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''The Clone Saga'' (or ''Spider-Clone Saga'') is the name of two ''Comicbook/SpiderMan'' story arcs, one from the 1970s and another running from 1994 to 1996, both involving Spider-Man and [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin clones]]. The second story, which is pretty much a sequel for all intents and purposes, is better remembered due to being considered to be one of the more controversial Spider-Man stories. Intended to wrap up in less than a year, the comics sold well enough that the writers were encouraged to prolong the series as long as possible. This led to some changes to the storyline that ultimately proved very unpopular.

The first 1970s Clone Saga was primarily written by Gerry Conway. The second Clone Saga is most commonly associated with Terry Kavanagh, though many other writers were involved in the project, among them: Joey Cavalieri, Todd Dezago, J. M. Dematteis, and Tom Defalco.

The original 1970s Clone Saga follows up on the death of [[TheGwenStacy Gwen Stacy]], and is summarized with panels [[http://www.asitecalledfred.com/comics101/69.html here]]. It begins with the introduction of a new villain, the Jackal, and what seems to be Gwen Stacy, BackFromTheDead. [[CaptainObvious As you might guess]], [[CloningBlues she's a clone]]. Eventually, the Jackal [[TheReveal reveals himself]] to be Miles Warren, Peter Parker's biology professor, who blames him for Gwen Stacy's death. In the climax of the story, a clone of Spider-Man is created, and the two of them have to fight it out to see who is the real Spider-Man, as only the real Spider-Man can defuse a bomb. In the end, the Jackal undergoes a HeelRealization and [[RedemptionEqualsDeath stops the bomb himself at the cost of his own life]]. Additionally, one of the Spider-Men clones are killed. The surviving one gets tested to see if he's the original or not, but decides he has to be the original and doesn't read the results. [[ItSeemedLikeAGoodIdeaAtTheTime This comes back to bite him]].

The second Clone Saga follows the reappearance of the Spider-Man clone who was apparently NotQuiteDead during the original Clone Saga and has taken up the name Ben Reilly. It's also [[ArcFatigue pretty long]]. The details of this story, including behind the scenes information can be found in the site ''[[http://lifeofreillyarchives.blogspot.com/2008/03/introduction-and-update.html The Life of Reilly]]'', which may be a book someday.

A brief summary: The Jackal comes back and starts playing mind-games with both Peter and Ben. A new villain, Kaine is introduced that is eventually revealed to be another clone of Spider-Man, [[SuperPrototype the first one made]]; he eventually becomes an AntiHero in an attempt to make him a BreakoutCharacter. Mary Jane gets pregnant. Aunt May and Doctor Octopus die. New villains are introduced such as [[CloningBlues Spidercide]], [[OutsideContextVillain Judas Traveller, Scrier]], and [[LegacyCharacter the second Dr. Octopus]]. The Jackal also dies, but not before it is "proved" that Peter Parker was the clone and that Ben Reilly was the original Spider-Man. After a FreakOut, Peter decides to give the mantle of Spider-Man to Ben Reilly so he can start a family. Then the [[BrokenBase fans]] and [[WriterRevolt writers]] complained. So an AuthorsSavingThrow was developed (there were a few built in there originally, but were never used as intended), and it is revealed that Peter really was the original Spider-Man and the whole thing was manipulated by Norman Osborn, also BackFromTheDead. In the end, Ben Reilly [[KilledOffForReal died in a manner that explicitly]] [[CloneDegeneration showed he was a clone]], the [[NormanOsborn Green Goblin]] returns to being Spider-Man's archenemy, and Aunt May and Dr. Octopus also come BackFromTheDead. Oh, and Mary Jane miscarries (or does she? Read SpiderGirl for more details). In the end, for the most part, StatusQuoIsGod.

A version of the Clone Saga for the Marvel's Ultimate line, the Ultimate Clone Saga was also created. This one takes elements of the previous two, mostly the former.

In 2009, Tom [=DeFalco=] and Howard Mackie--two people involved in the second Saga--reunited for a mini-series called ''Spider-Man: The Clone Saga'', a "director's cut" and streamlined version of the story, with the supposed intent of telling the story as "originally intended". Some are complaining [[LyingCreator Lying Creators]], or at least, not entirely accurate creators since ''Life of Reilly'' indicates that many people intended the Clone Saga to be different things. The miniseries ends with [[spoiler: Peter and MJ still married, and Ben, baby May, ''and'' Aunt May alive and well,]] though it does also use some [[WhatCouldHaveBeen ideas proposed for the ending of the Saga]], such as [[spoiler: Harry Osborn being the mastermind, albeit in an altered form than proposed.]]

----
!! Tropes associated with the original Clone Saga:

* AlwaysNeedWhatYouGaveUp: In hindsight, Spidey throwing away the test results that said if he was a clone or not.
* AmbiguousCloneEnding: That would be revisited years down the line.
* BreakoutCharacter: Surprisingly enough, the ThePunisher's first appearance was a part of the storyline, being manipulated by the Jackal into thinking Spider-Man killed a minor character.
* BondVillainStupidity: Shown by the Jackal. In fairness, he's kinda nuts.
* CloningBlues
* HeelRealization: Miles Warren.
* [[TeacherStudentRomance Hot For Student]]: Miles Warren.
* MirrorMatch: Featured prominently on cover artwork, and eventually happens at the end.
* ILetGwenStacyDie: Except [[CloningBlues not]].
* NeverFoundTheBody: Subverted with the clone Spider-Man, whose body was thrown down a chimney.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: Granted, it was a problem the Jackal started, but..
* RetCon: Even before the second Clone Saga, there were retcons of this story, partially because of an author-perceived ScienceMarchesOn. It was revealed that Miles Warren didn't make any clones, but infected people with a genetic virus that made them into copies. Then this [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment retcon itself was retconned]] in the second Clone Saga when they decided to bring back the clone.
* ReplacementGoldfish: Cloned Gwen Stacy.
* TheReveal: Gwen is a clone, the Jackal's identity, Peter Parker is a clone, Peter Parker wasn't a clone after all.
* {{Revenge}}: The Jackal's motivation; he blames Spidey for not saving Gwen Stacy. Nevermind that it was the Green Goblin's fault...
* TheUnreveal: At the very end, Spider-Man isn't sure if he's the clone or not and gets tested. However, he finds that his [[ThePowerOfLove feelings for Mary Jane]] couldn't have been had by the clone, and so he decides to throw the test results away without reading it. [[WhatAnIdiot This proves to be a bad decision]].
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Clone Gwen Stacy survives the story, appears for the "genetic virus" retcon, and then vanishes. Probably for the best.

