"Walking Into Spiderwebs" Spectacular Spider-Man 240 (November 1996)
"Deadly Diversions" Sensational Spider-Man 11 (November 1996)
"Torment" Amazing Spider-Man 418 (November 1996)
"The Night of the Goblin!" Peter Parker: Spider-Man 75 (November 1996) and Spider-Man: Revelations (1997)
Reader Rating: Average; Thunderbolts Interest: High
Summary: As this final arc of the infamous Spider-Man "Clone Saga" begins, Ben Reilly and Peter Parker are best buddies who believe that Ben is the original and Peter the clone; Mary-Jane, married to Peter, is about to give birth; and everything looks pretty rosy for the Spider-Men.
Enter a "mysterious" mastermind ready to finalize his plan to destroy Peter Parker's life. He sends a creep known as Gaunt, clad in killer armor, to keep Ben and Peter busy while he arranges for Mary-Jane to be drugged, throwing her into premature labor.
In battle with Ben and Peter, Gaunt is revealed to be Professor Stromm (last seen alive way back in "Once Upon a Time, There Was a Robot...!", 1966/06/03). On the verge of defeating Stromm, Ben is bushwhacked by the true mastermind. Guess what: it's Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin!
The Goblin explains that Peter is the original and Ben the clone (evidence to the contrary was all manipulated by Osborn) and lures Peter into a showdown. Peter defeats the Goblin in battle, but Mary-Jane's baby is abducted...and Ben Reilly is killed.
Continuity: Osborn explains how he survived and that he has been working behind the scenes to ruin Spider-Man's life for years. At the end of this adventure, Spider-Man again has reason to believe that the Goblin is dead, but we are given clear indications otherwise.
The reprint of "The Night in the Goblin!" in the trade paperback Spider-Man: Revelations is expanded with fourteen new pages.
Comments: Think what you like about the convoluted Clone Saga and the decision to retrofit Osborn in as the agent behind the whole thing, this four issue finale is an entertaining blend of solid scripting, decent art and energetic action ... all mixed with just a hint of desperation.
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This page was revised on November 23, 2008
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