Before I get to the mammoth and possible soul-destroying task of re-reading the Clone Saga, there are a couple of little bits that occur between these two eras that deserve a bit of note, simply because they both come up as important.
In Amazing Spider-Man #151, the surviving Spider-Man finds a way to dispose of the dead body of his clone. There’s not much he can do with it officially, since it would raise a number of uncomfortable questions and since he’s already dead anyway, Peter ‘Spider-Man’ Parker decides to drop the body down a nearby smokestack.
That’s where the story really ends regarding the first Clone Saga unless we want to get into the High Evolutionary based retcons of the 1980’s and as much as I enjoy a bit of ridiculous continuity, I have my limits.
So we go from September 1975 to June 1994 and we start seeing an unseen mystery man wandering around the fringes of the life of Peter as Pete himself starts to drift further and further into his masked identity to avoid the pain he is suffering in his regular life, including the recent loss(ish) of his parents, he wife leaving him and the recent illness of May Parker, his loving aunt and the rock around which he has built his civilian life.
This mystery man is also visiting May and is as upset as Peter is. In the end, we get a scene with Peter in the hospital and then we see Spider-Man out of the window, this mystery man is a dead ringer for Peter, he tries to escape to the roof and Peter Parker is face to face with Spider-Man.
And from here, it all starts hitting the fan. The Clone Saga is about to begin.
Regarding the mid 80’s retcon I mentioned, the always entertaining Andrew Leyland in his podcast Hey Kids Comics, co-starring his son Michael went over this period in a funny and affectionate manner and is worth listening too.
They can be found at http://twotruefreaks.com/main.php and the episodes in question are below
Next Time: We inch closer to the Age of Apocalypse.