!! Tropes associated with the Second Clone Saga

* AffectionateParody: ''Spider Man: 101 Ways To End The Clone Saga'', a comic about Marvel writers and editors trying to find a way to pull off an AuthorsSavingThrow in increasingly humorous ways...[[TakeThatMe and it's written by Marvel's writers and editors]].
* TheAtoner: It was this era of Spider-Man's career that introduced Phil Urich, who attempted to re-purpose the Green Goblin costume and alias for justice.
* BackForTheDead: Mendel Stromm, the RobotMaster.
* BoldInflation: FemmeFatale Delilah, introduced in this arc, '''has''' a '''bad''' habit of '''this''' mixed in with '''weird fonts'''.
* BreakoutCharacter: Averted at first but eventually played straight. The Clone Saga was filled with attempts to create [[BreakoutCharacter Breakout Characters]]. None of them took off. On the other hand, the Clone Saga gave us ''ComicBook/WhatIf'' v2 #105, which gave us ComicBook/{{Spider-Girl}}.
* BrokenBird[=/=]TheWoobie: [[ThatManIsDead Janine Godbe/Elizabeth Tyne]] from Lost Years and Redemption minis. [[ParentalIncest Big]] [[SelfMadeOrphan time]]. [[FirstGirlWins At least she won]] and [[SomeoneToRememberHimBy had a "keepsake"]] in SpiderGirl! ([[MissingMom Sort of]]).
* ConservationOfNinjitsu: Averted with the evil Spider-Man clone army. Ben Reilly barely escapes them with his life and in the end, [[AntiClimaxBoss they end up dissolving]] and are never fully defeated by the heroes.
* CivvieSpandex: Ben Reilly's Scarlet Spider costume involved a blue sleeveless hoodie on top of a standard spider-costume.
* ClearMyName: Thank to Kaine screwing with Ben, Peter ends up getting blamed for Kaine's crimes (and has no alibi that could work without blowing his secret identity) and has to clear his name. Ben takes his place in jail while he does so. Kaine eventually relents and turns himself in after Peter threatens to reveal his identity in court to save Ben.
* CloneDegeneration: This seems to happen to a lot of the clones in this story. Kaine, according to WordOfGod, has a life support system in his costume just to stop this from killing him. Ben Reilly also degenerated when he died, mostly to [[{{Jossed}} preemptively kill any]] EpilepticTrees that would say he wasn't the clone.
* CloningBlues: Hits its peak during ''Maximum Clonage'', or as ''Blog/ToplessRobot'' has put it, [[http://www.toplessrobot.com/2008/11/the_13_dumbest_spiderman_storiesjust_from_the_clon.php?page=4 Night of a Million Jillion Spider-Clones.]]
* ConvenientMiscarriage: During the Clone Saga, Mary Jane was pregnant with Baby May. Baby May was originally supposed to tie into the storyline of Peter Parker not being the real Peter Parker. Since Peter wasn't the real Peter anymore, Marvel would have been able to get around the problem where having a baby would age Peter too much. But after the fan revolt, Marvel decided to make Peter the real Peter after all and the pregnancy storyline was dropped. It should be mentioned the writers implied Norman may have taken the baby somewhere; this was LeftHanging in the comics proper and is probably now CanonDiscontinuity as of ''ComicBook/OneMoreDay'', but the AlternateContinuity comic ''{{ComicBook/Spider-Girl}}'' took the thread and ran with it.
* CourtRoomEpisode: "The Trial of Peter Parker" StoryArc, with a KangarooCourt sequence thrown in for good measure.
* CoversAlwaysLie: Many covers had blurbs teasing that new twists would be revealed, only for the issue to present no new developments. Also, during ''Maximum Clonage'', almost every cover featured an army of Spider-Clones. They ended up only appearing for one full issue and a few pages, then dying with little relevance to the plot.
* {{Creator Backlash}}/{{Writer Revolt}}: A lot of people involved weren't happy with how the story was going and this resulted in quite a few changes in direction.
** Fan-favorite writer Tom [=DeFalco=] was often said to be particularly displeased with killing off Doc Ock, and he unfortunately wound up being required to write that issue. First chance he got after the saga, however, he brought Ock back.
* CursedWithAwesome: According to WordOfGod, Kaine's CloneDegeneration gives him his precognition - amplifying his SpiderSense.
** The Mark of Kaine was also said to be an amplified wall-crawling trait.
*** Specifically, using his wall-crawling/clinging powers to stick his hand to someone, and then rip it off, leaving a perfect hand-shaped mark. Of course, Peter Parker's "stick-em" powers are powerful enough to do the same, but most of his opponents only have their face exposed, so the results could be ''very'' gruesome.
* DeathIsCheap: The story sees Norman Osborn come back from the dead. Two people killed during the Clone Saga--Aunt May and Doctor Octopus--come back after the story's over.
** Well, to be fair to Norman, he had actually been dead for more than 20 years in RealLife, so he arguably counts as a mild subversion.
* {{Determinator}}: Peter is made to think his entire life is a lie. While he initially has a FreakOut, he comes to terms with it and moves on from there. Norman points this out:
-->"[[TheNightGwenStacyDied The death of Gwen Stacy]], the revelation that your life was a lie, that you were a clone--through it all you found a way to not only survive, but to make a life for yourself. Through the worst of it, you prospered. And I '''HATE''' you for it!"
* {{Discriminate And Switch}}/{{Mistaken For Racist}}: Ben Reilly as Spider-Man gets accused of being racist by an African-American man who turned out to be an undercover police detective, but the real reason Ben was suspicious of the man was because Ben's boss at the coffee bar he works at is the cop's ex-wife, merely said he was bad news and undependable, and was worried about their son being near him.
* DoesNotLikeWomen / PoliticallyIncorrectVillain: One of the guests who stands up to Norman is his daughter-in-law Liz Allan. It earns her a ''hard'' backhand and a "Silence, cow!", along with a rant about how she [[NeverMyFault ruined his son's life and made him a weakling.]]
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: Quite a few examples.
** Both the Grim Hunter (Kraven's first son) and Doctor Octopus were killed early on in order to establish Kaine as a powerful threat. The former's creator Howard Mackie offered up the Hunter because he reportedly didn't know where to take him, and he has stayed dead. ([[ComicBookDeath Ock, however...]].
** When the saga was reaching one of its intended wrap-up points, both the Jackal and Kaine, two major figures, were quickly killed off unceremoniously. Kaine got better, though, very quickly afterwards.
** Once Peter was set to come back, several of Ben Reilly's villains were killed off in rapid succession.
** Surprisingly averted with Ben Reilly, the source for a lot of hatred amongst fans. He was given a fairly respectful death at the hands of the Green Goblin.
* EvilCannotComprehendGood: Norman just can't understand why Peter never gives up.
* EvilKnockoff: Kaine, and when they started to make him an AntiHero, Spidercide.
* ExecutiveMeddling: The series was prolonged due to sales, causing the quality to take a dive.
** Not to mention, like OneMoreDay, it was an attempt to get a single Spider-Man.
** The famous [[http://lifeofreillyarchives.blogspot.com/ Life of Reilly]] details what went on behind the scenes, but long story short, what prolonged it was greed (despite the criticisms and mocking it gets, it ''was'' making Marvel money), attempts to recreate the success of [[AgeOfApocalypse another storyline from the same time]] (hence the "Maximum Clonage: Alpha and Omega" one-shots and the ''Scarlet Spider'' titles for a few months), [[TroubledProduction trouble behind the scenes]] over where to go with the story, and not wanting the finale to compete with the {{Onslaught}} storyline.
* FacePalmOfDoom: The preferred killing method of Kaine.
* FanNickname: Spider-Ben for Ben Reilly when he takes over as Spider-Man.
* FirstGirlWins: Janine/Elizabeth Tyne, [[spoiler: who is Ben's babymama in ''{{Spider-Girl}}'']].
* FreakOut: Peter, when he starts thinking he's the clone.
* FollowTheLeader: The Clone Saga follows the wave of "replace-the-hero" comics started by ''TheDeathOfSuperman''. On a more market-related note, the "Maximum Clonage: Alpha and Omega" one-shots and the ''Scarlet Spider'' titles were inspired by similar gimmicks in ''AgeOfApocalypse''.
* HeroicBSOD: Spider-Man suffered two. The first one he's already in the middle of when the storyline opens because of his Aunt being in the hospital and his "parents" being revealed to be robots. The second is after Seward Trainer [[BlatantLies "reveals"]] that Ben in the real Peter and he's the clone.
* HeroicSacrifice: Ben gets in-between Peter and a goblin glider--taking a blade in the back and then falling to his death.
* [[HijackedByGanon Hijacked By Norman Osborn]]
* KudzuPlot: A lot of it was because [[WritingByTheSeatOfYourPants even the writers weren't sure where they were going with this]].
** The most obvious example of this was the climax of the saga which featured an evil army of Spider-Man clones. This part of the story was written aross different titles by different writers. One issue introduced the army in a CliffHanger panel. Another comic followed that up by having Kaine appear to help out, but being told [[ThouShallNotKill not to kill any of the clones]]. The followup issue by yet another creative team depicted Kaine slaughtering several clones with no one objecting. The writer also didn't seem to know what to do with the army so he just had them randomly dissolve into dust with a brief line of dialogue about them being "unstable". In the end, the clone army had no real importance to the plot despite much hype to the contrary.
* LegacyCharacter: The people in charge were indecisive if Ben Reilly would become this or not. Ultimately he didn't.
** A few were introduced for Kraven (The Grim Hunter), Doctor Octopus ([[DistaffCounterpart Lady Octopus]]), and the Rose. The Grim Hunter got killed by Kaine, Lady Octopus only lasted a few years before the classic Doc Ock returned (though she later turned up in ''SpiderGirl''), and The new Rose only lasted about as long as Lady Octopus.
** Phil Urich became the fourth Green Goblin, but [[RedeemingReplacement he was trying to be a hero]]. He got his own short-lived series, kicked around the main universe and became a recurring character in ''Spider-Girl''.
* MilestoneCelebration: The saga was [[WhatCouldHaveBeen originally]] planned to end at ''Amazing Spider-Man #400'', with Peter PutOnABus and Ben becoming the new Spider-Man. Thanks to ExecutiveMeddling, however, the story arc ended up going on for far longer due to its popularity. That said, ''ASM #400'' was notable for Aunt May's heart-rending passing.
* MirrorMatch: Yup.
* MotiveRant: The final issue of the saga has Osborn giving a series of these. [[KudzuPlot He had a lot to explain, after all.]]
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Peter's reaction immediately after smacking a very pregnant Mary Jane into a wall.
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: Punisher ended up suffering one from Spidey moments after showing up in ''Maximum Clonage'' and was [[WhatHappenedToTheMouse forgotten about for the rest of the story.]]
* OldShame: Quite a few people involved aren't fond of the saga themselves.
* OutsideContextVillain: Judas Traveller and Scrier. Apparently no-one really knew what was going on with them, and while [[WhatCouldHaveBeen ideas were proposed]], such as Traveller being a FallenAngel and Scrier being Mephisto, ultimately Traveller was a MasterOfIllusion who was convinced he was a RealityWarper, and Scrier [[CollectiveIdentity was really a group of individuals in a cult]] that [[HijackedByGanon Norman took over]] (thus subverted with the lead Scrier, who was Norman himself).
* PostMortemComeback: After the Jackal died, a post-mortem compulsion activates within Spider-Man's brain, causing him to try to kill whoever he loves most under temporary conscious mind control.
* PullingThemselvesTogether: Spidercide.
* PutOnABus: Many of Spidey's old foes and supporting cast retired or otherwise let the titles to make way for Ben Reilly's foes and supporting characters, including Peter Parker himself. When Parker came back, [[TheBusCameBack so did everyone else]]. Meanwhile, Reilly's side characters vanished in a similar manner.
* ResetButton: And many fans view it as an outright AssPull.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: The whole saga is revealed to be Norman's revenge against Peter for Harry's death--which makes him responsible for everyone that got killed or hurt throughout. When this is revealed to Peter, Norman has also set in motion a plan to kill those in the supporting cast that he feels either wronged him personally or enabled Harry's death. And there's the question of Baby May...
* SceneryCensor: Both Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane at different points.
* ShoutOut: When the Saga returned in the 90's, the Punisher was brought in for the ''Maximum Clonage'' tie-in miniseries as a Shout Out to his first appearance (Maximum Clonage itself being a shot out to the ''Maximum Carnage'' arc from a few year previous).
* StatusQuoIsGod: The ultimate result, more or less.
** The key exception is NormanOsborn, who got promoted to TheChessmaster and VillainWithGoodPublicity (as opposed to a mere AxCrazy MadBomber), as well as cementing his place as '''the''' ArchEnemy of SpiderMan. Over the next decade or so his threat hangs over Peter and his supporting cast and he ends up ruining many of their lives, or doing his damnest to at least.
* StepThreeProfit: [[http://www.toplessrobot.com/2008/11/the_13_dumbest_spiderman_storiesjust_from_the_clon.php?page=3 From Topless Robot]]:
--> At this point in the Clone Saga the reborn Jackal is still alive and hatching his fucking incoherent plan to somehow turn every person in the world into a Peter Parker clone, so uh profit?
* SuperPrototype: Sort of. Kane was the first Spider-Man clone made, but quickly suffered clone degeneration. However, [[CursedWithAwesome this increased his spider-sense to the point where it gives him precognition]].
* TheReveal: Norman Osborn is behind everything. Again, some consider it an AssPull, especially since even the writers didn't know who the mastermind would be, or even if there was a mastermind at first.
* {{Seers}}: Kaine was one; according to WordOfGod, this ability was an amped-up version of Spider-Man's Spider-Sense.
* SeriesContinuityError: ''Spectacular Spider-Man'' saw Ben go after the Lizard during the events of ''Onslaught''. However, ''Sensational'', ''Amazing'', and "Adjectiveless" ''Spider-Man'' saw Spider-Man get involved in the events of ''Onslaught'', making them a RedSkiesCrossover. Of course, this is not counting the retcons of the retcons of the first Clone Saga.
** It should be noted that in the main ''Onslaught'' crossover miniseries, none of the two Spider-Men were ever present.
** Also note that ''Spectacular'' was in the midst of a multi-part arc (centering on the Lizard). The first part was dated a month before the ''Onslaught'' crossover issues. Since said events are not referred to, the arc can simply be placed before those events.
* TookALevelInJerkass: [[NormanOsborn Norman]], as exemplified by the mere fact that its him behind the whole thing in the first place, and not [[SplitPersonality The Green Goblin]]. Years of MindRape against both Ben Reilly and Peter Parker are to be iced off with Osborn bombing every one of Peter's closest non-super friends, partly just for being that and partly because they pissed him off in various ways [[EvilIsPetty (regardless of whether they realised that or not)]], not to mention murdering(?) Peter and Mary Jane's unborn baby and presumably intending to take custody of his grandson Normie (his mum being one of his intended victims) and raising him in [[EvilMentor his own evil image]] after everything is over. He wasn't above killing anyone who got in his way in the process either.
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: While the saga didn't have trailers per se, they did have a ton of advertisements and interviews with the creators, letting the public know the clone was coming back. During this time, there was a subplot involving a "mysterious drifter" with a connection to Peter Parker coming to New York who was obviously the clone. When the face of this character was revealed to be Peter Parker, there was a "tune in next time"-style blurb at the end of the issue as if it was supposed to be a big surprise.
* TheUnreveal: The end of the saga left fans wondering if Baby May was actually dead or had just been kidnapped. They were going to go with the former, but the writers were ordered to make it ambiguous (oddly by the very people that didn't want Spider-Man to have a child in the first place).
* VillainousBreakdown: While explaining his plan and intentions to Peter, Norman maintains a rather collected demeanor and keeps his anger in check. When Peter keeps getting up during their fight, however, Norman becomes increasingly unhinged.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: A ''lot''. They can all be read on the ''Life Of Reilly'' article. A few notable ones:
** At one point no-one was the clone, and in fact Peter and Ben were the same person caught in a StableTimeLoop. When this went against Marvel time travel rules, it was decided that someone was needed who could plausibly ignore said rules. So Scrier was going to be [[OneMoreDay Mephisto]], and he was going to trick Peter Parker into going back in time and becoming Ben Reilly in order to gain the soul of Judas Traveller, who was going to be a FallenAngel. This was nixed for [[HilariousInHindsight many of the same complaints against]] OneMoreDay.
** Another was that the character Gaunt would be the mastermind, with the idea being that the real mastermind was [[BackFromTheDead coming back from the dead]] inside Gaunt's costume, although they weren't initially sure who Gaunt would be. Eventually they decided Gaunt's identity would've been Harry Osborn, but this was felt to be too much like a previous story where Harry [[ThanatosGambit posthumously]] made robotic duplicates of Peter's parents. This led to them going back to the drawing board and making the mastermind not be Gaunt, which drew out the story even more. The mastermind became Norman Osborn, while Gaunt eventually turned out to be [[UnexpectedCharacter Mendel Stromm]].
*** The recent "director's cut" mini-series used the idea of Harry as the mastermind, albeit having Harry faked his death rather than actually dying and coming back.
** The ''Final Adventure'' mini was supposed to retire Peter as a superhero and MJ give birth to their daughter. Before the final issue was completed, everyone involved knew Peter would resume being Spider-Man, so Marvel wanted the mini to end with MJ having a miscarriage instead. Editor Tom Brevoort refused, the ''Life Of Reilly'' even quoting him as saying, "There's no way in hell that I'm going down in history as the man who killed Spider-Man's baby."
* WhyWontYouDie: After the part where Peter removes his and Norman's masks, Norman finally asks this.
-->'''Norman:''' I had you unconscious--at my mercy! How could this have happened? Why won't you just die?!\\
'''Peter:''' Because then you would win. And I'll '''never''' give you that satisfaction.
* WordOfGod: The ''Life Of Reilly'' article features commentary from people involved in the Clone Saga, including revealing bits that didn't make it into the story such as Kaine's costume featuring a Life-support system and as a result of the defects in him, his PsychicPowers and Mark of Kaine were just amped up versions of Spidey's Spider-Sense and Wall-clinging abilities.
* TheWorfEffect: Doctor Octopus got killed by Kaine to enforce the idea of Kaine being a BadAss. [[DeathIsCheap Death in comics being what it is]], Doctor Octopus recovers.
** Earlier Venom was beaten by Ben to establish Ben as a superhero in his own right. (In fairness to Ben, it look him considerable more effort to take down Venom than the few moments it took Kaine to snap the neck of a captive Doc Ock.)
* WritingByTheSeatOfYourPants: Looking behind-the-scenes, it becomes clear that no-one really knew what was going to happen with the story. Or that someone did, but didn't let the others know; a "too many cooks spoiled the soup" argument is easy to make.

