Slott is in character assassin mode right now. His sniper rifle is trained on… Ben Reilly?! Aw, fu-
Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #24
“Night of the Jackals”
Writer: Dan Slott and Christos Gage
Pencils: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inks: Cam Smith
Colors: Jason Keith
Editors: Nick Lowe and Devin Lewis
Oh, well. At least I got the Dell’Otto variant.
In the middle of Clone Conspiracy #5, Ben27 and ClOck are fighting in the control room. As Spider-Man sends out the deus ex machina to save the day via the webware, Ock smashes Ben’s webware, leaving them both to melt. (Ding, dong, the Ben is dead!) As Ben tries to put his own mind in the brand-spanking new Proto-Clone (now with all-new kung-fu kicking action) Ock takes him out, stealing the proto-clone by the time Ben awakens. Ben takes some of his Dr. Mario medicine and hijacks a man’s webware and car, with the webware frequency somehow not curing him all the way. (It’s a Slott story. We can’t beg for consistency here.) But, as Ben arrives at his super secret safe house in…. Suburban California, Jackal lights everything he has on fire. (One. Why would Ben just leave all of his cash in one safe house? Two. How is that all of Ben’s money? The guy was making buttloads off of bringing people back to life.) Turns out that all of the Miles Warrens dissolved save the real one, and he reclaimed his fursona for himself. (At least he didn’t go for the Joker ripoff costume.) Ben basically snaps, kills the Jackal, and breaks the support pillar, bringing down the house. (He wasn’t even trying to be funny. Neither am I.) Poochy beats up some firefighters, and decides to return to his home planet, questioning his identity.
(He died on his way back to his home planet.)
Anybody here ever read a book called The Disaster Artist? It’s a memoir written by Greg Sestero that goes into detail about the makings of The Room, also known as one of the worst films of all time. It’s a great read and I hightly recommend you pick it up.
You’re probably wondering why I bring this up. The answer is simple. Part of me wants Dan Slott to write a book detailing whatever went on behind the scenes at Marvel’s offices when he was writing Spider-Man. Because whatever they were doing when Slott was behind the wheel? That’s gotta be some grade-A reading material, and this story reinforces that belief.
I have nothing nice to say to this comic, and lo and behold, the exact same issues persist from last issue to this one. Not only is this title relegated to B-title as per the entire Clone Conspiracy, but it’s a drag to get through. The story feels like I’m reading a bad Bendis story; it’s decompressed as hell (I could see this being maybe a quarter of it’s entire length) and the dialogue is painful to get through as per usual in a Slott story. Gage is trying his best to perform damage control and put out the fire, but not even he can save this book. In fact, he may be the reason why it’s worse, because all of the characters that aren’t Spidey and Anna Maria talk like friggin’ Saturday morning cartoon villains. Ben’s insanity comes out of nowhere and it’s hilarious to watch, not to mention that Slott is literally just making him Superior Spider-Man 2.0, in which case I give Peter David my best for having to pick up the pieces and trying to fix this little mess we call the Clone Conspiracy.
Camuncoli… buddy, you’re trying. It’s just that your inker wants you to suffer. Let’s just give the guy a cookie and let him nibble on it for a bit while Immomen takes over. It’ll be a very welcome change.
A nitpick, but Slott’s entire finale relies on people not going “Hey! That guy kind of looks like Peter Parker, that tech billionaire who designed the Apple Watch- sh*t, I mean Webware! Why’s he shirtless in a burning house, and why did he just physically assault first responders?!” Normally, I wouldn’t have this problem, except that Slott’s relying on the fact that nobody knows what Peter looks like, while at the same time the entire premise of Vol. 4 has been that Peter is now a famous, multi-national corporate, not to mention that Camuncoli draws Peter and Ben exactly the same, save for the old man wrinkles. (Not that he shouldn’t.)
I’m glad the Clone Conspiracy is over. But at the same time… shouldn’t we also be incredibly worried about “The Osborn Identity”? (Also, another nitpick. They already used that title during the “The Heroic Age” branding, on one of Spidey’s TPBs from before Slott took over.) If you’re not worried, start being worried, my friends. The road only gets bumpier from here.
Final Grade: F