Friday, January 21, 2011

Ben Reilly - Most Valuable Clone - Matt Duarte

Ben Reilly in “Most Valuable Clone” by Matt Duarte

This page is laid out in six panels, two panels per each row, with three rows, all in same sizes. If you haven’t read Avengers: The Initiative, you might be slightly lost on this one. More info after the end of the script.

Panel 1

Description: A teenager boy, with medium length brown hair, notably big muscles, and a kind face sits in a empty bench in the middle of a desolate park. His bright blue t-shirt presents a stark contrast against the otherwise bleak background. This is Michael, and he is talking, though there doesn’t seem to be anyone around him. In his hand, he has a crumpled piece of paper.

MICHAEL: I just knew this “invitation” had something to do with you, Patrick. What do you want now?

Panel 2

Description: Behind Michael, a person has appeared. This is Patrick, and he has just gone out of his camouflage mode (which allows him to blend with the scenery around him). He is partially visible now, and he is wearing a shinning red and gold Iron Spider-Man suit. He too, is carrying a piece of paper in his hand.

PATRICK: I didn’t know you would be here. I got the same hand written invitation as you did.

Panel 3

Description: Patrick has now taken off his mask, and he is sitting next to Michael. Their faces look exactly alike, as does the shape of their bodies, but one is wearing normal clothes, and the other one the Spider-suit. They both have their heads halfway down, as if they hated each other.

PATRICK: Last time we talked, after the death of our brothers...

PATRICK: I promised I wouldn’t try to contact you again. I know you have your family to think about, and I wouldn’t break that promise.

Panel 4

Description: Michael is now furious, shouting at Patrick, who remains stoically calm.

MICHAEL: Why should I believe you? You are the only one that knew where I was! You are the only one that would think of the same places to hide!

PATRICK: Unless...

MICHAEL: Unless what?!

PATRICK: Unless there was another clone.

Panel 5

Description: Michael and Patrick have stopped arguing and they are sitting normally once again. They are looking straight ahead, directly at the reader, with a dumbfounded and quizzical face. A man is walking towards them, at the spot in the bench between them.

MAN: Clones! Aren’t they a pain in the back? You can’t even argue with them because they will think exactly like you!

MICHAEL & PATRICK (together): And who are you?

MAN: Me? Oh, just a friend of a friend of yours. I’m the one that invited you here, boys.

Panel 6

Description: The man is now sitting in between Michael and Patrick. He wears a faded black hoodie, which is covering part of his head, though we can still see some blond hair underneath it. He has his arms around both Michael and Patrick, in a friendly way, over their shoulders.

MAN: See, I know you can fight like Scarlet Spiders, but I’m here to teach you how to fight alongside each other. Like brothers should.

MAN: Name’s Ben: Your friendly neighborhood Scarlet Spider.

NEXT: The Scarlet Spiders will never die!

Note from the author: The idea for this page was based on the character MVP from Avengers: The Initiative. He too, was cloned. Several times, in fact. Now, the original is dead, with a clone sent in to replace him and one of the other clones wears a version of the Iron Spider suit. Complicated, yes, but so was The Clone Saga. 

Anyway, Peter Parker owes them one, and he thought it would be a good idea to send someone to train them both how to fight and how to deal with their peculiar lives, which is where Ben comes in (and this is something that he has experience dealing with). And how is Ben alive? I don't know, he just is, and that's all that matters.


  1. I was wondering if MVP was to make an appearance this week.

    Matt, loved the script. Who cares why Ben is alive here, it fits brilliantly. Great work.

  2. Reading it again - the line "You can’t even argue with them because they will think exactly like you!" - but would that neccesarily be true? Just because you are a genetic copy of someone, wouldn't experiences give you your own way of thinking. The whole Nature v Nurture thing?

    Let the philisophical debate begin!

  3. I like the idea behind it, except I'd have to wonder exactly when this takes place, since not only is there the question of why Ben is alive, but there's also the question of why Michael is alive but Van isn't, since Michael was killed by Ragnarok.

    Though in the large scheme of things, I suppose it really doesn't matter.

  4. @Ben: Yeah, I know, but I wanted some humor in there, and some way for Ben to break the ice with Michael and Patrick.

    @MK: This is the Michael that was sent to live with his parents, to replace the original, not the Michael that was killed in action. I tried to drop a couple of hints, such as the "family" thing and note that he says "the death of our brothers". So yeah, Ben is drafting him into action even though he wasn't one of the original Scarlet Spiders. As for why Ben is alive? I have no idea, I'll let someone else figure out that one.

  5. I always thought there was a lot more potential to the Initiative's Scarlet Spiders than they ever got chance to investigate in that book, and this would be an excellent way forward, Matt, also a particularly interesting way to take Ben (out of Peter's shadow) should he ever return.

    Ben's question regarding clone thoughts brings up enough story ideas for a book of its own!


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