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  1. #1
    Incredible Member Hybrid's Avatar
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    Default What are some good parts of The Clone Saga?

    The Clone Saga is widely seen as the biggest dork age in Marvel, but it's also been stressed that there were good parts of it, the storyline had potential, and good things came of it such as Ben Reilly and Kaine.

    What are the stories and moments that were good, proving that you can find some diamonds under a pile of shit?



    For one, I really liked Scarlet Spider vs. Venom. This was in The Exile Returns, when the Saga was just beginning. This is where Ben first becomes the Scarlet Spider. The first time he fights Venom, he predictably gets his ass kicked and only barely manages to escape when Scream shows up and distracts him. Then, the second time, Scarlet Spider makes several gadgets, namely Impact Webbing and Stingers, which combined with his better preparation, allows Scarlet Spider to beat Venom without even having to resort to the usual "sound vibrations and/or fire" weakness exploitation. Scarlet Spider defeats Venom in a way that's believable, and the fight itself was pretty well drawn and intense.

    It was flawed, such as some bad art owing itself to the '90s era at the time, and some inconsistencies here and there, but overall it was pretty enjoyable. It showed that The Clone Saga had merit. Granted, it's a bit of a double edged sword, as part of this story was to show "Ben is the real Spider-Man" that they were leaning to at the time, by having Ben succeed in defeating Venom whereas Peter decided to just ignore him because he didn't think it was worth the trouble. That said, it was still a fun story and miles better than most of what came after.

    Anything else to note?

  2. #2
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    ASM #400 aka "The Gift" by J. M. DeMatteis is the best single issue of the entire thing and an all-time great story.

    Ben Reilly the Lost Years also by JMD is pretty well-regarded.

    Spider-Man the Final Adventure by Fabien Nicieza where Peter and MJ go to Portland and settle down while she's pregnant is also quite sweet to read despite the ridiculous way it ended.

  3. #3
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    The real that Peter was the clone, was pretty shocking for me. And I liked that Ben taking over as Spidey. It was refreshing and exciting. It was a roller coaster ride, and I loved reading every page.

    The only bad thing that came out of it, was the rebirth of the Green Goblin, who had the perfect death...

  4. #4
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    I liked the new villain additions a lot. The original conception of Judas Traveller and Scrier, while outside the norm for normal Spidey villains, introduced a new element to the story that was a bit refreshing (the later revelations about both made them incredibly boring and unlikely to ever be brought back). Lady Octopus and Stunner both have great designs and were interesting new types of Spidey villains (at the time). Kaine, obviously, was awesome (and the original costume is still his best). At this point, Harry, Kraven, and Doc Ock were all dead, Venom had become an anti-hero, and Carnage was pretty played out, so it was nice to see some new blood.

    I echo Jack's story recommendations - The Final Adventure would have been a great capper if Marvel had stuck w/keeping Ben in the suit and The Gift remains the gold standard for a character death issue.

    It's mostly tangential to the Clone Saga, but Spider-Girl wouldn't have existed w/o it, and that was a great series and character.
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  5. #5
    I'm at least a C-Lister! exile001's Avatar
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    I think there is a lot of good in the whole period.

    Ben was a fantastic character, was mostly handled quite well and is still beloved by many fans. Kaine was an interesting new antagonist and ultimately a pretty sympathetic character.

    The Jackal was really fun during the run (even though he was absolutely nothing like the original), and his new look was ridiculous!

    Lady Ock had potential, though it was kinda wasted.

    JRJR turned in some stunning work during this period, and I'm pretty sure Bagley was still on Spidey back then and he's always worth a look.

    Plus, I really like clones as a concept (both seriously and ironically), and was overjoyed one way or the other when each new clone popped up.
    Just. Be. Nice.

  6. #6

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    TASM #400 by J. M. DeMatteis. Great story.

    Ben Reilly.

    Kaine Parker.

  7. #7
    Incredible Member jb681131's Avatar
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    I also invite you to read:

    https://comicvine.gamespot.com/spide...b/4000-278684/
    Remember the good old days when Spidey's life wasn't very complicated? When evil scientists like the Jackal sought to destroy him? When Gwen Stacy showed up on his doorstep, suddenly alive? When a morning spin in the Spider-Mobile was interrupted by an attack from Mysterio? When Carrion sought to strangle the life out of him time and again?

    See the original clone saga unravel as Spider-Man tries to keep up!

    Collecting AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #139-151; Giant-Size Spider-Man #5, and PETER PARKER, THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN (1976) #25-31, #149, #162-163 & ANNUAL #8

  8. #8
    Kinky Lil' Canine Snoop Dogg's Avatar
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    What is the issue where Ben and Jackal fight on a basketball court? Am I making that up?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Stark
    That's what I have over Beelzebub now, Honoka-chan. He thinks he's a third-year school idol. I know what I am. And in this fight-- that makes me INVINCIBLE!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snoop Dogg View Post
    What is the issue where Ben and Jackal fight on a basketball court? Am I making that up?
    Web of Spider-Man #122 I believe

  10. #10
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
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    Ben Reilly, the original Scarlet Spider and second Spider-Man.

