Writer: Dan Slott & Christos Gage
Art Team: Guisepee Camuncoli, Cam Smith, & Jason Keith
Cover Price: $3.99
Review by: Branden Murray
Well we’ve really stepped in it now … knee deep, into another Spidey clone saga, with no end in sight. As of late, I’ve been very disappointed with some of these hyped Marvel events (Original Sin, Axis, Black Vortex, Civil War II, to name just a few) the problems are well documented so I don’t need to get into details. However, something about this one has caught my attention so far. I find the premise of the story stimulating my brain which includes a mystery to unravel. So let’s keep sorting out said mystery, like a game of drunken Clue (the only way to play), with our latest issue to drop in the Clone Conspiracy, the Amazing Spider-Man #20.
After some brief recap in the first few pages we follow a Spider-bot with Otto’s consciousness, who took off after the Brain was destroyed, on a quest … the Quest for Otto’s Decaying Corpse. Upon the small Spider-bots arrival at the cemetery its discovered someone has been stealing dead villains decaying bodies. It’s at this point I have to question the leadership of the Marvel Universe as a whole. Who the hell thinks it’s a good idea to keep super villains dead bodies lying around all in the same location? Cremate these bad dudes and dudettes my good friends, science will always find a way in comic books.
With some quick thinking and access to a cell phone, Spider-bot Otto, arranges a meeting between these grave robbers and New U in an attempt to broker a deal, in an attempt to make himself whole again. Once Otto is in New U’s possession, the company does what it does and starts the process of bringing Otto back with one major roadblock left in Dr. Ock’s way. He remembers when his body passed on, Peter’s consciousness was the one in control (see Amazing Spider-Man 698 – 700 & Superior Spider-Man its good shit). This forces the Spider-bot Otto to spring into action, jumping into the cloning tank, and attaching itself to the reconstructing body in an effort to upload Otto’s consciousness and destroy Peter’s. Now if your new to Spider-Man you might have no idea what the hell is going on here but I assure you it all makes sense in recent continuity
This leads to, Spider-Man versus Dr. Ock, fighting in the mindscape. The thing is in Otto’s mind he’s allowed to follow the Patriot way, cheating his way to victory, like Brady and Belichick. It’s at this point the body has finished reconstructing in the cloning chamber which results in Dr. Ock possessing his mind once again coming back better than ever. He promptly joins “Team Jackal” with a handshake promise to see what can be done about removing the clone deterioration some patients are experiencing. So who thinks an Otto/Jackal team-up is going to end well? Not I said the Bills fan!
That’s all folks. No real forward momentum was provided in our story this issue but some good back ground information was given into how Otto was able to get his mind back into his body. This was all flashback material which provided Clone Conspiracy’s cliff hanger, in issue one, as Otto got the upper hand on Spidey via a cloned Gwen Stacy assist. While I did enjoy the issue overall, aside some from sciencey explanations into how this “cloning” process works, there wasn’t much new and this could really have been trimmed down into backup material for the event. This was a really weird issue of the Amazing Spider-Man by Slott and Gage because it felt a little like filler so early into this event and rarely featured Spider-Man himself at all. Giuseppe Camuncoli’s art is serviceable here but the lack of action and the emphasis on exposition prevents him from showing off skills inside the book with the exception of a few panels.
Bits and Pieces:
The Clone Conspiracy rolls as the villains take the spotlight here. While overall this was an entertaining flashback issue, filling in the blanks of how Otto got from point A to point B, it wasn’t necessarily a required buy unless you’re a “collect em all” kind of person.