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Did you guys see this?

They're putting clones back into Spider-Man comics

Since when were clones ever a good idea?

Oh hey, I like your tie

[1,2,3] Thanks [4] I'm not wearing one

Do we have any topic for this week?

The video is already late

I just need to know what we're doing

[4] Deadpool!

No, bad Scott

Anyone else?

[3] Well I was thinking we could probably do something

[2] What if we instead revisit one of our older episodes



Stop it, Guys!



This clone thing was a bad idea

I mean sure

It was good at first

When there was just one of you helping me tell good stories

But now, it has gotten to complicated

There are too

[4] Deadpool!

Stop it!


All of you clones you gotta go

I'm sorry

It's one or two can stay


The just the ones that the audience attached to

We'll figure it out later

[1,2,3 Rolls eyes]

[4] Ah

[1,2,3] Shut up!

(Nerdsync theme song)

The clone saga

[Table Drumming]

Ugh, lets talk about it

there probably groaning at the mention of the words Clone Saga what you'd be

perfectly justified in doing it's not uncommon for fans to see and it's a

collection of everything wrong with marvel comics in the nineties or even

just comics in general and in hindsight sure it's clear to see how much of a

convoluted mess it was thing is don't really have a problem with it in the

beginning its first six months the Clone Saga was met with a great response the

stories were interesting and even beautifully sad shaping up to be one of

the best spider-man stories ever told

so what happened what went wrong and who is responsible for all of it i wish i

could tell you there's just one thing but it seems like the Clone Saga fell

victim to a perfect storm of terrible decisions incidents and happenstance

that turned in otherwise promising event into an enormous failure

let's take a look and see exactly how that happened not in the plot of the

story itself but behind the scenes at Marvel believe or not the story actually

starts way back in nineteen seventy-three during one of the most

famous spider-man stories ever told the night gwen stacy died during this time

Marvel's then editor-in-chief Roy Thomas along with writer gerry conway and inker

john romita senior we're trying to think of ways to shake things up in spider-man

comics a sentiment we will see repeated later and so they decided to kill

someone some big important character and Peter Parker's life that would leave the

readers shocked and they had their perfect targets Aunt May but ramita was

against the idea he explained quote if you kill Aunt May Peter Parker secret

identity is not a problem anymore since there's no one for him to protect and

you lose that whole teenage nerd factor it didn't matter how good looking he was

or how well he was doing if his aunt was still telling him to bring his umbrella

whenever he went out into the rain instead ramita pulled inspiration from

an old comic strip called Terry and the Pirates where readers were stunned after

seeing the girlfriend of one of the main characters die and so it was settled

they were gonna kill when but not without Stanley's permission

of course they asked him if it was alright to kill her off and Stan gave

them his blessing but once the story it's shelves fans everywhere were

outraged how could they kill Gwen Stacy how could stand let them see here's the

thing that you need to know about Stanley he's not always the best when it

comes to telling the truth

so even though conway and Thomas did get his permission Stan publicly rejected

the idea claiming that he would never have allowed them to do such a thing if

he knew about it in reality stand simply hates when fans are mad at him so he

deflects the blame in an attempt to promote his own innocence but we felt

that the fans were so outspoken that he actually went out of his way to try and

fix things he went back to gerry conway and demanded that he bringing when Stacy

back into the comics somehow she didn't have to stay for longer become a main

character again but she at least had to come back in some capacity so Conway

unwillingly created the first Clone Saga see the one from the nineties was

actually the second Clone Saga the first one back in the seventies help set it up

and introduced the character of the jackal the previously established

science professor named miles Warren who was infatuated with Gwen Stacy upset

over her death and in his grief resolved to clone her but that wasn't the only

clone jackal created oh no just to make the story interesting he also created a

clone of Peter Parker that you team up to take down the jackal until a bomb

detonates seemingly killing jackal and one of the spider-men the apparently

dead Spidey's reason to be the clone in the living one is the peat that we all

know and love but it was left ambiguous unintentionally so actually as Conway

recalls it was never his intention to imply that the surviving Spidey was the

clone and the real Pete is dead he never believed in a million years that Marvel

would tell that story

yeah so about that

flash forward to the mid-1990s when comics were getting a little darker are

happy and fun wall-crawler was thrown into the ring with much more intense and

traumatic events that we never seen before he just wasn't the same and

Marvel wanted to shake things up

again DC comics was selling record sales with events like Batman nightfall and

the death of superman Marvel decided they needed to fire back with their own

big event and no ideas were off the table

everyone just started shouting things out enter Terry Cavanagh who pitched a

pretty straightforward idea what if we bring back the spider-man clone from the

seventies the idea was quickly dismissed and everyone moved on but Cavanaugh was

adamant and further explain his pitch in a following writers meeting he wasn't

saying to just bring the clone back for another story he was saying what is this

whole time we had things backwards the clone that comes back is the real Peter

Parker and spider-man we've been following since the seventies that's the

clone that idea would actually be pretty brilliant Marvel could say that the dark

