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.
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.