After the death of Gwen Stacy at the hands
of Green Goblin, Miles
Warren, a brilliant scientist and professor at ESU who happened to
nurse a secret crush on Gwen blamed Spider-Man for her death.
Adopting the persona and costume of the Jackal, he first tried to have
Spider-Man killed by sending the Punisher after him. This did not work,
so he tried cloning Peter and Gwen, whose tissue samples he had from a
class experiment in the past. The cloning did not always work. The first
Parker clone that lasted for any length of time looked like he would be
the one the Jackal would use to get revenge on Spider-Man.
Unfortunately, he started to degenerate on a cellular level. Jackal
stopped the degeneration, but not before it scarred and deformed the
clone. This clone was cast aside by the Jackal, and began a nightmarish,
lonely existance in which he called himself Kaine.
The Jackal continued to try to clone Spidey,
eventually succeeding. He
managed to render Spider-Man unconscious as well as him clone. When
the two Spider-Men woke up simultaneously, each one thought that he
was the original, and they began to fight. As they fought, they realised
that Warren had kidnapped Ned Leeds, and attached him to a bomb.
They stopped fighting and tried to save Ned, but in the end it was
Warren himself, persuaded by a Gwen Stacy clone, who sacrificed
himself to save Ned from the explosion. In addition to cloning Peter and
Gwen, however, the Jackal had cloned himself. Whether it was the
original Warren or a clone which died in the explosion is unknown. Also
presumed dead after the explosion was one of the Spider-Men. The
survivor dropped the "corpse" down an industrial smokestack and went
home, convinced he was the real Peter Parker.
The dumped Spider-Man eventually woke up in
the smokestack. He
went home, only to find the other Peter Parker with Mary Jane Watson.
Heartbroken, the outsider left New York on a quest to find himself. He
came to call himself Ben Reilly, he met Seward Trainer, and he was
constantly followed by Kaine, who knew that Ben was, in fact, the
original Peter Parker. Kaine was determined to let Peter, his fellow
clone, live in the happiness which Kaine was never destined to have, and
Kaine tormented Ben, whose life as Spider-Man had brought about his
own tormented existance.
1994 - 1995
Peter Parker has had a rough life lately. His
parents, long thought dead,
had returned from overseas, only to be revealed to be simulcra created
by the Chameleon. Peter hunted down the Chameleon and nearly killed
him, finding out mere minutes later that the Chameleon had been
manipulated all along by the Harry Osborn, the Green Goblin. Peter's
Aunt May has recently had a stroke, and now she lies comatose in the
hospital. At this critical time in his life, his clone returns.
Ben has kept in touch with Aunt May, continually
pretending he had
merely dialed a wrong number. When he learns of his beloved Aunt's
condition, he hurries back to New Yourk to face at last the life he left
behind. In a tense encounter on the rooftops, Ben meets Peter. Shortly
after, Peter arrives at Ravencroft Institute, where many of his insane foes
are being treated. Judas Traveller has taken over the institute, and only
Spider-Man can save the inmates. Ben, meanwhile, is visiting Anut May
when he learns of Peter's trouble. He dons a crude homemade costume
and heads to Ravencroft, where the two Spider-Man overcome their
mistrust of each other to defeat Traveller, who seeks to understand evil
by understanding Spider-Man, on whom so much evil is focussed.
Ben and Peter go on their separate quests.
Ben finds, fights and defeats
Venom, one of Peter's deadliest foes, in his new costume, inwhich he is
dubbed the "Scarlet Spider". Peter fights his own darkness as he battles
the Vulture, who infects him with a deadly virus. With a little help from
none other than Doctor Octopus himself, Peter beats the virus and is
ready to face life again, especially when Mary Jane (now his wife) tells
him that she's expecting a baby. Soon after, Kaine kills Doc Ock,
convinced that he can protect Peter's life by killing all of his foes. Peter
and Ben are again reunited as they are "called" to a secret lab in the
Catskill Mountains. Here, a genetically engineered clone of the Jackal
emerges from a regeneration tank. He brings into question for the first
time the possibility that Ben is, in fact, the original Spider-Man. The two
escape at last from the Jackal's lab, but not before a third clone is
release from a cloning pod. This clone later displays the ability to control
his body on the molecular level, meaning that he can change shape
easily. The Jackal names him Spidercide.
Shortly after the escape in the Catskills,
disaster strikes. Aunt May
awakens from her coma long enough to tell Peter that she knows his
secret; that she knows he is Spider-Man, and she is proud of him. After
this, her health regresses and she dies. Immediately following the funeral,
Peter is arrested for a murder in Salt Lake City which was, in fact,
committed by Kaine. Since Peter's fingerprints are identical to his
clones', he was charged for the murder of Louise Kennedy years before.
