After months of build up, Marvel’s next big Spider Saga finally kicks off this week. I’m normally not a fan of comic event series (or clones), but after how fantastic Spider-Verse was, I’m more than willing to give this one a shot.
Is it good?
Spider-Man: The Clone Conspiracy #1 (Marvel Comics)
- Funerals are hard enough without J. Jonah Jameson screaming at you.
- Mysteriously grown organs = Spider-sense alert.
- Jim Cheung drawing Spider-Man makes me so happy.
- HA! Anna Maria is awesome.
- Good lord…Mutagen Man really needs to eat something.
- Always fun getting to see Spidey kick a villain’s ass with an old school trick.
- Okay, this just got weird.
- Really weird.
Is It Good?
There’s a whole lot of questions and (somewhat) shocking reveals thrown at us, which makes for a fun read. Unfortunately, the severe lack of information behind them doesn’t provide a very solid narration foundation. But when you consider how well Dan Slott handled Spider-Verse, he’s definitely earned our trust that he’ll straighten out these plot threads by the time it’s all said and done.
Also, if you’ve paid any attention at all to promotional material for this series and/or the last few issues of The Amazing Spider-Man, there’s not very much new to be found here. The real standout aspect of the issue is Peter’s interaction with Ana Maria, who is quickly establishing herself as a shining star in Spider-Man’s already legendary supporting cast. She’s got Peter’s smarts, but with a biting edge that keeps him (and the reader) on their toes. I also love how she’s Peter’s main confidant when it comes to his secret identity. Instead of another love interest or family member, Ana Maria is a great friend who went through one of the most bizarre and traumatizing stages of his life (The Superior Spider-Man) right alongside him. She keeps Pete grounded while also giving him a safe and highly intelligent sounding board for his superhuman problems.
The art side of things, I’m in absolute heaven. Cheung’s art is always a welcome sight, whether it’s his beautifully rendered human faces or spectacular-looking superheroes. Getting to see him draw my all time favorite character fighting some of his classic villains (and a couple new/redesigned ones) is a real treat.
The issue also features a haunting backup story about Gwen Stacy’s final moments alive…and how she ties into the present story. It gives us a heartbreaking prospective of her last thoughts before that fateful fall off the bridge that I’d never even considered.
Together, the two tales make for a very solid opening, which we definitely need for any spider-related event that has the world “clone” in it. I still wish we got a little more info (relative to what we knew going in), but as long as we’re getting Slott’s great character work and Cheung’s gorgeous fight scenes, I’m willing to wait.
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