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Appearing in "You Say You Want An Evolution"

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Synopsis for "You Say You Want An Evolution"

Three Weeks Ago

Two humanoid creatures have located the cryostasis unit that contains the warped Spider-Clone known as Kaine. One of them, named Spinneret, almost opens the unit, however, his associate, Komodo tells him to keep it closed as the clone inside is clearly in stasis for a reason.[Continuity 1]


The Scarlet Spider finds himself outside the same warehouse and sees that it is swarmed by a crew of authorities and hazmat units. Among those gathered is Jacob Raven, but he is barred from going inside.[Continuity 2] Unwilling to let this stop him, Raven sneaks into the back of a truck and steals a hazmat suit, allowing him to slip into the warehouse unseen. The Scarlet Spider decides to swing in after him, but are stopped by the men in the hazmats suit. They explain that they are with the World Health Organization and they are trying to contain the facility in case it has more of the Jackal's genetic virus that was unleashed on the city of Springville.[Continuity 3] Barred from entering, the web-slinger leaps away. As he goes, his spider-sense is set off by a group of WHO agents that are entering the building. Inside, the agents have found nothing and are clearing out. This allows Jacob Raven to look around for the secret entrance he has correctly deduced exists here.[Continuity 4] He discovers the Jackal's lab and finds the containment unit that is holding Kaine. He opens the unit in the hopes of shooting Kaine to death, but he is pulled away by the man-monsters that have set up operations in the facility.

Back outside, the Scarlet Spider has decided to get into the warehouse through the sewers. As he crawls through the tunnels, he thinks about how people neglected to inform Jacob Raven that Kaine was seemingly killed by Spidercide. In the secret lab, Spinneret has wrapped Raven up in a cocoon and are about to deal with him when an alarm warns these creatures that someone else has infiltrated the facility. This intruder is the Scarlet Spider and he is soon ambushed by Spinneret, and Komodo as well as their allies Buzzard and Crushtacean. Although these so-called Animen have the element of surprise, the Scarlet Spider knocks out the male members of this group, but this leaves him open to attacks from Spinneret, and Flying Fox. When Flying Fox tries to drink his blood, the web-slinger knocks her away and then strikes Spinneret with his stingers. Slipping away, the Scarlet Spider blocks the pipe with impact webbing sealing the Animen from the Jackal's lab. Knowing that he doesn't have much time, the Spider begins accessing the Jackal's computers. He discovers that the Animen have been trying to copy the Jackal's files on cloning and his genetic virus, while at the same time, some other source is trying to erase these files.[Continuity 5] Going through the data, the web-slinger is surprised to see that the Spider-Man cloning process is also cross-referenced with the Carrion virus.[Continuity 6]

With his spider-sense and the security systems warning him of the Animen's approach, the Scarlet Spider frees Jacob Raven. Unfortunately, Raven is too upset to listen to reason, allowing the Animen to catch up to the web-spinner. Komodo's first punch sends the masked hero crashing into Kaine's stasis chamber. When the Scarlet Spider realizes what he is looking at, he demands to know what is going on. Suddenly, a holographic image of the High Evolutionary appears in the room and demands a status report. Informed that they have succeeded in their mission, the High Evolutionary teleports them away. When Crushtacean tries to fire a parting shot, the Scarlet Spider fires a webline at the creature, causing him to be teleported away as well. This leaves Jacob Raven unconscious on the floor with the stasis chamber containing Kaine left wide open.

The Scarlet Spider finds himself in the middle of the city of Wundagore, home of the High Evolutionary's New Men. Realizing that he is in a no-win situation, the wall-crawler flees the city as the Animen gather a mob to try and capture him. The Scarlet Spider falls through the roof of a temple and is soon swarmed by New Men. As he fights them off, the Spider is surprised when a humanoid Jackal. This creature, known as Anubia, is the leader of the Cult of the Jackal, who apparently worship the work of Miles Warren. She points out that the Scarlet Spider is the "other" Spider-Man, an object of their worship. She then confuses the hero by saying that he was once a man named Anthony Serba whose DNA was altered with a genetic virus to make him a bio-duplicate of Spider-Man.[Continuity 7] The Scarlet Spider doesn't know why a group of New Men would worship the Jackal. He also corrects them on what they know about Miles Warren is wrong and tries to explain that the Jackal was a deranged scientist who cloned people. The worshipers of this cult view this as blasphemy, but Anubia calms them so she can tell the web-spinner what she knows to be the truth.

