Now that Clone Conspiracy is over, it’s time to settle into some non-event Spider-Man comics. Wait – it’s not over? We just did a mega-crossover review of the last CC, didn’t we? Apparently there are still some dead horses to clone. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.
Oops. Forgot about Omega (which was not featured on ANY of the Clone Conspiracy checklists!). Twice more unto the breach…
The Devil in the Details
Story Title: Night of the Jackals
Writer: Dan Slott and Christos Gage
Penciler: Guiseppe Camuncoli
Inker: Cam Smith
Colorist: Jason Keith
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramanga
Cover Artist: Alex Ross
Editor: Nick Lowe
Published: February 22, 2017
Remedial ASM 101
Just to catch you up, here is what has happened:
The Jackal has made a bunch a clones, only it wasn’t the Jackal, it was Ben Reilly cloned and killed with memories intact 27 times. He is crazy and decides to turn everyone into zombies, but fails because Anna Maria made some noise. Most clones are now dead and some we thought were dead, like the Prowler, got better. The story ended, but like the song that never ends, we still have more issues.
The Story – Pay Attention, This Will Be on the Test
Short Version: Ben and Ock fight. They didn’t really die. Ben gets away. The real Jackal tries to stop him. They fight. Jackal dies. Ben gets away. Cue plug for new comic magazine.
Shorter Version: Ben gets away.
Please note that in either version, never does the name Peter nor Spider-Man appear.
Well, the art is getting better. Camuncoli is changing the camera position and putting some perspective in his work. At least this face at least looks different from all of his other faces.
And I felt that some of the art had a nice EC horror comics feel to it, like these two panels:
And of course I like the whole Hamlet thing going on with Miles Warren.
Ock. Once again, Slott comes through on Ock and once again I want Marvel to give him a Superior Spider-Man title and give Amazing to someone else. In this case, I was at first feeling off about Doc Ock breaking Benackle’s Web Ware to kill them both just because Benackle insulted Anna. Sure he loves her, but Ock is a survivor, not a lover. However, when it is made clear that he is not sacrificing himself, just getting some revenge before hopping into the proto-clone, then it feels like the Ock Slott has been writing since Sup Spidey.
Jackal and Otto leave their clothes behind to help fake their death, but they didn’t in CC#5, so nice that it was addressed here and odd that it wasn’t there.
On a scale of 1 (POW) to 10 (BLRKBQRKPQRBLNB), this rates a 1. KNCH??? What the heck? I can’t even tell why it is there. Did they head butt? Did Jackal’s neck break (should have been a snap, if so). My feeling is that Gage looked at this panel and also couldn’t figure anything out so he added some sounds to try and spice it up a bit.
Villain Ben. What makes Ben likable? He’s like Peter Parker without some of the continuity baggage. So now we have taken away the “like Peter” part and added continuity baggage. Slott often talks about writers taking out the toys from the toy box and then putting them back when they are done, but if we use this metaphor, Slott is the kid who breaks other peoples toys because he plays to rough. Sure, these characters go back in the “toy box” for other writers, but they are so mangled, that it will be hard to over look it.
When I first saw the title I thought it was “Night of the Jackass”. I realized my mistake as soon as I put my glasses on (I’m old), but after reading this issue, I feel like my initial take fits well enough and maybe even a bit more accurate.
So this issue only serves to set up the new Scarlet Spider comic by PAD. As excited as I was for this comic (I’m always up for a Peter David comic), I can’t really see myself liking this character any more. Peter David is a miracle worker and has a reputation for taking characters that all others have pretty much given up on and breathing new life into them, but I have my doubts in his ability here. Ben has gone full villain. He even punches a fireman in the face. The only thing Slott didn’t have him do here is kick a puppy on his way out. Maybe in Omega. So I’m guessing that Ben is to become the new Kaine. A hero with no sense of responsibility. Unfortunately, that takes away most of what we like about Ben away.
As far as Otto is concerned, I am assuming that the proto-clone is a Peter Parker body, especially since Otto left his arms behind. Maybe we’ll get another ‘arms go crazy’ story like we did in… the 70s? I can’t remember. I wouldn’t mind that.
Someone please come up with a way to make me care about Ben so that I will buy the new Scarlet Spider comic by PAD.
I’m done with this story. I’m done with reading about characters other than the one I am paying to read about. I’m done with the poor art. I’m more excited about the next student research paper than I am right now about the next ASM issue. And that is a real shame because I love Spider-Man comics and so want to love these.
What grade do YOU give it?
$10 issue – that’s what’s next. How plausible is it that I’ll get a few more panels of Spidey in this one?
HUGE BLOWOUT ISSUE!
- STUART IMMONEN (STAR WARS, AVENGERS) takes the artist reins of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and joins Dan Slott for a 40-page main story!
- Then don’t miss a super-secret short story by Dan and Giuseppe Camuncoli!
- TOP-SECRET BONUS CREATIVE TEAM!!!
- Hannah Blumenreich makes hers Marvel, making her Spider-Debut!
- Cale Atkinson brings another story of the A-May-ZING SPIDER-AUNT!
Oh great. Another event. Just what we need to spice up a Spider-Man comic….
If this Aunt May story doesn’t feature the return of Golden Oldie, I’m not interested.