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Spider-Man: The Complete Clone Saga Epic - Book 3 Paperback – Sep 15 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel (Sept. 15 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785149546
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785149545
  • Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 2.5 x 26 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 680 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #388,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon.com: 13 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Some worthwhile content, but Venom and Carnage almost ruin the whole thing! Feb. 9 2011
By Robert Glidden - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Spoilers ahead! These reviews are meant for those who remember the Clone Saga.

With the third volume in this new "Complete Clone Saga Epic" series, I've started to realize that Marvel is not kidding around when they say "complete." Every Spidey comic published during that era seems ripe for inclusion in these volumes regardless of whether or not it dealt with the core plotline. I certainly appreciate the throughness of this approach, but it works against them this time.

But where were we at the end of Volume 2? The original 1970s Clone Saga mastermind, The Jackal, had just returned and planted seeds of doubt about just who is the real Spider-Man - Peter Parker or Ben Reilly? We start this time with "Players and Pawns," a two-part tale featuring more of Jackal's shenanigans. There's also a third Peter Parker who emerges suddenly. Is he the real one? Spoiler alert - no. Jackal's smugness and puns get old quick, but at least this story is short. The most notable thing that happens is that Aunt May finally comes out of her coma.

But anyone who reads this volume is in for a serious endurance test before we get to see the emotional ramifcations of Aunt May's return. Specifically, it's time to wade through the five-part "Planet of the Symbiotes" storyline. This story was published outside the four main Spidey-titles in a series of "super special" one-shots. Special...this story is special the same way that Forrest Gump was special. Venom and Carnage were quite overexposed during the 1990s. I still think the over-the-top "Maximum Carnage" storyline is a guilty pleasure, but this story is one of the most absolutely godawful Spider-Man tales I've ever read. And keep in mind we're in the middle of the Clone Saga when we say this, so that carries some weight.

I'm not even going to try and summarize the sheer stupidity that passes for a plot in this comic abortion, but I will point out a fairly amusing mistake. At one point in this story, Eddie Brock and the two Spideys are chilling with Mary Jane as they hide out from the invading symbiotes (seriously, don't ask) and good old MJ is very cordial with her husband's duplicate. Nothing wrong with that on its own, except Mary Jane's first meeting with Reilly happens later on in this same volume and she's not exactly in the best mood at the time. So not only is the story terrible, it's not even placed in the right spot. Like I said, I do appreciate that Marvel wants to include all the stories where the clone appears, but honestly nobody would have cried foul if this one was missing.

So if you made it through that, you get rewarded with "The Gift," the story originally printed in Amazing Spider-Man #400. The "gift" of the title is the week that Aunt May gets to spend with Peter Parker before her death. Yep, this was the story when she bowed out of the Spidey universe (at least for a few years...let's not go there). It made sense. She had been in poor health since the early 1960s and it was probably time to send the old girl out with dignity.

That's exactly what J.M. DeMatteis did in this exemplary story. There's no action whatsoever and it relies totally on characters and dialogue to make its impact. As a pre-teen when this came out, it was easily the most emotional thing I had ever read...and it still holds it own when you read it as an adult. Once May has peacefully passed, this story ends with a big shock. There were a lot of "shocks" in the Clone Saga that felt as revelatory as Tuesday coming after Monday, but this was a big one. Just as May's funeral is over, the police show up and arrest Peter Parker. The charge? Murder.

The two-part "Aftershocks" story comes after this, and this stuff is decent enough. The only drawback is seeing that lame-o Judas Traveller show up again and do nothing but blow a few things up and then go on his merry way. The final storyline included in Volume 3 is "The Mark of Kaine." Remember him? Well, he was impossible to forget during this Clone business. We were told that this story would answer our questions about the mysterious figure, but it ultimately didn't answer much. The first half focused on Kaine's prophetic visions of Mary Jane's death, which he hopes to prevent by kidnapping her and hiding her underground. Naturally, neither of the Spider-Men are too happy with this. Parker breaks out of jail (assisted by Traveller...just go away already!) and even the moody third Parker joins in. In the second half, the story goes off the rails as the third Parker is revealed to be some genetic abomination who can shapeshift in the style of T-1000. Yeah, it's really weird...and some of the art is just ghastly. In the final part, Kaine picks fights with a bunch of Spidey's enemies...*yawn* The best part of this story is the scene where Reilly unselfishly decides to switch places with Peter and remain in jail so that he can be with Mary Jane while hunting the real murderer. It's pretty epic.

That does it for now. Next time, we get into the really bad Clone Saga stuff. At least we're done with Venom for a while.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The clone saga starts to slow down Oct. 25 2010
By J. Dollak - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As I've read each of these Clone Saga books, I'm struck by how poorly Marvel managed what could have been an interesting storyline.
In this volume, the mismanagement moves further off the rails. The first issue in the volume recaps a bunch of things that happened. While this is worthwhile in terms of being complete, it adds nothing worth reading for people who are purchasing each volume.
The strangest elements are things like the whole Planet of the Symbiotes thing. It's a strange story, not especially well done.

