Spider-Man: Crawl Space #12 “Return of the Scarlet Spider” By Kevin Cushing
NEW Scarlet Spider cover by David “Hambone” Crim and Brandon DP:
Ben Reilly Spider-Man cover by Donovan Morgan Grant and Brandon DP:
Spider-Carnage cover by Daniel Maynor and Brandon DP:
Classic Scarlet Spider cover by Enigma_2099 and Brandon DP:
Spider-Mask cover by Gerard Delatour II and Brandon DP:
Lost Years cover by Dion Hamill:
Ben Reilly cover by Ted Brandt and Olly Stephen:
Spider-Clone cover by Sebastien “cbasfrench” Roy and Brandon DP:
This issue is dedicated to Zach “Spideydude” Joiner. Zach is the co-creator and webmaster of Spideydude.com and the host of the Clone Saga Chronicles Podcast. There is no bigger fan of the Clone Saga and Ben Reilly than Zach Joiner. He has been a good friend since I came to the Crawl Space in 2005, and his love of the Clone Saga has definitely gone a long way toward fostering and growing my own. My first Spider-Man comics ever were the four parts of the “Revelations” arc that ended the Clone Saga, so I already had an affection for Ben Reilly as a character, but without Zach I may never have gone back to read the entire Clone Saga and develop that affinity into a true respect and love of the character. Zach and his cohorts on the Clone Saga Chronicles Podcast - Josh Bertone, Gerard Delatour, Donovan Morgan Grant, Brandon DP, and Jason (literally half of which contributed art to this issue) - have done an amazing job of putting out a podcast dedicated to going through every issue of the Clone Saga that is both entertaining and informative, helping to refresh me on the events and the characters involved, and also inform me of some of the things going on behind the scenes that informed the content of the comics. Their podcast has been a great help to me in preparing to introduce Ben Reilly into Spider-Man: Crawl Space. So a big thank you to each one of them as well. But without Zach, none of this would have come to pass. So this issue is rightfully dedicated to Mr. Joiner, with my thanks for his friendship and his crusading for Ben Reilly that have both helped lead me to this point. This one’s for you, brother.
Previously in Spider-Man – ESU Professor Miles Warren had an unhealthy obsession with his student, Gwen Stacy. When Gwen was killed in a battle between Norman Osborn (the original Green Goblin) and Spider-Man, Warren blamed Spider-Man for her death. The event pushed him over the edge, and he became a supervillain known as the Jackal. Secretly bankrolled by a not-so-dead Norman Osborn, the Jackal cloned Spider-Man and forced the original and the clone into a battle to prove who was the genuine article. Following this battle, Spider-Man believed his clone (and the Jackal) dead, but the clone survived. Feeling lost after discovering he was ‘not human,’ the clone set out on the road intending to leave Peter alone with his life. The clone took the name Ben Reilly - Ben for Peter’s Uncle Ben and Reilly after Peter’s Aunt May’s maiden name. But five years later, Ben was drawn back to Manhattan by the failing health of Aunt May, who he still thought of as his own Aunt, since he possessed all the memories of Peter Parker up until the cloning. Ben was soon drawn back into the superhero game, donning a makeshift costume and being dubbed “The Scarlet Spider” by the Daily Bugle. But with Peter and Ben reunited, Norman Osborn (still believed dead) and the Jackal’s (also not as dead as believed) manipulations continued, convincing Peter and Ben that Ben was actually the original Peter Parker and Peter was the clone. For a time, Peter and Mary Jane seemed to go off into the sunset together as Ben took over the role of Spider-Man. But his moment in the sun would be short lived when Norman Osborn finally made his return, killing Ben Reilly and revealing once and for all that Peter was the one true Peter Parker – the one true Spider-Man.
Previously in Spider-Man: Crawl Space – The death of Aunt May kicked off a series of events that ended with Peter and Mary Jane reversing their deal with Mephisto, restoring the original timeline with all but Spider-Man’s public unmasking intact. Those that found out in any other way still know his identity.
Harry Osborn returned from the dead in secret years ago. He has recently returned to New York, his first act being to kill his father, Norman Osborn, and crown himself the Goblin King.
In Norman Osborn’s will, he unexpectedly bequeathed all of his worldly possessions, including his controlling share in Oscorp and the position of Chairman and CEO, to Peter Parker. Peter has accepted the position and taken control of the company.
Harry Osborn unleashed a huge army of Spider-Man clones on New York City, prompting a battle that drew the Black Cat (aka Felicia Hardy) to the aid of the real Spider-Man. Black Cat was seriously injured in this battle, sustaining numerous life-threatening injuries.
In a secret vault underneath Peter Parker’s office at Oscorp (formerly the office of Norman Osborn), Mary Jane Parker and a clone of Harry Osborn (though he doesn’t know he’s a clone) found a damaged Cosmic Cube. The Harry clone stole a Goblin Glider from that same vault and brought it to Peter Parker in the midst of battle.
Peter Parker used the Cosmic Cube not only to break down every clone attacking New York City into degenerated dust, but also to merge their remains into one specific clone – Ben Reilly. His intention was to get rid of the clones and then use the Cube to heal the Black Cat and repair the damage to New York, but upon merging the clones into Ben, the already damaged Cube shattered.
