Ben Reilly, otherwise known as Scarlet Spider, appears as one of Miguel O’Hara’s (Spider-Man 2099) main henchpeoples to track down Miles Morales near the end of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. While it was great to see Scarlet Spider and have a few key moments with him, was his use in Across the Spider-Verse disappointing? Some say yes, but I don’t think so.
Debate Over Ben Reilly in Across the Spider-Verse, Explained
While there are thousands of Spider-People/Animals across the Spider-Verse, one of many people’s favorite is Ben Reilly. This clone of Peter Parker has been taken into a very different direction in Across the Spider-Verse, and many fans aren’t too happy.
As @AbsoluteEngine says, they were not happy that Ben Reilly was reduced to “an avatar for ‘weren’t the 90s dumb'” in Across the Spider-Verse.
What they mean by this is that Ben Reilly is a normal quirky and funny character like all the other Spiders in the comics However, in Across the Spider-Verse, Ben Reilly is a hilariously dark and brooding Spider-Man that narrates his own moves and comments on his bulging muscles, which is very different than the Ben Reilly fans know and love.
@PK_LanTern commented that the same thing that’s happened to Ben Reilly in Across the Spider-Verse is the same thing we saw with Spider-Man Noir in Into the Spider-Verse. Using these Spider-Men as quick side characters isn’t what the die hard fans want, but it is a lot better than how Marvel comics, and Marvel movies, are treating these beloved characters so far.
As a casual fan of Spider-Man, I love seeing Ben Reilly, Spider-Man Noir, and all the other fun Spider-People/Animals throughout Into the Spider-Verse, Across the Spider-Verse, and eventually Beyond the Spider-Verse.
I know it’s painful when a character you love gets adapted into a version that doesn’t match the source material or what you had in mind, but in the case of Ben Reilly, I think it’s good for us to see him. Each Spider-Person/Animal could have their own standalone TV show or movie, but in the Spider-Verse trilogy, we’re experiencing Miles Morales’ story — the Spider-People/Animals on the side are nice bonuses.
I think we’ll see more of Ben Reilly in Beyond the Spider-Verse, and if we don’t, that’s when we can riot. For now, I enjoy Ben Reilly in Across the Spider-Verse, understand the disappointment, and am hopeful for more.
- This article was updated on June 5th, 2023