There's another problem that has been cropping up in most of these volumes, and it's a sign of the times. Artists are no longer bound to character design. While many artists make slight tweaks to character design in the interest of putting their own stamp on the character, the degree to which characters like the Jackal change from one artist to another is really annoying.

I still feel bad for the character of Ben Reilly. I think he had a lot of promise, and they could have made a nice spin-off for him.

Judas Traveller is back again, and seems a little less malevolent.

I still feel glad to be reading this storyline in this format. The jumping between titles went way too far during this storyline.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Better with Age part 3 Nov. 29 2011
By Livebackwards - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'll repeat a little from my review on part 1 and 2

Everyone knows the Clone Saga was a mess. Heck it Drove me away from Spider-man at the time. But what everyone doesn't know is that after the Saga was over the Story was actually fun and is the longest story arc the web spinner has ever had. Sure there are ups and downs and less then stellar parts but its one Large Epic story.
Its Marvels Answer to the Death/Rebirth of Superman

So Now we are on to part 3 of the Trades and this has one has the large Reveal yet and Biggest moments in my opinion. at the time this was coming out monthly it was the hardest part because you honestly did not know where they were going with the Series. the Quality is still up to par as part 1 and part 2 (good and bad). The Story starts to turn a little darker but thats how the middle parts of most story's go. Things get worse before they get better.
Art Wise its still Drastically different from issue to issue Know that. Not a bad thing just make sure your ready and make sure you have read Trade 1 and Trade 2. This is not a place to jump in.
A Great Trade in a long Store.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
LOVE IT March 27 2012
By fmwaalex - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

Any and every one that knows me or has read my stuff knows how big a fan I am of "The Clone Saga", the Scarlet Spider, and Ben Reilly over all. This was a crazy time for me in my life and this was one of the main things that helped me get through all of that. That of course is explained in my review of volume one of this series. Still this volume has some very interesting stories in it, some major while others are not. Still to me they are all great in my opinion as nothing disappoints in this, much like the other two volumes. Now I am sure some of you may disagree but to each his own, I LOVE IT.

This wonderful volume collects Amazing Spider-Man 400-401, Amazing Spider-Man Super Special 1, Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man 222-224, Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man Super Special 1, Spider-Man 57-58, Spider-Man: The Clone Journal, Spider-Man Super Special 1, Spider-Man Unlimited 9, Web of Spider-Man 123-124, Web of Spider-Man Super Special 1, and of course Venom Super Special 1. If you are looking at that and thinking that is a lot, well you are right. But for a nut like me [who owns each of these separately as well] I love it. Still for anyone who loves comics it is a great deal, remember that you don't have to read it all at once.

We start things out with "The Clone Journal" which is basically a catch up reading guide to all things that have happened prior to this volume. Next up we get the "Players and Pawns" storyline which picks up where "Smoke & Mirrors" had left us with Kaine going through the ruble, what is he looking for? This story also introduces a new clone or is it the real deal Peter Parker? Also The Jackal is back in action and I love how strong they made this guy look. During this era The Jackal was not just another villain to eventually be beat, he literally was a dangerous opponent to all three Parker brothers. Also this story is a bit darker especially the first half of the story, from look, feel, to over all story.

Next up we get the five part "Planet of the Symbiotes" which in my opinion was a great story and very fun to read. Not only did it have my boy Scarlet alongside Spidey but also Venom, Carnage, and well a whole race of symbiotes were along for the ride as well. The story follows Eddie Brock and his quest to find out if it is he or his other that makes all the violent decisions. In wanting to find this out they split for a time, this causes his other to cry out in agony of being not wanted by Eddie. In doing so his shriek can be heard and felt by his own race, and they come knocking on planet Earth. This is a fun story in that the threat is so great that not only does Spidey team with Venom and his clone but the clone teams with venom. All those who have read all the series thus far will get what I am saying there. Add in every ones favorite psychopath from Marvel Carnage and you add a whole new level of fun. Now I personally love this story and find the whole mall part to be excellent and straight out of a horror movie. In fact that is how I read this entire story, as a horror story it just adds to my enjoyment.