Meanwhile, Carlie Cooper and Flash Thompson have begun a fledgling romance, the Daily Bugle building was destroyed with no money left to rebuild it, and Mary Jane Parker has not yet gotten a job since returning to New York.
*This issue’s soundtrack: “Feeling Good” by Muse. Mixing the classic jazz sensibilities of the song originally recorded by Nina Simone with their own starkly modern rock style, Muse’s cover of “Feeling Good” is the perfect musical expression of the return of the Scarlet Spider. Blending the now-classic character of Ben Reilly into the starkly modern world of Spider-Man: Crawl Space, it can truly be said, “It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me.” And that may apply to someone you’re not expecting, as well…
Panel 1: In silhouette (all black background with Ben and the bottle in all white), we see Ben Reilly unscrewing the cap from a bottle. In the outline, there is a towel around his neck. BEN CAP: ‘Hey. Been a few years. How ya been?’
Panel 2: In silhouette, we now also see a sink. Ben is leaning over the sink, pouring liquid from the bottle over his hair. BEN CAP: No, that’s not gonna work.
Panel 3: In silhouette, we see Ben, still leaning over the sink, brushing the towel over his hair. BEN CAP: ‘Yo, wassup?’
Panel 4: In silhouette, we see Ben, still leaning over the sink, running his fingers through his hair. BEN CAP: Nah, don’t wanna try too hard to use the modern lingo. Always comes off forced.
Panel 5: In silhouette, from behind, we see Ben popped up and looking in a mirror (which we can now also see in white silhouette in front of him). BEN CAP: Better to keep it simple.
Panel 1: Full page. Int. The small upstairs bathroom of the Parker home. No more silhouette. We clearly see, as if we are the mirror, Ben Reilly looking right at us. His hair has been bleached. He has a towel hanging around his neck, and we can see he is wearing a white tank-top. He has a big smile on his face. BEN: Hey, I’m Ben Reilly. Remember me?
Panel 1: Ext. Night. The roof of the Parker home. Ben Reilly is not actually sitting on the roof, rather sticking with his feet outside an upstairs window. It’s a subtle difference, as it would appear he was simply crouched on the roof to anyone looking from below. BEN CAP: Remember me?
Panel 2: Same, but Peter Parker has stuck his head out the window to look at Ben. PETER: Ya know, when you said you were going out, we kinda thought you were going a bit farther. BEN: I planned to. I don’t really know what to do with myself.
Panel 3: Peter is climbing out the window to join him. He’s carrying a backpack with him in his hand. BEN: Every time I think of somewhere to go, someone to see, I wonder if I really should.
Panel 4: Peter is now sticking on the other side of the window, mirroring Ben. PETER: This isn’t going to be one of those “am I a man or a clone?” snooze fests, is it?
Panel 5: Ben and Peter are laughing as Ben smacks Peter in the shoulder. BEN: Am I that much of a jerk? PETER: It’s in the genes, brother.
Panel 1: Ben looks out at the world in thought as Peter looks on. BEN: No, I put that to rest a long time ago. I just –
Panel 2: Ben is looking over at Peter to speak directly to him. BEN: I have a whole new life, ya know? Literally. I just have to wonder if I’m really supposed to jump back into the old one – the one where everybody I ever knew thinks I’m dead – or make a clean break. BEN: If I’m ever going to do that, now’s the time.
Panel 3: Ben looks out at the sky again. BEN: I just don’t wanna do the wrong thing here.
Panel 4: Peter speaks seriously to Ben, but with a smile. PETER: Well, I guess it’s just a matter of – what’s the point of life? PETER: Ya ask me, it’s taking care of the people you love, being with the people that love you, and doing good where you can.
Panel 5: Peter has reached over to put his hand on Ben’s shoulder. PETER: So go see the people that you miss. Go see the people that you know miss you. And don’t pretend they don’t exist. You know better.
Panel 6: Ben’s head is turned slightly towards Peter’s direction, but not looking directly at him. BEN: And doing good where I can? You telling me to slip back into the old hoodie? PETER: God no. Nobody wants to see that hoodie again.
Panel 1: Peter is handing the backpack he brought out with him to Ben, smiling. PETER: Try this on.
Panel 2: Ben has pulled the new Scarlet Spider costume (as seen on this issue’s main cover) half out of the backpack. BEN: I don’t know, Peter. Wearing one of these things killed me last time. I’m not sure I’m ready to jump back into one. PETER: I get that. But you didn’t have that costume last time.
Panel 3: Focus in on Peter, looking slightly down as he tells this story. PETER: When we talked about all the stuff that’s happened in the past few years while you were gone – you remember me telling you about me, MJ, and Aunt May being on the run from the law when everybody knew my identity? BEN (op): Hard to forget.
Panel 4: Pretty much the same, but Peter has a little smile on his face. PETER: Well, Aunt May had this idea to make me a bunch of different variant Spider-Man costumes to wear, thinking maybe we could convince the law that there were different Spider-Men running around, and whichever one I was dressed as wasn’t me.