!! Tropes associated with the [[Comicbook/UltimateSpiderMan Ultimate Clone Saga]]

* AdaptationDistillation: It manages to wrap in most of the elements of the original in ''some'' form, as well as nods to other classic Spider-Man characters or stories along the way like the Scorpion and the idea that Peter's parents were alive, but it takes less than 10 issues and leaves very little hanging.
* AllThereInTheManual: [[spoiler: The identity of the disfigured clone that kidnaps MJ was confirmed to be Kaine in the ''Ultimate Secrets'' one-shot. The same one-shot confirms the six-armed clone to be Tarantula. Bendis on his message board stated the MJ-Goblin was Ultimate Demogoblin]].
* AlternateContinuity: [[CaptainObvious It's set in the]] [[UltimateMarvel Ultimate Universe]].
* CivvieSpandex: Peter spends most of the story in street clothes.
* CensorSteam: [[spoiler: Applied to both MJ/Demogoblin and Gwen-Canrage at various points]].
* CloneDegeneration: [[spoiler: The Richard clone dies basically he starts aging rapidly.]]
* CloningBlues
** EvilKnockoff: [[spoiler: Scorpion and Tarantula are actual Spider-Man clones here. And, of course, there's Kaine.]]
** OppositeSexClone: [[spoiler: Ultimate Spider-Woman is a female clone of Spider-Man]].
* CompositeCharacter: Ultimate Spider-Woman was given the name Jessica Drew ala the original version, her costume is based on the one wore by Julia Carpenter/Spider-Woman II/Arachne, and the red highlight stem from Ben Reilly's Scarlet Spider costume [[spoiler: The latter is kinda fitting as this incarnation is basically a {{Gender Flip}}ped version of Ben Reilly.]] Ultimate Kaine is wearing a messed-up version of Ben's Spider-Man costume. [[spoiler: The MJ-Goblin creature is Ultimate Demogoblin.]]
** While one of the clones is identified as Tarantula, his spider-like features and six arms bring to mind the "sort of" Spidey clone [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doppelganger_(comics) Doppelganger]].
* MythologyGag:
** Ultimate Kaine wears a tattered version of Ben Reilly's Spider-Man costume.
** Tarantula is [[spoiler: has six arms ala the classic six-armed Spider-Man story.]]
** Richard Parker resembles 616-Peter as drawn by John Romita, right down to his distinctive hairstyle.
* TheGwenStacy: [[spoiler: This time, via Carnage.]].
* [[TrailersAlwaysSpoil Solicitations Always Spoil]]: One of the solicitations featured a cover revealing Doctor Octopus as the BigBad.
* WhatTheHellHero: Nick Fury gets this, courtesy from Mary Jane and the Fantastic Four. [[spoiler: Peter gets this from Aunt May when she finds out hes Spider-Man.]]
* YoungerThanTheyLook: [[spoiler: The Richard Parker that appears in this story in another Peter clone.]]

!! Tropes associated with the 2009-2010 Miniseries

* AdaptationDistillation: It tries to be, anyway. It removed a lot of the clutter and unnecessary ([[TheScrappy and unpopular]]) characters like Seward Trainor, Spidercide, Judas Traveller, Grim Hunter, and the Scriers at least.
* AdaptedOut: Several characters including Seward Trainor, Spidercide, Judas Traveller, Grim Hunter, and the Scriers were removed.
* AlternateContinuity: [[spoiler: Norman Osborn's still dead; Harry faked his death and is the mastermind; Dr. Octopus doesn't die, there's no Seward Trainer, Gaunt, or Spidercide; Ben Reilly meets his supporting cast during his Spidey tenure while he's still the Scarlet Spider; and outside of Harry getting locked up and the Norman clone dying, everyone lives happily ever after. Even the backstory was altered, having Aunt May's hospitalization changed from being a stroke to a virus and Peter not suffering a breakdown.]]
* CameBackWrong: [[spoiler: The Norman clone wants to spare the baby and end the feud. Harry's believed the clone's defective himself, anyway.]]
* CivvieSpandex: The Scarlet Spider again.
* CloneDegeneration: [[spoiler: Kaine again, though Jackal does try to find a serum to cure it and Dr. Octopus later completes it.]]
* CloningBlues: Notice a theme here?
* CompressedAdaptation: To the point where it feels rushed. Yes, the original version was supposed to last six months, but it was also going to span ''four titles''.
* DeathByAdaptation: [[spoiler: Norman Osborn is still dead in this version.]]
* EvilKnockoff: [[spoiler: Guess.]]
* FakingTheDead: [[spoiler: Harry before the story.]]
* TheGwenStacy: [[spoiler: Subverted. The Jackal tries to make a new clone, but he doesn't succeed and we don't see the original clone.]]
* HeelRealization: [[spoiler: Kaine realizes what Harry wants is wrong and delivers the baby back to MJ. Though probably defective, the Norman clone realizes Harry's mad and decided to end the feud and encourages Kaine's returning the baby.]]
* LyingCreator: Some fans think so; it's hard to write a story as "originally intended" when you had a bunch of separate people having different intentions.
* SparedByTheAdaptation: [[spoiler: Ben Reilly and baby May survive the story. Granted, Doctor Octopus did come BackFromTheDead and Aunt May was retconned into having been replaced and never having actually died, but they could count, too, since their returns were after "The Clone Saga" ended.]]
* TakeThat: The Trade Paperback of the mini-series is called "The REAL Clone Saga"
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: Uses a few of the second story in this version.
* WriterRevolt: In the ''Life of Reilly'' article, it's suggested that Tom [=DeFalco=], one of the writers involved with the second Saga didn't like Gaunt or killing off Doctor Octopus. [[spoiler: The fact that he has Ock survive his fight with Kaine and Harry comes back without the original intent of Gaunt being him in the mini seems to support this.]]

to:

''The Clone Saga'' (or ''Spider-Clone Saga'') is the name of two ''Comicbook/SpiderMan'' story arcs, one from the 1970s and another running from 1994 to 1996, both involving Spider-Man and [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin clones]]. The second story, which is pretty much a sequel for all intents and purposes, is better remembered due to being considered to be one of the more controversial Spider-Man stories. Intended to wrap up in less than a year, the comics sold well enough that the writers were encouraged to prolong the series as long as possible. This led to some changes to the storyline that ultimately proved very unpopular.

The first 1970s Clone Saga was primarily written by Gerry Conway. The second Clone Saga is most commonly associated with Terry Kavanagh, though many other writers were involved in the project, among them: Joey Cavalieri, Todd Dezago, J. M. Dematteis, and Tom Defalco.

The original 1970s Clone Saga follows up on the death of [[TheGwenStacy Gwen Stacy]], and is summarized with panels [[http://www.asitecalledfred.com/comics101/69.html here]]. It begins with the introduction of a new villain, the Jackal, and what seems to be Gwen Stacy, BackFromTheDead. [[CaptainObvious As you might guess]], [[CloningBlues she's a clone]]. Eventually, the Jackal [[TheReveal reveals himself]] to be Miles Warren, Peter Parker's biology professor, who blames him for Gwen Stacy's death. In the climax of the story, a clone of Spider-Man is created, and the two of them have to fight it out to see who is the real Spider-Man, as only the real Spider-Man can defuse a bomb. In the end, the Jackal undergoes a HeelRealization and [[RedemptionEqualsDeath stops the bomb himself at the cost of his own life]]. Additionally, one of the Spider-Men clones are killed. The surviving one gets tested to see if he's the original or not, but decides he has to be the original and doesn't read the results. [[ItSeemedLikeAGoodIdeaAtTheTime This comes back to bite him]].

The second Clone Saga follows the reappearance of the Spider-Man clone who was apparently NotQuiteDead during the original Clone Saga and has taken up the name Ben Reilly. It's also [[ArcFatigue pretty long]]. The details of this story, including behind the scenes information can be found in the site ''[[http://lifeofreillyarchives.blogspot.com/2008/03/introduction-and-update.html The Life of Reilly]]'', which may be a book someday.