Next up is the excellent "Death in the Family" story line with "The Gift" and "Circle of Life", this was a major event in the Spideyverse and these stories are very emotional and are very well done, both written and drawn to perfection. Easily this could be some of the best reading in this collection, be sure to check this out. Also I still have my Amazing Spider-Man 400 and I still love the cover, same for the beginning of our next story starting with Spider-Man 57, and Spectacular Spider-Man 223 excellent covers. You really won't get what I mean from the cover layouts here but those who own them know what I mean. Any way our next storyline is "Aftershock" picking up where the last left off. Here Peter has been arrested and sits in jail while his pregnant wife is home worrying. And of course Kaine is out as his Scarlet Spider who wants desperately to help MJ, but will she let Ben? And while Traveller and Scrier are still lurking about at this point it is The Jackal who is the most interesting, ask Carnage and Shriek.

Finally we come to the excellent "Mark of Kaine" storyline that follows Kaine and his visions of MJ dead and his quest to keep her alive. Although she doesn't know that plus the other Peter Parker is back and town and he really wants his life back. He will go through Kaine, Ben, and even the newly incarcerated Peter to get it back. This could be the best storyline over all here besides the two "Death on the Family" outings. This story has a really dark feel to it which makes it even more cinematic, well at least until the last issue. I love the emotions that pour through from each character in this story line. Kaine is completely misunderstood in his quest to help MJ, she has to deal with Kaine, Ben and of course the new Peter, not to mention her husband is in jail. Ben wants only to help but is pitted against a man that seems to always have his number and faces what he has to do to help Peter. Peter obviously is in jail for a crime he did not do and now MJ is missing thanks to a mad man. Then of course there is the new Peter who goes through so much in such a short time you actually feel for this guy, even after everything he ends up doing.

This all leads into the final issue of this story and things go from dark and in depth storytelling to straight forward action. If it is action you are looking then this is the issue for you. The newly formed Sinister Seven consisting of Hobgoblin, Mysterio, Vulture, Electro, Shocker, Beetle, and Scorpia are all up in arms over the new kid on town, Kaine. Seems after the deaths of Doc Ock and The Grim Hunter these guys think Kaine me after any one of them next. So begins the operation Kaine Killer and this one is full of action. After this you get the pin up prints that were offered at the back of this issue originally.
I truly love everything about The Clone Saga and everything after until .... Well that comes later on. I do highly recommend all of these books from original printings all the way to these TPB's. Ben has always been and will always be the most interesting character ever in the Spideyverse to me. I have stated before in my other reviews why and I still believe them to be true. So check out these stories and decide for yourself how you feel about them. Honestly and hardcore comic reader or should I say Spider-Man reader should have read or needs to read all of these stories.
Wow! Dec 8 2013
By Surferofromantica - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As a forty-something, I always hope that the old stories will be able to rekindle-some of the adventure and sincerity I lack in the adventure and sincerity alternatives out there. Alas, the memories are always better than the real thing, as the Spiderman clone series treads confusingly along all-too-similar story lines (hey - we're all clones, so who are we really?), and error-prone posing (who is Kaine anyway, and why is he always lurking in the shadows?). This clone-fest is marred by being a mishmash of several titles, and also rehashes Peter's "me 'n' Aunt May" reminisces just all too often and again. Silly stuff.

This is the third edition of the clone digest that Marvel put together, and starts with a rehash of the past few years of clone wars, before getting into a very cool edition pencilled by Sal Buscema and inked by Bill Sienkiewicz, which shows a confrontation between the mysterious Scrier, the Jackal, Jack, and Kaine... and the release of yet another Parker clone! Or is this the real one? MJ goes to the doctor, and Flash Thomson gets involved in some silly battle with the Jackal's gene monsters. This launches into the silly Planet Symbiotes story line, where the Symbiotes nearly take over Earth... but Eddie Brock's Other helps our heroes to destroy his entire race. Say what?!? Nothing's great about this, not even the art. This one shows Spider-man and the Scarlet Spider ally for a while, and even Venom becomes part of the picture... and so does a giant Carnage, who feeds on symbiotes, before being done in by a tanker explosion. Silly. Traveller seems to be studying Spider-man's character now, not trying to figure out how to defeat him, although he and Ben have a great confrontation! Peter and Ben have a few serious conversations. Aunt May reveals she knew who Peter was all along... and the she dies! This is after years of her being in a coma. Wow...

The rest of the series is about mourning May, and figuring out why Peter Parker is in jail, and why he's always freaking out. There's a cool little episode showing a young Peter freaking out at the bullies, drawn by Darick Robertson, nice. Raven gets tortured by Kaine and even Stunner, Mary Jane gets kidnapped by Kaine, who seems to have a vision that he's seen her lying in a pool of blood, and seems to be trying to prevent that, it's all nutty. Kaine constantly defeats his foes, murdering the bad guys, but running away from the defeated good guys. Weird. Mary Jane with a gun - ooh, sassy! Peter and Ben switching uniforms, switching spots, taking on the freaky Peter-mutant. A silly episode of the Sinister Six taking on Kaine (before he takes them on, I guess), and then another re-hash of the moralistic creation of the young Spider-man. The End.