Wednesday, September 15, 2021


Now it can be told!  I'm joining with artist David Baldeon, colorist Israel Silva, and editor Danny Khazem for Ben Reilly: Spider-Man—a five issue mini-series set in the 90s era.  Peter and Mary Jane have headed off to Portland to have their baby and live happily ever after while, in New York, our titular hero is taking his first steps toward building a new life as both Ben Reilly and Spider-Man.  But it's not going to be easy!

So happy to be returning to the Spiderverse for this wonderful project.  You can find some teaser art below.

Ben Reilly: Spider-Man is on sale in January!


  1. Are they trying to drive up sales, by having you attach more high selling characters you are associated with? It is the business.
    I When I see Ben Chatting with Sunshine for a full issue, I k will know it is an editorial mandate. The SPider-guy needs SOMETHING to boost sales, night as well bring out Marvel's big guns!


    1. "Sunshine" will actually be starring in his own twelve issue mini-series, some time in 2099. We have to bow to the overwhelming demand!

    2. Was Sunshine the first recurring character you created?

      I...Vampire came out a few months earlier, but is sounded like Len Wein was more of a guiding hand in crafting.

      Now he is getting a futuristic SUNSHINE 2099 title! And saving Spider-man from certain cancellation, simply through appearance in a connected mini series.

      To think, after that you had to toil away in obscurity writing Spider-peopla and leagues of various forms of justice.

      Though, I have long wondered? What led to the use of Sunshine? Was the idea first to show the character, or to explore and grow Devil-SLayer?

      Was it Devil-Slayer himself that that made you want to use Sunny, or more the military element? Sort of a Yin an Yang thing.

      IN hindsight, the lone Hippy burn out, living in the past, as he is stepped over by people even less okay with him daring to live in their city, is a good representation of most cities, as the 70s gave way to the 80s, Was that intentional?

      Did you always know he would have a tragic end to his story as you started?

      His real name was Ira, and enjoyed drugs a lot. You had a debauchees Ira in Moonshadow, is there nay connection?

      He seemed kind of like a Dematteis-zed Gerber character, was there any of that thought in creation? Influence is probably the better word.

      Was the creation of Sunshine, right after the six-fingered hand story, a comment on how drugs took over the spiritual side of Hippiedom? You know... Devil-Slayer's wife in that story got caught up in some ex-hippie cult, Sunshine got caught up in the drug side of it. Was the symmetry intentional.

      If the dreaded code were not in place, or you wrote it now, would you go more in depth into how drugs fried his brain so much magic does not work?

      Was Devil-Slayer going to his apartment because he thought he had a secret perception power influenced by how hippies were told drugs could give them enlightenment?

      I have said before that I felt your Defenders run, especially #92-101, are sort of the ending for the 70s era of Marvel comics, and Sunshine is sort of the topper to that Hippie fueled era.

      What percent of comic fans that you know enjoy a soup/sandwich combo for lunch?


    3. "Sunshine" was the precursor of "Sunflower" from MOONSHADOW: born out of my obsession with the 60s and how those high-flown ideals were faring in the Real World in the following years.

      "Sunshine" wasn't my first recurring character...not even in DEFENDERS, because I created Gargoyle in the second or third issue of my run. (I...VAMPIRE and CREATURE COMMANDOS were created at least a year before that run, even though it didn't come out till later.)

      SUNSHINE 2099? I'm in!

    4. IN fairness.... I am pretty sure You did not create the Creature Commandos, ut rather you either net real monster vets at a NYC American Legion branch...or you were just recounting the stories Marv Wolfman's father told you about his army days.

      That is why I think I blanked on that one. I don't accept the fact they are not real.

      Gargoyle however... THAT is embarrassing. My apologies.

      By the way, you are a hippie who probably believes in "saving the Earth." Here is something you might be interested in...


    5. Wow! That electric-charging road sounds like something out of a 50s science fiction story. VERY cool!

  2. Just so you know the news of the world..Dematteis... one of your creations returned to the Spider-books after a quarter century hiatus.


