Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Complete Clone Saga 4: Web of Life

Seems I am not the only one with an interest to relive the Clone Saga. Dan Slott, co-writer of Amazing Spider-Man, is bringing Ben Reilly back and with it comes a new limited series by Tom DeFalco and Howard Mackie retelling the Clone Saga. Who wants to bet half the characters get written out completely?

“Web of Life” opens with the Scarlet Spider in battle with both Tombstone and a group of terrorist. The Grim Hunter also begins his hunt for the Spider. Otherwise, not much happens. Meh.

Chapter two gives us more Kaine... and man, this guy was emo before emo was emo. Lots of whining and smashing things. In fact, so much of it, that Scarlet Spider looks positively upbeat in comparison. This chapter also gives us Seward Trainer, a scientist with a strange need to where spandex for a man who isn’t a superhero. Apparently, he is an old friend of ol’ Scarlety. Sadly, he will become far too involved in the inner workings of the Spider-books for the next couple years. We also get the first appearance of Phil Raven, the man who wants to arrest the Scarlet Spider for murder! But that story has another year or so to wait.

Chapter three opens with Kaine rescuing a homeless woman, showing us that he isn’t totally evil. But it doesn’t stop him from battling Ben Reilly, even attempting to kill our intrepid hero. But it all comes to a head when Grim Hunter arrives on the scene... with plans to kill Peter Parker. Only Scarlet Spider can hope to save his other self.

In the final chapter of “Web of Life” we finally meet Seward Trainer, even as Ben reveals more of his past dealings, and hatred, for the man known as Kaine. But in the end it comes down to a battle between Kaine and the Grim Hunter, a battle where the son of Kraven dies by Kaine’s hand.

“Web of Life” is where the Clone Saga starts to weaken. Instead of an ongoing saga following Ben, we instead get a lot of padding poorly disguised as “build-up”. But the story was far from over... even as we move over to the other two Spider-books and “Web of Life”.

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