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Quote1 But here's the kicker -- comparing it to the sample you gave me, the skeleton's dna shows evidence of genetic drift. In short-- --it's a clone of you! Quote2
-- Giant Man

Appearing in "Headlines"

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Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

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Vehicles:

  • Pete's red car

Synopsis for "Headlines"

Now

Arriving at Ravencroft Institute, Spider-Man is spotted by some police officers that try to arrest him. The wall-crawler has to deal with them until John Jameson, the head of security, orders them to stand down and for the wall-crawler to come inside before he trips the automated defense systems. However, it is too late, forcing the web-slinger to leap to safety. That's when Peter Parker pulls up in a car and tells the web-spinner to hop in and they escape. Ben is snippy with Peter for a moment as he is having a bad day, but then asks how Peter knew he would be at Ravencroft.[Continuity 1] Peter points out that he picked up some investigation skills during his time at the Daily Bugle, but also he heard reports of Spider-Man being sighted on his police scanner. Peter then asks Ben what else is going on that is bothering him. He tells Peter about how he has been dating a woman named Jessica Carradine recently. He shows Peter a photograph of Jessica that he found recently. It is of the woman when she was celebrating her seventh birthday. There is something about her father, whose face is obscured in shadows in the photo, that disturbs him. He also recently learned that Jessica is obsessed with Spider-Man, but not in a positive way. In fact, she has a hatred for the wall-crawler and Ben has no idea why. He then recounts what he saw earlier...

Then

... Jessica has brought Ben Reilly to her apartment for the first time and it took all of his efforts not to act too shocked when he saw that it was covered wall-to-wall with photos of Spider-Man. Ben points out that this looks a little extreme, suggesting that this may be an obsession she has. Jessica then reminds him that she is a photography student and that she has taken to photographing the wall-crawler so she can learn how to refine her photography skills. After some coaxing, Jessica gets upset that Ben would question her, as she has had a long history of people not believing her. She explains that growing up her mother died and her father was in and out of jail which caused her to be bounced around a number of foster homes. Her father, she explains, was later imprisoned for a crime that he insists he did not commit, that he was accused of robbing and murdering an old man. She then tells Ben that her father was murdered a few years later. Before she can provide any more details she catches the headline of the Daily Bugle that accuses Spider-Man of murder in light of his recent theft of a skeleton from the city morgue. This proves her believe that Spider-Man is evil. Ben tries to convince her not to jump to conclusions, but it does little to dissuade her opinion.[Continuity 2] Still, she insists that if her father was still alive he could prove that Spider-Man as evil, but before she can explain further the phone rings.

The call is from Peter Parker who suggests that they learn the truth about the mystery skeleton by having it thoroughly examined, Ben agrees and they make a plan to meet later. When Peter got off the phone and fills in his wife Mary Jane about his plans.[Continuity 3] While the last tests were done by Ben Reilly's friend Seward Trainer, Peter wants to run some tests with some real professionals this time around and get a conclusive answers not only to confirm who is the clone and who is the real Peter Parker, but to also learn the identity of the mystery skeleton.[Continuity 4]

By the time that Ben was off the phone, Jessica was in no mood to talk so he stopped by the Daily Grind to drop off his time card before meeting with Peter. The coffee shop is busy, and when Shirley Washington asks Reilly if he could help, he has to turn it down. That's when her son Devon, tells Ben that Jessica left her backpack the last time she was in. As Ben stores it in his locker to return when he sees her next a the childhood photo of Jessica slipped out. Looking at the photo for the first time he immediately felt something disturbing about Jessica's father. This just adds another mystery to a stack of them. Changing into Spider-Man, Ben web-slinging across the city thinking about the Jackal and his clones and how they turned his life upside down, and how this skeleton throws so much into question.[Continuity 5] On his way to meet with Peter, Spider-Man's spider-sense began going off warning him of danger. Swinging down to a nearby alley, he finds a man who was recently attacked. The man explains that he wasn't mugged, but attacked by a creature that matches the description of Carnage.

Fearing that Carnage may have escaped from Ravencroft Institute, the wall-crawler decided that this was a more pressing concern and web-slinged all the way out to Ravencroft to check on things. There he met with John Jameson, who shows the web-slinger that Cletus Kasady remains confined to his cell and that there is no evidence that he had broken out. That's when something triggered the outer security alarm prompting Spider-Man to go outside to look, which led to his confrontation with the police before Peter came to pick him up...