Panel 5: Peter, still with a faint smile, is looking over at Ben now. PETER: We never got to implement it before – well, before everything changed. But one of the first ones she thought of was the Scarlet Spider. She really liked your costume. Thought the color looked “sharp.”
Panel 1: Peter is laughing now. PETER: Anyway, she was going to make me a Scarlet Spider costume just like your old one. But MJ, fashion critic that she is, said she would not let me out of the house wearing a Spider-Hoodie.
Panel 2: They’re both laughing, almost to the point of crying.
Panel 3: They’ve composed themselves, but they’re both still smiling. PETER: So MJ designed that one out of the Scarlet Spider and your version of the Spider-Man costume. That big spider symbol was pretty cool, by the way. Kudos.
Panel 4: They’re both pretty nostalgic now, with Ben almost to the point of tears. PETER: Point is, that costume you’re holding now was designed by Mary Jane and made – by hand – by Aunt May. That costume has incredible love built into it. Wear that, and you’re carrying May’s spirit with you at all times. I can’t think of a safer feeling.
Panel 5: Focus on Ben, looking down at the backpack, which he’s holding a strap of in each hand (and has put the costume back inside it). BEN: Thanks, Pete. I’ll…think about it. I’ll keep it with me.
Panel 1: Full page. Ext. Night. Ben Reilly, wearing the same street clothes as before but now also wearing the new Scarlet Spider mask and the webshooters, with the backpack on his back, is swinging through the night sky. BEN CAP: “Right now I think I’ll use these handy dandy webshooters and go for a swing. Clear my head.
Panel 1: Int. The Parker home. Wide shot of the upstairs bathroom. On the left, we can see the bathroom door, where MJ is leaning, looking at the window, which we see on the right of the panel, and Peter is climbing back in it. MJ: How’s Ben? PETER: Oh, he was just sticking to the roof, wondering if he should start a new life. MJ: I have the strangest in-laws…
Panel 2: Peter has moved to MJ. This is a tight shot of the two of them, very close to each other, smiling. PETER: Have I told you my news? MJ: Is it that you found out you’re the clone and Ben’s going to be Spider-Man now? Because I will hit you over the head with a toaster. PETER: Well… MJ: A toaster.
Panel 3: Peter’s laughing as he takes her right hand in his left, as if to dance. PETER: No, no, none of that this time. This is good news.
Panel 4: Peter is slow dancing MJ out into the hallway. Peter is happy and MJ is excited. PETER: I, rich and powerful man that I am, have been invited to the mayor’s annual charity ball, for the low, low cost of an embarrassingly large donation. MJ: Oh my God, Peter, that’s incredible! When is it? PETER: Tomorrow night.
Panel 5: MJ is shocked and looks almost frantic as Peter, who is pretty calm, explains. MJ (burst): WHAT?! PETER: Well I haven’t been rich and powerful for very long, but apparently it would be considered a snub if I wasn’t there, so the mayor had a last-minute invitation hand-delivered today.
Panel 1: MJ is raving as Peter tries to wrangle his arms back around her. MJ: But I don’t have a dress! I need a fancy, glitzy, eye-poppingly gorgeous dress! PETER: Hey, you’ve got fashion connections and I’ve got a black American Express card. Don’t worry, we’ll make it happen.
Panel 2: Peter has successfully pulled MJ back closer to him. She has a playful look. MJ: You have a black American Express card? PETER: And I’ve got one being made for you, too.
Panel 3: MJ is walking away from him down the hall toward the bedroom, as Peter looks on with his arms still out as if she just burst out of them. MJ: Oh my God, I’ve got to start making calls right now!
Panel 4: MJ is gone, Peter is still standing in the hall, looking mock-forlorn. PETER: Is it too much for a husband to hope he’ll get lucky when he tells his wife he’s taking her to an exclusive dance party full of rich and famous people? Really?
Panel 5: Peter walks towards the bedroom. PETER: I hope I didn’t accidentally transfer my mojo to Ben with the Cosmic Doohickey…
Panel 1: Ext. Night. In front of the Parker home. Ben is handing some money into a cab in front of the house. Over his shoulder, we can see the back of Carlie Cooper standing at the Parkers’ door, knocking. PETER CAP: “…maybe he’s doing better tonight…” BEN CAP: Sending me out with used web-cartridges and no replacements. My brother the freakin’ comedian. BEN: Thanks for the lift, buddy. SFX: KNOCK KNOCK
Panel 2: Ben is leaning on the railing of the stairs to the Parkers’ front door, house keys in hand, smiling up at Carlie, who is still knocking on the stoop. SFX: KNOCK KNOCK BEN: Hey, gorgeous, can I let ya in?
Panel 3: Tight shot of Carlie’s face, as she’s turning to Ben, ready to chew out whatever random guy has walked up to her. CARLIE: Listen, a-
Panel 4: Same shot, but Carlie’s face is now wide-eyed and incredulous. CARLIE: Peter, what the hell did you do to your hair?!
Panel 5: Ben has moved up beside her, shaking her hand and smiling charmingly as she just looks up at him staring. BEN: Haha, Ben Reilly, actually. Peter’s cousin. Very single and possessing a key to this house I’m happy to use for you.
