Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #51

Background

This story appeared as a backup in the four issues of the Power and Responsibility story line. It retells the original Clone Saga as detailed in Amazing Spider-Man #149 and following. Note that this backup story was included only in the Deluxe Foil-Stamped versions of these four books.

Story 'Who Am I?'

  Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #51 (Story 2)
Arc: Part 3 of 'The Double' (1-2-3-4)
Editor: Danny Fingeroth
Writer: J.M. DeMatteis
Pencils: Liam Sharp
Inker: Robin Riggs

Pages 1-2: The Clone puts on the costume. He stands there in full Spider-Man regalia and asks the question that's been bugging him since his creation - "Who am I?"

Pages 3-6: Warren has been 'helping' the double to remember his past over the last few weeks. The little that he remembers, he finds overwhelming. He sees everything as the Jackal talks him through it - the loss of his parents, his guilt over the murder of Uncle Ben (how did Warren know about this exactly??) and of course Gwen's death. In amongst the pain and confusion, he sees Uncle Ben come to him with the reassuring words: "We could never blame you... It's not how many times you've failed that matters, Peter. It's how many times you've tried."

Pages 7-8: Warren interrupts this encouraging vision in his Jackal costume and tells the double how worthless and wretched he is. He fights back, knocking the Jackal to the floor.

Page 9: He makes to attack Warren again, but is so disorientated that he falls unconscious. Warren then looks down on the Clone and says that there's some final refinements to be done in his programming.

Page 10: Sunrise at Shea Stadium (home of the Mets). The two Spider-Men wake up next to each other and leap to the defensive with "Who the heck are you?"

We learnt in Peter Parker: Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #33 that Shea Stadium holds a special place in Peter's heart. He goes there to watch a baseball game every year on the anniversary of his Uncle Ben's death.

Special Features: A page on Dmitri Smerdyakov (aka Chameleon) from the files of Dr. Ashley Kafka, also a page on Malcolm McBride (aka Carrion); previews of Back From The Edge and The Exile Returns and a couple of pages of Maximum Carnage cheats.

General Comments

Despite the current knee-jerk response that the word "Clone" brings to many Spider-Fans these days, this isn't actually a bad story, and this is also a pretty good re-telling.

Overall Rating

Four webs.