Major Spoilers For The Clone Conspiracy #3 follows.
The Clone Conspiracy is the latest major event in writer Dan Slott's long-running Spider-Man saga, and the third issue of the event miniseries had a major reveal that Slott seems to have been building up to for some time.
The Clone Conspiracy sees Spider-Man dealing with a medical tech company called New U. New U Has been producing miracles, bringing those once believed to be fatally ill or wounded back from the brink of death. It all sounded too good to be true to Peter Parker, and his suspicions were validated when one of the patients saved by New U technology set off his spider senses and later went mad.
What readers know is that New U is actually a front for the Jackal, the obsessive mastermind behind the Clone Saga. Or, at least that's what readers believed until The Clone Conspiracy #3 hit stands. The issue reveals that this Jackal is actually an important character from Spider-Man's history, one that is arguably closer to Peter Parker than any other character in the Marvel Universe.
The clues were all in the series, The Clone Conspiracy title, to the connection to the original Jackal, Miles Warren, to the fact that the Jackal was creating an army of Spider-Man's greatest foes and closest loved one. Most telling of all was that Kaine, the new Scarlet Spider who was the first clone of Peter Parker, seems to be able to fight off the effects of New U's technology.
It was all building up to this reveal, that the Jackal is actually the return of...
Ben Reilly - the clone who set off the events of "The Clone Saga," the original Scarlet Spider, the clone who took Peter Parker's place as Spider-Man for a time (which is why he topped our list of best Spider-Man clones) - has returned to face his "brother," this time in a more villainous role.
Though Ben doesn't seem to think of himself that way. When Spider-Man confronting Ben Reilly, Ben has just collected a casket. Inside is the body of Uncle Ben Parker, who Ben is determined to resurrect as he resurrected all the other returned characters who have appeared in The Clone Conspiracy.
However, there's still a lingering question. Ben Reilly was killed by the Green Goblin, ending his time as Spider-Man and revealing him once and for all to be the Spider-Man clone and not the original. So how was he resurrected? He implies that New U's technology was what brought him back, but if that is then case then who developed the technology? The likely answer seems to be the original Jackal, Miles Warren, given that he was a cloning expert already, had knowledge of Ben Reilly, and that Ben Reilly has a small army of Miles Warren clones at his disposal. We won't know for sure for sure until Slott and Marvel Comics decide it's the right time.
Check out preview pages of The Clone Conspiracy #3 below. The issue is on sale now.
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