    1. Janine, right? I just heard about that. We're truly living in the Benaissance!

    2. It is nice to see Ben's old cast of characters back. After they resurrected him a few years back, I started to wonder if people remembered that he had a collection of characters he interacted with, that he was not just a plot point.

      There is a story I can't believe has never been told in comics. The story of the loved one of a character, the universe seemed to want to forget about (though editorial decisions) trying to honor them.

      Any way...

      Seeing her felt good. Almost good enough for me to pick up the next issue.

      May she not be forgotten again.


    3. I think one of the issues with Ben is that he is a Delorean, but a little inverted.

      Okay I will explain.

      The Delorean is remembered as this icon of the 1980s. And it should be.

      It was a bad car. It as unreliable, poorly made, even the iconic gull-wig doors couldn't keep water out...because they just cut the rubber. Johnny Carson... and investor...even got locked in one, because of a malfunction

      And DeLorean was a con man, a Fraud, and a tax cheat.

      But all of those problems were stuck behind a slick image, a gimmick, and pop culture. You know... the 80s.

      However, people remember it as a great car, because of.. Back to the Future, a great movie. ANd teh car was only picked because those gull-wing doors looked futuristic. The rest looked like a crappy 80s sedan.

      Interesting side-note, the reporter that took down John DeLorean was actually a distant cousin of Doc Brown himself, Christopher Lloyd.

      But, people just think the gull-wing doors are a symbol of why the 80s were better in everyday.

      Ben Reilly is kind of similar idea with comics and teh 90s.

      The Clone Saga had a lot of issues in development, you said it yourself.

      However, it did produce some great stories, and Ben became an interesting character in his own right.

      Ben should be a symbol of the 90s for that. Despite all the problems the decade had from being in the age of marketing research, admitted corporate raiders, the speculator boom, and so on... that there was still a lot of good to come out of the decades.

      However, the only things nerds love more than hating each other's stuff, is gang-piling on something they all want to believe is universally bad.

      So, because Ben HAS to be the symbol of the Clone Saga, he inherits all views on it. Because it was where a lot of these things swirled around, it became the centerpiece of the 90s.

      Because of the complications, and the frustrations, it had to be perceived as bad, but irredeemably bad, with nothing worth salvaging.

      Thus, the story's symbol and and what the story itself came to symbolize, had to be the same.

      I would even argue THAT was the reason Slott brought him back. As a way to quickly draw up hate for a villain. Nothing about his life was even mentioned, even in ways that would make sense for the plot.

      I liked Peter David Scarlet Spider series starring Ben, but he a did not delve into that either, and PAD is a writer who likes deep diving for character work. And Ben was right next door to Utah.

      I would not go far as to say they hated him, but at least was hesitant about mentioning anything from that era. It had been a long time of people acting like the 90s, the Clone Saga and Ben were the scum of the comic reading Earth.

      Now you have people who liked Ben writing him, and actually want to bring up parts of his past. Not pretend it never happened.

      It is as if one of the people who were defrauded by DeLorean, or the workers who were expecting jobs and did not have them started speaking out louder.


  3. That's a fascinating way to look at it. Jack.

    The Clone Saga had its share of major missteps, but it gave us lots of good stories and some great characters. Most notably Ben and Kaine.

    1. And Janine Godbe. She JUST came back to the picture and already she slipped your mind.

      The truth is, the Clone Saga has some great moments of pathos, and the bones of a great thriller.

      There were certainly issues... as you point out... but it had a lot of potential. At times that potential shown brightly.

      For every Peter Parker smacking MJ...not even going to touch that one... there was Ben mourning Aunt May or coming meeting the folks at the Daily Grind. For every marketing pushed plot push, there was a Pete and MJ preparing the baby's room.

      I can't help but wonder if your old nemesis Tom Defalco's SPider-Girl stories ended up refroming the story in any people's eyes.

      DarkDevil was eh only place anyone other than you ever mentioned Janine Godbe...and now she is even slipping from YOURS apparently

      Personally, I would still love a series about Ben's time on the road as a Spider-Kerouac (You know you love that name)


    2. I would love to do more "Ben on the road" stories. He was away for five years. That's probably twenty-five years in real time. So many stories to tell!

