ICYMI: What The End Of ‘The Clone Conspiracy’ Means For The Future Of Spider-Man
The latest Spider-Man event, The Clone Conspiracy, provided a massive shake-up to the status-quo with every issue, as The Jackal attempted to reverse the reality of death itself With the final issue of Dan Slott and Jim Cheung's clone-tastic miniseries out this week, here's everything you need to know about the conclusion, and what it means for Peter Parker and his supporting cast.
NOTE: This article has spoilers for The Clone Conspiracy, obviously.
The plot of The Clone Conspiracy saw The Jackal --- AKA Ben Reilly, Peter Parker's clone-brother --- attempting to kill the entire world via a signal that transmitted The Carrion Virus, so that he could resurrect the population as deathless clones. This issues sees Peter and his allies working to stop that, as Doctor Octopus and Peter Parker team-up, and Gwen Stacy goes out fighting against three Goblin analogues.
Peter was ultimately able to reverse the signal via Parker Industries' operating system, saving people around the world at the cost of his own technology. Peter has been a jet-setting millionaire playboy for a few years now, but as Anna-Maria Marconi points out, this action could be disastrous for their shares. If that's true, could we see a return to down-on-his luck Peter Parker in the near future?
The Jackal and Doctor Octopus both seemingly succumbed to the Carrion virus and melted into ash, but we know that Ben Reilly is returning in Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider by Peter David and Mark Bagley, so the question remains: How is Ben still alive, and does it have anything to do with The Ultimate Template, a blank clone body that anyone's personality can be slotted into, which went missing from his lab in the story's aftermath?
As for the villains brought back to life, Spider-Man discovers that some of them survived the cloning process, and some of them didn't, meaning there's the potential for a number of Spider-Man's biggest enemies to return at a moment's notice. It could be Mysterio, it could be Massacre, or it could be (hopefully) Stilt-Man.
Peter got a big win in the conclusion of The Clone Conspiracy after discovering a number of survivors in pods, though the only one explicitly identified at this point is The Prowler, who was initially feared lost.
Given Parker's law of bad luck, and Dan Slott's longform plotting style, the ramifications of this storyline surely aren't played out yet.