Monday, October 19, 2009

The Complete Clone Saga 5: Web of Death

While Web of Life plays out for the Scarlet Spider, Web of Death occupies the time of our long-time Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. Still dying (as he has been for months now), Spider-Man stumbles through the city and collapses as Amazing Spider-Man 397 begins. Doctor Octopus finds him, but refuses to kill him in his current pathetic state.

Stunner trashes a bar, only for Doc Ock to arrive and collect her. They romance for a bit before Stunner suddenly vanishes. A bit later, she beats down Spider-Man. Octopus arrives a bit later to unmask Peter as the first chapter wraps.

Chapter Two in Spectacular Spider-Man 220 (featuring the rock solid art team of Sal Buscema & Bill Sienkiewicz) has Doctor Octopus devote himself to find a cure for Peter. He does so because he cannot watch his greatest foe die at the hands of another, but even his scientific skills prove not to be a match for the poison in Peter’s veins. Kaine continues to stalk Mary Jane, but it isn’t until the final page that we get the surprise of the issue: MJ is pregnant!

Chapter Three is mostly filler, as Spidey celebrates his pregnant wife, worries about his dying aunt, and Doc Ock moves in the shadows. But finally Ock gives Spidey the cure, only for it to drop him to the floor. Peter proceeds to speak with both the recently deceased Nick Katzenberg and Aunt May, before he walks in to the light...

And in to chapter four! We open with chats with Richard and Mary Parker, a dream-state interrupted by the equally dead Norman Osborn (at least at this time). At the same time Doctor Octopus struggles to resuscitate Peter. His cure has worked, but not before Parker suffered heart failure. When Spider-Man awakens, he finds his foe is ready to renew their rivalry, a situation that flabbergasts Spidey. Doc is arrested, but rests assured that he will meet his enemy again. It proves not to be, as the mysterious Kaine first incapacitates Stunner, then attacks the convoy carrying Doc Ock. Otto fights back, but Kaine cracks his neck. Stunner arrives just in time to cradle her lover’s corpse.

And so, you have the first mistake of the Clone Saga. Say what you will about Spider-Man, Mary Jane, and the clone, but I think we can all agree that Doctor Octopus is an irreplaceable villain. Which becomes even more sad, as we move closer to meeting his replacement....

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