Marvel has revealed the true title of its previously revealed Amazing Spider-Man story "Dead No More." The story’s actual title will be The Clone Conspiracy, and it will focus on the return of the Jackal, Spider-Man’s old nemesis who is obsessed with cloning Spider-Man.
However, in The Clone Conspiracy, Jackal’s plans may go beyond cloning, and could possibly include full-on resurrection of some of Spider-Man’s loved ones.
“I think more than any character in the Marvel Universe, Spider-Man is about heart,” Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott told Entertainment Weekly. “And ever since Amazing Fantasy #15, for him it’s also been about loss. ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’ He learns that lesson at the life of Uncle Ben. And then, years later, Captain Stacy dies in front of him, and it’s almost the exact opposite. He did everything he possibly could! He did try to live up to his responsibility and use his power, and still he lost someone very dear to him. So loss surrounds Spider-Man. We live in a day and age of comics where you’re always seeing another important death. ‘Here’s someone who dies!’ We’re subverting all of that. Here’s people coming back.”
Fans will remember the Jackal as the mad scientist behind The Clone Saga, an infamous ‘90’s story in which Peter Parker was replaced by his own Jackal-created clone who believed himself to be the original Peter. Slott has also used the Jackal previously in his long Spider-Man run.
“The Jackal has always seemed to be obsessed with cloning Spider Man and Gwen [Stacy]. He’s had a very narrow focus,” Slott explained. “That’s led to very interesting stories in the past, but you have to stop and think, if you’re The Jackal and you take science to the next level, what’s more important to you than just cloning Gwens and Peters? What does this character want, and what’s he going to do with this awesome science?”
The Jackal has recently been a mysterious, unidentified presence in Amazing Spider-Man, gathering some of Spidey’s top foes, including Rhino and the Lizard to his side. Despite the deep dive into Spider-Man continuity, Slott ensures fans that The Clone Conspiracy is a perfect place to start reading Spider-Man.
“As much as there’s all these touchstones for people who have been reading the book for a long time, there’ll also be great jumping-on points for people who have been Spider-Man fans their whole lives who want to come back and see what we’re doing. When you jump in to the prelude issues, or the series proper, it will take you by the hand and lead you into this fresh hell.”
The Clone Conspiracy will receive its own five-issue mini-series co-written by Slott and Christos Gage, with art from Jim Cheung. It launches in October, and will also tie into Amazing Spider-Man #19-23 as well as Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1.