I’m going to explain the Clone Saga as quickly as I can. Deep breath now....
He was Peter Parker, The Amazing Spider-Man’s clone. An exact duplicate of Peter, implanted with his memories and feelings by the morally corrupt lecturer Miles Warren. Then he died in an explosion. Or did he?
No. Peter’s clone awoke from his death-like state and took to the road. Realising that he was but a replica of the person he believed himself to be, he hit the road, spending five years travelling from town to town, trying to find a purpose for his fake life.
On returning due to Aunt May’s rapidly deteriorating illness, the clone who was now calling himself Ben Reilly, could not resist the urge to web sling, donned a hooded jumper and became the Scarlet Spider, Spider-Man’s amazing clone. Or was he?
No! Tests confirmed that he was the real Parker, and the Parker who had married Mary Jane and was expecting a child was the clone! EGAD!
Do not fret – turns out that Norman Osborn was behind it all, and had been planning the whole thing since his apparent death. Norman revealed himself to Ben, beat him up, donned the green and told Parker that he was the real deal, not Ben.
Ben died saving Peter, and disintegrated as a result forever proving that the Peter Parker we knew and loved has always been the real deal.
Man, Norman is a douche.
That was as simple as I could make the Clone Saga, a storyline which was meant to run through the Spidey titles for two years ended up going for almost five. The reason? At the time, Spidey was the only character making money, and Marvel had a bankruptcy to (at the time) avoid.
So what’s the difference between Ben and Peter, I hear you think. Ben is a darker, more moody than Peter. He constantly reminds himself over, and over, and over, that he is nothing but a worthless clone as he tries to justify a life for himself.
Ben was originally designed to replace the married and soon to be father Peter, once again making Spidey single and carefree, while Peter went on to live happily ever after. Not happy with having cake and eating it too, fans cried out in anger, and the plan was scrapped. Thus ends a very confusing, but somewhat awesome chapter in Spidey’s history.
I’m just happy that we got Norman back, no matter how big a douche he is.