Spider-Man: Maximum Clonage Omega

 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Kerry Wilkinson (E-Mail)

Story 'The End of the Beginning!'

Jackal tells Ben that his plan to kill everyone begins at the Bugle. Spidercide dematerializes for some reason while Ben battles his way out from the goo and sets off to save everyone at the Bugle.

At MJ's, Pete decides that because he's a clone, he's not worthy of her any longer and swings off with Gwen in tow.

Jackal is at the Bugle and has prepared the Carrion bomb with a bunch of mini-Jackals (where the hell did they come from?). Scrier shows up with Spidercide seemingly to stop him.

Peter and Gwen are at the Jackal's lab but trigger a defence mechanism. Peter fights it off and sets to work on the Jackal's computer to find out what's going on. Scarlet arrives at the Bugle and tells Jameson everyone must evacuate just before he is attacked by the Jackal (what happened to Scrier/Spidercide?)

MJ finds some of Peter's web-slingers, while back at the Bugle Spidercide and Jackal are now both fighting Ben (WTF?) Spidercide attacks Ben but the roof begins to fall. Spidercide turns his attentions back to Jackal and they fall through a hole in the wall down towards the street far below. Ben shoots a webline and snags them. The Jackal is saved but 'cide plummets down to the street below.

Jackal tells Ben that when he took cell samples from him (Peter) years ago, he used the occasion to plant the thought into Ben's mind that he was a clone. Spidey and Gwen show up Spidey battles Jackal while Scarlet goes off to stop the bomb (he has 10 minutes). They all end up on the roof with Jackal webbed up. He asks the two if they want to know why he let the High Evolutionary believe that Peter and Gwen were genetic constructs and not clones. They ignore him.

The little Jackals turn up and Ben sorts them out while Spidey works on the bomb. They both work together, using their spider-sense to work out which parts are booby traps. They succeed and get the test tube of virus. Gwen shows up just as Jackal breaks loose. She has a gun which is pointing at Jackal.

MJ shows up on the roof (jeez!), Jackal lunges at Gwen, who's knocked over the roof but is left hanging onto a ledge. Jackal tries to save her but goes totally over the edge as MJ throws the new webbing cartridge to Ben (why not Peter?), who saves Gwen from doing the same.

The bomb suddenly re-activates for no good reason (no Carrion virus though, just the bomb). Ben grabs it and swings off with it. He flings it out towards the ocean and snags it before it explodes. He then goes back to MJ/Pete/Gwen. Peter wants someone safe to isolate the virus vial. The police show up and take it, while the Jackal is dead and Spidercide's body is put into stasis, also seemingly dead. The Gwen clone slips away unnoticed.

Peter and MJ are back home, saying their sorrys. Peter swings off to see Ben. The two decide they need to sit down and sort out where they go from here.

General Comments

Once again, this story has been so stretched out. Two double-length issues and four regulars. Not only that but the early parts of full of rubbish crossovers.

That said - at least most of the mess has been cleared up. We're down to just two Peters now, thank goodness. Kaine and The Jackal are both dead, with Spidercide incapacitated. I still have no clue what's going on with Scrier and why he showed up at the Bugle.

On that note - why the Bugle for the bomb? Why not Times Square to get the maximum number of victims? The jump in logic in Omega which had Jackal deciding to let the bomb off in the Bugle made zero sense.

The whole thing would have been easier to follow if the main characters didn't keep switching sides. Kaine's a murdering bad guy who hates Ben, then he's teaming with him. Spidercide's a bad guy who then goes against The Jackal. Pete's a good guy who ends up working for The Jackal. Make your mind up!

This story is a relief in a lot of ways, however. I don't really object to Ben being the 'true' Peter as such. Worse things could have (and in future are) done to the character. It also gets rid of a lot of the annoying side-cast who've been confusing matters. That said, it's still a bit of a shambles and the issue over which Peter is which and who will be Spider-Man has still not been resolved.

Overall Rating

Gets a higher mark just because it puts some degree of closure to this damn storyline.

 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Kerry Wilkinson (E-Mail)