A brief summary: The Jackal comes back and starts playing mind-games with both Peter and Ben. A new villain, Kaine is introduced that is eventually revealed to be another clone of Spider-Man, [[SuperPrototype the first one made]]; he eventually becomes an AntiHero in an attempt to make him a BreakoutCharacter. Mary Jane gets pregnant. Aunt May and Doctor Octopus die. New villains are introduced such as [[CloningBlues Spidercide]], [[OutsideContextVillain Judas Traveller, Scrier]], and [[LegacyCharacter the second Dr. Octopus]]. The Jackal also dies, but not before it is "proved" that Peter Parker was the clone and that Ben Reilly was the original Spider-Man. After a FreakOut, Peter decides to give the mantle of Spider-Man to Ben Reilly so he can start a family. Then the [[BrokenBase fans]] and [[WriterRevolt writers]] complained. So an AuthorsSavingThrow was developed (there were a few built in there originally, but were never used as intended), and it is revealed that Peter really was the original Spider-Man and the whole thing was manipulated by Norman Osborn, also BackFromTheDead. In the end, Ben Reilly [[KilledOffForReal died in a manner that explicitly]] [[CloneDegeneration showed he was a clone]], the [[NormanOsborn Green Goblin]] returns to being Spider-Man's archenemy, and Aunt May and Dr. Octopus also come BackFromTheDead. Oh, and Mary Jane miscarries (or does she? Read SpiderGirl for more details). In the end, for the most part, StatusQuoIsGod.

A version of the Clone Saga for the Marvel's Ultimate line, the Ultimate Clone Saga was also created. This one takes elements of the previous two, mostly the former.

In 2009, Tom [=DeFalco=] and Howard Mackie--two people involved in the second Saga--reunited for a mini-series called ''Spider-Man: The Clone Saga'', a "director's cut" and streamlined version of the story, with the supposed intent of telling the story as "originally intended". Some are complaining [[LyingCreator Lying Creators]], or at least, not entirely accurate creators since ''Life of Reilly'' indicates that many people intended the Clone Saga to be different things. The miniseries ends with [[spoiler: Peter and MJ still married, and Ben, baby May, ''and'' Aunt May alive and well,]] though it does also use some [[WhatCouldHaveBeen ideas proposed for the ending of the Saga]], such as [[spoiler: Harry Osborn being the mastermind, albeit in an altered form than proposed.]]

----
!! Tropes associated with the original Clone Saga:

* AlwaysNeedWhatYouGaveUp: In hindsight, Spidey throwing away the test results that said if he was a clone or not.
* AmbiguousCloneEnding: That would be revisited years down the line.
* BreakoutCharacter: Surprisingly enough, the ThePunisher's first appearance was a part of the storyline, being manipulated by the Jackal into thinking Spider-Man killed a minor character.
* BondVillainStupidity: Shown by the Jackal. In fairness, he's kinda nuts.
* CloningBlues
* HeelRealization: Miles Warren.
* [[TeacherStudentRomance Hot For Student]]: Miles Warren.
* MirrorMatch: Featured prominently on cover artwork, and eventually happens at the end.
* ILetGwenStacyDie: Except [[CloningBlues not]].
* NeverFoundTheBody: Subverted with the clone Spider-Man, whose body was thrown down a chimney.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: Granted, it was a problem the Jackal started, but..
* RetCon: Even before the second Clone Saga, there were retcons of this story, partially because of an author-perceived ScienceMarchesOn. It was revealed that Miles Warren didn't make any clones, but infected people with a genetic virus that made them into copies. Then this [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment retcon itself was retconned]] in the second Clone Saga when they decided to bring back the clone.
* ReplacementGoldfish: Cloned Gwen Stacy.
* TheReveal: Gwen is a clone, the Jackal's identity, Peter Parker is a clone, Peter Parker wasn't a clone after all.
* {{Revenge}}: The Jackal's motivation; he blames Spidey for not saving Gwen Stacy. Nevermind that it was the Green Goblin's fault...
* TheUnreveal: At the very end, Spider-Man isn't sure if he's the clone or not and gets tested. However, he finds that his [[ThePowerOfLove feelings for Mary Jane]] couldn't have been had by the clone, and so he decides to throw the test results away without reading it. [[WhatAnIdiot This proves to be a bad decision]].
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Clone Gwen Stacy survives the story, appears for the "genetic virus" retcon, and then vanishes. Probably for the best.

