How Did Ben Reilly Survive the Events of the Original Clone Saga?

The next issue starts Len Wein's run on Amazing Spider-Man (Ross Andru and Mike Esposito remain on art duty) and the first thing Spider-Man does is dispose of the seemingly dead Spider-Man clone. So now we're talking at LEAST 15 hours since the clone seemingly died (maybe more). By the way, Spidey notes that he is only getting rid of the body now that he knows that he isn't the clone. So if he WAS the clone, he'd what? Tell everyone?

Okay, so he throws the body of the seemingly dead clone into a smokestack furnace...

Of course, we now know that Ben WASN'T dead. As seen in Spider-Man: The Lost Years #0 (by J.M. DeMatteis, Liam Sharp and Robin Riggs), the clone survived...

And this is where it all just falls apart a bit. Spider-Man somehow misses that the clone is still alive after over 15 hours? No stirring? No nothing? He throws a living guy into a smokestack? A furnace that is at least 50 feet in the air? So a guy so wounded that Spider-Man somehow can't tell that he isn't dead despite 15 hours passing and he falls into a furnace while unconscious and THAT doesn't kill him? How does any of this make any sense? Was Peter Parker just that much unawares that he couldn't tell that the clone was still alive? For serious?

It really doesn't all track. Now, future writers WOULD try to come up with a (super-stretching the realm of believability) reason later on (and I'll feature that in a bit in the future), but for the most part, it really doesn't make any sense.

Thanks to Stephen for suggesting this one! If anyone else can think of a good inexplicable comic book plot, write me at brianc@cbr.com!

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