Now

... As Ben finishes his story they arrive at the Avenger's temporary headquarters on Long Island.[Continuity 6] There they meet with Giant-Man who agrees to examine the mystery skeleton for them. As Giant-Man runs a series of tests on the skeleton against a DNA sample provided by Spider-Man, Peter Parker notices that Giant Man has a photo-enhancer and decides to run Jessica Carradine's photo through it so they can get a better look at her father. By this point, Giant-Man has run all the results through both the Avengers and Fantastic Four's databases and conclude that the skeleton is an exact match for Spider-Man's body. With the final tests underway, Peter finishes enhancing the photo and instantly recognizes the man in the photo. He quickly shows it to Spider-Man who recognizes him as well. Jessica's father is the burglar who murdered his Uncle Ben years ago.[Continuity 7] That's when Giant-Man concludes his testing and informs Spider-Man and Peter Parker that the DNA test concludes that the remains belong to a clone of Spider-Man.

This story continues in Amazing Spider-Man #410...

Solicit Synopsis

The psycho symbiote is on the loose— but Cletus Kasady is still locked up in Ravencroft! What gives? This issue begins a four-part blockbuster in which Spidey risks death — and a fate worse than death — to find the answer! Continued in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #410!

Notes

Continuity Notes

Clone Saga Reading Order
Prelude
The Double
Web of Spider-Man #117 Amazing Spider-Man #394 Spider-Man #51 The Spectacular Spider-Man #217
The Parker Legacy
Amazing Spider-Man #400 Spider-Man #57 The Spectacular Spider-Man #223
The Lost Years
Spider-Man: The Lost Years #1 Spider-Man: The Lost Years #2 Spider-Man: The Lost Years #3
Act One
Power and Responsibility
Web of Spider-Man #117 Amazing Spider-Man #394 Spider-Man #51 The Spectacular Spider-Man #217
The Exile Returns
Web of Spider-Man #118 Spider-Man Unlimited #7 Spider-Man #52 Web of Spider-Man #119 Spider-Man #53
Back From the Edge
Spider-Man Unlimited #7 Amazing Spider-Man #395 The Spectacular Spider-Man #218 Amazing Spider-Man #396 The Spectacular Spider-Man #219
Web of Life
Web of Spider-Man #120 Spider-Man #54 Web of Spider-Man #121 Spider-Man #55
Web of Death
Amazing Spider-Man #397 The Spectacular Spider-Man #220 Amazing Spider-Man #398 The Spectacular Spider-Man #221
Funeral for an Octopus
Spider-Man Unlimited #8 Spider-Man: Funeral for an Octopus #1 Spider-Man: Funeral for an Octopus #2 Spider-Man: Funeral for an Octopus #3
Smoke and Mirrors
Web of Spider-Man #122 Amazing Spider-Man #399 Spider-Man #56 Spider-Man: The Clone Journal #1
Spider-Man: The Clone Journal #1
Players and Pawns
The Spectacular Spider-Man #222 Web of Spider-Man #123 Amazing Spider-Man #400
Aftershocks
Spider-Man #57 The Spectacular Spider-Man #223
Mark of Kaine
Web of Spider-Man #124 Amazing Spider-Man #401 Spider-Man #58 The Spectacular Spider-Man #224 Spider-Man Unlimited #9
Crossfire
Web of Spider-Man #125 Amazing Spider-Man #402 Spider-Man #59 The Spectacular Spider-Man #225
The Trial of Peter Parker
Web of Spider-Man #126 Amazing Spider-Man #403 Spider-Man #60 The Spectacular Spider-Man #226
Planet of the Symbiotes
Amazing Spider-Man Super Special #1 Spider-Man Super Special #1 Venom Super Special #1 Spectacular Spider-Man Super Special #1 Web of Spider-Man Super Special #1
Act Two
Maximum Clonage
Spider-Man: The Jackal Files #1 New Warriors #61 Spider-Man: Maximum Clonage #Alpha Web of Spider-Man #127 Amazing Spider-Man #404 Spider-Man #61 The Spectacular Spider-Man #227 Spider-Man: Maximum Clonage #Omega
Growing Pains
Amazing Spider-Man Super Special #1 Spider-Man Super Special #1 Venom Super Special #1 Spectacular Spider-Man Super Special #1 Web of Spider-Man Super Special #1
The Exiled
Web of Spider-Man #128 Amazing Spider-Man #405 Spider-Man #62 Spider-Man Unlimited #10
Time Bomb
The Spectacular Spider-Man #228 Web of Spider-Man #129
The Greatest Responsibility
Amazing Spider-Man #406 Spider-Man #63 The Spectacular Spider-Man #229 Spider-Man: The Parker Years #1
Act Three
Scarlet Spider Unlimited #1
Virtual Morality
Scarlet Spider Unlimited #1 Web of Scarlet Spider #1 Amazing Scarlet Spider #1 Scarlet Spider #1 The Spectacular Scarlet Spider #1
