Last month, The Clone Conspiracy #1 got the latest spider-centric Marvel event off to a strong start. This week, the second issue takes on a tall order—continuing the first issue’s momentum while also providing a hook that helps all the craziness we’ve seen so far make sense.
Is it good?
Spider-Man: The Clone Conspiracy #2 (Marvel Comics)
- Always good to see Kaine/Scarlet Spider, especially when he’s being drawn by Jim Cheung.
- Doctor Octopus: Master of In-Fight Exposition.
- Gotta admit, this version of the Jackal really does seem to have it together. Maybe it’s just the cool new mask or his vastly improved dialogue, but I kind of want to believe that his intentions are good.
- HOLY CRAP.
- Okay, I was genuinely not expecting that (and I probably should have been).
- I knew cloning would end up being a bad idea, but not because of this. Yikes.
Is It Good?
Before I dive into the story, Jimmy Cheung scores some major points for creating one of the coolest images I never knew I wanted. I won’t spoil it here, but let’s just say it involves one of the newer members of the Spiderverse fighting in their “classic” getup—and it’s all types of awesome.
Cheung also gets to draw a ton of Spider-Man villains, from the top tier right down to the D-list, thanks to Dan Slott’s script, which is fantastic.
First off, we get a genuinely cool/terrifying reason for why the Jackal’s New U project is bad (beyond the obvious ethical considerations). When the seeds for this story were being planted, I’d wondered when the other shoe would drop and it would be revealed that this was all just a paint-by-numbers diabolical plan. Instead of going that route, Slott manages to make Jackal an even more compelling character while also creating even more dangerous/devestating consequences than had been previously anticipated.
We also get some great moments from the supporting cast, including one that comes out of nowhere but ties in perfectly with the issue’s opening.
My only complaints about this one were Doc Ock’s tortuous monologuing (has he always done it that much?) and a scene that felt like it was shoehorned to promote a crossover with another title. It’s a jarring interruption to what is otherwise a fantastic narrative.
Add in Jackal’s surprisingly good dialogue, some great fight scenes, and a stunning cliffhanger, and The Clone Conspiracy looks like it’s shaping up to be another wildly enjoyable Spider-Man event series—even for people like me who don’t enjoy event series in general.
Don’t let the “clone” part scare you off, either. Slott and is doing something really cool and different here. And besides, how can you not want to read a series where Miles Warren openly acknowledges that his old costume looked like a fuzzy version of Yoda?