Tuesday, February 21, 2012

WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #127 - August 1995

Maximum Clonage Part One - The Last Temptation of Peter Parker
Credits: Todd Dezago (writer), Steven Butler (penciler), Randy Emberlin (inker), Steve Dutro (letterer), Kevin Tinsley (colorist)

The Plot: The Punisher, unhinged by recent events, has targeted the Jackal for retaliation. Spider-Man, following the revelation that he is a clone of Peter Parker, has sided with the Jackal. When the Punisher takes aim, the Jackal intentionally takes a hail of bullets headed for Spider-Man. Leaving Punisher for the police, Spider-Man takes Jackal to his lab where he’s placed in a regenerative pod. Meanwhile, Punisher evades the SWAT team in the sewers.

The Subplots: Kaine is furious with Peter for siding with their “father.” He also has another vision of Mary Jane’s death. Meanwhile, MJ and Aunt Anna clean up Aunt May’s old place.

Web of Continuity: Since the last issue, we know now that Peter is the clone, Ben is the original, and Kaine is the failed original clone. None of this will ever be retconned, nosiree.

*See _________ For Details: Spider-Man joined the Jackal in Spider-Man: Maximum Clonage: Alpha. Unspecified events sent the Punisher over the edge in something called Double Edge: Omega. Wow, Marvel’s never going to be desperate enough to use those “Alpha” and “Omega” gimmicks again, right?

Review: Well, at least Steven Butler is back. His steroid-freak rendition of the Punisher is way too much (and those elaborate boots, which I guess were a part of his design at the time, are ridiculous), but it’s nice to see him drawing Spider-Man again. As for the story…I think Glenn Greenberg summed it up best when he called this the “nadir” of the clone saga. Honestly, I don’t think there’s anything I could add here that wasn’t expressed in a thousand Wizard letters pages at the time. It’s bad enough Peter was mentally unstable when this storyline started, but now he’s smacked his wife and joined forces with the Jackal, the Jackal has a personality and motivation that bears no resemblance to his established persona, the Punisher’s motivation is asinine, even if he is supposed to be insane, Kaine is still laughably angsty and repetitive, the supporting cast has largely been lost in the shuffle. This stuff never ends.

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