How Did Ben Reilly Survive 'Dying' During the Original Clone Saga?

In Death is not the End, we spotlight the outlandish explanations for comic book characters (mostly super-villains) surviving seeming certain death. Today, based on a suggestion from reader Lou P., we see how Ben Reilly survived the original Clone Saga.

The other day, I wrote an article about how little sense it made for Ben Reilly to have survived the original Clone Saga, because the original comics didn't just kill him, they went waaaaaaaay overboard in killing him, to the point where you just couldn't realistically expect anyone to ever bring him back to life, so seeing how they came up with a way to bring him back is fascinating to me in how they tried to explain away the inexplicable.

First off, let's revisit what I wrote in that original article, to demonstrate just how overboard the original writers went in killing off the Spider Clone (my pal Chris joked to me that of course the Spider Clone survived, he went on to marry Mary Jane and be Spider-Man for years to come - very cute, Chris!).

In Amazing Spider-Man #149 (by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito), the Jackal pits Spider-Man against the Spider-Clone and they have to fight while Ned Leeds is tied to a bomb. The Spider-Men realize that they have to work together to save Ned and the Jackal suddenly gets guilted into realizing that he is a really bad guy and so he decides to save Ned himself right before the bomb goes off...

Luckily for Ned Leeds, Miles Warren got into the whole cloning business because he was obsessed with Gwen Stacy. Thus, the clone of Gwen Stacy was able to get to Warren by guilting him over how evil he has gotten, which leads to Warren (who had been blaming all of his evil deeds on his secret "Jackal" personality) sacrificing himself to save Ned Leeds before the explosion goes off...

In the aftermath of the explosion the Spider-Man clone is killed. However, now the surviving Spider-Man has to wonder, "Am I seriously the real Spider-Man?"

Amazing Spider-Man #149 has two different epilogues. One where Peter says farewell to the Gwen Stacy clone and one where Peter goes home and sees that Mary Jane is waiting for him and they make up and probably have sex (it's a Comics Code approved book, but the implication is pretty clear).

We then get a SECOND issue, Amazing Spider-Man #150 (by Archie Goodwin, Gil Kane and Frank Giacoia) that is all about Spider-Man proving that he is not the clone. We know that this takes hours as they say it does...

Okay, so all throughout this, the Spider-Clone is very clearly dead. Spider-Man would have to be a moron not to realize that the Spider-Clone isn't dead, right?

So then the NEXT issue, Amazing Spider-Man #151 (by Len Wein, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito), Spider-Man drops the corpse of the Spider-Clone into a tall smoke stack, thereby clearly incinerating the Spider-Clone (at the very least, you would think that the fall would kill it)...

But this is comics, even for the inexplicable, there is an explanation!

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