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The Amazing Spider-Man: The Complete Clone Saga Epic, Book 1 Paperback – April 14, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel (April 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785144625
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785144625
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.8 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #660,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I look back on the Clone Saga with a mixture of frustration and nostalgia. These were my prime comic reading days...and some parts of the story were good. So when I heard that a series of volumes would finally collect this massive plotline within several books, I was pretty excited. After all, I never did read the entire thing...how could I? Almost every story was a crossover, meaning that you had to buy at least four comics a month to get everything. My allowance couldn't quite support that.

So right away, I was grateful for the idea to finally fill gaps in my knowledge of this saga which had lingered for years! Spoilers will abound, so if you don't want 15-year-old story twists ruined for you, turn back now.

So let's kick this off with some context: Peter Parker was really depressed following the revelations of the "robot parents" storyline, and was swinging around all dark and moody and calling himself "The Spider." Aunt May was in the hospital for a stroke, which didn't help things. Most of this is recapped quickly in the collection using random pages from various issues to help get us up to speed.

We start with "Birth of a Spider-Man," which was a supplemental story published in other issues that serves as a retelling of the very first 1970s Clone Saga from the clone's point of view. At the end of that first confrontation, Peter believed his clone was dead. Not so. This short story is really dark and kind of ugly, but it does help capture the most essential points from the 70s tale - the entirety of which is in a trade called "Clone Genesis," not sure if that's still in print.

Next is "The Parker Legacy," another short story about the clone's existential woes upon learning he is not the real Peter Parker. I always liked this story.
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Format: Paperback
So...how to review this...
The storyline is an absolute "must read" for true Spidey-heads. This is the book that nearly brought it all down. Overly-long, with confusing twists and turns for the sake of those twist and turns, the saga will begin to meander. I have no idea how many volumes will be in this but I am assuming 4 to 6. At $35 a pop (MSRP,) this set is expensive. It also has been errataed out of existence. I remember reading at one point in early 2000 that this set would NEVER see the light of day as a trade paperback. That, my friends, is the negative aspects.

The book is gorgeous. If you dig John Romita, Jr. then you need to read this. The crisp art work is a marvel to behold easily rivaling any of his Strazinsky work. This work is historic. It shows a worse time for comics. It was indicative of all that was wrong in the mid-90s that lead to Marvel's bankruptcy (and D.C.'s purchase by Warner.) Huge cross-overs emptying our wallets, new characters that never needed to see the light of day, umpteen foil-holographic, glow-in-the-dark, diecut, scratch-and-sniff "collector's editions" of every single issue on the rack. This story will take you back to a time that almost killed comics. And yet, there is a story here. What Tom DeFalco and co. wanted to do took cahones. Granted, it took so much cohones that they were told to stop, but I wonder what would have happened if they would have been able to do it. As I read current post-Brand New Day Amazing Spider-Man, I can't help but see the vision of the creators of the Clone Saga. Also, this set has a return-to-vicious Venom and I know you'll love that.

So is this set for everyone....heck no. This is for those that love a little existentialism. It is for those that like to rubber-neck at a train wreck.
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Format: Paperback
I think "J. Jones" did a pretty good job of establishing the context in which the looong Clone Saga was written. I figured I would write a supplementary review offering my perspective on matters, because I did not start reading comics regularly till 2001, a few years after the saga concluded. The first comic that really *hooked* me was an issue in the J. Michael Straczynski/Romita Jr. run of Amazing Spider-Man (the first Morlun story), and I was about 12-years old. I've collected every ASM issue since then, and I've taken it upon myself to read up as much as possible on the character's history.

Everything I ever read about the Clone Saga made it sound like an incredible idea that, through the fault of higher-ups saying "this is selling too well to just LET IT END now!", ended up straying severely from what its progenitors envisioned. That's frankly too bad. However, that whole "straying severely" part is not something you will see in this first volume! This volume is mashed potatoes and gravy--practically every story oozes excitement and creativity. You will absolutely come to understand just how much it sucks (or sometimes how convenient it can be!) to be the clone of Spider-Man. The writing here is primarily top notch, with the pinnacle being DeMatteis/Romita Jr.'s The Lost Years, where the art is as spectacular as the writing.

Basically, even if you don't care about Ben Reilly or Kaine or anyone else in the Clone Saga, there are still some pretty fun stories here. Carnage and especially Venom make several appearances (which seemed to be mandatory in the 90s), which should be enough to satisfy the action junkies when Peter Parker or Ben get too mopey. The only hindrance here is the price tag, which is already much less if you buy it through Amazon.
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