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Comic Book / Spider-Man Beyond

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Spoilers for Nick Spencer's Spider-Man will be unmarked. You Have Been Warned.
Sensational once more.

Spider-Man Beyond is a 2021 storyline in the Spider-Man series, succeeding Nick Spencer’s tenure with the character, written by Zeb Wells, Kelly Thompson, Saladin Ahmed, Cody Ziglar, and Patrick Gleason, the latter also filling double duty as the artist alongside Sara Pichelli. The story starts in Amazing Spider-Man #75, with a short story teasing the era beforehand in Free Comic Book Day 2021: Spider-Man/Venom.

Following Nick Spencer's Spider-Man and the events of Sinister War, Peter Parker is exhausted. However he gains a new headache upon discovering that Ben Reilly, his clone and a fellow Spider called the Scarlet Spider, has donned a new Spider-Man costume and is backed by the Beyond Corporation, who has taken a liking to him recently.

Despite this, the two Spider-Men join forces... But their first team-up leaves Peter Parker seriously injured, putting him out of commission as a superhero for a while. Can Ben Reilly handle the mantle of Spider-Man again, after everything he’s endured?


This series contains the following tropes:

  • An Arm and a Leg: In issue #78, Morbius' entire left arm is amputated by a blast from the Beyond building's security system.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Ben is the protagonist for this new era of Spider-Man stories due to Peter's injuries.
  • Author Appeal: Jed MacKay will be penning several tie-in one-shots focusing on the Daughters of the Dragon and Black Cat.
  • Bat Family Crossover: So far, the Beyond era is slated to affect Miles Morales: Spider-Man, following Miles Morales’ fight with Ben.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Ben returns to Amazing Spider-Man, having been absent from the title since Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy.note 
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    • Morbius the Living Vampire appears in the title again (#77 and #78), being absent since Dan Slott's Spider-Man, though he made appearances in his own solo titles and crossovers.
    • Colleen Wing and Misty Knight, the Daughters of the Dragon, show up as well, last seen together over in Nick Spencer's Captain America.
    • #78 Beyond sees Mist and Colleen fight a monster powered by "the Obsidian Star." Which, as the end of the issue reveals, is the same item that gave The Captain his powers.
  • Cheap Costume: Ben’s Scarlet Spider costume is described as such by his Beyond Corporation field support.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Ben’s new Spider-Man costume is made of “impact thickening, foam-based polymers” which can withstand attacks like Bushwacker’s gunshots even up close.
  • Continuity Nod: When Ben asks about his Scarlet Spider costume, he's told that it looks like a fourteen year old designed it. More or less, Ben stole this variation way back in Ben Reilly, The Scarlet Spider.
  • Corporate-Sponsored Superhero: Ben is now acting as the Beyond Corporation's Spider-Man and has their backing and support in his crime fighting.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Several scenes imply that the Beyond Corporation is using heroes like Ben to gather information about superhuman abilities for less than noble reasons. The exact reasons haven't been revealed, and a few Beyond staff have had Pet the Dog moments where they've passed up collecting information for noble reasons.
  • Costume Evolution: Ben dons a brand new Spider-Man costume for this era. It shares many similarities to his previous Sensational Spider-Man costume, except now the spider emblem is smaller and placed to the right and there are blue segments on the side similar to Peter’s costume.
  • Demoted to Extra: As Ben becomes the main active Spider-Man, Peter only makes sporadic appearances throughout the story.
  • Enemy Mine: Deeming it as the only option left that can save Peter, Aunt May seeks the help of Doctor Octopus.
  • Gut Feeling: Upon being told that Ben has resurfaced, Mary Jane confesses to Peter that she strongly believes nothing good can come from him showing up.
  • Legacy Character:
    • Ben, Peter's first ongoing successor in the main universe, becomes Spider-Man once more.
