AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #145-150: The First Clone Saga

Great splash page!

When most people think “clone saga,” they’re thinking the godawful 1994 story that eventually I’ll have to re-read as part of my commitment to this blog.

But the first saga was in the 1970s, when The Jackal took tissue samples from Gwen Stacy and Peter Parker (while he was just a regular professor and hadn’t yet become Jackal) and then used them for his own evilness.

It all started with Gwen Stacy showing up out of nowhere, and gradually unfolded.


Rather than consider a threesome, Mary Jane gets all jealous.  But she does try to fight for her man.

Peter is suspicious, naturally, so he gets Gwen’s DNA checked.  She’s a match!

There’s also a sequence where Scorpion, who is working for Jackal, shows up at Aunt May’s hospital bedside and then starts trashing the hospital.  

Jackal also hires Tarantula.  

It might have a been a cool “all the spiders” concept, but it’s really not all that great.

When Jackal’s whole cloning thing gets revealed, we learn Jackal is Professor Warren, who loved Gwen like a daughter and blamed Spidey for her death.

He also dances a lot.

Smythe makes robots of Spider-Man’s foes.

Which is kind of a cool idea for a clone story. It doesn’t have a lot to do with the clone aspects, but since he’s got a dupe of Gwen and a dupe of himself running around, having Alistair Smythe return with a new spider-slayer bot and related robots is a solid twist. Dupes and fakes.


Spider-Man ends up fighting himself…Or actually Ben Reilly.

He’s not called Ben Reilly in this story, he’s just called “spider-clone.” And he appears to die in the end.

Interestingly enough, it doesn’t end with another death of Gwen Stacy–which would have been a cool ratings grabber.  Instead, Gwen goes off into the sunset.

But someone does get thrown off a bridge.

It’s a solid Gwen reference.


It’s actually Professor Warren who dies, or at least seems to.

The big wrap up issue is where Peter doesn’t know if he’s the real Peter or clone Peter, and he gets Dr. Curt Connors to test his blood.


But in the end, he follows his heart to the answer rather than rely on stupid stuff like DNA testing, and rips up the results.

This WILL bite him in the ass later.

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