Anubia explains the origins of the New Men, hyper-evolved animals that were created by the High Evolutionary. She points out that the most human looking of the bunch were two New Men known as Porga and Tagar, as they were the work of the High Evolutionary's assistant at the time, Professor Miles Warren, the man who would become the Jackal.[Continuity 8] Porga and Tagar soon became the subject of scorn from the jealous New Men who envied their close resemblance to the master. Whereas the High Evolutionary wanted to create a race of gods, it became apparent that Miles Warren only wanted to play God. As such, the Evolutionary had Miles Warren exiled from Wundagore. However, the damage was done and there was a schism among the New Men. A faction grew to worship Miles Warren and remind behind on Earth when the High Evolutionary later left for the stars.[Continuity 9]

Miles Warren would return to these followers with his latest research and would experiment on them in the hopes of making them fully human. However, these experiments proved fatal to the creatures. Hearing all this, the Scarlet Spider theorizes to himself that this may have been an early prototype to the Carrion virus. Anubia continues to say that Warren then began working on a means of creating new bodies for his worshipers in which he could transfer their minds into human bodies. That's when the Scarlet Spider speaks up, pointing out that he was only seeking to create a world of clones. However, Anubia refuses to believe that Miles Warren was anything but a decent man. She goes on to say that Warren left them for a number of years to continue his research. It was then that he returned as the Jackal, costuming himself as such so he would look more like his followers. He told them that he created perfect clones of Gwen Stacy and Spider-Man. He stayed long enough to collect more equipment and left shortly thereafter. That was when they erected a statue of the Jackal to worship. Not long after, the High Evolutionary returned to Earth and was furious that some of his New Men worshiped Warren.[Continuity 10] Still, Anubia formed the Cult of the Jackal where they secretly worshiped the Jackal in secret. She then sent spies into the real world where the learned about the apparent death of the Jackal.[Continuity 11] Learning of the existence of the Cult and that they were holding a memorial service for Miles Warren, the High Evolutionary confronted Anubia and vowed to prove that Miles Warren was nothing more than a fraud.

Sometime after this, the High Evolutionary captured the Gwen Stacy clone and conducted experiments upon her. He learned that she was actually a woman named Joyce Delaney, who was exposed to the genetic virus by Miles Warren, turning her into a genetic duplicate of Gwen Stacy. When the High Evolutionary presented this evidence to the Cult of the Jackal they did not believe it at first. They sent out more spites to look for the lost journals of Miles Warren. When they discovered them, they were horrified to discover that the diaries confirmed everything that the Evolutionary told them was true. Hearing all this, the Scarlet Spider finds it incredibly difficult to believe and wonders why if this is all a deception. Still, part of him worries about what to do if it is true. Since Peter Parker was revealed to be the clone, if he is really Anthony Serba, the Spider wonders if Serba doesn't deserve getting his life back.[Continuity 12] Which brings the Spider to his next question: If the Cult knows that Miles Warren was a fraud, why do they still worship him. Anubia explains that they still believe that the Jackal will bring about the golden age he promised them so many years ago. That's when the Scarlet Spider explains that Miles Warren did succeed and cloning is possible. This prompts Anubia to tell her followers that they must go to the citadel of the High Evolutionary and learn the truth once and for all.

Disguising themselves with robes, the Scarlet Spider and members of the Culy sneak into the facility through the sewers. That's where they are ambushed by the Animen who have been waiting for them to infiltrate the facility. Both factions find themselves evenly matched. However, the fight is quickly ended by the High Evolutionary, who demands that the battle end right away. When Anubia demands to know the truth about Miles Warren, the High Evolutionary uses his powers to devolve her to a normal jackal. Furious, the Scarlet Spider demands that the Evolutionary restore Anubia to normal and tries to strike the High Evolutionary, but this doesn't even make the master geneticist flinch. The High Evolutionary then teleports himself and the Scarlet Spider to his ready room so they can discuss things man-to-man. He goes on to say that they are both victims of the Jackal and that once he hears the truth, the wall-crawler will realize that they are on the same side. The High Evolutionary starts by saying that he was responsible for creating the Jackal. He confirms that Miles Warren worked for him years ago, evolving animals into bi-peds. However, one of Warren's creations was a Jackal that he made very humanoid. After the creature slaughtered local livestock, the High Evolutionary learned of Warren's unauthorized experiment and exiled him. Warren went on to start a life of his own, getting married and having two children. Unfortunately, tragedy would befall Miles Warren as his Man-Jackal escaped from the High Evolutionary's facility and tracked down his creator. Seeing Miles' new family, the creature became jealous and murdered Warren's wife and children, making it seem like a car accident.

