cops get a hold of me...and you, despite you're tryin' to be a hero, you're still the Green Goblin. You don't wanna be here."

"He's right," the Marksman said. "Get outta here...I'll take care of it...and give you guys some credit."

The two nodded. Jimmy climbed onto Phil's glider and they took off.

Across town...

The Brooklyn Bridge? Ben thought. Why does everything always end up here?

The Black Spider-Man swung up onto one of the pillars high above the bridge. Desiree was tied to a chair that was sitting on one of the pillar's edges.

Ben swung on top of the ledge, observing the situation.

"Take another step and she's gone!" the clone yelled.

"You bring me here just to threaten me?" Ben asked. "How lame can you get?"

"I'm your tell me!"

"'ve got a point."

"I've got a preposition to make," the clone began. "I'll let her go...I'll even rescue her as Ben...I'll take over your life and your duty as Spider-Man and lead a perfectly straight life...if you surrender to me."

"Surrender to you?" Ben asked.

"Yes, surrender to me," the clone stated. "I'd then shoot you in the head."

"Thanks for clearing that up," Ben rolled his eyes. "Okay, snacky...the clone thing is really I tell you what. If you surrender to me...I'll let Des live a normal life and I'll continue the web thing...and I'll let you go. You can move anywhere you want, live whatever kind of life you long as it doesn't involve crime. You've got great power...and with great power comes great responsibility."

"You and I both know that won't work," the clone said.

"Just like we both know what you said won't work," Ben said. "So...we've got a stale mate."

"Maybe," the clone said. "Or maybe I'll let you stay as Spider-Man...and I'll leave this world...but I'll take Desiree with me!"

The clone leapt at Des and knocked both her and himself over the edge. They began falling.

"No!" Ben said as he leapt after them. "Not again!"

Careful, can't grab her with a web line...tried that with Gwen Stacey, it snapped her neck...gotta move through the air quickly...reach her...

Ben fell as fast as he could and eventually grabbed a hold of the chair Des was tied to. Using his strength, he ripped her free. Taking her in his arms, he shot a web line to part of the bridge's pillar and swung the both of them to safety.


The Black Cat met Spider-Man atop the Daily Bugle.

"I heard about your rescue of Desiree," the Cat said. "Good job, Ben."

"Thanks," Ben said. "She got out of it with nothing more than being shaken...she'll be fine eventually."

Cat nodded. "I saw on the news...the Marksman saved Normie."

"Yup," Ben replied. "He's being taken in by social services until a legal guardian can be found. I'm glad Marksman got the credit. She's trying to become a superhero...she could use some good press."

"Ben...I...we need to talk," Felicia said quietly.

"What is it?" Ben asked. "Is something wrong?"

"No...actually, everything's right. You're not really gonna believe this, but...Peter's alive."

"What?" Ben's jaw dropped. It was because Peter died that he took up the webs again. It was because the world needed Spider-Man. But now, if he's alive...?

"Come on," Felicia smiled. "I'll take you to him..."

Ben nodded. The Black Cat took off towards the Parker Residence. Ben--That is to say, Spider-Man, cast a web line to a lamp post, following.

Thank God...I saved Mary Jane...saved Desiree...helped save Normie Osborn...and now I find Peter's alive. Everything's...everything's gonna be okay. I have great power...and I'm sure Uncle Ben is smiling down on me, knowing that I used it responsibly.

Next: Peter's back? How? Check out Astonishing Spider-Man #7 to find out! And keep reading, as Ben's story continues in Astonishing Spider-Man #9!

Not the End! But certainly, the end for me!

I'd just like to say that, as some of you may know, Ben's series didn't take the turn I wanted it to...but I still had fun reviving him and letting him back into the world. Maybe, someday...I'll write him again. Thanks to everyone who read the series and, to anyone who enjoyed it, thank you again. We all hate clones, I know...but hey, if Ben's not gonna be wearing the can afford to show him a little affection, eh?

Peace out, G's!