Comics : Spider-Man: The Clone Trap

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: Book of the Month Club

This review was first published on: May 2010.

Background...

This is the third or fourth book in this 8" x 8", soft cover 24 page format from Meredith books. This one is brazenly entitled "The Clone Trap". It's a bold move. The mere mention of cloning is enough to give most Spider-Fans the jitters. But let's screw our courage to the sticking place [Macbeth Act 1, scene 7, 59–61], and we'll not fail to proceed into the depths of this ominous narrative.

In Detail...

Spider-Man: The Clone Trap
Feb 2007 : SM Title
Find ISBN 9780696234774
Publisher:  Meredith Books
Writer:  Benjamin Harper
Illustrator:  Louis De Martinis
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Green Goblin has enlisted the aid of evil super-criminal Venom. Together, they will destroy Spider-Man. How? Ah... there's the rub [Hamlet Act 3, scene 1, 55–87].

Gobbo's plan is to forcefully enlist the aid of Dr. Curt Connors and have him create fifty clones of Venom. Then they're sure to defeat the webslinger. Mind you, there's just the teeniest chance that fifty clones of Venom might themselves become a minor nuisance for the Green Goblin. But that's a separate issue.

The two villains head off to Connors' Lab and make their demands. But fortunately... cut back a while or two. Student Peter Parker needs help for a science paper, and the only man who can help him is Dr. Curt Connors. But Connors knows Spider-Man, not Peter, and thus it is that Spider-Man happened to be lurking in the shadows and overheard aforementioned the Venom/Goblin/Connors conversation.

Now, Spider-Man knows that he is no match for the Goblin and Venom, and so does not fight them. So, tell me then, if Venom + Goblin > Spider-Man, then why the heck is there any need for Goblin to enlist fifty Venoms? You have no answer. Me neither. But fortunately the entire question is moot, as Spider-Man persuades Connors to follow a different path.

Thus it is that Spider-Man and Connors spend the next few hours performing the research necessary to perfect Cloning and create 30 Dachshunds. No, seriously. With a few hours work, the pair solve the problems of cloning and also of instant clone growth to maturity. This is sufficient to earn them pretty much every Nobel prize in the world. Except the peace prize of course, since I'd be pretty damn sure that instant universal cloning would pretty much set the scene for a century or three of global conflict.

Anyhow, Venom and Goblin return, but Spider-Man is waiting with a sonic transducer which incapacitates Venom. Goblin flies away.

The End.

In General...

Another question then. What the hell was the point of creating the Dachshunds? In the end, they played no part in the plan. They seem to have existed for amusement value only.

Then again, the whole concept of two guys inventing instant cloning in an afternoon's work pretty much opens a can of worms so big you could fit a few thousand Dachshunds in the can and still have room to spare.

On one hand it's an original idea and the art and text level are sensible enough. But on the other hand, it's a story so insane that even the Internet would have trouble assembling enough people who would back it as a conspiracy theory.

What's so annoying is that with five minutes work it's easy enough to imagine a dozen variations on the plot that would have at least been less ludicrous. Say the Goblin asked for a potion which would double Venom's strength, but Connors cooked up something that turned the symbiote into a puddle. Or asked Connors to create him an army of Lizards, but Spider-Man bought him a fragment of Goblin's costume and he trained them to attack that scent. Anything would have been better than Clones!

Overall Rating...

This just reinforces my instinctive fear of anything clone-esque. Two webs.