Monday, February 20, 2017

The Clone Conspiracy #5 Review

The Clone Conspiracy #5

Writer: Dan Slott
Art Team: Jim Cheung, John Dell, Jay Leisten, Justin Ponsor
Marvel Comics
Release Date: February 17, 2017
Cover Price: $3.99

I’m Melting, Melting, Melllllllltingggggggggg!!!

Well, well, well, we finally have our wrap up issue to Clone Conspiracy and I for one, at least going in, am pretty pumped.  Due to solicitation spoilers, Marvel’s revealed the Scarlet Spider will eventually get his own book, so I’ve been dying to see how those events would come to be, since for one reason or another he is something I enjoyed about reading comics during the 90’s. Don’t ask why, I was young and dumb okay.  So are we given those answers and more in our conclusion or, in typical Marvel fashion lately, has this event all been one big setup to provide us a non-ending and force us to just buy more books. Swing on in, be spoiled, and find out.

Things start quickly, and pick up right where issue four had ended, with Scarlet Spider basking in the aftermath of his decision to set a signal off, transforming all clones, and those they infect simply by touch, into Carrion’s (aka Zombies).  Spidey off the bat has to fight his way out of a gaggle of formerly dead villains, somehow finding a way to the cloned Gwen Stacey, and the two set off since she knows the New U operational layout, and Spidey needs to put an end to the Jackal in disguise, Scarlet Spider’s, plans.

Although Ben Reilly has brought everyone back from death they, and the other infected people, are not all eager to be so close to heaven’s door. Kaine and Dr. Ock being chief among them.  Ben wrestles with those against him, in the control room, as Spidey pushes forward with Gwen, who maybe (possibly) sacrifices herself at one point to help Spidey advance further on his mission to stop this madness.  This is the start of my issue I’ll get to with the story in a minute.    
Spider-Man, at just past the half way point of our issue, finally confronts Ben, and Peter surprisingly finds an eager ally to his cause in Dr. Ock. See Ock is flat out pissed Ben has now infected his love Anna Maria with this garbage virus, vowing to die if he must to put an end to this.  As Ock keeps Ben busy, Spidey and Anna get to work on trying to counter the signal effects on everyone else in the area. 

As the issue winds down, and the signal programmed starts to take effect, it apparently helps some people in time, while others were left to parish due to degeneration.  Now while this normally wouldn’t be a huge problem for me as a ending for a ‘comic book’ event, the way all ‘deaths’ are NOT shown and almost entirely off panel, with the small exception of a few people, just leaves way TOO many questions hanging about who’s left alive and who’s really really dead. Basically I’m left feeling almost any Spider-Man rouge, that was once dead and resurrected here at any point, could be back in play at any time in the future and you have no clue who that is and why that could be. There are empty clothes left on the floor, and were supposed to think these people just “melted”, Doc Ock’s words not mine. However we as comic readers know; if it happened off panel it most likely never happened at all or they're events loopholes you’re not privy too, which to me personally sucks.
The ending gets even further jumbled when literally the last pages of the story basically involve even more clone nonsense and shenanigans. Spider-Man and Anna descend into a hidden corner of New U which hides the original bodies used for the experiments. Again, not a bad idea, but when these people are pulled from the tubes they are entirely fine?! As if the clone process has healed their original body?! So Prowler was really never dead to begin with and the clone was a pointless front?! Or did Ben know this and never tell anyone?! I’m lost and feel ripped off because this was never teased or alluded to before the last page of a 5 issue mini-series. Why not use the healed Prowler instead of a clone version, if you’re Ben, and just tell him he's a clone?  This is nonsense, and it only further muddies the waters of this event and ruins the end, if you ask me.

Overall this was a very non-ending to the overall Clone Conspiracy (or Dead No More) arc.  I have no more answers provided to me and plenty more questions about all this cloning nonsense than I did entering the story. This is not a good thing and means the story wasn’t very well told despite my initial excitement about it. This practice also forces a reader to buy ‘Omega issues’, and the continuing invested tie-ins, to see how the story truly unfolds and leads into new number one issues coming out. So basically another Marvel event wrapped up hastily to line their pockets with dollars now and further down the line.  If you advertise a story as a five issue event, here’s a radical idea, tell the story in five issues. Be up front about things and I as a reader will feel less burned in the end because I’m not forced to buy things I may not otherwise be interested in.

The art was again solid, which it has been throughout the entire series, so at least when you go back to look at the collection you can follow the story that way, because little else made sense in the scheme of things dialogue wise. I guess this is just really par for the course with these clone type stories at this point. Look at it this way, if you treat clone stories like time travel and just end up being ok with everything that happens, you may have a good time, if you question why things may happen, you may run into some issues.

Bits and Pieces

Clone Conspiracy #5 ends in lackluster fashion continuing the trend of strange Spidey related clone saga shenanigans that have preceded it.  This story also continues the Marvel event strategy of ending things with non-endings forcing you, a reader, further into a currently convoluted Marvel lineup, you may end up regretting … but hey at least Clone Conspiracy looked good doing it. Right?!         


1 comment:

  1. The art was not very good either. This series had no point and literally ended up going nowhere. What was the point of it other than raising the dead temporarily?