Friday, 21 April 2017

The Clone Conspiracy: Omega #1 - Marvel Comics

Presumably Editor Nick Lowe never bothered to inform writers Dan Slott & Christos Gage that one can only get so much blood out of a particular stone, otherwise the former “intern at Marvel Comics” would surely never have agreed for this painful one-shot dedicated to the aftermath of “The Clone Conspiracy” mini-series to have been printed. Indeed, “Collateral Damage” genuinely doesn’t seem to actually bring anything new to the “Dead No More” story-arc, unless it was published simply to show a surprisingly affectionate bond developing between Spider-Man and his former arch-enemy, the Rhino; “I’ll check on you soon, Aleksei. See how you’re doing. That’s a promise.”

Admittedly this anthology’s seventeen-page lead adventure does contain at least one magical moment, as arguably the creative collaboration’s handling of Sytsevich, docilely slumped, knee deep in the ashes of his beloved wife one moment and then formidably enraged the next, imbues the narrative with a genuinely gut-wrenching pathos. But sadly, such emotional storytelling is soon sidelined by the Berkeley-born author’s usual obsession with Peter Parker ‘beating himself up’ over both the immoral machinations of another, and his persistent failure to protect all those he cares about, such as Jerry Salteres, Gwen Stacy, J. Jonah Jameson and Anna-Marie.

Certainly, there seems little for this book’s dedicated audience to have enjoyed when it comes to Peter David’s astoundingly contrived subsequent ‘short’ concerning Ben Reilly’s successful attempt to convince old friend Doctor Clarkson to give him some much needed money, having first set her up to be murdered by some disgruntled clients. Just why S.H.I.E.L.D. would simply release the criminally-responsible New U scientist to enjoy a drink in her regular bar after all the chaos she has caused is utterly unfathomable… Yet in “Give Us A Wink” the “espionage, law-enforcement, and counter-terrorism agency” have purportedly done just that despite Rita having “had a hell of a day.”

Equally as bizarrely penned is Slott’s solo contribution “King’s Favour”, which sees Stuart Immonen doing his level best to illustrate Spider-Man trashing a Chinese restaurant in San Francisco so as to confront the Kingpin, and make it clear that “You don’t come to me, Fisk. I come to you!” Dark and gritty, dynamically-charged and pulse-pounding, this four-pager’s breakdowns are undoubtedly the best thing about “The Clone Conspiracy: Omega”, and must undoubtedly have whetted the appetite of the wall-crawler’s readership when “Marvel Worldwide” announced the Canadian comic book penciller was to become the regular artist for “The Amazing Spider-Man” ongoing series.
Writers: Dan Slott & Christos Gage, Artist: Cory T. Smith, and Color Artist: Justin Ponsor

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