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Marvel Is Making It Very Hard To Root For Spider-Man

With Ben Reilly looking the other way as the Beyond Corporation engages in shady tactics, he’s making it hard to root for him as Spider-Man.

Warning! Spoilers for Amazing Spider-Man #85 ahead!

The way the current Amazing Spider-Man is going, Marvel is making it very hard to root for Ben Reilly’s Spider-Man as he continues to work for the Beyond Corporation. The ongoing Spider-Man Beyond arc of Amazing Spider-Man is being written by the Beyond Board consisting of Kelly Thompson, Cody Ziglar, Saladin Ahmed, Patrick Gleason, and Zeb Wells. Artists so far on the arc have included Patrick Gleason, Sara Pichelli, Jim Towe, and Paco Medina, among others.

Ben Reilly has had quite an interesting career as a comic character. He went from being a clone, to not being a clone, to being a clone again, to being the Scarlet Spider, to being Spider-Man, to being dead, to coming back to life as a new Jackal, and then being Spider-Man again. His newest turn as the wall-crawler has put him directly at odds with Peter Parker. Ben is being backed by the mysterious Beyond Corporation, and since Peter is out of commission in the hospital, the Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man has pretty much focused on Ben alone.


Related: Marvel Reveals New Spider-Man Team, New Direction for Peter Parker

The frustrating part of this storyline is how blind Ben has been to the Beyond Corporation’s shady operations. Readers get to see just how far the company is willing to go when the higher-ups contemplate letting Ben turn into a vampire over curing him, just to see what kind of spider-vampire hybrid he might turn into. Also, Beyond continually orders Ben to prioritize company assets over saving people’s lives. Having just been released from prison, Ben was fairly down on his luck. So the fact that the Beyond Corporation showed up and offers him a second chance was a blessing. Ben doesn’t want to question it, but he continues to be nothing more than a tool in Beyond’s arsenal, such as when he confronts Miles Morales to try and enforce Beyond’s Spider-Man copyright.

It’s so obvious Beyond is shady that even the villainous Doctor Octopus tries to take the company down in Amazing Spider-Man #85 by Cody Ziglar and Paco Medina. Beyond has absorbed Parker Industries, the company Doc Ock built while he was in Peter Parker’s body. Of course, Otto is a narcissistic egomaniac and so his motivations aren’t entirely altruistic, but still, it says something about the Beyond Corporation when Doc Ock is viewed as the good guy in the story. Even when Octavius tries to convince Ben of Beyond’s corruption—pointing out that the company has taken advantage of Ben’s compromised psyche in order to manipulate him—Ben struggles to come to terms with it. He instead tries to focus on all the good he’s done as Spider-Man under Beyond’s watch.

The new Spider-Man Ben might have been a fan favorite in the past, but his continued excuses for Beyond is making it difficult to root for him. With Peter Parker out of commission, Ben is the only hero of the series, though it’s hard to view him as such and not just a corporate puppet. If the series is going to get back on track with Spider-Man being a good guy, then Ben is going to have to have a reckoning with the Beyond Corporation real quick.

Next: The Truth Behind Spider-Man’s Real Weakness Revealed By Marvel

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