Panel 1: The same shot, but the door has been thrown open, and Peter stands in it, naked except for a towel around his waist, looking displeased to be disturbed. Ben still has Carlie’s hand, and the two’s heads are turned to Peter.
Panel 2: Same. CARLIE: Um, is MJ in? PETER: MJ’s very busy right now.
Panel 3: Peter looks at Ben, noticing Carlie’s hand in his. PETER: Ben, she’s dating Flash Thompson.
Panel 4: The door is closing, halfway shut. We can still see Peter throwing it closed. PETER: Night, all!
Panel 5: The door is closed, and the two haven’t moved. Still staring at the door, stunned by Peter’s quick appearance and disappearance.
Panel 6: Ben hasn’t moved, but Carlie has turned to look at Ben. Her hand is still in his. CARLIE: So, coffee?
Panel 1: Int. Day. The back of a high-class fashion shop. MJ is standing up on a pedestal wearing a stunning ball gown. There is a woman working with pins on the bottom of it, and a designer, FREDDIE, looking on. CAP: The next morning. MJ: Freddie, dear, who do I have to kill to get a coffee around here? It’s way too early in the morning to be standing up straight for this long. FREDDIE: You’d have to kill me if you think you’re getting coffee anywhere near that dress.
Panel 2: Similar, but Freddie has moved around, examining the dress. FREDDIE: And as I remember it, it was you that called me expecting a fabulous new gown in under 24 hours. MJ: Don’t spout truth and reason at me at this hour, Freddie. It’s unbecoming.
Panel 3: Again, Freddie has moved to a new spot. FREDDIE: Maybe you should have just done it yourself, darling. You always had an eye for design, after all, even if you were just modeling other peoples’ disasters. MJ: Oh, I’ve been out of the game for years.
Panel 4: Yes, Freddie’s moved again. FREDDIE: Still, there’s a show coming up in a few months and we just had a designer drop out. You’d be perfect for it. And God knows it would be nice to work with someone I like for a change.
Panel 5: Tight shot of MJ’s face, perking up with interest.
Panel 1: Int. Day. The Daily Grind coffee shop. Ben and Carlie sit across from each other in a booth by the window. Ben is looking at his watch. BEN: Holy crap, it’s half-past we’ve-been-here-way-too-long. You said you live close? CARLIE: It’s a couple blocks.
Panel 2: The two are getting up from their booth to go. BEN: Let me walk you home.
Panel 3: Close to the door, Shirley, the proprietor, is hugging Ben and smiling. Carlie waits by the door. BEN: Bye, Shirley. It was really good to see you again. I’m sure I’ll be back soon. SHIRLEY: You do that, Ben Reilly. I’m so happy you finally found your way home.
Panel 4: Close on Shirley and Ben’s faces as Shirley whispers in Ben’s ear and Ben smiles. SHIRLEY: And you hold onto that girl, now. Anybody that can hold your interest all night and through the morning just talkin’ is a keeper. BEN: Haha, I’ll make sure to keep that in mind.
Panel 5: Ben and Carlie are walking out the door together. Shirley looks on beside Buzz, a regular customer sitting at the counter reading a newspaper. SHIRLEY: Those two sure make a cute couple. BUZZ: Too bad she’s taken.
Panel 6: Shirley is turned to Buzz (who is still looking at his paper), a bit peeved. SHIRLEY: And how do you know that, Buzz? BUZZ: The most trustworthy source of news there is – eavesdropping.
Panel 1: Int. Day. A hospital room where Felicia Hardy (aka the Black Cat) is laying, unconscious, in a full-body cast, breathing through tubes. Peter is sitting by her bedside, distraught at her condition. PETER: I know ‘I’m so sorry’ doesn’t quite cover it.
Panel 2: Similar, closer in. PETER: As soon as I had gotten rid of the clones that were attacking us, I was going to heal you and then fix all the damage. Had I known it was going to shatter before I could –
Panel 3: Peter’s eyes are closed, a pained look on his face.
Panel 4: He’s somewhat composed himself, but he’s crying. PETER: I’m going to help you, Felicia. I’ll get all the top scientists and healers in the world in here, and we will fix you.
Panel 5: Farther away shot. Peter’s hand is on hers (in a cast). PETER: …we will fix you…
Panel 1: Int. Day. The new, very small office of the Daily Bugle. Ben Reilly is leaning back against a desk, talking to the gathered crowd of JJJ, Robbie, Betty Brant, and Ben Urich. BEN REILLY: - so I got out of the old Bugle office ok, but once I was on the street, I got hit right in the head by a piece of falling debris from the Green Goblin’s attack on the building across the street.
Panel 2: Similar. BEN REILLY: I didn’t have any ID on me, and when I woke up in the hospital, I couldn’t remember a thing. The terrible thing is, I’ve been in the city this whole time since then, I just had no idea who I was or who to contact.
Panel 3: Similar, with Robbie talking to Ben. ROBBIE: That’s incredible, Ben! But you’re ok now? BEN REILLY: Yeah, the doctors said I had a major breakthrough. I remembered pretty much everything, and I went and found Pete and MJ first thing. They’re letting me use the guest room at their place until I get on my feet.
