I complained in my Mister Sinister post that the X-men comics are too complicated with convoluted story lines. That is not the case with Spider-Man who keeps things nice and simple…most of the time. If ever there was a complicated Spider-Man story line it would be the Clone Saga and that is the story that gave us this guy, The Scarlet Spider. I’ll try to sum up the story which began in the 70s and still lingers to this day in a couple of quick sentences. The Jackal cloned Spider-Man. Both Spider-men thought they were the original so they fought each other. The fight ended with the clones apparent death. Spidey left the clone for dead and went home. The clone survived and also headed home. When he got there he looked in the window and saw the real Spider-Man living his life and this is when the clone finally realized he was the fake. Rather than complicate Spider-Man’s life the clone left New York. Rather than continuing to call himself Peter Parker he changed his name to Ben Reilly. Suddenly another Spider-Man clone shows up calling himself Kaine. He was apparently the first “test” clone of the Jackal’s and the process left him disfigured and deranged so he became a villain. Kaine tracks Ben around the country trying to kill him. Peter, the original Spidey is unaware of any of this and goes on with his life. Five years pass when suddenly a family tragedy bring Ben and Kaine into Peter’s life. Ben and Pete become friends and decide to team-up to battle Kaine. Ben becomes the Scarlet Spider wearing red tights and a blue hoodie. New test results reveal that Ben is actually the original Spider-Man and has been all along. Peter feels bad for having taken over Ben’s life as Peter Parker so he decides to quit being Spider-man and leave New York. Ben becomes Spider-man. The Green Goblin comes back from the dead and explains that he’s behind the whole thing, the Jackal was working for him. The Goblin fudged the test results and Peter actually is the original so he comes back to the Big Apple. The Goblin kills Ben who evaporates after death thus proving he was indeed the clone. Peter becomes Spider-man again and all is relatively back to normal. Years more pass and just recently Kaine popped back up. Kaine is cured of his disfiguring disease and his madness. To honor Ben he takes on the mantle of Scarlet Spider. And that’s about it. I hope that wasn’t too complicated because I dumbed it way down.
This figure is based on Ben Reilly’s Scarlet Spider look and not the modern Kaine look. Kaine had the fashion sense to loose the hoodie. A lot of fans hated the whole clone saga and Spider-man sales dropped during this time. I actually enjoyed it and became quite attached to Ben as a character and was sad when he died. I’m glad to see tribute payed to the late Ben Reilly in this Marvel Universe action figure. The figure is nice and actually looks better than the Spider-man figure I have standing next to him. Spidey looks too scrawny where as Scarlet Spider has some more bulk to him. The belt and wrist bands also make this figure more interesting than if these items were just painted on. It’s a very good classic Scarlet Spider and I hope we get a modern Scarlet Spider soon of equal quality. 7 out of 10.