and brooding Spiderman was simply a clone while the fun and energetic one

readers longed-for from before was still out there in the marvel universe as

Cavanaugh said quote as the writers grew older and got married and had kids and

got mortgages we sort of wrote spider-man that way and wrote him away

from our audience

this was a way to get him back to his essence organically without divorcing

him which would just give him more baggage and quote that was the plan

clear up spider-man's history and bring him back to how he used to be the

writers at the meeting could hardly contain their excitement after they

realized all of the possibilities

it was a scary idea to take on sure but ultimately a thrilling experience for

the writers when editor-in-chief Tom DeFalco came in to shut the project down

he was so overwhelmed by the writers enthusiasm that it not only convinced

him to do the story but also to become the new writer of spectacular spider-man

but as editor mark bernardo stated quote ironically the whole storyline which was

supposed to simplify spider-man's Methos and ultimately bring him back to basics

ended up complicating everything beyond what anyone imagine the original concept

for the story was pretty straightforward Peters clone would come back going by

the name Ben Reilly forged by combining been from Uncle Ben and Riley which was

in maize maiden name over the next six months it would be revealed that Ben

Reilly was the real spider-man

Peter Parker was the clone meanwhile Mary Jane would become pregnant which

would give Peter incentive to retire as spider-man after all with great power

comes great responsibility and what greater responsibility is there than

raising a child and teaching him or heard be a good and decent human being .

MJ would walk off into the sunset with their child will Ben Reilly regained the

mental of spider-man permanently clean and simple

no need to complicate things well here is where the first bit of confusion

comes in you remember how tom defalco was against the idea and told everyone

to shut it down when he finally agreed he had one condition

quote here's a secret when I finally ok the Clone Saga I told editor Danny

finger off to build a backdoor into it I said that I wanted to be able to bring

Peter back as the real deal i believe that both comic book creators and comic

book fans are cowardly and superstitious lot while the fans claim they want

change they tend to react negatively to it so the most creators with this in

mind we agreed that Peter was the real guy but that we wouldn't let the spider

team trying to convince the readers otherwise if the spider creators


they would love the idea of the old switcheroo if they failed they be so

happy that they had a back door

either way the readers were guaranteed a great story with a lot of unexpected

twists and quote so essentially because they were already expecting fan outrage

they had to build in a loophole to basically undo everything to say that

Peter was the clone and Ben Reilly was the real deal but then to immediately

say now just kidding but even this idea was thrown out after Marvel saw some

radical editorial shifts if you recall from our previous video about the

comic-book crash in the nineties comic books crashed in the nineties

speculators we're seeing how much Golden Age comic books are being result for and

started buying loads of current comics hoping to sell them later to make a

profit problem was that Golden Age comics valuable because they were rare

comics from major publishers in the nineties were printed hundreds of

thousands of times

speculators realize this and the market fell out part

Marvel was in serious financial troubles and it wasn't helping that there was

hardly any cooperation between the sales team and the editorial staff the people

who kept the numbers wanted more control with the creatives didn't want to

relinquish any especially DiFalco who expressed an attitude of if we're making

good books i don't care if they sell poorly i'm not gonna let some marketing

and sales people tell us how to make comics hoping to get the company back on

track then president of Marvel teri Stewart put into action initiative that

would take power away from the editorial staff and give more power to the sales

and marketing team this restructuring of the company was called the Marvel Lucien