Panel 4: JJJ is pontificating, as he does. JJJ: Pfft! You’d think since he became Parker Osborn – BEN REILLY (small): You know Parker’s his last name, right? JJJ: - that he’d be able to put you up in your own place!
Panel 5: Back to just Ben talking. BEN REILLY: Oh he wanted to. He actually offered me Osborn’s mansion, if you can believe that. But I don’t wanna live off of Pete’s charity. I need to carve out my own place now that I’m back to life…so to speak.
Panel 1: Robbie speaking again. ROBBIE: Well, Ben, we certainly need all the help we can get around here. We can’t pay much right now… BEN REILLY: Oh, that’s ok. If a man’s gotta work, what better work than helping good people rebuild an iconic institution? I’m sure the money’ll come.
Panel 2: Ben Reilly is walking with Robbie as Betty and Ben Urich go back to desks. JJJ is just sort of hovering near Robbie and Ben Reilly. BEN REILLY: So what do you need me to do? Snap some pics? ROBBIE: Well, with an internet news source – JJJ: *grumble grumble*
Panel 3: Robbie has turned to state this part directly to JJJ. ROBBIE: - which is much cheaper to start up – JJJ: *grumble* cheap alright *grumble*
Panel 4: Robbie has turned back to Ben. ROBBIE: - a video, even a brief one on a standard digital camera, is worth a thousand photos.
Panel 5: Robbie and Ben are shaking hands. ROBBIE: So what do you say? Videographer for dailybugle.com? BEN: You’ve got a deal!
Panel 1: Int. Night. Establishing shot. A large, glitzy, swanky ballroom. Everything in the room is expensive, with large chandeliers and huge, ornate windows, and it is full of wall-to-wall richly dressed people. There is a full string band and some people are dancing in the center of the room. Somewhere on the dance floor there is a redhead twirling around at the center of attention (MJ, though it’ll be too far away to really make her out outside of the red hair). To the right side, Peter Parker is dressed in a tux, talking to a good looking, rich, young, blonde man who will be called JARED TAYLOR. CAP: That night. CAP: The Mayor’s Charity Ball.
Panel 2: Closer on Peter Parker and Jared Taylor talking. Jared has a glass of champagne in his hand. Peter does not. MJ is running up to them, almost out of breath. MJ: Peter! You’ve got to get out on this dance floor with me!
Panel 3: Peter has put his arm around MJ’s back and extended his other hand towards Jared to make an introduction. MJ still looks giddy as a schoolgirl to be there. Jared smiles charmingly. PETER: MJ, this is Jared Taylor. He’s the founder of Taylor Charities. Jared, this is my wife, Mary Jane.
Panel 4: Jared has taken MJ’s hand and is kissing it. JARED: Absolutely enchanted, Mrs. Parker. I see now why Peter was invited.
Panel 5: MJ is clearly charmed herself, as Peter speaks amusedly to her. PETER: Jared was telling me that we’re the most hated guys in the room, both being CEOs in our twenties. MJ: Everybody in the room hates you? That should certainly make you feel more at home.
Panel 1: MJ gives a look of mock-concern to Jared. MJ: Oh, I haven’t been dancing around out there with everyone hating me this whole time, have I?
Panel 2: Jared, playing along, looks mock-consoling. JARED: Absolutely not. Only the women hate you, for being more beautiful and vibrant than them. MJ: I can live with that!
Panel 3: MJ is utterly carefree, and begins forcibly pulling Peter towards the dance floor. MJ: Come on, handsome. You took me to a ball, now you’ve gotta dance!
Panel 4: Peter laughs, and addresses Jared as he’s being pulled away. Jared extends his glass out in front of him toward Peter. PETER: Duty calls! Nice to meet you, Jared! JARED: You, too, Peter!
Panel 5: Tight shot of Jared from the chest up, putting his glass to his lips about to take a sip, staring on at the Parkers. JARED: You, too.
Panel 1: Ext. Night. The sidewalk outside a small camera store. Ben Reilly has just walked out of the door with a small digital video camera in hand. He is examining it. BEN CAP: Well, in one day I got a job, got a paycheck advance…and spent a paycheck advance.
Panel 2: Slightly wider shot (still not showing the sky). Ben is in the middle of the sidewalk now, still looking at the camera, oblivious to what’s going on around him. Everyone on the sidewalk around him is looking up and toward the left side of the panel at something in the sky. About half of them are pointing. BEN CAP: Yep, I feel like a real, live New Yorker again.
Panel 3: Ben has noticed the motion around him, and is looking around to see what’s going on. BEN: What’s everybody looking - ?
Panel 4: Tight on Ben, who is looking up and toward the right of the panel (as the thing everyone’s looking at has moved). There is stark shock on his face. BEN: No.
Panel 5: Wide panel across the bottom of the page. We’re looking at the sky now, seeing what those below were looking at – The Green Goblin. He is cackling and flying on his glider toward the right side of the panel. GREEN GOBLIN (burst): HA HA HA HA HA!!!
Panel 1: Ben is running towards a dark alley, pulling the backpack from his back, a determined look on his face. BEN CAP: Hell no.
