Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 will revive a decision that fans hated

Christopher Baggett
Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 cover showing Spider-Man between two masks.Marvel Comics

In the fallout to the X-Men’s Hellfire Gala Massacre, Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 is teasing the return of the evil Spider-Man, Chasm. Could the character’s return finally undo years of fan backlash?

Spider-Man’s Ben Reilly is a byproduct of the infamous Clone Saga, a ‘90s storyline that introduced many fans to the beloved character. Despite his death at the end of the story, fans hoped for Reilly’s return and got their wish in 2016’s Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy, which brought back Reilly from the dead as he began to replace heroes and villains with clones he could control.

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This storyline was the beginning of a recurring theme, where Reilly was written to have been turned evil after years of torture – something fans took issue with, as they genuinely loved Reilly.

2021’s Spider-Man Beyond storyline appeared to try and correct this, with Reilly replacing an injured Parker as Spider-Man for a year. But the story ends in tragedy again as Reilly’s memories are taken from him, driving him mad and turning him into the evil Chasm.

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Spider-Man’s hated evil clone might be returning

In the wake of Marvel’s most recent Hellfire Gala special, one controversial character may be making a grand return: Chasm, aka Ben Reilly. Previews of 2023’s Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 appear to show Reilly’s longtime love interest, Janine, turned into the villainous shapeshifter Hallow’s Eve during last year’s Dark Web event, freeing Reilly from the prison inside Madeline Pryor’s Limbo Embassy.

The issue is a tie-in to the 2023 Hellfire Gala, the X-Men event which saw many of Marvel’s iconic mutants slaughtered by their worst enemies.

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Hallows' Eve attempts to break out Ben Reilly/Chasm in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1.Marvel Comics
Hallows’ Eve attempts to break out Ben Reilly/Chasm in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1.

The return of Chasm is bound to be a source of controversy. Fans have notoriously hated the latest evil turn for Ben Reilly, with some Reddit users calling it “the dumbest thing Marvel has ever done.

Despite the turn, fans love Ben Reilly still, and it shows. He’s appeared outside of comics, including cameos on 1994’s Spider-Man: The Animated Series and being portrayed by Andy Samberg in Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse.

While many are against his evil turn, there are still others who are hoping for a heroic return for the former Spider-Man, and that turn could start here.

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Whether Hallow’s Eve manages to break Chasm out remains to be seen, as the preview also teases the Hellfire Gala’s fallout may not work entirely in her favor.

About The Author

Christopher Baggett started writing about comics on the Internet when he was 14 years old. Since then, he's written professionally for a host of sites, including ComicsBeat, Comic Book Resources, and The HomeWorld. He's most knowledgable about the legacy heroes of the '80s and '90s that he grew up with and believes Wally West is the best Flash - and he'll fight anyone over it. For tips, news, press and more, contact Christopher at christopher.baggett@dexerto.com