!! Tropes associated with the Second Clone Saga

* AffectionateParody: ''Spider Man: 101 Ways To End The Clone Saga'', a comic about Marvel writers and editors trying to find a way to pull off an AuthorsSavingThrow in increasingly humorous ways...[[TakeThatMe and it's written by Marvel's writers and editors]].
* TheAtoner: It was this era of Spider-Man's career that introduced Phil Urich, who attempted to re-purpose the Green Goblin costume and alias for justice.
* BackForTheDead: Mendel Stromm, the RobotMaster.
* BoldInflation: FemmeFatale Delilah, introduced in this arc, '''has''' a '''bad''' habit of '''this''' mixed in with '''weird fonts'''.
* BreakoutCharacter: Averted at first but eventually played straight. The Clone Saga was filled with attempts to create [[BreakoutCharacter Breakout Characters]]. None of them took off. On the other hand, the Clone Saga gave us ''ComicBook/WhatIf'' v2 #105, which gave us ComicBook/{{Spider-Girl}}.
* BrokenBird[=/=]TheWoobie: [[ThatManIsDead Janine Godbe/Elizabeth Tyne]] from Lost Years and Redemption minis. [[ParentalIncest Big]] [[SelfMadeOrphan time]]. [[FirstGirlWins At least she won]] and [[SomeoneToRememberHimBy had a "keepsake"]] in SpiderGirl! ([[MissingMom Sort of]]).
* ConservationOfNinjitsu: Averted with the evil Spider-Man clone army. Ben Reilly barely escapes them with his life and in the end, [[AntiClimaxBoss they end up dissolving]] and are never fully defeated by the heroes.
* CivvieSpandex: Ben Reilly's Scarlet Spider costume involved a blue sleeveless hoodie on top of a standard spider-costume.
* ClearMyName: Thank to Kaine screwing with Ben, Peter ends up getting blamed for Kaine's crimes (and has no alibi that could work without blowing his secret identity) and has to clear his name. Ben takes his place in jail while he does so. Kaine eventually relents and turns himself in after Peter threatens to reveal his identity in court to save Ben.
* CloneDegeneration: This seems to happen to a lot of the clones in this story. Kaine, according to WordOfGod, has a life support system in his costume just to stop this from killing him. Ben Reilly also degenerated when he died, mostly to [[{{Jossed}} preemptively kill any]] EpilepticTrees that would say he wasn't the clone.
* CloningBlues: Hits its peak during ''Maximum Clonage'', or as ''Blog/ToplessRobot'' has put it, [[http://www.toplessrobot.com/2008/11/the_13_dumbest_spiderman_storiesjust_from_the_clon.php?page=4 Night of a Million Jillion Spider-Clones.]]
* ConvenientMiscarriage: During the Clone Saga, Mary Jane was pregnant with Baby May. Baby May was originally supposed to tie into the storyline of Peter Parker not being the real Peter Parker. Since Peter wasn't the real Peter anymore, Marvel would have been able to get around the problem where having a baby would age Peter too much. But after the fan revolt, Marvel decided to make Peter the real Peter after all and the pregnancy storyline was dropped. It should be mentioned the writers implied Norman may have taken the baby somewhere; this was LeftHanging in the comics proper and is probably now CanonDiscontinuity as of ''ComicBook/OneMoreDay'', but the AlternateContinuity comic ''{{ComicBook/Spider-Girl}}'' took the thread and ran with it.
* CourtRoomEpisode: "The Trial of Peter Parker" StoryArc, with a KangarooCourt sequence thrown in for good measure.
* CoversAlwaysLie: Many covers had blurbs teasing that new twists would be revealed, only for the issue to present no new developments. Also, during ''Maximum Clonage'', almost every cover featured an army of Spider-Clones. They ended up only appearing for one full issue and a few pages, then dying with little relevance to the plot.
* {{Creator Backlash}}/{{Writer Revolt}}: A lot of people involved weren't happy with how the story was going and this resulted in quite a few changes in direction.
** Fan-favorite writer Tom [=DeFalco=] was often said to be particularly displeased with killing off Doc Ock, and he unfortunately wound up being required to write that issue. First chance he got after the saga, however, he brought Ock back.
* CursedWithAwesome: According to WordOfGod, Kaine's CloneDegeneration gives him his precognition - amplifying his SpiderSense.
** The Mark of Kaine was also said to be an amplified wall-crawling trait.
*** Specifically, using his wall-crawling/clinging powers to stick his hand to someone, and then rip it off, leaving a perfect hand-shaped mark. Of course, Peter Parker's "stick-em" powers are powerful enough to do the same, but most of his opponents only have their face exposed, so the results could be ''very'' gruesome.
* DeathIsCheap: The story sees Norman Osborn come back from the dead. Two people killed during the Clone Saga--Aunt May and Doctor Octopus--come back after the story's over.
** Well, to be fair to Norman, he had actually been dead for more than 20 years in RealLife, so he arguably counts as a mild subversion.
* {{Determinator}}: Peter is made to think his entire life is a lie. While he initially has a FreakOut, he comes to terms with it and moves on from there. Norman points this out:
-->"[[TheNightGwenStacyDied The death of Gwen Stacy]], the revelation that your life was a lie, that you were a clone--through it all you found a way to not only survive, but to make a life for yourself. Through the worst of it, you prospered. And I '''HATE''' you for it!"
* {{Discriminate And Switch}}/{{Mistaken For Racist}}: Ben Reilly as Spider-Man gets accused of being racist by an African-American man who turned out to be an undercover police detective, but the real reason Ben was suspicious of the man was because Ben's boss at the coffee bar he works at is the cop's ex-wife, merely said he was bad news and undependable, and was worried about their son being near him.
* DoesNotLikeWomen / PoliticallyIncorrectVillain: One of the guests who stands up to Norman is his daughter-in-law Liz Allan. It earns her a ''hard'' backhand and a "Silence, cow!", along with a rant about how she [[NeverMyFault ruined his son's life and made him a weakling.]]
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: Quite a few examples.
** Both the Grim Hunter (Kraven's first son) and Doctor Octopus were killed early on in order to establish Kaine as a powerful threat. The former's creator Howard Mackie offered up the Hunter because he reportedly didn't know where to take him, and he has stayed dead. ([[ComicBookDeath Ock, however...]].
** When the saga was reaching one of its intended wrap-up points, both the Jackal and Kaine, two major figures, were quickly killed off unceremoniously. Kaine got better, though, very quickly afterwards.
** Once Peter was set to come back, several of Ben Reilly's villains were killed off in rapid succession.
** Surprisingly averted with Ben Reilly, the source for a lot of hatred amongst fans. He was given a fairly respectful death at the hands of the Green Goblin.
* EvilCannotComprehendGood: Norman just can't understand why Peter never gives up.
* EvilKnockoff: Kaine, and when they started to make him an AntiHero, Spidercide.
* ExecutiveMeddling: The series was prolonged due to sales, causing the quality to take a dive.
** Not to mention, like OneMoreDay, it was an attempt to get a single Spider-Man.
** The famous [[http://lifeofreillyarchives.blogspot.com/ Life of Reilly]] details what went on behind the scenes, but long story short, what prolonged it was greed (despite the criticisms and mocking it gets, it ''was'' making Marvel money), attempts to recreate the success of [[AgeOfApocalypse another storyline from the same time]] (hence the "Maximum Clonage: Alpha and Omega" one-shots and the ''Scarlet Spider'' titles for a few months), [[TroubledProduction trouble behind the scenes]] over where to go with the story, and not wanting the finale to compete with the {{Onslaught}} storyline.
* FacePalmOfDoom: The preferred killing method of Kaine.
* FanNickname: Spider-Ben for Ben Reilly when he takes over as Spider-Man.
* FirstGirlWins: Janine/Elizabeth Tyne, [[spoiler: who is Ben's babymama in ''{{Spider-Girl}}'']].
* FreakOut: Peter, when he starts thinking he's the clone.
* FollowTheLeader: The Clone Saga follows the wave of "replace-the-hero" comics started by ''TheDeathOfSuperman''. On a more market-related note, the "Maximum Clonage: Alpha and Omega" one-shots and the ''Scarlet Spider'' titles were inspired by similar gimmicks in ''AgeOfApocalypse''.
* HeroicBSOD: Spider-Man suffered two. The first one he's already in the middle of when the storyline opens because of his Aunt being in the hospital and his "parents" being revealed to be robots. The second is after Seward Trainer [[BlatantLies "reveals"]] that Ben in the real Peter and he's the clone.
* HeroicSacrifice: Ben gets in-between Peter and a goblin glider--taking a blade in the back and then falling to his death.
* [[HijackedByGanon Hijacked By Norman Osborn]]
* KudzuPlot: A lot of it was because [[WritingByTheSeatOfYourPants even the writers weren't sure where they were going with this]].
** The most obvious example of this was the climax of the saga which featured an evil army of Spider-Man clones. This part of the story was written aross different titles by different writers. One issue introduced the army in a CliffHanger panel. Another comic followed that up by having Kaine appear to help out, but being told [[ThouShallNotKill not to kill any of the clones]]. The followup issue by yet another creative team depicted Kaine slaughtering several clones with no one objecting. The writer also didn't seem to know what to do with the army so he just had them randomly dissolve into dust with a brief line of dialogue about them being "unstable". In the end, the clone army had no real importance to the plot despite much hype to the contrary.
* LegacyCharacter: The people in charge were indecisive if Ben Reilly would become this or not. Ultimately he didn't.
