Spider-Man’s edgy clone from the 90s returns as a villain with a new name – and he’s somehow even more radical and angsty than ever before.
Warning: SPOILERS for Amazing Spider-Man #13
Marvel’s Spider-Man is known as a positive, happy character, but the same cannot be said for his incredibly edgy clone of the 90s…and now that clone has returned, even more edgy than ever before. The infamous Clone Saga, debuting in the Dark Age of Comics, is remembered as a low point in Peter Parker’s history; the character has only made sporadic appearances since them. But Amazing Spider-Man #13 ends with a teaser hinting at the clone Ben Reilly’s future…now going by the incredibly edgy name “Chasm.”
Ben Reilly debuted in a one-off storyline in the 70s and was quickly forgotten until the 90s; Marvel executives, seeing the success of DC’s major “events”, wanted a similar storyline for Spider-Man. They decided to bring back Ben Reilly, making him the centerpiece of the Spider-Man Clone Saga, and revealing that Peter – not Ben – was the clone the entire time. Fans loathed this decision and Marvel quickly backpedaled, but the damage was done as Ben was revealed as the clone once more. He was rarely seen afterward, appearing only in Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy and 2021’s Spider-Man: Beyond story arc.
In Amazing Spider-Man #13, written by Zeb Wells with art by John Romita Jr., Peter recovers after an attack from the two Hobgoblins; he is saved not by Iron Man but by Norman Osborn, wearing the new Gold Goblin armor. The teaser image after the adventure shows a purple Spider-Man figure surrounded by otherworldly green energy leaping onto the scene. This is Ben Reilly, otherwise known as Chasm; he gave himself the new name after experiencing yet another identity crisis at the conclusion of the Beyond arc.
Spider-Man’s 90s Clone Is The Ultimate Edgy Throwback
Ben Reilly was presumed lost in Amazing Spider-Man #93 after falling into a vat of chemicals released during a skirmish at Beyond headquarters, but rose again with a villainous green and purple costume as Chasm. The company promised big plans for the antihero, but even the Marvel faithful didn’t anticipate his turn to villainy. As a clone, Ben has struggled with his place in the world as both an identical copy of Peter Parker and as a superhero, and perhaps the only way he sees an end to his suffering is to end Spider-Man and potentially replace him.
Perhaps Chasm can shed a light on the most confusion mystery in Spider-Man books today: the mysterious decision that Spider-Man made six months prior to the present day. The decision is not known to the reader, but it has alienated nearly all of Peter Parker’s friends, Mary Jane and even his Aunt May. Spider-Man currently lives an angst-ridden, depressed and solitary life, and who better to add to Peter’s pain than a dark reflection of himself in the form of Chasm? Amazing Spider-Man #13 is available now from Marvel Comics.