REVIEW: ‘Ben Reilly: Spider-Man,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Ben Reilly Spider-Man #2 - But Why Tho

Ben Reilly: Spider-Man #2 is published by Marvel Comics, written by J. M. Dematteis, Art by David Baldeón, colors by Israel Silva, and letters by Joe Caramagna. With Ben Reilly’s return, Peter Parker departs New York and allows Ben to serve as Spider-Man in his stead. Creating a new life yet again, Reilly defeats Carrion and returns him to Ravencroft Asylum. At home, he is woken up by Scorpion inside his own bedroom. In this issue, Reilly and Scorpion battle across New York with surprising results. But he also tries to make changes in his personal life.

The structure and placement of the plot for this second issue are fascinating. The actual events are taking place straight after the last chapter Reilly and Ac Gargan Launch themselves across the city. But the narration is coming after the fact as Ben is interrogated on the encounter with Dr. Kafka, One of the doctors at Ravencroft. This is a clever tactic as it allows for a transition into the second part of the comic. The actual fight itself is excellent, intense, and fraught with anger. It draws the readers into action before progressing the story. DeMatteis brilliantly laces exposition alongside the combat, showing that they don’t necessarily have to take place separately. 

The second half of Ben Reilly: Spider-Man #2 has much more character development as Reilly tries to make friends and move forwards with his life. This part of the comic is lighter than the dark and violent beginning and the first issue, Showing that the tone of this series has the potential to shift. There is a superb twist early in this issue that changes the face of the whole comic, making it difficult to truly trust anything on the page.

It has been a long time since Ben Reilly has been the lead of a comic. The writer is excellently reintroducing him to classic fans whilst introducing him to newcomers. And the important thing to stress is that this version of Ben Reilly is not finished. He is angry, pent up, and broken by Jackal’s machinations of his life. Through this trauma, he has lost the sense of humor or joviality that Peter Parker has. Bt the script shows that he is attempting to be nicer, to make friends. We are at the start of that journey but it is deeply investing. The references to Ben’s past may not always be easy to grasp and it does have an impact on this story. 

The art by Baldeón is amazing. The artist expertly captures the chaos and the speed at which the battle takes place. As Spider-Man and Scorpion fight they are constantly moving, depicted by the motion lines. The panels range from being small to large, crashing splash pages Within Gargan’s design is a merging of his classic look and something different. As for Reilly himself, the suit is new and unique. When it slows down the art remains interesting and beautiful. The emotions from the facial expressions are easy to read and entertaining, exaggerated without being ridiculous. 

The colors are gorgeous. It could be suggested that Ben Reilly: Spider-Man #2 is visually a dark comic, and that is frequently the case. Even in the green of Scorpion’s armor of the red and blue of Spider-Man’s uniform, the shades are dulled. But the sky in the opening half is stunning, an amalgamation of blues, pinks, and purples. There is experimentation with lighting and spotlights, and metal can gleam and shine. Dark and vibrant can coexist. 

The lettering is dynamic and easy to follow for much of the issue. During the opening altercation with Scorpion, there is a dialogue that appears over the top of the action. But the text is easy to read and the flow is fine

Ben Reilly: Spider-Man #2 is a terrific second part. The best thing about this issue, in particular, is it demonstrates just how different Ben is going to be than Peter is as Spider-Man. From his personality to his mental state to even the relationship between protagonist and plot, this is a unique hero. DeMatteis didn’t just replace Peter Parker in a like-for-like swap, this is a story about one of the most unique and beloved characters in comics. 

Ben Reilly: Spider-Man #2 is available where comics are sold.


Ben Reilly: Spider-Man #2
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TL;DR

Ben Reilly: Spider-Man #2 is a terrific second part. The best thing about this issue, in particular, is it demonstrates just how different Ben is going to be than Peter is as Spider-Man. From his personality to his mental state to even the relationship between protagonist and plot, this is a unique hero. DeMatteis didn’t just replace Peter Parker in a like-for-like swap, this is a story about one of the most unique and beloved characters in comics.