** A few were introduced for Kraven (The Grim Hunter), Doctor Octopus ([[DistaffCounterpart Lady Octopus]]), and the Rose. The Grim Hunter got killed by Kaine, Lady Octopus only lasted a few years before the classic Doc Ock returned (though she later turned up in ''SpiderGirl''), and The new Rose only lasted about as long as Lady Octopus.
** Phil Urich became the fourth Green Goblin, but [[RedeemingReplacement he was trying to be a hero]]. He got his own short-lived series, kicked around the main universe and became a recurring character in ''Spider-Girl''.
* MilestoneCelebration: The saga was [[WhatCouldHaveBeen originally]] planned to end at ''Amazing Spider-Man #400'', with Peter PutOnABus and Ben becoming the new Spider-Man. Thanks to ExecutiveMeddling, however, the story arc ended up going on for far longer due to its popularity. That said, ''ASM #400'' was notable for Aunt May's heart-rending passing.
* MirrorMatch: Yup.
* MotiveRant: The final issue of the saga has Osborn giving a series of these. [[KudzuPlot He had a lot to explain, after all.]]
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Peter's reaction immediately after smacking a very pregnant Mary Jane into a wall.
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: Punisher ended up suffering one from Spidey moments after showing up in ''Maximum Clonage'' and was [[WhatHappenedToTheMouse forgotten about for the rest of the story.]]
* OldShame: Quite a few people involved aren't fond of the saga themselves.
* OutsideContextVillain: Judas Traveller and Scrier. Apparently no-one really knew what was going on with them, and while [[WhatCouldHaveBeen ideas were proposed]], such as Traveller being a FallenAngel and Scrier being Mephisto, ultimately Traveller was a MasterOfIllusion who was convinced he was a RealityWarper, and Scrier [[CollectiveIdentity was really a group of individuals in a cult]] that [[HijackedByGanon Norman took over]] (thus subverted with the lead Scrier, who was Norman himself).
* PostMortemComeback: After the Jackal died, a post-mortem compulsion activates within Spider-Man's brain, causing him to try to kill whoever he loves most under temporary conscious mind control.
* PullingThemselvesTogether: Spidercide.
* PutOnABus: Many of Spidey's old foes and supporting cast retired or otherwise let the titles to make way for Ben Reilly's foes and supporting characters, including Peter Parker himself. When Parker came back, [[TheBusCameBack so did everyone else]]. Meanwhile, Reilly's side characters vanished in a similar manner.
* ResetButton: And many fans view it as an outright AssPull.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: The whole saga is revealed to be Norman's revenge against Peter for Harry's death--which makes him responsible for everyone that got killed or hurt throughout. When this is revealed to Peter, Norman has also set in motion a plan to kill those in the supporting cast that he feels either wronged him personally or enabled Harry's death. And there's the question of Baby May...
* SceneryCensor: Both Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane at different points.
* ShoutOut: When the Saga returned in the 90's, the Punisher was brought in for the ''Maximum Clonage'' tie-in miniseries as a Shout Out to his first appearance (Maximum Clonage itself being a shot out to the ''Maximum Carnage'' arc from a few year previous).
* StatusQuoIsGod: The ultimate result, more or less.
** The key exception is NormanOsborn, who got promoted to TheChessmaster and VillainWithGoodPublicity (as opposed to a mere AxCrazy MadBomber), as well as cementing his place as '''the''' ArchEnemy of SpiderMan. Over the next decade or so his threat hangs over Peter and his supporting cast and he ends up ruining many of their lives, or doing his damnest to at least.
* StepThreeProfit: [[http://www.toplessrobot.com/2008/11/the_13_dumbest_spiderman_storiesjust_from_the_clon.php?page=3 From Topless Robot]]:
--> At this point in the Clone Saga the reborn Jackal is still alive and hatching his fucking incoherent plan to somehow turn every person in the world into a Peter Parker clone, so uh profit?
* SuperPrototype: Sort of. Kane was the first Spider-Man clone made, but quickly suffered clone degeneration. However, [[CursedWithAwesome this increased his spider-sense to the point where it gives him precognition]].
* TheReveal: Norman Osborn is behind everything. Again, some consider it an AssPull, especially since even the writers didn't know who the mastermind would be, or even if there was a mastermind at first.
* {{Seers}}: Kaine was one; according to WordOfGod, this ability was an amped-up version of Spider-Man's Spider-Sense.
* SeriesContinuityError: ''Spectacular Spider-Man'' saw Ben go after the Lizard during the events of ''Onslaught''. However, ''Sensational'', ''Amazing'', and "Adjectiveless" ''Spider-Man'' saw Spider-Man get involved in the events of ''Onslaught'', making them a RedSkiesCrossover. Of course, this is not counting the retcons of the retcons of the first Clone Saga.
** It should be noted that in the main ''Onslaught'' crossover miniseries, none of the two Spider-Men were ever present.
** Also note that ''Spectacular'' was in the midst of a multi-part arc (centering on the Lizard). The first part was dated a month before the ''Onslaught'' crossover issues. Since said events are not referred to, the arc can simply be placed before those events.
* TookALevelInJerkass: [[NormanOsborn Norman]], as exemplified by the mere fact that its him behind the whole thing in the first place, and not [[SplitPersonality The Green Goblin]]. Years of MindRape against both Ben Reilly and Peter Parker are to be iced off with Osborn bombing every one of Peter's closest non-super friends, partly just for being that and partly because they pissed him off in various ways [[EvilIsPetty (regardless of whether they realised that or not)]], not to mention murdering(?) Peter and Mary Jane's unborn baby and presumably intending to take custody of his grandson Normie (his mum being one of his intended victims) and raising him in [[EvilMentor his own evil image]] after everything is over. He wasn't above killing anyone who got in his way in the process either.
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: While the saga didn't have trailers per se, they did have a ton of advertisements and interviews with the creators, letting the public know the clone was coming back. During this time, there was a subplot involving a "mysterious drifter" with a connection to Peter Parker coming to New York who was obviously the clone. When the face of this character was revealed to be Peter Parker, there was a "tune in next time"-style blurb at the end of the issue as if it was supposed to be a big surprise.
* TheUnreveal: The end of the saga left fans wondering if Baby May was actually dead or had just been kidnapped. They were going to go with the former, but the writers were ordered to make it ambiguous (oddly by the very people that didn't want Spider-Man to have a child in the first place).
* VillainousBreakdown: While explaining his plan and intentions to Peter, Norman maintains a rather collected demeanor and keeps his anger in check. When Peter keeps getting up during their fight, however, Norman becomes increasingly unhinged.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: A ''lot''. They can all be read on the ''Life Of Reilly'' article. A few notable ones:
** At one point no-one was the clone, and in fact Peter and Ben were the same person caught in a StableTimeLoop. When this went against Marvel time travel rules, it was decided that someone was needed who could plausibly ignore said rules. So Scrier was going to be [[OneMoreDay Mephisto]], and he was going to trick Peter Parker into going back in time and becoming Ben Reilly in order to gain the soul of Judas Traveller, who was going to be a FallenAngel. This was nixed for [[HilariousInHindsight many of the same complaints against]] OneMoreDay.
** Another was that the character Gaunt would be the mastermind, with the idea being that the real mastermind was [[BackFromTheDead coming back from the dead]] inside Gaunt's costume, although they weren't initially sure who Gaunt would be. Eventually they decided Gaunt's identity would've been Harry Osborn, but this was felt to be too much like a previous story where Harry [[ThanatosGambit posthumously]] made robotic duplicates of Peter's parents. This led to them going back to the drawing board and making the mastermind not be Gaunt, which drew out the story even more. The mastermind became Norman Osborn, while Gaunt eventually turned out to be [[UnexpectedCharacter Mendel Stromm]].
*** The recent "director's cut" mini-series used the idea of Harry as the mastermind, albeit having Harry faked his death rather than actually dying and coming back.
** The ''Final Adventure'' mini was supposed to retire Peter as a superhero and MJ give birth to their daughter. Before the final issue was completed, everyone involved knew Peter would resume being Spider-Man, so Marvel wanted the mini to end with MJ having a miscarriage instead. Editor Tom Brevoort refused, the ''Life Of Reilly'' even quoting him as saying, "There's no way in hell that I'm going down in history as the man who killed Spider-Man's baby."
* WhyWontYouDie: After the part where Peter removes his and Norman's masks, Norman finally asks this.
-->'''Norman:''' I had you unconscious--at my mercy! How could this have happened? Why won't you just die?!\\
'''Peter:''' Because then you would win. And I'll '''never''' give you that satisfaction.
* WordOfGod: The ''Life Of Reilly'' article features commentary from people involved in the Clone Saga, including revealing bits that didn't make it into the story such as Kaine's costume featuring a Life-support system and as a result of the defects in him, his PsychicPowers and Mark of Kaine were just amped up versions of Spidey's Spider-Sense and Wall-clinging abilities.
* TheWorfEffect: Doctor Octopus got killed by Kaine to enforce the idea of Kaine being a BadAss. [[DeathIsCheap Death in comics being what it is]], Doctor Octopus recovers.
** Earlier Venom was beaten by Ben to establish Ben as a superhero in his own right. (In fairness to Ben, it look him considerable more effort to take down Venom than the few moments it took Kaine to snap the neck of a captive Doc Ock.)
* WritingByTheSeatOfYourPants: Looking behind-the-scenes, it becomes clear that no-one really knew what was going to happen with the story. Or that someone did, but didn't let the others know; a "too many cooks spoiled the soup" argument is easy to make.

