So here is the follow-up to my previous Spider-Man Outline; did anyone grieve over the loss of Ben Reilly? Well, someone was missing grieving after his death (what was with me writing two depressing stories about people dealing with the loss of their loved ones? Was it because the comics I was reading didn’t appear realistic)?
Anyway, Ben Reilly had dated Jessica Carradine right before he died. However, he found out she was the daughter of the burglar that killed Uncle Ben, and she refused to believe he was a real criminal, calling his killing of Uncle Ben an accident, and stating that Spider-Man killed him (a very lose recalling of what actually happened when the criminal returned in Amazing Spider-Man #200). She eventually took photos of Spider-Man unmasking himself to reveal that he was her boyfriend. They argue multiple times, with her refusing to believe her father was a criminal and that Spider-Man was a hero, especially when he was possessed by Carnage. That storyline really pissed me off with her character, because she was glad Spider-Man was suffering with the symbiotic on him, but couldn’t see he was resisting it and telling her and everyone else to get away because he might accidentally kill them.
Eventually, she witnessed Spider-Man nearly die saving people in a burning building, realized she might have not been looking at the situations objectively, ran up to him and handed him the photos, then ran off. Ben is too weak to follow; he called out to her, but she had already vanished, never seen again.
So, here is my short follow-up story to Jessica reflecting on his death when she reads it in the news, because if there was one thing I never liked about comics, it was the way they abandoned characters. I wrote this my Freshman Year of High School.
Opens with Jessica on the internet, thinking about Ben Reily, who she used to love. She is tempted, rejects, then ultimately searches for his name online, only to find his obituary; “Ben Reily Falls To Death. Spider-Man Responsible?” Pic of Spidey carrying Ben to the roof.
Jessica remembers her father in prison.
“Listen baby, don’t worry. It wasn’t my fault. Some costume webs me up, and they think I did something wrong.” As a teenager, she cries because she heard he was a killer. “Don’t believe them, Jess. You father is no killer.”
Next, Jessica watching Spider-Man, then taking her first picture of him. “This one will rival Parker’s.” She sells the picture to Jameson. She sees Spidey swing overhead. “One day Spider-Man, I’ll take so many pictures of your unjust acts that the world will see that my dad was right; you set people up and take the money for yourself.”
Later, she hears from a cop that her dad is dead. Heart attack. They tell her Spider-Man was there, that he tried to break into the same house again. She blames Spider-Man, even when the cops say it was only a heart attack, it had been building for years.
Later, Jessica meets Ben Reily, similar to how she did in the 1995 comic books. They dine, dance. They sleep together. They walk in park. “He was perfect because he wasn’t.” He shows her Steward Trainers lab? “But then.”
Spidey taking of mask, replica of Blood Brothers cover. Her preparing camera, then after taking picture pulling back in shock.
Jessica’s shocked reaction in three panels.
She confronts him (like in old comics), then later sees him save some people in a burning building and realizes, that he isn’t like what her father said. He had nothing to gain, and only his life to lose. She gives him the pics and runs away as he screams her name. As she walks off, her right eye has a tear and her eyes are not visable. “Oh god. What does this say about my father?”
The Present: Jessica on the street where Ben died, looking at the pavement, holding the newspaper printout of the picture away from her, to the side. She just stares at the sidewalk. “I forgave you long ago.”
Picture of Ben and Jessica doing something fun. “But I never admitted that I still loved you.”
On way to Ben’s ‘grave’, Spider-Man is a few blocks away fighting criminals. She tries to run and talk to him, but he says, “No, no need to thank me. Just be sure to say I hired them to save my falling percentage in the hero polls.” “Wait,” she says, not yelling, but he has already jumped away. “Who was that anyway? Cousin, brother…it doesn’t matter.”
Umm…was there an ending here High School Shawn? I’m pretty sure I never edited this, and I also see that the real ending should probably he her either at Ben’s grave or the sidewalk where he died; both which should have been placed after her encounter with Spider-Man. Oh well. Well, so much for that character, she will most likely never show up ever again in Marvel Comics, but at least she had a good character arc.