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Spider-Man: Clone Saga Omnibus Vol. 1 by…
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Spider-Man: Clone Saga Omnibus Vol. 1

by Terry Kavanagh

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One of the most explosive sagas in comics history! Peter Parker's world is rocked like never before by the return of his clone, long thought dead. For years, the clone has lived in peace as 'Ben Reilly,' but now he will be drawn back into wall- crawling action as the Scarlet Spider! But who is the real Amazing Spider-Man? COLLECTING: WEB OF SPIDER-MAN (1985) 117-125, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1963) 394-401, SPIDER-MAN (1990) 51-58, SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN (1976) 217-224, SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED (1993) 7-9… (more)

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Spider-Man: Clone Saga Omnibus Vol. 1 collects material from Web of Spider-Man nos. 117-125, Amazing Spider-Man nos. 394-401, Spider-Man nos. 51-58, Spectacular Spider-Man nos. 217-224, Spider-Man Unlimited nos. 7-9, Spider-Man: Funeral for an Octopus nos. 1-3, Spider-Man: The Clone Journal, and Spider-Man Collectors’ Preview. The story picks up from Amazing Spider-Man nos.139-150, in which Professor Miles Warren (alias the Jackal), obsessed with Gwen Stacy, cloned her and Peter Parker, making Spidey battle his own clone to the apparent death. After the success of the title-wide crossover Age of Apocalypse in Marvel’s X-Men titles, the Marvel editors decided to shake things up with this title-wide Spider-Man story in which that clone returns, having never died, only to force Peter to begin questioning his life.

Meanwhile, Peter had been in a dark place, attempting to become only an avenging Spider to the detriment of the “man.” A brush with death forces him to rethink things and reclaim his life with the help of Doctor Octopus, who puts into words the connection they share as adversaries and how ol’ Web Head always encouraged him to be his best. Peter and his clone, called Ben Reilly, strike an uneasy truce as they work to uncover the depth of the Jackal’s plans. They encounter Kaine, other clones of Warren and Gwen Stacy, and a particularly deformed Peter Parker clone, all while Peter struggles to support Mary Jane, who just discovered that she’s pregnant and is worried about the effect of Peter’s radioactive DNA, and deals with the loss of his Aunt May. This first omnibus ends with few answers, forecasting the inevitable ballooning of the story that quickly became a running joke for its seeming inability to achieve a resolution.

Much of this mid-1990s art features the overdone line work and unnecessary pouches and shoulder pads that characterizes the period, while the depictions of Spider-Man himself closely hew to the popular Todd McFarlane-style. The last two issues in this volume, Spider-Man: The Clone Journal and Spider-Man Collectors’ Preview, are more of interest for their behind-the-scenes or promotional materials. For two years, this storyline dominated the various Spider-Man titles and even influenced Spider-Man: The Animated Series and Ultimate Spider-Man. Recently, the Clone Conspiracy storyline returned to events from this series, making the somewhat infamous story relevant once again.

Marvel’s omnibus editions collect a great deal of material – this one includes 43 comic books and 2 promotional books – but that size makes them rather unwieldy when compared to DC’s omnibus editions. That said, they are rather comprehensive for the collector looking to establish a comics library. ( )
  DarthDeverell | Jul 24, 2018 |
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