Ben Reilly stares into a mirror. His hair is dark, not the blond he dyed it in later appearances: for all intents and purposes he is Peter Parker.
CAP (Ben): This is not my face.
Ben’s face or profile fades into a montage of memories. Spider-Man defeating the burglar who killed his Uncle Ben… Peter getting shouted at by J. Jonah Jameson… dancing with Gwen and MJ… Spidey holding Gwen’s body on top of Brooklyn Bridge while the Green Goblin flies overhead…
CAP (Ben): These are not my memories.
Ben stands in a loft apartment somewhere in downtown Manhattan. There is no furniture, except the mirror he’s still standing before, no carpets or décor. There is however a large amount of scientific equipment – including cloning chambers – lined up down one side of the room. The loft’s skylight windows are open and we can see the Empire State Building or some other prominent landmark in the distance. It’s late in the day and the light is fading… shadows are creeping across the loft. Ben is wearing civilian clothes… because, let’s face it, if Marvel did resurrect the character for the 21st Century, the least they could do would be to give him a new costume… and clenching his fists at his side.
Ben: This is not my life. It wasn’t the first time, it isn’t now – it won’t ever be, no matter how many times you scrape up my remains into a petri dish and programme these phony cells to grow again…
Ben turns towards the shadows. The Jackal steps out of the gathering gloom, his body twisted in one of those kooky Jackal poses. He’s grinning… but I’m not sure he can do anything else, wearing that mask. (Yes, he’s wearing his original Jackal costume – not the 90s “I am a Jackal, this is no costume” look. Because he’s had to regrow his own body as a clone and transfer his consciousness into that… again. All this would be explained. If I had to.)
Ben: …Professor Warren.
Jackal: Ah, but Ben, my boy, this time the choice wasn’t mine. As they used to say in Nazi Germany… “I voz only obeyink orderz!”
Close on Ben, glaring at the Jackal.
Ben: Really, Professor? Whose orders this time…? Norman’s?
Voice (off-panel): No. Mine.
Looking over Ben’s shoulder (the lines of his Spider Sense are buzzing) we see a second figure step out of the shadows behind the Jackal. It’s Mary Jane Watson. She is Serious.
Mary Jane: I mean, to paraphrase a certain princess…
Mary Jane: Help me, Ben Reilly – you’re my only hope.