Peter is freed from prison by Judas Traveller for a short time, and Ben
goes back to pose as Peter while Pete searches for the truth dressed in
Ben's Scarlet Spider costume. He finds the original, surviving Gwen
Stacy clone (married to a Miles Warren clone who sacrifices his life for
his wife), and eventually Kaine reveals that he is the first clone. Peter is
about to reveal his identity to clear his name and save Ben's life, but
Kaine confesses his guilt instead of allowing Peter to give up all that he's
worked so hard to achieve. Ben returns with Spidey and MJ to Seward
Trainer's lab, where it is revealed that Peter is, in fact, the clone of Ben
Peter is digesting the truth which has just
been revealed when the Jackal
comes along. Jackal assures Peter that he is the clone, and convinces
him to help in a plot to clone the entire human race. Confused by all that
has happened to him, Peter agrees to go with the Jackal and Spidercide.
Ben searches for Peter, eventually finding him and dozens of other
Spider-Clones. Ben fights through the rapidly degenerating clones and
manages to bring Peter around; to show him what he learned during five
years of believing himself a clone: It's not what he is that's important, it's
who he is. He may be a genetic copy of another man, but he is still Peter
Parker, and deserves life as much as any one else. Together, the
Spider-Men stop the Jackal's evil scheme. Spidercide and the Jackal fall
off of the roof of the Daily Bugle building.
After this, Peter's focus turned to Mary Jane
and the baby. He ponders
the effects of his life as Spider-Man on the child in his or her early years.
While fighting the new, female Doctor Octopus, Peter decides that
Spider-Man's life is too dangerous for a father to live, and he gives up
the tights. Ben, the Scarlet Spider, takes over and defeats Doctor
Octopus, but not before she releases a Scarlet Spider duplicate which
runs amok in New York and ruins Ben's reputation. Ben decides that it
is time at last to become Spider-Man again.
1995 - 1996
Ben creates a new costume for himself, gets
a job at the Daily Grind (a
coffee house near Centennial University), and finds an apartment. Life is
looking up for the new Spider-Man, even though he continually finds
himself in odd situations. For example, he tussles with the now reformed
Sandman, gets overtaken by the Carnage Symbiote, fights Kaine
repeatedly, finds himself "shrunken" in a toddler's room, etc. etc. Very
disturbing is the finding of a skeleton in the smokestack he was
supposedly tossed into all those years ago. The skeleton is sporting a
ragged Spider-Man costume. (Honestly, how many of those things did
Called in from Portland by the Daily Bugle
to investigate the new turn of
events is none other than our pal Peter Parker. Although he lost his
powers in Portland, he continually helps Ben in the chore of being
Spider-Man. Even after coming to accept that he is a clone, Peter
doesn't trust Seward Trainer, who ran the tests. When he investigates,
however, he is targeted by Hobgoblin and some cybernetically enhanced
thugs. These bad boys work for a mystery man named Gaunt, who, in
turn, has a mysterious employer himself. Who are they? I have my
theories... Interesting to note is the fact that these shady characters have
hired Ben's friend Seward Trainer for unknown deeds.
Peter recently had a brush with death as his
health began to deteriorate
until he collapsed on his apartment floor. He was rushed to the hospital,
but the doctors were unable to save him. In the end he saved himself.
Mere moments after he was announced officially dead, his spider
powers began to return, bringing him back to life.
1995 - 1996
Now, in the "Revelations" crossover, certain
secrets were shared with all
of Spider-fandom. The motives of Judas Traveller and Scrier, Seward
Trainer, Gaunt, and their mysterious employer have come to light. Judas
Traveller was, in fact, a mutant with the ability to control people's
perceptions of reality. The real power behind the host was Scrier, who
turned out to be a group of people in a mystic cult, controlled by
Gaunt's boss. Spider-Man and Traveller worked together to defeat the
Scriers. The mastermind who planned the clone business is none other
than the original Green Goblin - Norman Osborn! Shortly after "dying",
Norman awoke in the morgue, revived by an increased healing factor
resulting from the Goblin formula which granted him his super strength.
Since that time, he has been overseas, manipulating Peter, driven by
hatred for Spider-Man's inconquerable spirit. Norman hired Seward
Trainer and Mendel Stromm - known as Gaunt - to assist him in tearing
apart Peter's life. Finally, Osborn revealed himself to Peter, kidnapped
his newborn daughter, and killed Ben Reilly. His greatest effort to
destroy the life of Peter Parker brought Peter to his knees, but
Spider-Man rose up to reclaim his life.
1995 - 1996
A month passes between the death of Ben Reilly
and the (assumed)
death of little May Parker. Peter and Mary Jane have had a hard month,
mourning the loss of their child and friend. Still, the world continues to
turn and New York needs a Spider-Man. Pete n' MJ are planning to
move from their house, and pick up the pieces of their lives.