If you’ve been following the Clone Conspiracy, then you know there was recently a HUGE reveal about who has been behind it all—which managed to surprise even a jaded reader like me.
This week, Amazing Spider-Man #22 presents what might be one of the most awkward conversations in Peter Parker’s life.
Is it good?
Amazing Spider-Man #22 (Marvel Comics)
- Peter Parker and I are definitely on the same page right now.
- I wasn’t fully ready to believe it was Ben Reilly until he made me laugh.
- This 1990’s flashback makes me want to go find my Pearl Jam CDs.
- If you ever thought Miles Warren could be a sympathetic character, then prepare to have that notion drowned, burned, and electrocuted. Repeatedly.
- Good lord this is heart breaking ☹
- Hate to say it, but Ben’s good a good point.
Is It Good?
Alternate reality stories where heroes do seemingly horrible things can be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, they often require the reader to take a leap of faith over a poorly explained narrative gap to get to the good stuff.
In Amazing Spider-Man #22, Dan Slott and Christos Gage take that “gap” challenge head on, giving Ben Reilly a reason and motivation for his actions that’s so understandable and plausible, it’s hard to disagree with him. I mean, you still can (I certainly do), but you can also totally see why the Peter Parker from other timelines (and the Ben Reilly from this one) do what they did.
The issue effectively establishes Jackal Reilly as a sympathetic character with noble intentions. This could prove to be incorrect down the road, but I’m totally buying it right now. Add in a new wrinkle/horrifying wrinkle with what happened to Miles Warren, and you’ve got yourself one of the rare exposition-heavy issues that still manages to be great.
For long-time Spidey fans, some of the recap material may feel redundant, but Slott and Gage are all but required to cover and explain it. Also, artist Guiseppe Camuncoli does some beautiful splash page and paneling work that make the flashbacks both easy to follow and gorgeous to look at.
No matter how uneasy it makes you feel to have clones invading Peter Parker’s life again, you have to give credit to the Slott and the rest of the Spider-Man writers for (so far) making The Clone Conspiracy a highly entertaining event.