scarlet-spider-peter-parker

Marvel’s big Spider-Man event for the fall has dropped a doozy on Peter Parker fans with Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy #2. It appears as though Peter Parker is responsible for causing a zombie apocalypse in at least one dozen universes. Fans of the character should rightfully be annoyed if — I repeat, “if” — it turns out that it truly is the hero who is seduced by The Jackal’s New U technology and he unleashes hell on earth.

Here is what you need to know for DNM #2:

  • Kaine scrambles for his life in an alternate-universe version of San Francisco that is overrun with zombies. A portal opens for him just as one latches onto his ankle and he wakes up in Marvel Universe 616.
  • Doctor Octopus fights with Spider-Man in The Jackal’s lab and explains how he was able to survive the events of Spider-Verse and essentially return from the dead.
  • Jackal appears and commands Peter to follow him as he explains the so-called truth behind New U’s cloning procedure. These days he uploads “psychic residue from human remains to make reanimates.
  • Miles Warren, aka Jackal, introduces Peter to all of his formerly deceased foes — alive and kicking as renanimates. The villain says that everything was done to fully realize Peter’s “no one dies” philosophy.
  • Jonah Jameson is on another floor within New U with his reanimated with Marla. They talk about how happy they are together.
  • Spider-Man confronts Prowler about his alliance with Jackal. Hobie Brown tells Peter that what Jackal is doing is a “good thing.”
  • Captain Stacy pulls a gun on “Gwen” when he realizes that she is not his daughter. It turns out she is Spider-Gwen in disguise. The cloned Gwen is holed up with Kaine in his apartment and needs New U’s medicine ASAP.
  • Spider-Man and Spider-Gwen take off through an air vent and Lizard is dispatched after them.
  • Kaine goes to Horizon University at the behest of Spider-Man to retrieve medicine, which was given to him by Jerry Saltares’ wife. He then admits to Anna Maria Marconi that he and Gwen are on a secret mission because “Peter Parker is the man who destroys the world.”

From a pure storytelling perspective, there is nothing wrong with what Dan Slott is doing. In fact, this latest twist actually elevates DNM’s quality above and beyond what I was expecting early on. The problem, however, will come if it turns out that “the” Peter Parker is responsible for countless zombie wastelands instead of Jackal.

scarlet-spider

Here is the bottom line:

  • Peter Parker fans should accept a story that involves alternate universes where Jackal (i.e., a Peter clone) kills the hero and assumes control of Parker Industries as an imposter.
  • They should not accept the idea that infinite universes of terror and fear are traced back to a single moment in time where “the” Peter Parker succumbs to another Mephisto-like proposal, this time with Jackal.

Given Dan Slott’s history with The Amazing Spider-Man, I am not confident that his final “twist” for DNM will be one that honors the legacy of Peter Parker. I hope I am wrong.

Anyway, did you read DNM #2? If so, then let me know what you think in the comments section below. Don’t forget to check my latest YouTube review and subscribe if that format is up your alley.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

16 comments

  1. Did you think the “psychic residue” used in the clones/replicants/whatever (if we assume that it really exists in the Marvel world) is enough to explain why the Jackal’s clones aren’t “really” clones and could be considered the actual person resurrected, as Slott wants us to think?

    Kind of unrelated, but are you planning to review the new “Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows” series? I’ve been curious to hear your take on it.

    1. “Did you think the ‘psychic residue’ used in the clones/replicants/whatever (if we assume that it really exists in the Marvel world) is enough to explain why the Jackal’s clones aren’t ‘really’ clones and could be considered the actual person resurrected, as Slott wants us to think?”

      No. As I’ve mentioned in a previous video, I suppose you can call them “glorified clones” … but they’re still clones. I think the “psychic residue” idea is pretty interesting, sort of like the sound device invented by Clash in a previous issue of ASM. Theoretically, you could make a device that would take all the “psychic residue,” run it through an algorithm, and create pseudo-movies of past events at any location. Think of Ulysses from Civil War II. All of it ties together.

      “Kind of unrelated, but are you planning to review the new “Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows” series? I’ve been curious to hear your take on it.”

      I’ll be reviewing it this weekend for sure. This week was kind of hectic at work with the election, so I’m running on fumes right now. My guess is that a Doctor Strange review, a Renew Your Vows review, and maybe one other post will be up before the weekend is out. This week sort of did a number on me. I’m exhausted.

  2. “No. As I’ve mentioned in a previous video, I suppose you can call them “glorified clones” … but they’re still clones.”

    Okay. I wonder if Slott is actually intending that his “glorified clones” are actual resurrections of people (and just using the wrong technobabble), or if there’s going to be a plot twist where the Jackal was wrong or lying about what he was doing, and that it’s just business as usual for him; normal clones?

    “I think the “psychic residue” idea is pretty interesting, sort of like the sound device invented by Clash in a previous issue of ASM. Theoretically, you could make a device that would take all the “psychic residue,” run it through an algorithm, and create pseudo-movies of past events at any location. Think of Ulysses from Civil War II. All of it ties together.”

