“The Clone Conspiracy” event wraps up with an Omega issue…which means it’s either going to be an excellent epilogue or a boring extended advertisement for future and/or other low selling titles. Let’s dive in and see which one we’ve got.
The Clone Conspiracy: Omega #1 (Marvel Comics)
The book is split into three parts.
- Poor Rhino. I haven’t felt this bad for him since that Flowers for Algernon story he was in.
- Oh geez. I knew this whole clone thing was messed up, I hadn’t even realized the type of damage it was going to do after the prime subjects were rescued.
- Kaine being an ass to Spider-Man, just like old times.
- Kaine totally speaks for the reader (or me, at least).
- I still ship Miles and Gwen, but Kaine and Spider-Gwen is a close second.
- This is the most therapeutic brawl I’ve ever seen.
- GOOD LORD!
- At least Ben Reilly’s exterior matches what’s on the inside now.
- Geez! This guy is seriously a stone cold sociopath now…
- …and still all types of dangerous.
- Kingpin may be primarily a Daredevil villain these days, but I still like seeing him go head to head with Spidey…
- …especially when he does something completely unexpected.
Now THAT’S how you stick a landing.
While the last issue left something to be desired, The Clone Conspiracy: Omega #1 hit all the right notes. The event series’ ending is wonderfully solid, but also appropriately messy. People have been devastated both physically and emotionally. What could have been a great (and lazy) excuse to bring back a lot of dead characters has instead been utilized as a brilliant way reopen up some very old wounds.
The book also manages to (mostly) avoid the exposition dump trap these types of issues can become by framing much of the emotional fallout in a beautifully drawn fight between Spider-Man and the Rhino. Some of the pair’s dialogue is a bit melodramatic, but it still resonates with the wave of grief that is currently crashing over Spider-Man and his supporting cast.
And that last page…yikes. Spider-Man comics rarely unnerve me, so hats off to Dan Slott, Christos Gage, and Cory T. Smith for giving me the willies—and opening the door to some incredibly creepy/unsettling stories down the road.
Speaking of the future, the backup/preview stories succeed where many others fail. They both do an excellent job previewing both the new Scarlet Spider series and the next issue of Amazing Spider-Man in the form of very well crafted, beautifully drawn tales. It certainly doesn’t hurt having folks like Peter David, Mark Bagley, and Stuart Immonen pitching in to make them.
Even for a comic reader like me who has grown wary of event series, The Clone Conspiracy was all types of fun to read. Add in the strong ending we get here (an area where many other event series come up short)—and this one was almost as good as Spiderverse.
Whichever one you like better, however, I think it’s safe to officially declare that Marvel’s best event series are being spun out of the Spider-Man office.