    Kaine, the first clone and ultimately Ben's successor as the Scarlet Spider.

    Pretty much any of the parts written by J.M. DeMatteis, especially The Lost Years and Redemption miniseries.

    Doctor Octopus saving Spider-Man's life when Spider-Man was dying of a mysterious disease, only to himself die at Kaine's hands. (Ok, that second part wasn't so good, but I liked Doc Ock admitting his respect, if not admiration, for Spidey in spite of their years of antagonism and I would've liked to see where that might have led.)

    The virtual reality stuff in the middle was ridiculous, but 20-some years later, I have a soft spot for it and think it should be dusted off by someone with a better understanding of that kind of technology. Stunner was the best part to me, though, especially given what we know today about how people project themselves in cyberspace so very differently from how they might actually be or look like in the real world. (Cyber Scarlet Spider is a guilty pleasure, though.)

    The return of Norman Osborn at the end, and Peter's confrontation with him as he reasserted himself as the one, true Spider-Man. "Because then, Norman, you would win. And I will never give you the satisfaction." The perfect encapsulation of Spider-Man vs. the Green Goblin.

    And yeah, that the Clone Saga gave us Spider-Girl via that What If? was very good, too.
    The spider is always on the hunt.

  11. #11
    Y'know. Pav's Avatar
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    Huntsman, I think your list really nails a lot of the best moments of that era. In general, even if there were weak aspects of the Clone Saga, it had plenty going for it: some excellent new characters in Ben and Kaine, some stellar art, some excellent lines of dialogue as well as images that just seared themselves into my brain: Ben throwing the "evidence" from Jack away and screaming; the Jackal glad to have "his boys" back, as Peter, Ben, Kaine, and Spidercide surround him; Kaine being stabbed by Spidercide; the panels of Ben and Peter deciding who should be who after dealing with D'Spayre.

    Gotta also list the following:

    Ben becoming Spider-Carnage
    Ben and Peter fighting Sentinels
    Ben joining the New Warriors and flirting with Firestar

    The other thing about that era that gets overlooked was the way it presented so many exciting possibilities: I hoped that Ben and Phil Urich would become partners, subverting the traditional relationship between Spiders and Goblins. This didn't happen, BUT when Ben became Spidey, one issue was dedicated to showing how Spider-Man's relationships were now all up in the air: Sandman was giving him the benefit for the doubt more than Johnny Storm was. I loved it, and I hoped for more of these interesting little twists or tweaks.

    -Pav, who still has a soft spot for Jack...
    2019 Marvel Monthly Buys: Superior Spider-Man Runaways Absolute Carnage: Lethal Protectors Silver Surfer: Black Death's Head House of X Powers of X Contagion

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  12. #12
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pav View Post
    Huntsman, I think your list really nails a lot of the best moments of that era. In general, even if there were weak aspects of the Clone Saga, it had plenty going for it: some excellent new characters in Ben and Kaine, some stellar art, some excellent lines of dialogue as well as images that just seared themselves into my brain: Ben throwing the "evidence" from Jack away and screaming; the Jackal glad to have "his boys" back, as Peter, Ben, Kaine, and Spidercide surround him; Kaine being stabbed by Spidercide; the panels of Ben and Peter deciding who should be who after dealing with D'Spayre.

    Gotta also list the following:

    Ben becoming Spider-Carnage
    Ben and Peter fighting Sentinels
    Ben joining the New Warriors and flirting with Firestar

    The other thing about that era that gets overlooked was the way it presented so many exciting possibilities: I hoped that Ben and Phil Urich would become partners, subverting the traditional relationship between Spiders and Goblins. This didn't happen, BUT when Ben became Spidey, one issue was dedicated to showing how Spider-Man's relationships were now all up in the air: Sandman was giving him the benefit for the doubt more than Johnny Storm was. I loved it, and I hoped for more of these interesting little twists or tweaks.

    -Pav, who still has a soft spot for Jack...
    Those were good moments, too, and I liked the battle with D'Spayre, especially given that it apparently wasn't Ben's first encounter with him, which made me even more curious about Ben's past.
    The spider is always on the hunt.

  13. #13
    Mighty Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    The cool art by Sal Buscema and Bill Sienkiewicz.


  14. #14
    Astonishing Member boots's Avatar
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    not much else to add to the list, other than the jmd back up stories in the beginning of the saga, which i think were eventually collected with the lost years tpb. it was about what happened immediately after t o ben reilly after the original saga and basically what hooked me to the character. no easy task.

    otherwise, i'm pleasantly surprised this thread hasn't been a dog whistle for detractors to air their complaints...but it's been 20 years and a lot of opinions may have mellowed over time.
    troo fan or death

  15. #15
    Mighty Member K7P5V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jb681131 View Post
    Totally agree.

    I'll also add Bendis' Ultimate Clone Saga:

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