!! Tropes associated with the [[Comicbook/UltimateSpiderMan Ultimate Clone Saga]]

* AdaptationDistillation: It manages to wrap in most of the elements of the original in ''some'' form, as well as nods to other classic Spider-Man characters or stories along the way like the Scorpion and the idea that Peter's parents were alive, but it takes less than 10 issues and leaves very little hanging.
* AllThereInTheManual: [[spoiler: The identity of the disfigured clone that kidnaps MJ was confirmed to be Kaine in the ''Ultimate Secrets'' one-shot. The same one-shot confirms the six-armed clone to be Tarantula. Bendis on his message board stated the MJ-Goblin was Ultimate Demogoblin]].
* AlternateContinuity: [[CaptainObvious It's set in the]] [[UltimateMarvel Ultimate Universe]].
* CivvieSpandex: Peter spends most of the story in street clothes.
* CensorSteam: [[spoiler: Applied to both MJ/Demogoblin and Gwen-Canrage at various points]].
* CloneDegeneration: [[spoiler: The Richard clone dies basically he starts aging rapidly.]]
* CloningBlues
** EvilKnockoff: [[spoiler: Scorpion and Tarantula are actual Spider-Man clones here. And, of course, there's Kaine.]]
** OppositeSexClone: [[spoiler: Ultimate Spider-Woman is a female clone of Spider-Man]].
* CompositeCharacter: Ultimate Spider-Woman was given the name Jessica Drew ala the original version, her costume is based on the one wore by Julia Carpenter/Spider-Woman II/Arachne, and the red highlight stem from Ben Reilly's Scarlet Spider costume [[spoiler: The latter is kinda fitting as this incarnation is basically a {{Gender Flip}}ped version of Ben Reilly.]] Ultimate Kaine is wearing a messed-up version of Ben's Spider-Man costume. [[spoiler: The MJ-Goblin creature is Ultimate Demogoblin.]]
** While one of the clones is identified as Tarantula, his spider-like features and six arms bring to mind the "sort of" Spidey clone [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doppelganger_(comics) Doppelganger]].
* MythologyGag:
** Ultimate Kaine wears a tattered version of Ben Reilly's Spider-Man costume.
** Tarantula is [[spoiler: has six arms ala the classic six-armed Spider-Man story.]]
** Richard Parker resembles 616-Peter as drawn by John Romita, right down to his distinctive hairstyle.
* TheGwenStacy: [[spoiler: This time, via Carnage.]].
* [[TrailersAlwaysSpoil Solicitations Always Spoil]]: One of the solicitations featured a cover revealing Doctor Octopus as the BigBad.
* WhatTheHellHero: Nick Fury gets this, courtesy from Mary Jane and the Fantastic Four. [[spoiler: Peter gets this from Aunt May when she finds out hes Spider-Man.]]
* YoungerThanTheyLook: [[spoiler: The Richard Parker that appears in this story in another Peter clone.]]

