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June 30, 2006

Weird Crap You Find On The Internet

Like this. A philsophy class with some materials on-line. Exploring questions of identity and consciousness, through the, um, Spiderman Clone Saga.

A lot of excerpts from it (just the most important parts, without all the bullshit), going all the way back to the famous death of Gwen Stacy. Starting here.

Sorry if that was a spoiler. But, you know, it's like 30 years old by now.

Odd.

I didn't read this stuff at the time, but my best friend, who'd I'd gotten hooked on Spiderman during the Hobgoblin years, did, and told me the basics. I thought it all sounded pretty dumb, so I stayed away.

But, if you care, there it is.

The other night I was reading a recap of this controversial chapter in Marvel history. Controversial and largely hated, it seems.

I don't know what they were thinking. To compete with big "event" stories that were all the rage in the mid-nineties (and coming much more frequently than necessary to offset the huge decline in the comics market), Marvel decided they'd make their big Spiderman event the revelation that Peter Parker was a clone of the actual Peter Parker. And they actually intended to end the storyline by replacing the clone Peter Parker (the one whose stories readers had been following for 20+ years) with the real Peter Parker (whom they'd never heard of before, and who was calling himself not Peter Parker but "Ben Reilly").

And they saw this is as a smart way to get him out of his marriage to Mary Jane (another "event"), which they now found was really putting a crimp in his dating life.

Genius.

Well, anyway, you won't be surprised to learn they eventually waved a magic wand and reversed all this silliness, but they really were, apparently, intending to retire the Peter Parker everyone knew in favor of his clone-brother "Ben Reilly." Because Ben Reilly was single, could still date, and thus seemed younger to readers.

It's amazing to me I'm not running the media yet.


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posted by Ace at 09:39 PM

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