Sunday, 26 February 2017

The Clone Conspiracy #2 - Marvel Comics

THE CLONE CONSPIRACY No. 2, January 2017
There surely must have only been a few of this mini-series’ 58,921 readers, who found Dan Slott’s script for Issue Two of “The Clone Conspiracy” an entertaining read. For whilst the twenty-page periodical does contain the return of two Warriors of the Great Web in the shape of the Scarlet Spider and Spider-Woman (Gwen Stacy), as well as an entire Rogue’s Gallery featuring the likes of Spider-Slayer, Massacre, Mirage, Big Man, Stilt-Man, Tarantula, Mysterio, Rose and the Green Goblin, to name just a few, it does so as a result of one of the most preposterous and unbelievable plot-twists possible…They’ve all returned as “a force for good” and want simply to help Peter Parker’s alter-ego.

Considering just how truly evil and formidable some of these underworld villains have been in the past, such errant nonsense as them no longer wanting to do any “bank jobs, muggings, or even jaywalking” really is ‘hard to swallow’, even if the “reborn” clones “can’t leave or skip” the Jackal’s chemical treatments without their new bodies fatally failing. It’s certainly difficult to see a maniac like the Red Skull’s employee Jack O'Lantern, humorously suggesting that “someone needs to take their pill” when the Web-Slinger first confronts his deadliest enemies and looks set to battle them all. Did the Berkeley-born writer forget this incarnation of the pumpkin-headed professional criminal was a member of the Skeleton Crew, and later an enforcer of the gangster the Golem? 

Equally as galling is the Eisner Award-winner’s mistreatment of the Wall-crawler’s arch-nemesis Otto Octavius, who is one moment clearly handing out to Spider-Man the beating of his crime-fighting career and then in the next simply skulking back to “the lab” where he’s meant to be working, at the mere snap of the Jackal’s fingers; “Don’t forget we’re all one big, happy family here.” Such evident subservience to another is utterly alien to someone as ‘superior’ as Doctor Octopus, and smacks of Slott simply wanting to start the publication with a thrilling fight-scene underneath New U Headquarters, rather than actually pen an opening which tied in to the rest of his disconcerting narrative. As the stocky multiple-limbed homicidal genius states himself “I am not your lackey”…
The variant cover art of "THE CLONE CONSPIRACY" No. 2 by Mark Bagley

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