By Dan Slott, Jim Cheung, John Dell and Justin Ponsor
Saying the words “Spider-Man” and “clone” in the same sentence will usually get you a groan in the comic book community. There have been some missteps with past Spider-Man stories that may or may not have ruined readers faith in the word “clone.” Having said that, we’re moving on to a new event, Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy, which, based on premise alone, at least sounds interesting. As with most events, at least save the groans until the end of the first issue.
Love him or hate him, Dan Slott has been writing Spider-Man for a long time. He’s had some good ideas and some bad ones, but since it’s most recent relaunch, Amazing Spider-Man has been fairly good. Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy is the result of all the building he has been doing since issue #1 of Amazing Spider-Man. It’s nice that this issue picks up right where the last Amazing Spider-Man ended. The first few pages deal with a funeral and are a little slow, as funeral panels tend to be, and Peter catches Anna up on New U. For anyone who regularly reads the series, this is just a rehash that you may want to skip over. Slott picks things up when Peter and Anna visit Emma, the wife of a Parker employee named Jerry, that used New U.
Where Slott succeeds in this introductory issue is that he keeps some mystery as to what happened to Jerry and what New U wanted with him. Slott usually writes Spider-Man pretty witty and this issue is no different. It feels good to see him sling insults at old foes like Rhino. Although the issue had a slow start for longtime readers, Slott delivers a couple of surprises in the final pages that should at least keep readers, casual and faithful alike, interested to see where this goes.
The pencils this issue are handled by Jim Cheung with inks by John Dell and colors by Justin Ponsor. Cheung does a really good job in this introductory issue. The first page is a full cast of characters at the funeral of Mr. Jameson. Cheung captures the distress and sadness of the characters in this page very well, as faces are sad and filled with sorrow. Cheung’s pages of Spider-Man look excellent too. The level of minor details he attaches to the costume look fresh, and Justin Ponsor’s colors look amazing here. As villains descend on Spidey for the first time, Cheung makes them look sinister and the Rhino downright scary. Ponsor’s colors are excellent, his colors leap off the page at you. He really nails the bright yellow and the electric blasts coming from Electro, which is cool to see.
Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy is off to a nice start. Dan Slott has been criticized for his work on Amazing Spider-Man, but this event reads really well so far. The art is very good in every sense of the word. Cheung and Ponsor are working magic on the pages of this book.