    3. You know, back in my day, it was legal, even common for someone to listen to Bob Dylan AND Black Sabbath.

      ANYWAY, the ideas for a Ben as Spider-Kerouac are nigh-endless. Crime, horror, sci-fi, romance, slice of life... as long as the story is not big enough to draw attention of like, the Avengers it could work.

      Almost like Gaiman and Sandman, it could be whatever stumbled into the writers mind might have potential.

      But, it is 20 years real time to fill in the Lost Years. We already know that.

      However, that was before everything was six issues. It could be 60 years now.

      I guess the way to make this happen, if you do in fact love the idea, is to have that that upcoming Ben Reilly series do well. That way you can pitch it.

      You can write that genre-bending tale of the one true Spider-Kerouac, ending with him in a cabin finding about May's condition.

      NOW you probably WANT it to do well. Hopefully you can get those pages that are just grocery lists and crazy conspiracy theories that came "return to sender" form the government.

      Shame, I was really looking forward to those lists and conspiracies.


    4. I'm up for any and all stories of Ben. And, yes, we could tell LOST YEARS stories for decades!

    5. Is it true that when Gruenwald and Milgrom got too close is in the 80s a giant beam of light bathed the Marvel offices, then everyone (including the women) grew mustaches, and those WITH mustaches had theirs grow 5 times the size?

      As for the Ben Reilly legacy.

      I think what comic readers really want right now is something character based, that is not typical superhero fare.

      The Lost Years could bring some of tat, by not falling on such things.

      I read half of one of DC's young adult GNs. It was not for me, but I do think it was well written.

      I am sure that varies form series to series, but I didn't think it was very good for Dc to publish it...and stop there.

      I think MArvel and DC need to return to other genres. Horror or Sci-fi either becomes just a superhero comic with different spices. Or, is in an imprint...which increasingly is out of sight.

      I think it needs to integrate again.

      And Ben...or something like that idea...could be a great way to test ideas.

      Now, the thing you hate most, learning about female pilots...

      Well, I found it interesting Dematteis.


    6. "At that time, women received the same training as male Army pilots and got their wings, but no rank and no pay. As the WASPs were not considered a branch of the military, there were no survivor benefits and no death expenses. When a female colleague was killed, the WASPs passed the hat to return the fallen woman’s body back to her family."

      Amazing, isn't it, how poorly these women were treated? Thanks for sharing that.

    7. I am glad you enjoyed it Dematteis.

      One day I will share the story of the head of one of the largest American company's secret police, and the quite borderline insane head of it who tried to wrestle control of it.

      You said you would write ANY Ben Reilly story. What about one where it is a sitcom where he and Peter move next door to each other, with MJ and Janine, an just have wacky hi-jinx?

      To answer your question, Dematteis, yes. Obviously there would be an ongoing joke about how similar each other;s wives look, but no one being able to see a similarity with Ben and Pete.

      You should be embarrassed for even asking that.


    8. I'd watch that sitcom. And, yeah, I'd write it, too.

    9. That is want Spider-Man needed... more vaudeville.

      Maybe its more akin to Night Court? Simpsons?


    10. I don't know Dematteis, Bewitched was not recall Hi-jinx.

      I'm also not sure Pete and MJ would go for the two bed policy of the early 60s.

      HOWEVER, there is an interesting element to that idea.

      Much like how the MUnsters were about Monsters, but really were coded immigrants, Bewitched was coded as well.

      It was coded gay. Elizabeth Montgomery even once said that was discussed to be part of it on set.

      It is not like that was unique to those two shows at the time, a lot of TV shows (and comics) were using that as a way to talk about bigger things.

      It would certainly be interesting to see a writer who frequently talks about things up front shift gears to a metaphorical one.

      But, what would living next to your clone be coded to be?

      I am interested in your though, but I still lean Simpsons for this comic that will never actually exist.

      I vote against vaudeville. That is admittedly some personal reasons.


    11. I used BEWITCHED as a touchstone for my MR. MIRACLE series back in the 80s: extraordinary people trying desperately to be ordinary, while their equally-extraordinary friends and relatives keep popping in and screwing it all up. And, yes, it works as a gay metaphor and, really, a metaphor for anyone who feels "othered."