Panel 2: Crouched behind a dumpster in the alley, Ben has most of the Scarlet Spider costume on already, and has the mask in his hands, about to put it on. He looks outright pissed. BEN CAP: You think you can kill me –
Panel 3: In full costume, Ben is sticking up high on one of the walls of the alley, webbing the backpack to it. BEN CAP: - and just fly around laughing?
Panel 4: Largest panel on the page. The Scarlet Spider swings through the air on a web, but not in a remotely carefree sort of way. SCARLET SPIDER: Hell no.
Panel 1: Int. Night. The Mayor’s Charity Ball. In the middle of the floor, Peter and MJ are dancing, smiling, and enjoying themselves. PETER: It’s nice to see you really in your element again. MJ: Well maybe the CEO of Oscorp can afford to take his wife dancing a little more often, then.
Panel 2: Closer on the two of them, tight into each other. MJ: And speaking of ‘in my element,’ I got an interesting offer today that –
Panel 3: Largest panel on the page. Focus on one of the large windows of the ballroom. The glass is shattering as the Green Goblin bursts in through it. Any of the crowd we can see below are screaming. CROWD (burst): AAAAAIIIIIIEEEEE!
Panel 4: The Green Goblin is flying right towards Peter, who has pushed MJ behind him to protect her. GREEN GOBLIN (burst): PARKER!
Panel 1: The Green Goblin has scooped up Peter by his shirt, holding him in one hand and flying him towards the opposite wall of the large room. GREEN GOBLIN: Peter Parker –
Panel 2: The Green Goblin has Peter pinned up against the wall, still high in the air, shirt still in his hand, and he is leaning in towards him, angry and yelling. GREEN GOBLIN (burst): - HOW DID YOU GET CONTROL OF MY COMPANY?!
Panel 3: Same, but the Green Goblin has turned his head to the side, hearing the voice behind him. Peter smirks, seeing who’s talking. SCARLET SPIDER (op): Hey Gobby!
Panel 4: The Scarlet Spider, flying through the air, is punching the Green Goblin across the face. The Green Goblin has lost his grip on Peter. GREEN GOBLIN (burst): GAH!
Panel 1: The Scarlet Spider is diving to catch Peter, who is falling to the ground. SCARLET SPIDER: Hold on, buddy!
Panel 2: Ben is on the ground, with his arms behind Peter’s back as if he caught him (though it’s just a show, as Peter really needed no help). PETER (small): Thanks for the show. SCARLET SPIDER (small): No problem.
Panel 3: The Scarlet Spider has let go of Peter, who is standing up just fine. SCARLET SPIDER: Are you ok, sir? PETER: Thanks, Scarlet Spider, you saved me! GREEN GOBLIN (op): Parker! Get back here!
Panel 4: The Scarlet Spider is crouched to leap, and Peter is behind him, looking around for an exit. SCARLET SPIDER (small): Now go suit up and we’ll finish this maniac together.
Panel 5: The Scarlet Spider has leapt into the air, poised to land a punch on the Green Goblin, who’s right in front of him. SCARLET SPIDER: Sorry, psycho, you’re gonna have to deal with me!
Panel 1: Int. Night. Carlie Cooper’s apartment living room. Flash is sitting in the corner of the couch, with Carlie lying down, her head resting on his leg. They are both looking at the TV. Nothing much on their faces.
Panel 2: Same. FLASH: So what were you out doing all night last night? CARLIE: Oh, nothing.
Panel 3: Same. CARLIE: Just hanging out with MJ. Girl talk.
Panel 4: Same. FLASH: Did you have a good time?
Panel 5: Tighter shot of Carlie, with a little smile on her face. CARLIE: Yeah. I think we did…
Panel 1: Int. Night. Back in the ballroom. The Scarlet Spider has one hand grabbing the Green Goblin’s costume, the other punching him in the face. SCARLET SPIDER: How are you back? What do you want?
Panel 2: The Green Goblin uppercuts the Scarlet Spider, and we are seeing the follow-through as the Scarlet Spider tumbles backwards. GREEN GOBLIN: I’m not here for you!
Panel 3: We now see Spider-Man, upside down, behind the Goblin’s head. SPIDER-MAN: How about me?
Panel 4: The Green Goblin has turned to see Spidey. GREEN GOBLIN: Park –
Panel 5: Spidey webs the Green Goblin’s face. SPIDER-MAN: Don’t care.
Panel 1: As the Green Goblin struggles with the webbing on his mask, the Scarlet Spider has popped back up and has his arm around the Green Goblin’s throat. Spider-Man is flipping around so as to not be upside down anymore. SCARLET SPIDER: How’d you do it, Norman? They told me you were dead! SCARLET SPIDER: Again!
Panel 2: As the Green Goblin and the Scarlet Spider still struggle in their same positions, Spider-Man has leapt around to stand on the glider in front of the Green Goblin. He is reaching towards the Goblin’s mask. SPIDER-MAN: I don’t know who this is, but it’s not Norman Osborn. Norman Osborn’s head was cut off.
Panel 3: Tight shot of Spider-Man’s hand grabbing the bottom of the Green Goblin’s mask, about to lift it up. SPIDER-MAN: Let’s see who you really are.
