We finally conclude the most interesting and best story arc in the Amazing Spider-man Comics in a long time - Who was Ben Reilly? The story build up for the whole Who was Ben Reilly? was fantastic. So much so, that I dare say fans like myself were expecting slightly more from it.
Summary The Spider-man 610 preview leaves us where Kaine comes into the picture and is ready to kill Peter in exchange for Damon being able to cure Kaine's degenerative condition. Like the rest of the Who was Ben Reilly? stories, ASM 610 has two stories carrying on simultaneously.
The preview, also shows Kaine strangling Ben in Damon's house. The next scene shows Ben retaliating and pushing Kaine into the fire. In the short time Ben escapes from Kaine, he searches the house for Damon who is back to his sanity and can't seem to remember what he has done.
Back in current time, Raptor decides to set Aunt May's house on fire to make Peter ( whom he thinks is Ben) realize how it feels to have his family burn.
The story shifts again and it is learned that Damon, in his insanity had killed his own family, but cannot recall the event.
Remember how screwball kept appearing is ASM 608 and 609? Well apparently there was a reason for it all. The last we see screwball making an open invitation on media to challenge Spider-man one on one. Apparently Peter agreed and set the location as Aunt May's house. With Screwball as a distraction, Peter gets his cousins and Harry out of the house and changes into Spider-man.
He knocks Screwball out and deals with Damon himself. Unfortunately he forgot about Kaine, who caught him from behind and unmasked him in front of Damon. At this point even Kaine tries to explain to Damon that Peter and Ben are different. Kaine then stands and watches as the two set things straight themselves ( by fighting and talking ).
The immediate next scene is the same one from the ASM Sneek peek.
Going back to the past, Damon does not believe he killed his own family and blames it on Ben. Kaine later appears and explains to Ben how he wants to watch and see how Ben handles the situation. Ben obviously saves the knocked out Damon instead of leaving him there to burn.
It is basically a Deja vu for Damon as he get knocked out again by Peter, who webs him up for the cops. Unfortunately, Peter, as usual is the one caught by the cops. Being so busy webbing up his face to protect his identity, he does not notice that Kaine, Screwball and even Damon have all disappeared. He decides to follow their example and make a run for it.
The final scene shows Raptor admitting to Kaine that he had lied when he said he was able to cure him.
One thing for certain is that, nothing big or important has changed as a result of this arc. For example:
- Ben Reilly remains dead
- In fact, Reilly remains exactly as he was, an innocent who was dead. There was nothing revealed about "Who was Ben Reilly" that we did not already know. Except that he worked with Ryder
- Peter Parker somehow manages to retain his secret identity, except for Damon who sees him unmasked.
- Kaine kills Damon ( leaving us with no one out of the ordinary knowing Peter's identity )
- The whole story took place without Aunt May, which leaves me wondering why they even showed a short panel of Aunt May during her holiday with JJ. Sr. in ASM 608
- Aunt May's house is burned
- Harry might get suspicious about Peter's identity
- Nothing else.
One interesting point to note is that while explaining the difference between Ben and Peter to Damon, Kaine referred to Peter as Ben's clone. What was his intention in that?
Another question I found myself asking was if Damon was really dead. There is a scene where Kaine, in an attempt to encourage Damon to kill Peter, states that Peter is Ben's clone and therefore is capable of killing his family as well. Peter later refers to this statement and admits that he is whoever Ben was, and will therefore keep him alive.
Taking this into consideration, Kaine too is both Peter and Ben. The last scene of Kaine killing Damon is not quite solid enough to say Damon is actually dead. Kaine may have simply punished him severely.
Regardless, this was a very good story. Rating: 8/10
Read the review for Amazing Spider-Man 611