We’ve seen the death of Rick Jones at the hands of the Secret Empire firing squad, and authorised by Captain America. There seems no sign of him being brought back from the dead in any fashion. Or is there? And could Ben Reilly, Scarlet Spider hold the key?
The new series by Peter David and Will Sliney tells the continuing post-Clone Conspiracy story of Ben Reilly, a clone of Spider-Man without the social conscience, living it up in Las Vegas — which seems to also be in remarkably good shape considering the events of Secret Empire. Apparently that is meant to be addressed in an upcoming issue, with all the current events in the comic taking place before the Hydra takeover of the USA and the destruction of Las Vegas — and then showing what happened next.
But Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider #6, out this week, introduces a character who could make all the difference. Rick Jones’s wife, Marlo Chandler.
Created by Peter David and Jeff Purves for the Incredible Hulk comic in the 80s, Marlo Chandler was a Las Vegas fitness instructor and the girlfriend of the Hulk, masquerading in his Mr. Fixit guise as a heavy in Las Vegas. She would later become Rick Jones’s girlfriend, and then wife.
She was also killed, stabbed to death, but brought back to life by Jones using a machine of the Hulk villain The Leader. But as they pursued a talk show career as Keeping Up With The Joneses, it became clear that there was something about Marlo. And her revival meant that she had become a personification of Death.
This aspect would haunt her, giving her reality changing powers, and granting death and life to those around her.
She also split from Rick Jones, and became involved with Moondragon before reconciling with Rick.
She was also able to use her connections with Death to resurrect heroes. However that aspect was meant to have been taken away from her. Or was it?
In Scarlet Spider, she is seen in Las Vegas, following two random killers around the city…
…before narrowing in on Ben Reilly, the Scarlet Spider as someone she can use to get her work done.
But despite having the aspects of death removed from her, along with any of her powers, she still seems to be able to do something.
Reality-shifting powers still in evidence?
So whose job is it, Marlo? Are you death again? Do you still have her brush?
She is rather judgemental about those who do and do not kill. And as for her abilities…
…they still seem to be present. In Secret Empire, millions of Las Vegas residents and murdered by Hydra’s government attack on the Resistance. And Rick Jones. Could Marlo Chandler be a way to bring them back? Will she be a permanent part of the comic book going on? Or is she just…
Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider #6 by Peter David and Will Sliney is published this week by Marvel Comics.
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