Cyberwar
Web of Scarlet Spider #2 Amazing Scarlet Spider #2 Green Goblin #3 Scarlet Spider #2 The Spectacular Scarlet Spider #2
Nightmare in Scarlet
Web of Scarlet Spider #3 New Warriors #67 Web of Scarlet Spider #4
The Sensational Spider-Man
Wizard Mini-Comic #3 Sensational Spider-Man #0 Amazing Spider-Man #407 Spider-Man #64 The Spectacular Spider-Man #230 Spider-Man Unlimited #11
The Final Adventure
Spider-Man: The Final Adventure #1 Spider-Man: The Final Adventure #2 Spider-Man: The Final Adventure #3 Spider-Man: The Final Adventure #4
Act Four
Media Blizzard
Sensational Spider-Man #1 Amazing Spider-Man #408 Spider-Man #65
The Return of Kaine
The Spectacular Spider-Man #231 Sensational Spider-Man #2 Amazing Spider-Man #409 Spider-Man #66 The Spectacular Spider-Man #232
Web of Carnage
Sensational Spider-Man #3 Amazing Spider-Man #410 Spider-Man #67 The Spectacular Spider-Man #233
Blood Brothers
Sensational Spider-Man #4 Amazing Spider-Man #411 Spider-Man #68 The Spectacular Spider-Man #234 Sensational Spider-Man #5 Amazing Spider-Man #412
Redemption
Spider-Man: Redemption #1 Spider-Man: Redemption #2 Spider-Man: Redemption #3 Spider-Man: Redemption #4
Peter Parker Returns
Sensational Spider-Man #7 Amazing Spider-Man #414 Spider-Man #71 The Spectacular Spider-Man #237
Loose Ends
Amazing Spider-Man #415 Spider-Man #72 Sensational Spider-Man #8 The Spectacular Spider-Man #238 Sensational Spider-Man #9 Amazing Spider-Man #416 Spider-Man #73 The Spectacular Spider-Man #239 Sensational Spider-Man #10 Amazing Spider-Man #417 Spider-Man #74
Revelations
The Spectacular Spider-Man #240 Sensational Spider-Man #11 Amazing Spider-Man #418 Spider-Man #75 Spider-Man: Revelations #1 Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal #1
Web of Carnage
Sensational Spider-Man #3 Amazing Spider-Man #410 Spider-Man #67 The Spectacular Spider-Man #233
  1. Peter mentions how he lost his powers, that happened in Spider-Man: The Final Adventure #4. This will remain the status quo for Peter until The Spectacular Spider-Man #237.
  2. Ben mentions that Spider-Man used to be a member of the Avengers. Peter Parker, as Spider-Man, joined the Avengers on reserve status in Avengers #329.
  3. Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife here. However, years later, their marriage is erased from existence by Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such they should be considered a common-law couple here.
  4. Seward Trainer had recently tested Peter and Ben in The Spectacular Spider-Man #226. Those test results identified Peter as the clone and Ben as the original Spider-Man. However, Seward doctored the tests as revealed in Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal #1.
  5. The mystery of the clone saga are as follows:
    • The Jackal created a clone of Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #149, it seemingly died during that battle and Spider-Man disposed of the body in a smokestack in Amazing Spider-Man #151.
    • As stated above, Peter was tricked into thinking he was the clone and Ben was the original Spider-Man in The Spectacular Spider-Man #226.
    • In reality, the pair are part of two schemes orchestrated by both the Jackal and the Green Goblin. The Jackal tried to swap Spider-Man with the clone, but the Goblin's minions tampered with the equipment to ensure the clone was disposed of. Unaware of this, the Jackal dumped a failed Spider-Clone in the smokestack to further confuse things after Ben Reilly awoke and went on his five-year exile. This is all explained at length in Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal #1.
  6. At the time of this story Avengers Headquarters was recently destroyed in Avengers: Timeslide #1.
  7. Ben Parker was murdered by the Burglar in Amazing Fantasy #15. Despite Jessica's assertions that her father was murdered, he actually died of a heart attack in Amazing Spider-Man #200 when he discovered that Spider-Man was the nephew of the man he murdered.

Publication Notes

  • This issue is reprinted in comics and books, see references for more info.[1]

See Also

Footnotes

  1. This issue is reprinted in the following comics/TPB's:



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