Friday, April 23, 2010

song of the scarlet spider...!


i can't recall if i've addressed this topic here on the blog anytime in the past...(having done over 700 posts...who knows?!) but something very interesting has been happening these past few years and it seems that i can no longer avoid it...

see, when i was fortunate enough to land a regular writing gig at marvel all those many years ago, i was also fortunate enough to be involved in what, at the time, seemed like a very special epoch in the spider-man mythos--the clone saga! spanning across the four titles that comprised the spiderman line--amazing spider-man, spectacular spider-man, peter parker spider-man, and sensational spider-man--and over a period of almost two and a half years (!!), we four writers--tom defalco, marc de matteis, howard mackie, and myself--put poor peter parker and his maybe clone, ben reilly, through some of the craziest, most gut-wrenching, emotionally devastating moments in comics history! and while it certainly became the most interesting and addictive story lines at the time, we were soon condemned for it's sprawling contrivances and whiplash-inducing plot twists. it seemed out of control.
and it was.

while we (four) were doing the best we could with the subject at hand, our spider-editor, bob budiansky, was taking his cues from the sales department, urging us along based on their suggestions. while we were trying to tame the beast that the clone saga had become, they were throwing more and more into it--yes, including the kitchen sink.
ultimately, bob left and editor ralph macchio was brought in to help us make some sense of the thing and put it to bed--and i think he--and we--did a pretty good job pof that...
sadly, though, for the longest time, the term "clone saga" left a bad taste in the mouths of any true spider-fan.

over the past few years, however, at conventions and through facebook and myspace contacts, i've noticed a new...shall we say fondness?...for ben reilly and the scarlet spider. an appreciation for all those stories that i had considered lost to the sands opf controversy. readers have started praising that huge gallumphing tepic and even long for the days of the crazy new twist every week or so!! ten years later--they love the clone!
enough for the back issues of those books to start selling for big money at comic shops and shows! for marvel to begin reprinting the entire tale in what is sure to be one of the largest single collections ever complied! and my pals tom defalco and howard mackie have written a recent miniseries called spider-man: the clone saga--giving scarlet spider fans a chance to rejoice--and embrace--the long-absent ben reilly!

with all of that in mind, here is an interview i recently did with shawn mallory form the website, sequential daze;

check it out...

gotta run! have a great weekend!
smell ya later!

this is post no.721.


Denis said...

Looking back, I understand why some people got angry about the Clone Saga, but I always had a fondness for it. It probably helps that my very first "American comic" I ever bought was part of the Clone saga, at a time when Ben was already Spider-Man, in his kick-ass new costume.

I had been reading the UK reprints at the time, which were about three years behind the US, so this new guy was amazing, different, cool and fun. And like I said, I loved the costume.

Plus, it was nice reading a Spidey free of all the baggage that being married brought to Peter. Bens comics were just rip-roaring action. It was especially evident as I was simultaneously reading stories from three years previous in the UK prints.

Brand New Day is the newest version of the Clone Saga. Both have done things to revamp and renew Spider-Man, and in doing so, it will never be possible to please everyone. But both will be remembered fondly, for the good ideas and the bad.

Brian said...

Is the Gwen clone still wandering around out there in the Marvel Universe?

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