Spider-Man and X-Men’s Most Notorious Clones Are Finally Teaming Up

Spider-Man and X-Men's Most Notorious Clones Are Finally Teaming Up

The ending of the Spider-Man story “Lost in the Mail” reveals a big twist, Ben Reilly as Chasm is now working with the X-Men villain Madelyne Pryor!

Warning: Spoilers for FCBD 2022: Spider-Man/Venom ahead!

The ending of the Free Comic Book Day 2022: Spider-Man/Venom story “Lost in the Mail” revealed that Peter Parker’s clone Ben Reilly, in his new villainous identity as Chasm, is teaming up with the X-Men villain Madelyne Pryor in the upcoming Dark Web event. Ben Reilly and Madelyne Pryor are both clones of major Marvel characters who have experienced great traumas, making their team-up together actually make a whole lot of sense.

Ben Reilly’s shocking heel turn into the evil Chasm has come as a surprise for fans of the Spider-Man clone, as it seemed like he had finally found redemption and purpose in the pages of the most recent Amazing Spider-Man run. Clearly his trauma over being just a copy of Peter has gotten the best of him. Similarly, Madelyne Pryor was only just revived on Krakoa after being dead for some time and it seems like she might have returned as her non-demonic human self…for about one page, before it became clear that it was indeed the Goblin Queen who had been resurrected by the X-Men.

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Both Ben and Madelyne’s biggest stories came in the ’80s and ’90s, with Pryor starring in Inferno while Reilly was at the center of the much-aligned Clone Saga. It seems like the upcoming Dark Web event will be a fascinating combination of these two major plots. The FCBD 2022: Spider-Man/Venom story “Lost in the Mail” – written by Zeb Wells with art by John Romita Jr. and Scott Hanna – features the newly healed Peter Parker battling a mailbox that has come to life, seemingly possessed by a demonic entity. Clearly this is a reference to 1989’s Inferno event that saw the Goblin Queen and the Limbo demon N’astirh turn New York City into a living hellscape, transforming inanimate objects into horrifying monsters. Watching on as Spider-Man struggles against the mailbox is Ben Reilly who remarks, “That was fun!” to Madelyne. The Goblin Queen responds by saying that this is only a small demonic possession, and she has a whole army of demons behind her who will gladly work for her. Chasm looks up to the Goblin Queen saying, “I think we’re gonna make a great team, Madelyne,” to which Pryor responds, “I should hope so, Ben… we have a lot in common,” referencing their clone identities and villainous trajectories.

Madelyne Pryor is a clone of Jean Grey who was created by Mister Sinister to conceive a baby with Scott Summers aka Cyclops, creating an all powerful mutant offspring. She was quickly corrupted by N’astirh after Scott abandoned her and their son Nathan when Jean returned from the dead. Similarly, Ben was created by another villainous mad scientist, the Jackal, as a clone of Peter Parker, and for a long period of time has operated on and off as Spider-Man. Ben clearly feels like he deserves his own life and identity, just like Pryor’s feelings around her relationship to Jean. The team-up between Chasm and the Goblin Queen was actually hinted at months ago when Ben Reilly fought the newly introduced Queen Goblin during the “Beyond” arc, with him remarking to Queen Goblin that he was pretty sure the X-Men actually had a much scarier Goblin Queen. Madelyne Pryor is set to appear in the upcoming arc of New Mutants “The Trials of Magik,” where she and Illyana Rasputina will fight for control of Limbo, and this story with Ben suggests that Madelyne might win and regain her status as the ruler of the hell-like dimension.

While some fans are not happy at Ben Reilly’s shift towards villainy, his burgeoning partnership with Madelyne is pretty exciting. Along with Moira MacTaggert kidnapping Mary Jane Watson, the team-up of Ben Reilly and Madelyne Pryor makes it apparent that the worlds of Spider-Man and the X-Men are becoming more and more entangled.

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About The Author

Alex Schlesinger
(295 Articles Published)

Alex Schlesinger is a freelance Comics News writer for Screen Rant. While his career is in social work, one of his biggest passions is reading and writing about comic books. While Alex loves to write about all things comics, the X-Men will always hold a special place in his heart.

Alex lives in Seattle with his fiancé Zach and their two cats Jasper & Harley. When not writing Comics News he is cooking, baking, reading science fiction, and travelling around the Pacific Northwest.

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