30 November 2005

COMMENT: The Clone Saga & The Other - Part 2

I can't believe I made my self-imposed deadline of Wednesday for this post! For my next trick, I'll have your LCS give you an extra 20% off today. Just tell 'em Dan sent ya, and demand your additional discount.

[Before reading further, be sure to check out Part 1 of this 3-Part series.]

I already covered pre-Ben Reilly clone saga, so all that's left is the rest of the story, which is a lot of story. In fact, so much so, that this outline is by far, the hardest one to condense. I stated in my first post that my goal was "to make The Clone Saga equally accessible to the hard-core fan and the uninitiated.". To accomplish this, my explanations have to cover generalities and not dive into the specifics. I apologize if you feel cheated but you'll just have to deal with it. :) As I stated in Part 1, at the end of Part 3 I'll post some web sites that that can fill in the holes if you really want to be a Clone Saga expert.

scarlet1. Intro Ben Reilly
Five years have passed since Spider-Man originally encountered his clone. Aunt May is in the hospital gravely ill; MJ and Parker are falling on hard times; and Spider-Man has become increasingly more violent.

Much like it was done with Gwen Stacy in the pre-Reilly Clone Saga, a mysterious figure is seen appearing in various issues. The reader can't make out who it is, but he is calling Aunt May in the hospital to find out about her condition. We eventually discover along with Spider-Man who this man is...it's Peter Parker! Well, nowadays he goes by the name of Ben Reilly. Using Uncle Ben's first name, and Aunt May's maiden name, the clone created the new identity of Ben Reilly. We learn that the clone never died during the blast at Shea Stadium. He woke up in the smokestack that Spider-Man had placed him in and, disoriented, made his way back to what he thought was his apartment. When he arrived, he discovered Parker and MJ together. He realized at that point that he was the clone, and decided to leave the life he thought was his and start anew.

2. Scarlet Spider, Kaine, and the true clone
It's a rough start for Ben and Pete when they first meet up. They get into it with each other a few times, but eventually come to grips with the situation. Ben starts a new life in NYC and takes up the persona Scarlet Spider. He and Spider-Man battle a few baddies and all is good. That is, until a newly resurfaced Jackal tells Ben that he is the original Parker!

We are now introduced to a character named Kaine. He is revealed to be the failed, unstable original clone of Parker/Spider-Man. Kaine is on a mission to destroy Ben Reilly. He believes that Ben Reilly is the orignal Peter Parker. By destroying Ben, he believes it will give Parker (who he thinks is a clone) the life he could never have. Are you confused yet! His plan for destroying Ben is to frame him for murders that he (Kaine) commited. He successfully gets someone arrested for these murders, but it's the wrong person. Parker is taken into custody for the murders Kaine committed. Kaine believes Ben is the original Parker, because he is referencing paperwork from the Jackal that declares Ben is the original Parker.

Let's recap: Ben Reilly is the original Peter Parker. Parker/Spider-Man is revealed to be the clone, and now in jail for murders he didn't commit. Kaine is, well, crazy, and on the loose.

Benreillycostume3. Switcharoo
Ben feels bad for Parker and switches places with him in jail so Parker can be with MJ. During that time period, Parker is in the Scarlet Spider outfit. Kaine gets a change of heart and confesses to the murders and is put in jail. Ben is then released from prison, and once again takes up the webs as Scarlet Spider. Parker (the clone) and MJ just want to start over and get the heck out of NYC. Parker hangs up the webs, and moves with MJ to the west coast. He passes the mantle down to Ben Reilly, who now becomes the new Spider-Man. This is when that jazzy costume and the blonde hair are adopted.

4. Revelations
For about 10 months real-time, Ben Reilly is the only Spider-Man. Eventually Parker returns to NYC and they both discover the truth behind this Clone Saga. The once dead Norman Osborn has been playing Parker all this time. Osborn had controlled the Clone Saga from the beginning. He even arranged for the paperwork of Professor Warren, aka Jackal, to mistakenly identify Ben Reilly as the original Parker. In the ensuing battle with Green Goblin, Ben Reilly is killed. And in classic sci-fi fashion, he disintegrates away, thus convincing Parker that he is definitely not the clone.

Well, there you have it. From Gwen to Ben, the Clone Saga begins and ends with a death. I hope you liked the recap and found it helpful. Make sure to come back on Friday, for the conclusion of The Clone Saga & The Other - Part 3. If you have any specific questions, just leave it in the comments and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

Till next time...

2 comments:

oscar said...

dan,
great wrap up. i never stuck around for the end of the Clone Saga as i was just falling out of comics when it was going down. well, actually, the Clone Saga & the quarterly X-Crossovers were two of the big reasons why i gave up on comics ten years ago.

looking forward to your wrap up!

Dan Diaz said...

Thanks ob. Hopefully you'll like the wrap up and my big reveal as to how both stories tie into each other. I have to say it was a lot more work than I expected, but well worth it.