Alford Notes: Amazing Spider-Man #24


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.

What Passed:

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.

OOTI

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.

What Failed:

Once again – no Spidey in a Spider-Man book. Well, let’s not get into hyperbole here. There were two panels with Spidey in it and four panels with a voice-over caption box.

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.

Analysis:

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.

Extra Credit:

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.

Final Grade:

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.

F

 

Your Turn:

What grade do YOU give it?

 

What’s Next?

$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.

‘Nuff Said! 

(15) Comments

  1. Jack

    That at least would make some sense -- that Warren's original, pristine processes were superior to Ben27's loony duplicates.

  2. Mark Alford

    I think it is best to just assume that we will never know who is the real Miles Warren or if he is even alive anymore. That's both the beauty and irritation of clone stories. The fact that one of them did not turn into flour could just mean that he is the clone that they were cloned from using this technique and being older than the rest of them, he is more stable.

  3. Jack

    It's obvious the Spider Island Jackal wasn't Ben27, like it's obvious Gwen Stacy was never pregnant. The easiest answer would be that the real Dr. Warren did die way back when, and all these Jackals were self-replicating Frankenstein monsters.

  4. hornacek

    @Jack - Originally Miles Warren died at the end of the 70s CS. Then in the 90s CS when the Jackal stepped out of the regeneration pod he said he was the original and he had sent a clone to Shea Stadium. That Jackal died at the end of Maximum Clonage. But then the Jackal showed up in Spider Island (hashtag) and various other appearances, and each time we were told "That me that died in our last encounter? That was a clone - I'm the real Miles Warren". But I think I read that Slott has said (in interviews and on Twitter, not in the actual book) that the Jackal post 90s CS is Ben-27, which makes no sense (but why should that stop Slott now?) In Ben-27's flashback we see the human Warren gathering up a sample of him after PPSM75, and from ASM#24 we're told this is not a clone, so it's the real, original Warren. So I guess this means that every Warren/Jackal we've seen since the last issue of the 70s CS, up until Clone Conspiracy, has been a clone? My head hurts.

  5. Jack

    Do we even know anymore which Jackal/Miles Warren this is? I read a character run-down that led me to believe that the real, original Miles Warren is dead.

  6. hornacek

    @Mark - But even without powers, Ben-27 should be able to easily defeat Warren. Ben is a clone of a 27-year-old man who is in good shape even without powers, and Warren is a middle-aged man who in his pre-Jackal-regeneration body has no above-average physical ability. A 20-something year-old man vs. a 50-something year-old-man - unless the 50-year-old man has fighting experience, I'm putting my money on the 27 year old every time.

  7. Mark Alford

    @ hornacek - Yeah, the Jackal really shouldn't be able to go toe to toe with Sorry in a fight, but since he has in the past, I can look the other way. Plus, Ben is a bit shaken up and written out from his fight with Doc Clock, so that helps explain it. Peter David is what keeps me interested in the book, but I don't know if it will be enough to buy the book or if I'll wait until Marvel Unlimited comes out with it. Maybe I'll just wait and see how others on the Crawlspace are digging it.

  8. hornacek

    I miss rushing to read Spidey comics as soon as I buy them. Now my drive for the book is so low I wait until there is a new review podcast and I have to read them for that. How is the Miles Warren Jackal able to fight Ben-27? If this is the original Miles Warren then he is a middle-aged professor with no powers. I thought that in the 70s CS the Jackal had no powers; he mostly was a behind-the-scene foe, and rarely fought Spider-Man in person (and when he did he either had help or Spidey was weakened). It wasn't until he appeared in the 90s CS where he had transformed his body and had super-speed, strength, etc. But if this is the original Warren from before the 90s CS, he shouldn't be able to stand-up to Ben-27 in a fight at all. "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." Peter David. Mark Bagley. 'Nuff said. Plus, a great creative team can rescue a terrible character. Silk was a terrible character in ASM, and yet I've heard good things about her in her solo book. Superior Foes is another great example - who would have though a book starring Boomerang, Shocker, Beatle Overdrive and Speed Demon would be the best Spider-Man book (and maybe best Marvel book) for almost every issue? But it was true.

  9. Mark Alford

    @ BD - I guess my punishment is to stay on for the Omega review! @ Enigma_2099 - It may be, but I don't think so. I think Slott truly believes in what he is doing and feels that he is probably the one throwing David a bone. Any popularity they have, he could say it was because of how excited he got people for the book. @ Evan - I have no idea what that onomatopoeia is supposed to be. It's crazy! I looked and looked. My best guess is that Ben bit down on a pop corn kernel (you know he likes eating pop corn since it was established in continuity earlier in this arc). What if we are all supposed to think that _Scarlet Spider_ is Ben Reilly, but instead it is Doc Ock parading around as Scarlet Spider in his spanking new proto-clone body?

  10. Evan

    Also, could it really be that the proto-clone is another Peter body and thus Marvel has created another Superior Spider-man? In that case there will be yet another Spider-title when there are already so many. It's such an interesting time: readers can choose whatever Spider-person suits their preferences. I guess that's good from a business standpoint, yet it seems to rob Spider-man of his uniqueness -- but I guess Dan Slott did that a long time ago anyway.

  11. Evan

    Good job finding a use for that onomatopoeia, but I agree with BD. Anyone who kicks Ms. Lion is irredeemable, and now there's no way I'll get the extra credit this time. By the way, when I read "Night of the Jackasses," I nearly spit coffee all over my monitor. When I first saw the "KNCH," I thought it was the sound of original Jackal (OJ) stabbing Ron -- err, Ben -- off-panel. Is that what happened?

  12. Enigma_2099

    ... this has to be a jab at David/Bagley by Slott. He KNOWS their book will be more popular, so he's trying to undermine them.

  13. BD

    Pretty much sums up my thoughts. Kicking MS.Lion is not allowed though, so you're in Crawlspace time out. Lol

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