Because hey, can’t leave a saga hanging now can we?
One of the problems that comes with of having a day job (or two) is some things fall through the cracks until it is time to update the inventory in ComicBase and you suddenly remember, with dread, you forgot to review the final two parts of the Ultimate Spider-Man Clone Saga. Fortunately, for those of you who have been anxiously awaiting the final two issues, you now have an excuse to run down to the local shop and pick them up from the “why didn’t you buy this issue two months ago?” bin.
The last time we checked in with the teenaged web-slinger, Peter and his cloned female counterpart were just about to put the smack down on Doc Ock while Nick Fury and his Spider-slayers awaited the outcome outside. Readers were also forced to anxiously wait to see if Reed Richards would be able to reverse the Oz formula and cure the rather furry Mary Jane.
I’ll give you a little heads up, Reed Richards is supposedly the smartest man in the Ultimate Marvel Universe, and this series runs past issue #104, so I think we all know how the battle between the Parkers and Ock turns out.
But for those of you who need a blow by blow, the issue begins with Reed waking MJ up, who promptly freaks out and turns into the furry beast they are trying to cure.
The Fantastic Three (Sue is currently busy) try to subdue monster Mary Jane, doing quite the damage in the process. It’s only after Scorpion-Clone Parker is released from his containment bubble that MJ regains part of her senses, turns back into her naked self and promptly passes out.
Sue has been keeping a watchful eye on Aunt May, who still hasn’t woken up from her heart attack. She’s also been looking into the mystery of the sudden reappearance of Peter’s dad. Sadly, Sue has to inform Richard that he isn’t really the father he thinks he is, but rather another clone who has been rapidly aged and implanted with false memories to think he is Richard Parker.
So how weird is this? Peter is not only his own sister, but he’s his own father too. I’d hate to see the bill for those therapy sessions.
As fate would have it, the Parker family reunion is going to a short lived one because Doctor Octavius failed to halt the aging process and by the end of the issue, Dickey boy has aged well into his golden years, and before passing into the great unknown he asks Sue to be Peter’s friend.
But what about the cage match you’ve been waiting for? It’s an all out fight between the man with the metal arms and the wonder twins that carries on for a full seven pages, which is rather surprising because the fight Peter had with his scorpion clone lasted eight pages.
Like Lex Luthor, Doctor Octopus blames all his woes and troubles on the infernal meddling of that darn kid. His only solution is to make it his life’s work to kill Peter and everything he stands for – even if that means using Peter’s cells to clone super soldiers.
But even in all the chaos, Peter and Jessica are able to take the maniac down.
Which leads to the inevitable, “What do we do now?”
Jessica believes if they turn themselves in to S.H.I.E.L.D. they will be killed and sliced and diced. Peter, on the other hand is still a good guy at heart, and even after Jessica takes off for parts unknown knows he must do what is right.
Before Fury can take Peter into custody, Johnny Storm shows up to escort Parker to the Fantastic Four building. Seems Reed has been having some problems reversing the procedure and MJ may not make it.
Peter’s been through a lot these last 10 issues or so, and having yet another loved one die on him probably wouldn’t be good for his well being, or for Bendis, as fans might revolt if he killed MJ before the radioactive sperm does. For those of you who don’t get that reference, might I suggest you try reading Spider-Main: Reign for a really messed up look at Peter in his later years.
As expected, Mary Jane does pull through and wakes up, at which point Peter professes his true love for MJ, with a happy endings all around. Better yet, Reed and Dr. Storm have some big news for Peter; they can actually reverse his spider powers turning him back to a normal teen.
For a kid who has had his entire life turned upside down these last couple of years, having the option of returning to his pre-spider state may sound like a good idea. The scary thing is Mr. Fantastic has a way of reversing Spider-Man’s powers that could play a big role if Marvel ever decides to do the Ultimate Civil-War saga.
I liked this issue a lot. While it didn’t totally wrap up the Clone Saga, it brought the story to enough of a conclusion for us to gear up for the next Spectacular Amazing adventure of your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. Was the Clone Saga as big a mess as everyone thought it would be? I don’t think so. While the compression and decompression of the story (from now on we’ll call it Bendis-time) did annoy me at times, I thought all of the important plot points and issues were resolved in a fairly logical way; that is, if you consider a magical Oz formula and a wacky six armed bowl haircut super villain as logical. I’m more than happy to give this issue a solid 4 out of 5 stars.
But what about the big decision? For that you’ll have to turn the page.