editor in chief DiFalco was effectively fired and in his place where not one not

two but five new editors-in-chief that would each handle their own corner of

the Marvel Universe and report directly to Stuart the five sectors were

spider-man x-men marvel classic which was mostly Avengers and fantastic for

Marvel edge all the gritty characters and marvel entertainment for all their

license properties in an attempt to unify the company all Marvel Lucien did

was split its further apart one editor said quote it would have been easier to

have spider-man team-up with Superman and spider-man team-up with the x-men

this big editorial shake-up happened right in the middle of the Clone Saga

this meant that the overall vision of the story was lost as new editors came

in with their own ideas and with the sales team more integrated with the

creative side they kept demanding for writers to drag out the story so that

they could sell more comics and make more money remember this whole ordeal

was only supposed to last six months at the most and come to a conclusion an

amazing spider-man 400 but as sales demanded extensions to the story the

plot for this issue was changed instead of ending the Clone Saga ASM 400

featured a wonderfully moving story by JM de Matisse where an Aunt May revealed

that she had known Peter for spider-man for quite some time

one moment later and mates help finally gave out and she died

it's a beautiful comment that serves as a reminder that not everything that

amount of the Clone Saga was awful fun fact they also got Stanley's permission

to kill Aunt May which he gave only to once again tonight when he saw the fan

reactions tho classic stand in addition to story extensions the sales department

also demanded more clones to classic case of higher up seeing good sales

numbers and wrongly attributed their success to one simple thing it's

probably not the gripping story or the beautiful character developmental

masterfully drawn artwork it's clones we need more clones all of the clones and

while we're at it let's get more already superhero movies in here because

Deadpool did so well rights

yeah this is when we got stories like maximum clones which featured more

spider-man clones in the world ever needed this was once again a proposed

ending for the Clone Saga that was supposed to tie up a bunch of loose ends

and establish Ben Reilly is the one-and-only spider-man but funny thing

happened Marvel Lucien had split up all the Marvel properties which created a

sense of competition between them

Bob Harris the editor-in-chief of the x-men corner of the MU saw how great

spider-man Clone Saga was doing initially and reacted

oh my god the spider-man books are gonna rock it past the x-men once we have to

have our own event like now

thus began the long and drawn-out Age of Apocalypse storyline throughout all of

the x-men titles when maximum cloning was being written the sales department

really loved her age of apocalypse was generating enormous numbers by making

their story overly long and spread out so the spider-man editor-in-chief body

and ski essentially told his team to copy that recipe so in effect the clone

socket took inspiration from age of apocalypse which took inspiration from

the Clone Saga is apparently the Marvel HQ is housed in an echo chamber instead

of tying up loose ends and bringing the Clone Saga to a close maximum clone is

just complicated things and continue to prolong the resolution story that was

supposed to last few months that ended up lasting over two years and the

writers still had no idea how they were gonna end it

one idea was that neither Peter Parker or Ben Reilly was a clone they were both

the original spider-man simply stuck in a time loop

Spidey would go back in time become Ben Reilly progress forward in time until he

met up with Peter Parker again would then

go back in time become Ben Reilly and the cycle continues this way all the

spider-man tail since the beginning still happened to Peter not some clone

and it would also establish peter is the one-and-only spider-man once again and

the villainous mastermind behind this whole scheme none other than my fist oh

yes Fisto as the solution to a convoluted spider-man story

funny how that works at ultimately while the editorial staff was on board for

this time loop idea the writers were adamantly against it

writer Dan Jurgens from hated Ben Reilly put an ultimatum in place Peter Parker

had to remain the real spider-man just been Riley is the true spider-man

business had to go Ben would die heroically of course Peter would become

Spidey again and let's just resolve this now and quickly and if not Jergens would

quit even this simple solution was made sloppy with how complicated the story

had become MJ was still pregnant with Peters child

originally they were supposed to go settle down well then became spider-man

again but with Peter cementing himself as the true webhead the writers had to

well they had to deal deal with the baby and their eyes you couldn't have a

superhero with the kid obviously we know now that that's a bit of an overreaction

either way the decision was made that Mary Jane would have a miscarriage

solutions to the Clone Saga are being thrown around left and right no one was

on the same page and body and ski who was supposed to be in charge couldn't

decide on any one direction indecisive from crisis to crisis frustrating

everyone who was working on the story finally booty and ski and Jergens wrote

a story that would reveal who was behind this whole Clone Saga nonsense and end

this miserable journey once and for all

they introduced a new villain named gaunt would be revealed to be none other

than the presumed dead Harry Osborn he would be the new mastermind behind it


plans were laid out clues were in place but then wouldn't you know it

Marvel reorganize the company yet again did away with the five editors in

chief and named Bob Harris as the one and only DIC overall of Marvel Comics

remember Harris was previously in charge of the x-men section so when he oversaw

all of Marvel he still put x-men first right around the time when the

spider-man team was about to make the big reveal that Harry was the mastermind

behind the whole Clone Saga and finally bring this message to an end

Harris told the spider-man team to yet again postponed the finale because he

didn't want to overshadow a big x-men event presumably onslaught was happening

right around the same time so the Harry Osborn reveal was out this further delay

of the Clone Saga is resolution infuriated Jergens who made true on his

promise and quit

thanks to layoffs and Marvel booty and ski was on his way out as well but

before he left he wrote a memo he didn't know who would be made the true villain

of the Clone Saga but there was one character he was strongly against quote

Norman Osborn's death should never be undone in my opinion it's two classic

let him rest in peace

of course with booty and ski out of the picture Harris decided that the one

person who had the money resources the connections the knowledge and the

motivation to orchestrate the Clone Saga and disrupt Peter Parker's life to such

a profound extent was none other than or is Norman Osborn problem was as funny

ascii pointed out he was kind of dead at the time famously so during the night

gwen stacy died the comic that started this whole mess but Harris didn't care

Norman Osborn was the only character that made sense in this scenario even if

he's supposed to be dead so as what happened at this point i'm sure many

riders were happy just to end the Clone Saga once and for all and move on the

reveal was written up and in 1997 the Clone Saga was finally laid to rest

there's obviously a lot more to this story than we covered in this video i

highly recommend checking out the life of Riley 35 part blog series to find out

more that is linked down in the description below along with a bunch

more links and sources you should definitely check out what do you guys

think about all this was there any one person or one decision that made the

Clone Saga of failure or was it a barrage of

bad luck but could have saved it if anything

let's talk about it all in the comments and I'll address some of your thoughts

on monday during our show tales from the comments if you liked this video and

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one more spider-man click on this video to the left to see the crazy intricate

behind-the-scenes story of how venom was created or you can click on the video to

the right to learn how the nineties comic book market almost destroyed the

industry if you're new here make sure to hit that big sexy subscribe button until

next time my name is Scott reminding you to read between the panels and grow

smarter through comics so yeah

The Description of Why the SPIDER-MAN CLONE SAGA Sucks! ? || Comic Misconceptions || NerdSync