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Monday, October 05, 2009 

What's the point of trying to "fix" the Clone Saga?

IGN Comics writes about Spider-Man: The Clone Saga, a new miniseries that's supposed to "streamline" the most notorious Spider-story of the 1990s:
X-Men Forever seems to have started a trend wherein publishers can reunite old creative teams to "fix" books that went astray by starting over from square one. Never you mind that X-Men Forever doesn't really "fix" anything. Spider-Man: The Clone Saga takes a similar approach to the infamous event storyline of the '90s. It's generally acknowledged that the Clone Saga might have had merit if it hadn't been drawn out over several years and stretched beyond all logical breaking points. This mini-series finally offers Marvel the chance to prove that.

In six issues, Spider-Man: The Clone Saga is meant to retread the entire saga from start to finish, streamlining the events, eliminating the excess nonsense, and giving readers the ending the writers originally intended. Not a bad pitch for a mini-series. Writers Howard Mackie and Tom DeFalco seem to have taken a fairly literal approach when it comes to streamlining the story. My memory of the Clone Saga - what I actually read of it - is fairly hazy, so I consulted a few reference sources before plowing through issue #1. I was surprised and a little amused to note that the writers have essentially boiled down the timeline of the first six months of the original Clone Saga into a series of bullet points. Those bullet points make up the outline of issue #1.
But I still don't see what the point is of trying to "repair" a story featuring ideas that everybody shunned back in the day, and I honestly think Mackie and DeFalco are making a serious mistake to revisit this story, even if they avoid some of the more offensive parts, like Peter (or Ben?) shoving Mary Jane against a wall when it's "revealed" he's a clone as he runs out the door furiously. The story never did anything for the Spider-mythos and was symbolic of Marvel's deviation from plausible storytelling at the time.

What is surprising though is that EIC Quesada would actually allow a story like this set in the 616 universe purists consider the real one to be published that even alludes to Mary Jane's pregnancy from then. But since this miniseries focuses on one of the most time-wasting stories of the mid-90s, that's why it just isn't worth it. And who in their right mind would buy it? Not those who were alienated by the Clone Saga back in the day, that's for sure.

On a side note, the writer of this review gets something wrong: the Clone Saga didn't span over several years, just 2 at best, and that's very fortunate, because if it had gone on for much longer, things would've gotten much worse, and lost a lot more audience than it did.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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