Panel 4: Tight shot of the Green Goblin’s head. The mask is lifted up just enough so we can see his true face, angry and crazed – and it’s the face of Peter Parker.
Panel 5: Wider shot of the three, with Spider-Man pulling the Green Goblin’s mask back down with one hand, and webbing up the seal with the other hand. SPIDER-MAN: Ok, let’s just leave that on, then!
Panel 1: The Green Goblin is thrashing at the Spider-Men, knocking loose the Scarlet Spider’s grip and forcing Spider-Man forward off the glider. GREEN GOBLIN (burst): GRRRAAAAAHHH!
Panel 2: The Green Goblin is flying back towards the broken window he came in, while Spider-Man and the Scarlet Spider quickly catch themselves on weblines after falling off their respective places on the glider. SCARLET SPIDER: Hey! I’m not done with you yet!
Panel 3: The Scarlet Spider is swinging towards the window (that the Green Goblin has already exited, we can just see the exhaust from the back of his glider trailing off now). Spider-Man is swinging perpendicular to him to catch him. SCARLET SPIDER: You think you can run from me?! SPIDER-MAN: Hey, Scarlet Spider!
Panel 4: The two Spiders drop to the ground, landing on their feet. SPIDER-MAN: We’ve got wounded people here from the flying glass that need our help. And it wasn’t Norman. SCARLET SPIDER: Then who the hell was it?
Panel 5: The two are moving to help some wounded people in the crowd, but still close enough to talk privately with each other. SPIDER-MAN: Good question. We’ll find out, though…
Panel 1: Ext. Night. The sky of New York. The Green Goblin is flying, blasting the webbing off of his mask with a sparkle blast from his finger. SPIDER-MAN CAP: “…I got a tracer on him.” GREEN GOBLIN: Damn it!
Panel 2: The webbing is off of the mask (mostly, traces are left behind, though), and the Green Goblin is looking all around him. GREEN GOBLIN: What is that damned buzzing?!
Panel 3: The Green Goblin looks at his forearm, noticing something. GREEN GOBLIN: Is that - ?
Panel 4: Small, tight shot of a spider-tracer on the Green Goblin’s forearm.
Panel 5: Same exact panel size and shot, but now we see the tracer shattering to pieces from an incoming sparkle blast.
Panel 6: The Green Goblin is flying off into the night. GREEN GOBLIN: So that’s what that feels like…
Panel 1: Int. Night. The hospital room of Felicia Hardy. There is a figure in the shadowy corner of the room near the open window, but it can’t be made out yet. Felicia is still unconscious. FIGURE: Ms. Hardy, you have been wronged. I am sorry for what’s happened to you.
Panel 2: As the figure begins to step out of the shadow, we can see the edges of a black leather trench coat and just a bit of an exposed white chest under it. FIGURE: And I am sure your friends will heal you, in time.
Panel 3: We can now see clearly, standing just beyond the shadow, Morbius. He is dressed in black pants and a black trench coat, with no shirt (exactly as he was in Legion of Monsters: Morbius). MORBIUS: But what then? What about next time? Can you truly feel safe ever again?
Panel 4: Morbius is right up next to Felicia’s bed now, whispering to her. MORBIUS: I can heal you. And I can do it faster. But even better – I can make it so you’re never a victim again.
Panel 5: Small panel, tight on Felicia’s eyes, which have shot open. They’re looking at Morbius earnestly.
Panel 6: Tight shot of both Morbius and Felicia. He is leaned over next to her head to whisper. There is a tear just coming out of the corner of one of her eyes. MORBIUS: Blink, if you can, if you agree.
Panel 7: Same small, tight shot as panel 5, but with Felicia’s eyes shut tight, blinking hard.
Panel 1: Int. Night. The small, dark bathroom of a seedy motel room. The Green Goblin stands in front of the mirror, in full costume, staring at himself.
Panel 2: He is pulling his mask off.
Panel 3: Mask completely off, with the face of Peter Parker he is staring himself in the mirror.
Panel 4: Same. GREEN GOBLIN: You are not Peter Parker.
Panel 5: Same. GREEN GOBLIN: You are the Green Goblin.
Panel 1: Same. GREEN GOBLIN: You are Norman Osborn.
Panel 2: Suddenly, violently, he has lashed out, punching the mirror and cracking the glass. GREEN GOBLIN: You are Norman Osborn!
Panel 3: He punches it again, hand and glass getting bloody. GREEN GOBLIN: You are Norman Osborn!
Panel 4: He punches it a third time, the glass completely shattering off of the mirror, with pieces stuck in his hand. GREEN GOBLIN (burst): I AM NORMAN OSBORN!
Panel 5: In a sudden, complete change of mood, his head is turned to the side with nothing but curiosity. SFX: DING DONG GREEN GOBLIN: Who could that be?
Panel 1: In the small, dark, dingy living room of the motel room, Norman Osborn (as he will now be referred to, though the art depicts Peter Parker), still in the Green Goblin costume except for the mask, is opening the door. We cannot yet see who is on the other side. NORMAN: Who is it?
