Spider-Man: The Complete Clone Saga Epic—Book 5

spider-man the complete clone saga book 5 cover review
5.5 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Art: 6/10

Age has made it not as controversial

Very 1990s

Comic Info

Comic Name: Amazing Spider-Man (Volume 1)/Spectacular Spider-Man (Volume 1)/Spider-Man (Volume 1)/Spider-Man Unlimited (Volume 1)/Web of Spider-Man (Volume 1)/New Warriors (Volume 1)/Spider-Man:  Team-Up/Amazing Spider-Man Super Special/Spectacular Spider-Man Super Special/Spider-Man Super Special/Venom Super Special/Web of Spider-Man Super Special

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer: Tom DeFalco/J.M. DeMatteis/Todd DeZago/Terry Kavanagh/Mike Lackey/Howard Mackie/Tom Peyer/Evan Skolnick/Mark Waid

Artist: Claude St. Aubin/Pat Broderick/Roy Burdine/Sal Buscema/Steven Butler/Phil Gosier/Gil Kane/Ken Lashley/Shawn McManus/Angel Medina/Darick Robertson/Roger Robinson/Tod Smith/Kevin West/Patrick Zircher

# of Issues: 18

Release Date: 2011

amazing spider-man super special #1 cover scarlet spider

Amazing Spider-Man Super Special #1

Reprints Amazing Spider-Man (1) #405-406, Spectacular Spider-Man (1) #228-229, Spider-Man (1) #62-63, Spider-Man Unlimited (1) #10, Web of Spider-Man (1) #128-129, New Warriors (1) #62-64, Spider-Man:  Team-Up #1, Amazing Spider-Man Super Special #1, Spectacular Spider-Man Super Special #1, Spider-Man Super Special #1, Venom Super Special #1, and Web of Spider-Man Super Special #1 (June 1995-December 1995).  The time has come.  Ben Reilly has learned that he is the original Peter Parker and is forging his own way as the Scarlet Spider…but with two Spider-Man patrolling New York City, is there room for both of them?  Mary Jane faces a difficult pregnancy, and Peter must make a decision…will he be Spider-Man or hand off the mantle to Ben Reilly?

Written by Tom DeFalco, J.M. DeMatteis, Todd DeZago, Terry Kavanagh, Mike Lackey, Howard Mackie, Tom Peyer, Evan Skolnick, and Mark Waid, Spider-Man:  The Complete Clone Saga Epic—Book 5 is a Marvel Comics superhero collection.  Following Spider-Man:  The Complete Clone Saga Epic—Book 4, the entry is the final volume of the series and features art by Claude St. Aubin, Pat Broderick, Roy Burdine, Sal Buscema, Steven Butler, Phil Gosier, Gil Kane, Ken Lashley, Shawn McManus, Angel Medina, Darick Robertson, Roger Robinson, Tod Smith, Kevin West, and Patrick Zircher.  The flipbook versions of the Super Special issues do not contain the Planet of the Symbiotes storyline and issues in the volume were also collected as part of Spider-Man Clone Saga Omnibus—Volume 2.

The Clone Saga might have been one of the most divisive Spider-Man storylines.  The previous collection angered people by having the Spider-Man that they had followed for years end up being the clone.  This entry has everyone’s favorite Spider-Man retiring…and it didn’t go over well.

amazing spider-man #406 cover review new doctor octopus

Amazing Spider-Man (1) #406

The story is divided into multiple short mini-series including a collection of Super Specials that were stand-alone one-shots.  Part of the problem with the Spider-Man Clone Saga was that there was just too much of it.  There were too many issues and too many titles to follow…and with cost and the bottom line of “do I like this story?”, a lot of readers dropped off.

The writers in addition to tweaking Spider-Man was also tweaking his villains.  Everything (like in the 1990s) was getting more extreme.  Lizard was more mutated.  The new Doctor Octopus was more dangerous.  Vulture was younger…but still not cool.  It was a lot to throw at readers at once.

One of the more interesting aspects of the Clone Saga was Ben Reilly joining the New Warriors as Scarlet Spider.  It was a bit odd of a choice with plans for Ben to become the real Spider-Man and you have to wonder whose sales it was supposed to boost.  It also never feels like Scarlet Spider really integrates with the New Warriors due to his own insecurities and the problems within the New Warriors at the time.

With time and distance, Spider-Man:  The Clone Saga has softened a little.  At the time, I didn’t enjoy it and still don’t love it, but I also don’t hate it.  I always kind of liked the Ben Reilly character and the Scarlet Spider, but I didn’t like what they did with them.  Of course the popular opinion on Ben Reilly and Scarlet Spider created a reversal on the decision that Ben was the original Spider-Man…in classic comic bait and switch.  Ben Reilly might end up as Spider-Man at the end of the volume, but don’t get used to it.

Related Links:

Spider-Man:  The Complete Clone Saga Epic—Book 2

Spider-Man:  The Complete Clone Saga Epic—Book 4

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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