Rave : 2001 : The Life of Reilly
The Life of Reilly will break your heart. The 35-Part series detailing the Clone Saga is up to Part 24 and now resides at GrayHaven Magazine.
Andrew Goletz continues to provide succinct and extensive synopses of the storylines while Glenn Greenberg presents behind-the-scene information. The last several installments have been particularly interesting as Greenberg delineates the various Clone Saga solutions considered by the Spider-Group. Read them and weep, because every single solution... I repeat... EVERY SINGLE SOLUTION is better than what they eventually gave us.
Check out Todd Dezago's plan to melt Ben Reilly, proving him to be the clone, but then to melt Mary Jane and her unborn baby, too!
Check out the writer who submitted (under a pseudonym!) the idea to kill off one Spidey and leave the other with amnesia. Mary Jane and her baby go missing and when MJ is found, she is no longer pregnant. What's the solution to this mystery? Nothing. As the anonymous memo says, "(The readers) may claim to want all the answers... (They) don't really want to know! Take away the mystery and it's over." Hmmm. Let's see here. A writer who hides behind a pseudonym, who has no respect for the reader and no idea of what the reader really wants, who is willing to make it up as he goes along without caring whether the solution to the mystery even exists... now who could this be? (Hint: his initials are "Howard Mackie".)
Check out the "Time Loop" scenario, which turns out to be so close to my own idea of solving the Clone Saga, that it hurts me to see how close they came to using it, only to reject it for no good reason. (That's right, I don't think any of the arguments that sank this idea are valid. This is still the best and only solution, as far as I'm concerned.)
Check out Tom DeFalco's idea to merge Peter and Ben into one. See how Harry Osborn was almost brought back to life. And learn how Dan Jurgens may have been the worst thing that could have happened to Spider-Man.
It's all required reading to Spider-fans, no matter what you thought of the Clone Saga.
And while you're there, read all about Ben Reilly's upcoming return in the pages of Spider-Girl and join in on, as Andrew Goletz puts it, "a major campaign to get people to pre-order and buy SG 44 in big numbers which will hopefully lead to a greater focus on Ben (or even a series) in the future" You know you want Ben Reilly back, people. So help Andrew out!