    • This Beyond Corporation doesn't seem to be the same interdimensional beings that perplexed Nextwave, instead being a legitimate corporation. If Monica Rambeau's appearance in issue #78 is any indication, something might be off. #78 Beyond, which shows them specifically focused on acquiring what is revealed to be the "Heartstar Between Galaxies" responsible for The Captain's powers, indicates that their interests may overlap more with their past incarnation than they let on. It's also heavily implied that they're gathering a lot of information about superhuman powers for less than noble reasons. Colleen Wing and Misty Knight are suspicious of them, and notably don't tell their Beyond handler about a major power source they find.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Ben is forced by the Beyond Corporation to fight Miles, as he is an “unregistered Spider-Man” since the corporation owns the trademark for the Spider-Man name after buying up some of Parker Industries holdings.
  • Mission Control: It is revealed that Ben has this backing him up, helping him find villains and working with the authorities to clean up and help any civilians in the crossfire.
  • The Missus and the Ex: Felicia Hardy (Black Cat) checks in on Peter in the hospital from outside their window initially while Mary Jane and Aunt May are inside, coming inside to sit by Peter’s bedside. Contrary to their past antagonism, MJ and Felicia bond and Mary Jane insists that Felicia to stay with them, as any support they could get is appreciated.
  • The Mole: #78 reveals that Misty and Colleen are working with Monica Rambeau against Beyond.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Twice in #75:
    • Turns out Otto trademarked the name Spider-Man, so when Parker Industries is bought up, so is the name since Peter never transferred ownership to himself.
    • Ben completely forgets Peter’s costume is a normal suit, thus Peter’s given a dangerous amount of radiation when X-Ray blasts the two. It’s also implied that Peter’s injuries from the last few issues made this worse.
  • Passing the Torch: Hospitalized, Peter is forced to go ahead and give his blessing for Ben to be Spider-Man in his stead.
  • Put on a Bus: Peter is hospitalized in the second issue of the run, later falling into a medically-induced coma. As such, Ben has to take the reins of being Spider-Man.
  • Rags to Riches: Thanks to being employed by the Beyond Corporation, Ben is given a handsome salary, an impressive new suit, and a lavish living space. Not bad for a guy who was so poor that he had to steal his first superhero outfit.
  • The Reveal: Test-Drive gives little indication that there is another Spider-Man until Ben takes off his mask and is referred to by name.
  • Rogues Gallery Transplant:
    • Test-Drive features Ben facing Bushwacker, a villain more associated with Daredevil and the Punisher.
    • The villains Peter and Ben fight in their brief team-up are the U-Foes, a group of supervillains that fight the Hulk more often than not.
  • Screwed by the Lawyers: In-Universe, in Miles Morales: Spider-Man #32, a lawyer in a flying limousine serves Miles papers to force him to relinquish the title of Spider-Man. Miles ain't budging, but he's going to find out what's going on.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: When Peter is exposed to a potentially lethal amount of radiation and must be hospitalized, Ben breaks the terms of his contract, takes off his Spider-Man suit, and goes dark to get him the care that he needs without notifying his new corporate sponsor. While it's implied that his handlers understand seeing his "brother" almost die was very traumatic for him, it's all but outright stated that he is never to do that again.
  • Shout-Out:
    • #78 Beyond is pretty much one giant love letter to Nextwave, with Mindy and Colleen fighting absurd and seemingly random enemies with an equally absurd arsenal, non-stop jokes, and caption box commentary galore. The fact that the item they were sent to retrieve is the source of Captain's powers indicates this isn't a coincidence.
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: Aunt May asks Mary Jane to use her connections to help Peter, but Tony Stark is MIA (due to events in his comic) and she can’t contact Dr. Strange (due to the events of The Death of Doctor Strange).
  • Taking the Bullet: Ben improvises and tests his new costume out by taking Bushwacker’s shots head on to protect the civilians he’s holding hostage.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Ben tries to invoke this on Peter, begging him to let him be Spider-Man for the time being. Peter refuses, most likely because he doesn’t want to confront what he’s dealt with. The events of the issue force him otherwise.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted. Ben is given sessions with Dr. Kafka in order to help process the struggles of superhero life.


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