    That would be interesting.

    “I’ll be reviewing it this weekend for sure. This week was kind of hectic at work with the election, so I’m running on fumes right now. My guess is that a Doctor Strange review, a Renew Your Vows review, and maybe one other post will be up before the weekend is out. This week sort of did a number on me. I’m exhausted.”

    Sure, work and all that need to come first. Looking forward to the post.

  3. I guess this issue really reflects Slott’s belief that Peter is a villain. As I’ve said numerous times before, for someone who claims to be a lifelong Spider-Man fan, he sure seems have a lot of contempt for the character.

    1. “I guess this issue really reflects Slott’s belief that Peter is a villain. As I’ve said numerous times before, for someone who claims to be a lifelong Spider-Man fan, he sure seems have a lot of contempt for the character.”

      Dan seems to be more concerned with creating “twists” than just telling a good story and letting twists occur naturally. That may sound like an odd statement tho those who don’t write for a living, but I really do think that is the case. It’s the difference between how a writer prioritizes different questions the occur during the creative process. And, on some level, I get why Dan orders the “twist” element higher on the totem poll than others. It’s because character development is not his strength.

  4. Yeah I have not been feeling this issue at all…a shame too because the first part had a convincing and mature set-up. This was Slott, as usual, falling in love with his “assembly line” plot structure, and he rushes everything. A big unveiling of characters from the past, restoring them to the land of the living, is handled in a very commercial manner, like they’re lifeless Marvel figures, with no thoughts or speeches to call their own, letting Prowler pitch their existence for them.

    The only thing I kind of found amusing was the continuation of Slott’s mass dumping on Gwen, first by having her cope with learning Peter’s identity moments before death last issue, and now having to be webbed up, bundled into the boot of a car, and left to scream “I’m telling the Jackal on you”. If this is meant to be the true Gwen, I truly think this is Slott’s swiftest dismantling of a Spider-Man love interest to date.

    1. “This was Slott, as usual, falling in love with his “assembly line” plot structure, and he rushes everything. A big unveiling of characters from the past, restoring them to the land of the living, is handled in a very commercial manner, like they’re lifeless Marvel figures, with no thoughts or speeches to call their own, letting Prowler pitch their existence for them.”

      Boom. Well said, Zariusii.

      “If this is meant to be the true Gwen, I truly think this is Slott’s swiftest dismantling of a Spider-Man love interest to date.”

      I think someone should really analyze the “Gwen” aspect of this issue and turn the word ‘truck’ into a verb, as in “trunking Gwen.” I’m kind of surprised some feminist websites haven’t already done that. Heh.

  5. Does anyone else pine for the days before Marvel went all in on this multi-universal DC-style crap? Where at the most, we had Miguel over in 2099 which was a joy because PAD is a skilled writer, and he mainly stayed in his own world?

    I was already not particularly interested in this story. The dimension-hopping silliness has officially obliterated my interest.

    Thank God for Renew Your Vows. If we have to deal with multiverse crap, at least let it be a good one where Mary Jane gets an actual role.

    1. “I was already not particularly interested in this story. The dimension-hopping silliness has officially obliterated my interest.”

      It will be interesting to see where this settles sales-wise by the time it wraps up. Dan was on his Twitter account bugging retails about their orders for the next issue this week. I can’t wait to talk to my local comic shop owner about that one… He always has great reactions to that kind of thing.

  6. The owner of my former comic shop said no way to increasing the order. Marvel has a no return policy so if it does not sell he is stuck with it.Another person that I know with a comic shop also said no, he feels that Slott is reducing sales with his online behavior and he does not want to support that and the last time he increased orders “after Slott’s big push” he was stuck with issues for the back issue bin. One common thing Slott ignores is that second and third prints does not mean high sales it just means they underestimated initial orders which sometimes are small.

    1. “How pathetic is it that Slott’s avatar over the weekend was Spider-Man with a safety pin?”

      I wish I would have seen that. I probably would have written something up. I suppose I can still get it, but I don’t want to dig through the internet to get it like I did with Mark Hamill. Oh well. Dan’s Twitter feed is a gold mind of material.

    2. “I wish I would have seen that. I probably would have written something up. I suppose I can still get it, but I don’t want to dig through the internet to get it like I did with Mark Hamill. Oh well. Dan’s Twitter feed is a gold mind of material.”

      He appears to have deleted it, and I didn’t get a screenshot, unfortunately.

    3. “He appears to have deleted it, and I didn’t get a screenshot, unfortunately.”

      My guess is someone from Disney didn’t want to deal with the “Spider-Man is anti-Trump” stories that would have followed.

    4. “My guess is someone from Disney didn’t want to deal with the “Spider-Man is anti-Trump” stories that would have followed.”

      That makes sense. I didn’t think of that at first.

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