Like so many of us, I was a fan of Ben Reilly back in the day of the second Clone Saga. (I wasn't around to read comics back when the original clone story took place in the mid-70s.) There were many things wrong with the Clone Saga -- like Maximum Clonage, Scrier, etc. -- but Ben wasn't one of them.
It has long been regarded that Ben, as the 'spider-clone' is not the same person as Peter. Likewise, Kaine is not Peter. Spidercide is not Peter. You get the idea. A clone is ultimately their own different person.
Bearing that in mind, I think I can finally wrap my head around the recent Clone Conspiracy and the current Scarlet Spider series. This 'Ben' is not our Ben Reilly. He is a clone of a clone of a clone ... of a clone of the Ben Reilly we enjoyed twenty years ago. If a clone once removed is a different individual, then a clone 20x over is surely not the same person.
Or, to put it another way, this 'Ben' is no more our Ben than he is Peter.
When viewed through that lens, I can enjoy the current series. It is well-written, as most of Peter David's works are, and it is about a new character who I have not encountered before this year. Without the stigma of What the heck did they do to poor Ben??!, I can enjoy the current stories. The Ben Reilly that I knew was a hero who was killed by Norman Osborn and disintegrated into a pile of dust on Halloween 1996.
I think that he was just brought back for nostalgia purposes. I think that DS (Hey, cool, I don't even have to use Dan's full name or write Dan anymore.:) wanted to make him a villain again, and he pretty much took on the Jackal's role in the second Clone Saga (Unleashing the Carrion Virus? Sounds very familiar!). Add to this the fact that Slott screwed up the second Clone Saga even MORE (Miles Warren was NOT wearing a Jackal costume, and he was not supposed to be alive at the end of it.)! Besides, didn't Peter throw Ben's ashes into the river or something? After the Clone Conspiracy, I think that Peter has written Ben off, and that he doesn't really care about him anymore (And neither do I.). His characterization didn't make sense either. I understand that he was different and all since his (Millionth.:) resurrection, but at the beginning he was presented as a sympathetic and compassionate villain who seemed to want to do good. What was he doing trying to cut deals with the Kingpin, then? Why would he resurrect villains like the Hobgoblin and the Bart Hamilton Green Goblin? They didn't even die under Peter's watch, so Peter shouldn't feel the least bit guilty about their deaths. I still don't get how he even got a hold of them anyway. It seemed that he went from sympathetic to flat-out evil and crazy at the end.
Having said that, from what I checked out of this series, it looked pretty entertaining, and I like PAD, so I'm sure if you ignore all of the above, it is probably a good book. And I know that the Slingers are coming back, and I think that they are somewhat underrated characters (I still want to check out their ongoing from the 90's.), so I might check out that arc at least.