Knowing the truth, Miles Warren returned to Wundagore and challenged the High Evolutionary for leadership of the New Men. He gathered worshipers by offering to clone human bodies for the New Men. The Scarlet Spider interjects for a moment to ask what happened to the Man-Jackal. The Evolutionary doesn't know for sure, although he heard unconfirmed reports that the creature appeared in Canada.[Continuity 13] He goes on to say that the death of Warren's family and that of his assistant Anthony Serba sent Warren over the edge, causing him to create the Jackal identity. However, something about all of this doesn't ring true to the Scarlet Spider.[Continuity 14] The High Evolutionary continues by saying that he is against Warren's work because cloning stagnates evolution and he seeks to accelerate it. He then reveals that he fabricated the "proof" that the Gwen Stacy and Spider-Clones were merely genetic constructs in order to keep the world from believing in the existence and continuing work on clones. The Joyce Delaney ruse was reinforced thanks to the interference of the New God known as Daydreamer. He figured that he would never have to cover up the truth of the Spider-Clone because he believed it was dead.[Continuity 15] Now learning that this was not the case, the High Evolutionary realizes that he can do nothing more but tell the truth.

With that, the Evolutionary teleports himself and the Scarlet Spider back into the lab where the Cult of the Jackal and the Animen are fighting once more. There he makes them stop fighting again and uses his powers to return Anubia to her evolved form. There the Evolutionary admits that he deceived his New Men and his story is confirmed by the Scarlet Spider. However, the web-slinger explains that Miles Warren was only interested in creating a world of clones that were his own slaves. The High Evolutionary concludes that the destiny of the New Men is not to become human, but to surpass humanity. With this all sorted out, the Evolutionary teleports the Scarlet Spider back to New York. There he finds himself back in the Jackal's lab where he wakes up Jacob Raven. That's when both men realizes that Kaine is still alive and is on the loose again.


Continuity Notes

  1. Kaine was seriously wounded during the events of Spectacular Spider-Man #227.
  2. Jacob Raven's face was burned by Kaine in Spectacular Spider-Man #223.
  3. The Jackal unleashed this plague on Springville in Spider-Man: Maximum Clonage Alpha #1.
  4. Raven mentions how he had tracked Kaine's murder spree from Salt Lake City. His hunt began in Spider-Man: The Lost Years #13.
  5. The Jackal's first foray into cloning was chronicled in Amazing Spider-Man #142149.
  6. The Carrion Virus was first depicted in Spectacular Spider-Man #149, although there was a Carrion prior to that, a clone of Miles Warren that surfaced in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #2531.
  7. In Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #8, the High Evolutionary claimed that Miles Warren never created clones, but a genetic virus that could re-write the DNA of one individual to turn them into another. Based on this claim, he stated that the original Gwen Stacy clone was actually a woman named Joyce Delaney, the original Spider-Clone was actually Miles Warren's colleague Anthony Serva. It was suggested that Carrion was nothing more than a genetic virus that were set in traps on the Empire State University campus in a diary discovered in Spectacular Spider-Man #149.
  8. The first of the New Men were created by the High Evolutionary in the 1930s as explained in the High Evolutionary back-up stories during the Evolutionary War event. This creates some issues with Miles Warren being directly involved in the original batch of New Men since, as far as what is known, Warren doesn't have an artificially enhanced lifespan, putting this at odds with the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. At this time there is not further explanation.
    Evolutionary War
    X-Factor Annual #3 Punisher Annual #1 Silver Surfer Annual #1 New Mutants Annual #4 Amazing Spider-Man Annual #22 Fantastic Four Annual #21 X-Men Annual #12 Web of Spider-Man Annual #4 West Coast Avengers Annual #3 Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #8 Avengers Annual #17

  9. The High Evolutionary fled Earth with his New Men in Thor #135. However, he ultimately returned to Earth with his creations in Incredible Hulk #266.
  10. Anubia mentions that the High Evolutionary had evolved to the level of a God only to return to human form. This evolution happened in Tales to Astonish #96. He later returned to human form in Marvel Premiere #1. However, the destruction of the Jackal statue happened sometime after this, occurring between Avengers Annual #17 and X-Factor Annual #3.
  11. The Jackal seemingly died in Amazing Spider-Man #149. However, the Jackal survived leaving a clone in his place to die, as explained in Amazing Spider-Man #399.
  12. At the time of this story, both Peter Parker and Ben Reilly were tricked into thinking that Peter Paker was the clone, and Reilly was the original in Spectacular Spider-Man #226. However, this was all a deception orchestrated by the Green Goblin, as explained in Osborne Journals #1.
  13. The High Evolutionary's statement here is an attempt to explain the Jackal who claimed to be the son of Miles Warren and battled Alpha Flight in Alpha Flight #114. However, none of this has been conclusively confirmed.
  14. The Spider recalls how the Jackal once held his own against Spider-Man and the Punisher. This happened in Amazing Spider-Man #129.
  15. The original Spider-Clone seemingly died in battle in Amazing Spider-Man #149. However, he survived as explained in Osborne Journals #1.

Chronology Notes

A flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters:

Miles Warren/Jackal:

High Evolutionary:

Sir Porga:

Publication Notes

See Also

Links and References


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