Panel 2: Seeing from over Norman’s shoulder, we can now see a roughly-eighteen-year-old redhead girl staring up at him, her face emotionless. GIRL: This room was registered to Peter Parker. Are you him?
Panel 3: Change the angle to the side so we can see both their faces. NORMAN: Why, do you need my name to sell me cookies?
Panel 4: Largest panel. Focus completely on the girl, still blank-faced. GIRL: I’m your daughter.
Panel 5: Small, tight shot of Norman’s face. He’s shocked.
Panel 6: Dark, shadowy panel of Norman holding out his hand to welcome the girl in, with an evil smile on his face, and she is walking through the door. NORMAN: Well come on in, then, dear.
NEXT ISSUE: Spider-Man: Crawl Space Annual #1 is finally here! This issue boasts a full-length lead story and three short stories, each with their own original cover! The Birth of the Goblin King: In the full-length lead story, Harry Osborn’s secret history stands revealed. Follow his journey from the grave to the Brand New Day. What led to the birth of the Goblin King? Also in focus is Harry’s developing friendship with Morbius, which will have major ramifications in Crawl Space’s second year! Revenge of the Spider: The Punisher helped Spider-Man track down Aunt May’s killer in “Spider-Man: Black.” But what was the origin of this partnership? The Curse of Vin Gonzales: After Spider-Man beat the Death Rider in Spider-Man: Crawl Space #1, what happened to the Death Rider’s host, Peter’s former roommate, Vin Gonzales? The Death of Janine Godbe: Ben Reilly and Janine Godbe were in love. He convinced her to turn herself in to the authorities for murder. He told her he’d be there for her every step of the way. And then he died. Now that Ben Reilly is back, what comes next?
And head over to Spideydude.com, the web’s best source for Spider-Clones and Spider-Girls, to see Hambone’s gorgeous pencils for the cover of “The Death of Janine Godbe!”
AND THEN: When Crawl Space proper returns with issue 13, it’s “Cloned Souls Part 1.” Spider-Man, the Scarlet Spider, the original Green Goblin, Kaine, and…baby May?
"The ground quakes and the heavens cry tears of blood when Kevin gives out his brand of Crawlspace justice. Babies cry, grown men avert their eyes, women pass out and even the wind gives pause. Kevin’s eyes glow and lightning crackles around them. It’s pretty epic and definitely not for the timid." - Michael Bailey
Trashing The Hoodie: The Resurrection of The Scarlet Spider
And now, a look at the design process for the new Scarlet Spider costume!
When I decided to bring Ben Reilly back, I knew two things: 1) I wanted him to be the Scarlet Spider again, and 2) He would not be wearing a hoodie.
I also decided early on that the large spider symbol from Ben’s Spider-Man costume should be incorporated into the design, because it just looked damn cool. So I took this image of Ben as Spider-Man:
And used my extensive MS Paint skills to create this design template:
I sent that along to Hambone and basically said, “Do this.”
And so he did. This is the first sketch he sent me (all of these sketches he colored himself):
But he saw that it wasn’t quite enough, and so, in the same email, he also sent me this as a suggestion to further embellish the design:
Now, it doesn’t take an artist’s eye to see how freaking badass that looks. Hambone absolutely went above and beyond and took it to the next level. If you notice, not only did he extend the spider legs down Ben’s arms and legs, but he also put the Spider-Man-style black outline around the eyes, and that made a huge difference. But there was still one little thing bugging me – the half-boots. That was the one part of the Ben Reilly Spider-Man design I never really liked, and I didn’t really care for it here, either. So I asked him to send me something that fixes the problem. And since above and beyond is Hambone’s normal setting, he sent me four somethings:
Slave-driver that I am, I just wasn’t that into any of them, though. So I asked him to try just regular, completely full boots with a line going down the side, but remove the ‘crotch hugger’ interior line. Hambone, by this time, was understandably a bit sick of coloring them, so he sent me this mother freaking amazing pencil drawing:
And there it was! Absolutely perfect. And I actually loved it so much that I asked him to reuse it as the basis for one of the Annual covers, which you can see right now at Spideydude.com.
Finally, he made this color reference of the new costume for bdog:
And here are a couple of other fun pieces of sketchery. Hambone was designing the Crawl Space #12 cover (which was actually the first cover he completed for Crawl Space, since it had to be done as reference for all the variant artists) while we were working on the Scarlet Spider costume, so he did these two design sketches just plugging in the original Scarlet Spider costume as a placeholder:
Obviously the one on the left is the one we ended up going with, but I asked him to change the Scarlet Spider’s pose to feature the new costume more. He sent along this sketch:
But, if you remember the part about me being a slave-driver, I still had him modify it one more time. I asked that it be a straighter pose so the whole costume could be seen. By that time the new costume was finished being designed, so he used it to send me this final sketch:
And as you all have already seen, in the end, all this work resulted in this amazing cover by David “Hambone” Crim and Brandon “bdog” DP:
"The ground quakes and the heavens cry tears of blood when Kevin gives out his brand of Crawlspace justice. Babies cry, grown men avert their eyes, women pass out and even the wind gives pause. Kevin’s eyes glow and lightning crackles around them. It’s pretty epic and definitely not for the timid." - Michael Bailey