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Friday October 2, 2009 2:03 am

Marvel Comics Review: Spider-Man: The Clone Saga #1




Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, Marvel Comics

SClone1Rating: ***

Finally, Marvel will be returning to the infamous Clone Saga storyline with a mini-series that is set to tell the story of the Clone Saga as it was meant to have been told. As I’ve mentioned before in previous posts, I was a big fan of the Clone Saga when it first began and have always liked the character of Ben Reilly. So this week, issue one of the revisited Clone Saga storyline hit the stands, and while it did not blow me away, I was entertained. Two of the writers working on Spider-Man back in those days have come on board to tell the tale: Tom Defalco and Howard Mackie.

Before I go into my review for this issue, I must profess my love for the Spider-Girl title in which Defalco worked on. Defalco’s Spider-Girl/M2 universe sprang from the stories that were created during the Clone Saga, and he was able to make a grown up Spider-baby May Parker work well along with continuity of those storylines. Marvel completely abandoned the characters for years in the regular 616 universe until the upcoming Who was Ben Reilly? storyline that we’ll see next month in Amazing Spider-Man

Our story opens with Aunt May getting a heart attack and being rushed to the hospital.  She’s dying and Peter and Mary Jane are distraught.  Another “Parker” is also distraught as he was on the phone with Aunt May when she had the heart attack.  In comes Ben Reilly, Peter Parker’s long thought dead clone who has been living on the run for many years.  He had been posing as a long lost relative of Aunt May’s as a way to keep in contact with her.  I’m not sure if this was the case in the original story.  I have the first issue somewhere buried under boxes of comics that I can’t get to right now to check. 

Well, Ben shows up and sees Aunt May at the hospital and comes face-to-face with the one person he was trying to avoid: Spider-Man.  They of course fight, but end up having to team up and fight off against an unknown assailant.  The perpetrator first throws a car at them.  They then work together to prevent the car from falling on the innocents below.  A bunch of green globs come out of no where and begin sticking to them.  Ben is able to save Peter, ironically by burning off the globs by throwing him into a smoke stack.  Peter thought he “buried” his clone by throwing his body into a smoke stack.

The person behind this attack is none other than the original clone of Peter Parker Kaine.  Kaine is shocked that with the two Peters reuniting, they end up becoming friends in the end when he thought they would be enemies.  He expresses this to the unknown man who is his boss and on the last page we see the “boss” viewing all of the action on a video monitor.  The “boss” is not surprised and claims he knew this would happen as he knows his Spider-Men very well.  The “boss” is obviously Norman Osborn. It was revealed towards the end of the original Clone Saga that Norman Osborn was indeed alive and well and had been the man pulling the strings behind the scenes. 

A decent start to this new story.  Not sure if it’s because we’ve been here before with these opening scenes, but nothing really impressed me.  What I really wasn’t impressed by was the artwork.  I’m not a huge fan of artist Todd Nauck.  His work for DC‘s Young Justice was pretty good, but here I really didn’t like it at all.  I think it may have something to do with the inking, which was done by Victor Olazaba.  I’m not an expert on art.  I try to comment more on the story in my reviews.  Would have preferred someone else here.  Too bad Mark Bagley is over at DC.

Also, in this first issue is the revelation that MJ is pregnant.  In the 616 continuity, MJ thought the baby died after birth, but it was instead kidnapped by Norman Osborn.  Not sure if this has been changed since Brand New Day.  I think what would be interesting is if Marvel decides to reveal to Peter and MJ (not sure if MJ remembers) about their past marriage and the deal with Mephisto. How cool would it be to have little May show up in their lives and be revealed as their daughter?  I’m sure this won’t be happening under Joe Quesada’s time as Editor-in-Chief.  Would be interesting though.

Again a nice beginning to the story.  I think what will really make or break this series is how they end it.  I’m assuming it ends with Peter being the true clone as that’s what Marvel intended to do back then, but who knows?  I recommend this one if you’re a Spidey fan, but only if you’re an older fan who was around back then and enjoyed at least some of the Clone Saga.

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