This week’s Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy #3 by Dan Slott and Jim Cheung held some intense revelations about the founder of New U, the Jackal, as well as his plans for Peter Parker. Longtime Spider-fans will have bittersweet feelings about the issue, which has major ramifications for Peter Parker going forward.
Spoilers ahead for The Clone Conspiracy #3.
At the tail end of this issue , after escaping New U with Spider-Gwen only to discover Horizon Labs has been attacked, Peter makes his way to confront the Jackal, who is receiving a new body shipment from his associates Burke & Haire.
Upon arrival, Peter confronts the Jackal. While engaging him in hand-to-hand combat, Peter says that the Jackal is stronger and faster than he’s ever been before. Removing his Anubis helmet, the Jackal reveals that this is because he’s not Miles Warren…
He’s Ben Reilly. The clone of Peter Parker that took over as Spider-Man during the “Clone Saga,” and one of the first clones Warren ever engineered. Peter, shocked, exclaims that he saw Reilly melt into genetic goo at the end of the “Clone Saga.” Reilly says that the New U process can revive anyone with all their memories intact, that he even remembers dissipating.
Reilly then reveals his plan to bring Peter to his side. The new body he’s recovered is that of Uncle Ben, and with Peter’s help, he plans to bring him back to life.
Writer Dan Slott made a big deal in the lead up of The Clone Conspiracy to point out that Reilly’s death was seemingly irreversible, quashing several fan inquiries about Reilly’s involvement in the series at New York Comic Con 2016. With the series’ biggest twist yet now revealed, the questions of who brought Reilly back, and whether the allure of finally saving Uncle Ben will sway Peter Parker to his side remain to be answered.
The Clone Conspiracy #4 is due out January 18.