The Clone Conspiracy kicked things into overdrive last issue with a big revelation, and if you had some questions about Ben Reilly, Amazing Spider-Man #22 has answers.
Spoilers incoming for Amazing Spider-Man #22, so if you haven't read it yet you've been warned.
After the big reveal in The Clone Conspiracy #3, the question became how Ben Reily, known as the Scarlet Spider and Peter's clone from the original clone saga, came to assume the identity of the Jackal. The issue successfully builds on the foundation laid in Conspiracy #3 that saw Spider-Gwen explain to Peter why she and Kaine kept him out of the loop.
They revealed that in every instance of this situation they'd seen, Peter swayed to Reilly's side, something he swore he'd never do. After Reilly's argument this issue, it's easy to see how he managed to sway him all those times before.
Dan Slott and Christos Gage have crafted an endearing villain for this series. Fans of Spider-Man lore already have an affinity for the character, and seeing the nightmare he's been subjected to over the last few years makes the reader even more sympathetic to his cause. He also makes a logical argument, especially when you consider his origins, and having Reilly be the focal point helps to give the narrative credibility.
On the art side of things Giuseppe Camuncoli draws a truly classic style Spider-Man, at least in the few panels you see him in. The primary bulk of the story is centered around Reilly's journey, and Camuncoli effectively draw's the reader's sympathy to Ben's plight. There's a lot to process here, though if you are looking for action, there isn't much to speak of here.
The Clone Conspiracy continues to pleasantly surprise, and this is one of the better tie-in issues thus far.
Amazing Spider-Man #22 is in stores today.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars.
Written By: Dan Slott & Christos Gage
Art By: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Colored By: Jason Keith
Inked By: Cam Smith
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