Spider-Verse 2: Was Ben Reilly/Scarlet Spider Disappointing? Some Fans Think So

While Ben Reilly finally received his silver screen debut, was his role in Across the Spider-Verse disappointing?

by Noah Nelson
Image: Sony Pictures Entertainment

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

About The Author

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From his early days of blog-style music, movie, and game reviews to working as the Esports Writer at Coastline Community College, Noah Nelson now works fulltime as a Staff Writer for Attack of the Fanboy and PC Invasion. He has been helping gamers everywhere with Destiny 2 god rolls, Warzone 2 DMZ missions, and collectibles in any indie game for over a year and a half. His Bachelor's Degree in English Rhetoric and Composition with a minor in Journalism from CSULB has shaped him to be a strong writer and editor. His fondest gaming memory is playing Sly Cooper 2 after begging his mom (for hours) to play it before his birthday and he still cries myself to sleep remembering the time he accidentally saved over his 99% completion save file in Kingdom Hearts 2.