Ultimate Spider-Man #103

Background

Worried about the danger his crime-fighting life places MJ in, Peter breaks up with her and starts dating Kitty Pryde, of the mutant super-hero team, the X- Men. Nevertheless, MJ is kidnapped by a horrible scarred, tattered clone of Peter. He takes her to an abandoned Oscorp laboratory and swears he's found a way to keep MJ safe from harm... by transforming her into a monster like the Green Goblin.

As the real Peter searches for MJ, he instead discovers his friend Gwen Stacy, back from the dead... As if that weren't enough, Peter's father - Richard - reappears (after long being thought dead himself) and reveals that he has been doing secret cloning experiments for the CIA! Even worse - Peter reveals to his Aunt May that he is Spider-Man!

Suddenly, Nick Fury - head of the government's superhuman task force and armed to the teeth with spider-slayer warrior drones - surrounds the house. The overwhelming stress of the situation gives Aunt May a hear attack... but the greater shock is when Gwen transforms into Carnage - the very monster that killed her - and attacks Fury and his men!

When the Fantastic Four arrive to help Peter, Carnage is defeated and Aunt May is taken to the hospital (with Peter's dad and the FF's Sue Storm following)... and Peter is rescued by another clone of himself - this one, a girl! She takes Peter to the Oscorp lab where he finds the mutated MJ and a veritable army of clones... but yet another surprise comes when the mastermind reveals himself: Doctor Octopus, with Fury and the Fantastic Four at his side!

Story Details

  Ultimate Spider-Man #103
Arc: Part 7 of 'Clone Saga' (1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9)
Editor: Ralph Macchio
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Mark Bagley
Inker: Drew Hennessy
Cover Art: Mark Bagley

At Xavier's School For Gifted Children, Kitty watches the news. MJ is missing, so Peter is in trouble. She wants the X-men to go to Queens.

At the hospital, Aunt May is taken to the ER. Sue takes a blood sample from Richard and then wants access to one of the computers.

At the Oscorp lab, Peter is having various thoughts, mainly that he wants to kill Doctor Octopus. Fury tells all Parker people to get up and stand against the back wall. MJ is on the floor, Johnny Storm is upset. Peter holds her in his arms and asks the FF to help her. Then, ugly Peter jumps for her, but he is killed by the drones. Fury calls for a cease fire.

The FF are to leave. Doctor Octopus wants to take the clone with him. Fury get angry, but Octopus says he doesn't have to answer to Fury. Still, Fury puts him under arrest. The Ock reveals he works for people that truly hate Nick Fury. He made Jessica from a blood sample of Peter Parker, confiscated from Ben Reilly, the assistant of Doctor Curt Connors. They were already in phase three of a super-soldier clone experiment.

At the hospital, Richard discovers that his blood matches that of Peer Parker. He's sad. Doctor Octopus created him, by tampering with the aging process and using psychic memory implants to convince him he was Peter's father.

Peter then wants to make a deal with Fury. Send your men for some coffee and give us ten minutes. Doctor Octopus is making fun of Fury. Fury tells his men to leave the room, leaving all Parkers alone with Doctor Octopus. The six-armed clone attacks first. Peter follows. Then Ock kills the six-armed clone. He reveals that the arms they gave him his nickname wasn't what he could control, it was the metal. And using metal from the lab, he creates a new, deadly set of them!

General Comments

Cool issue, action, drama, and a triple cliffhanger. First, will the X-Men arrive? Second, what will the Richard clone do? Third, will Jessica and Peter survive the new and improved arms of Doctor Octopus. A safe bet is Peter will, why kill the main character of your series. But who will perish? At this point, everything is possible. And I like that.

Remember my comments on last issue? Richard is a clone, phew, my guess is, he'll die... or takes Aunt May's place, even better. But if Aunt May gets killed, we'll never find out who she was with, that night she didn't return home. Also, how can we be sure it's the real Aunt May. We'll have to wait and see, but there's enough there to retcon a lot of the mess they created.

And why were Nick Fury and the FF at the Oscorp lab? The FF have no reason to be there. Sure, they were there to help Peter earlier, but Peter escaped, why not return home? And Fury who is both head of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Ultimates seems not the be the top dog, according to Doctor Octopus. To me, that seems a bit out of character.

Overall Rating

Almost a full 5 webs. To me, there are still a few plotholes. Oh well, there's always next month for improvement.