    12. Ah yes, the famous Dematteis-Wein team-up, Mr. Miracle.

      But, if you already used Bewitched, you can't use that template again. Let's see. Newitched was 20-25 years before Mr. Miracle. SO, what is the show on the air 20-25 years ago?

      A dramedy is too close to what Spider-Man already is and Seinfeld is too cliche.

      Hmmm... this nonsensical conversation about a comic that will never exist is becoming a noodle scratcher.

      I think the X-Men show the biggest problem that arises when someone writes about a group being others.

      Ideally, X-Men is a catchall for ANY type of prejudice. Drawing examples from everywhere. However, in the 2000s it was about being Gay. Just gay.

      That is a very valid thing to incorporate, but it can unintentionally push other who could draw from it out, when giving them representation too but also hammers the idea home a little too hard.

      A good example is X2, and X-Men: The First Class. Both movies I like. I actually think First Class was the best of the X-films *I have not seen Logan). But they both go very heavy into one type, from what could be a menagerie. But they drew more heavily on homophobia, but it was the early 60s... I think there was a never Civil Rights movement that applies.

      Something like the X-Men, or the Munsters... or Bewitched, is some of the rare opportunities to talk about such things, and actually include everyone. It just seems like a waste to ignore others for the sake of one.

      It was either Neil Gaiman or MIchael Chabon that said the brilliance of the X-Men is that it appeasl to anyone who feels differetn, whether because it is from them being Black, or Jewish, or Gay, or just a nerd.

      Hopefully that ramble made SOME kind of sense.

      Sorry, went on a tangent.


    13. Yes, it made some kind of sense! ;)

      FIRST CLASS is my favorite of the X-Men films. And I thought LOGAN was a terrific movie.

    14. I still say the scene with Magneto, int eh bar in South America, was one of the best scenes in the history of comic book movies. It really could have been a scene out of any thriller.

      I think the previous two movies not working out as well as Fox hoped, and the necessity for using lesser known characters really paid off.

      I hope the MCU, if they do end up making X-Men movies (and as long as this fad is profitable, it looks likely) they realize not every movies has to be the Wolverine and friends show.

      Wolverine can be a great character, especially in Days of Future Past (and I hear Logan), I really enjoyed X2 and thought The Wolverine was not bad, but even in the comics he has a habit of overshadowing.

      Anyway Dematteis, I know you were furious at X-Men the First Class because it lacked both Mimic AND Changeling. The greatest X-MEn the 60s had to offer.

      But it is nice you were able to suppress that rage and enjoy the movie.

      We all know that when CLaremont and Wein cameoed in Days of Future Past you jumped up and yelled... "HEY I KNOW THOSE GUYS!"

      And when people said you were ruining the movie you just told them, "no I'm not, that's Len and Chris!"

      Ah pre-Pandemic movie theaters. A magical place.

      More importantly,if Mr. Miracle was based on Bewitched, does that Make Darkeid Endora? Since Moorehead was also a voice in Charlotte's Web, does that make the Black Racer Templeton? Since Templeton was voiced by Paul Lynde, does that Also make the black Racer Uncle Arthur?

      I look forward to your thoughts on these most pressing topics of our time.

      Also, when do we get the favorite 80s TZ episode list?


    15. Maybe Granny Goodness is Endora...? Darkseid's too...dark, even for Agnes Moorehead!

    16. Since Peter and Ben passed themselves off as cousins, the sitcom you're looking for is clearly THE PARTY DUKE SHOW.

      "Where Reilly lives in total squalor
      A run down flat for his parlor
      Parker's got a brownstone house
      A supermodel is his spouse!

      They say they're cousins, identical cousins & you'll find
      They flip alike and THWIP! alike
      At times they even quip alike

      You can lose five years
      When your "cousin" is genetically engineered


    17. You really Don't want to see Darkseid show up in a Boom Tube and ask Barda, "You're not still married to Derwood, are you? You should come back home to the Furies and marry a nice Parademon. Being a superhero is so dreadfully boring!"?


    18. "They flip alike and THWIP! alike/At times they even quip alike"? Perfection, David. Perfection!

      (And aren't you way too young to know THE PATTY DUKE SHOW?)

    19. That really was the flavor of my old MR. MIRACLE series, David. "Dad's coming to visit?" And it's Highfather. Scott's family doctor shows up...and it's Doctor Bedlam. "Your cousins are here..." And it's the Forever People.
      All while they were trying to maintain some semblance of a "normal" suburban life.

    20. Whoops! I didn't mean that last comment for David, it was for Jack! (Not that David can't read it, too!)

    21. What can I say? When I was a kid I watched a LOT of reruns.

      I loved classic television and it was fascinating to see its history play out. I got to watch DOBY GILLIS and GILLIGAN'S ISLAND one right after the other. Or catch an episode of STAR TREK followed by TZ's "Nightmare at 30,000 Feet."

      Time and timelessness, all at once.


    22. DOBIE GILLIS? That's a deep cut!

      I guess it's the same as me watching LITTLE RASCALS, ABBOTT AND COSTELLO. THE THREE STOOGES and THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN when I was growing up.

      The magic of reruns!

    23. You once said I was too young to know the Patty Duke show, and I am pretty sure I am younger than David.

      And didn't you once say on this site that your daughter used the Jack Benny Show to get an A- on a Math test or something?

      If that glorified boy band of Mop-tops from England can still be on the radio in 2021, I think the American artistic Magnum Opus that was the Patty Duke Show has at least a fair shot of being remembered.

      "Meet Cathy, who's lived most everywhere from Zanzibar to Berkley's square. Patty's only seen the sights a girl can see from Brooklyn Heights"

      "A hot dog really makes her lose control."

      Poetry that puts the sonnetts of Shakespear to shame.

      Why would that not be known? Only that genius could be how it pierces time.

      It is not like Baby Boomers were the first generation to quickly become nostalgic for the mass media, and that the combination of being told they would change the world by older generations and being the first true prime demographic for adverting and media consumption would have an effect.

      Am I supposed to believe that those attributes made them view reruns as a massive point of cultural importance? That they kept culture at least aware of all of it by deeming it of such importance as they gained influence, that was expanded by the notably small demographic called Generation X, Allowing fewer challenges? That those Madison Ave. campaigns circling around them, the much publicized 'generational divide' between those before and After exemplified by the slogan "don't trust anyone over 30"...lead to a subconciouss fear of aging in maybe baby boomers?

      That that caused them to hold power in all forms so tightly? Which in turn kept reruns of the 50s, 60s and 70s in near constant rotation for 40 years, leading to multiple stations showing almost nothing but them?

      That is ridiculous Dmeatteis. And it certainly has NOTHING to do with them having kids, and seeing shows from THEIR youth as a safe and enjoyable pass time to share, as all of this happened.

      It is because Masterworks like Patty Duke are mankinds greatest achievements. They are what we send out to space, so aliens know we are more than a new fom of cattle to them.

      I hope you can abandon these WILD conspiracy theories of why people born after the 60s ended know it.


    24. Both my kids are Benny fanatics because their father had the good sense to expose them to classic radio shows at a young age.

      And, yes, THE PATTY DUKE SHOW is certainly one of humankind's greatest achievements. A profound exploration of the duality in the human soul, and the shocking power of the hot dog.

  4. I'm subscribed to Marvel Unlimited and I'm probably gonna read this book. I haven't really been thrilled with Marvel's current output and have mainly been sticking to older stuff. Without getting too much into specifics, part of it's involved disillusionment with some of the creators whose work I used to really enjoy. Trouble is, I just can't avoid thinking about what lowered them in my esteem when I read their stuff most of the time. With you, that isn't a problem, and with luck it never will be. :)

    I'd also like to ask whether or not it's okay to leave a comment in the post from five years ago or so where you tell the story of how you came to the end of your run on Captain America. I just recently finished that, and would love to weigh in, but I mean...five years, y'know? I could just comment anyway I guess, assuming it wouldn't be a problem since comments for that one aren't closed, but I wanted to make sure.


    1. Feel free to comment on ANY post, Rob. Blogger sends me notifications, so I'll be able to see it and respond.

      Hope you enjoy the new Ben series!