!! Tropes associated with the 2009-2010 Miniseries

* AdaptationDistillation: It tries to be, anyway. It removed a lot of the clutter and unnecessary ([[TheScrappy and unpopular]]) characters like Seward Trainor, Spidercide, Judas Traveller, Grim Hunter, and the Scriers at least.
* AdaptedOut: Several characters including Seward Trainor, Spidercide, Judas Traveller, Grim Hunter, and the Scriers were removed.
* AlternateContinuity: [[spoiler: Norman Osborn's still dead; Harry faked his death and is the mastermind; Dr. Octopus doesn't die, there's no Seward Trainer, Gaunt, or Spidercide; Ben Reilly meets his supporting cast during his Spidey tenure while he's still the Scarlet Spider; and outside of Harry getting locked up and the Norman clone dying, everyone lives happily ever after. Even the backstory was altered, having Aunt May's hospitalization changed from being a stroke to a virus and Peter not suffering a breakdown.]]
* CameBackWrong: [[spoiler: The Norman clone wants to spare the baby and end the feud. Harry's believed the clone's defective himself, anyway.]]
* CivvieSpandex: The Scarlet Spider again.
* CloneDegeneration: [[spoiler: Kaine again, though Jackal does try to find a serum to cure it and Dr. Octopus later completes it.]]
* CloningBlues: Notice a theme here?
* CompressedAdaptation: To the point where it feels rushed. Yes, the original version was supposed to last six months, but it was also going to span ''four titles''.
* DeathByAdaptation: [[spoiler: Norman Osborn is still dead in this version.]]
* EvilKnockoff: [[spoiler: Guess.]]
* FakingTheDead: [[spoiler: Harry before the story.]]
* TheGwenStacy: [[spoiler: Subverted. The Jackal tries to make a new clone, but he doesn't succeed and we don't see the original clone.]]
* HeelRealization: [[spoiler: Kaine realizes what Harry wants is wrong and delivers the baby back to MJ. Though probably defective, the Norman clone realizes Harry's mad and decided to end the feud and encourages Kaine's returning the baby.]]
* LyingCreator: Some fans think so; it's hard to write a story as "originally intended" when you had a bunch of separate people having different intentions.
* SparedByTheAdaptation: [[spoiler: Ben Reilly and baby May survive the story. Granted, Doctor Octopus did come BackFromTheDead and Aunt May was retconned into having been replaced and never having actually died, but they could count, too, since their returns were after "The Clone Saga" ended.]]
* TakeThat: The Trade Paperback of the mini-series is called "The REAL Clone Saga"
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: Uses a few of the second story in this version.
* WriterRevolt: In the ''Life of Reilly'' article, it's suggested that Tom [=DeFalco=], one of the writers involved with the second Saga didn't like Gaunt or killing off Doctor Octopus. [[spoiler: The fact that he has Ock survive his fight with Kaine and Harry comes back without the original intent of Gaunt being him in the mini seems to support this.]]
[[redirect:ComicBook/TheCloneSaga]]
7th May '13 10:19:42 AM Aquillion
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* OutsideContextVillain: Judas Traveller and Scrier. Apparently no-one really knew what was going on with them, and while [[WhatCouldHaveBeen ideas were proposed]], such as Traveller being a FallenAngel and Scrier being Mephisto, ultimately Traveller was a MasterOfIllusion who was convinced he was a RealityWarper, and Scrier [[CollectiveIdentity was really a group of individuals in a cult that Norman took over]] (thus subverted with the lead Scrier, who was Norman himself).

to:

* OutsideContextVillain: Judas Traveller and Scrier. Apparently no-one really knew what was going on with them, and while [[WhatCouldHaveBeen ideas were proposed]], such as Traveller being a FallenAngel and Scrier being Mephisto, ultimately Traveller was a MasterOfIllusion who was convinced he was a RealityWarper, and Scrier [[CollectiveIdentity was really a group of individuals in a cult cult]] that [[HijackedByGanon Norman took over]] (thus subverted with the lead Scrier, who was Norman himself).
19th Mar '13 1:43:53 PM Tuckerscreator
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* ConvenientMiscarriage: During the Clone Saga, Mary Jane was pregnant with Baby May. Baby May was originally supposed to tie into the storyline of Peter Parker not being the real Peter Parker. Since Peter wasn't the real Peter anymore, Marvel would have been able to get around the problem where having a baby would age Peter too much. But after the fan revolt, Marvel decided to make Peter the real Peter after all and the pregnancy storyline was dropped. It should be mentioned the writers implied Norman may have taken the baby somewhere; this was LeftHanging in the comics proper and is probably now CanonDiscontinuity as of OneMoreDay, but the AlternateContinuity comic {{Spider-Girl}} took the thread and ran with it.

to:

* ConvenientMiscarriage: During the Clone Saga, Mary Jane was pregnant with Baby May. Baby May was originally supposed to tie into the storyline of Peter Parker not being the real Peter Parker. Since Peter wasn't the real Peter anymore, Marvel would have been able to get around the problem where having a baby would age Peter too much. But after the fan revolt, Marvel decided to make Peter the real Peter after all and the pregnancy storyline was dropped. It should be mentioned the writers implied Norman may have taken the baby somewhere; this was LeftHanging in the comics proper and is probably now CanonDiscontinuity as of OneMoreDay, ''ComicBook/OneMoreDay'', but the AlternateContinuity comic {{Spider-Girl}} ''{{ComicBook/Spider-Girl}}'' took the thread and ran with it.
19th Mar '13 1:41:14 PM Tuckerscreator
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''The Clone Saga'' (or ''Spider-Clone Saga'') is the name of two {{Comicbook/Spider-Man}} story arcs, one from the 1970s and another running from 1994 to 1996, both involving Spider-Man and [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin clones]]. The second story, which is pretty much a sequel for all intents and purposes, is better remembered due to being considered to be one of the more controversial Spider-Man stories. Intended to wrap up in less than a year, the comics sold well enough that the writers were encouraged to prolong the series as long as possible. This led to some changes to the storyline that ultimately proved very unpopular.

to:

''The Clone Saga'' (or ''Spider-Clone Saga'') is the name of two {{Comicbook/Spider-Man}} ''Comicbook/SpiderMan'' story arcs, one from the 1970s and another running from 1994 to 1996, both involving Spider-Man and [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin clones]]. The second story, which is pretty much a sequel for all intents and purposes, is better remembered due to being considered to be one of the more controversial Spider-Man stories. Intended to wrap up in less than a year, the comics sold well enough that the writers were encouraged to prolong the series as long as possible. This led to some changes to the storyline that ultimately proved very unpopular.
17th Mar '13 11:21:45 AM Nothingtoseehere
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* TheGwenStacy: Except [[CloningBlues not]].


Added DiffLines:

* ILetGwenStacyDie: Except [[CloningBlues not]].
17th Feb '13 11:27:32 AM SpideyTerry
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** Dr. Octopus was killed early on in order to make way for a new Dr. Octopus ([[ComicBookDeath it obviously didn't last long]]).

to:

** Dr. Both the Grim Hunter (Kraven's first son) and Doctor Octopus was were killed early on in order to make way for establish Kaine as a new Dr. Octopus powerful threat. The former's creator Howard Mackie offered up the Hunter because he reportedly didn't know where to take him, and he has stayed dead. ([[ComicBookDeath it obviously didn't last long]]). Ock, however...]].



** A few were introduced for Kraven (The Grim Hunter), Doctor Octopus ([[DistaffCounterpart Lady Octopus]]), and the Rose. The Grim Hunter got killed by Kaine, Lady Octopus only lasted a few years before the classic Doc Ock returned, and The new Rose only lasted shortly longer than Lady Octopus. Also Phil Urich as the Green Goblin, but [[RedeemingReplacement he was trying to be a hero]].

to:

** A few were introduced for Kraven (The Grim Hunter), Doctor Octopus ([[DistaffCounterpart Lady Octopus]]), and the Rose. The Grim Hunter got killed by Kaine, Lady Octopus only lasted a few years before the classic Doc Ock returned, returned (though she later turned up in ''SpiderGirl''), and The new Rose only lasted shortly longer than about as long as Lady Octopus. Also Octopus.
**
Phil Urich as became the fourth Green Goblin, but [[RedeemingReplacement he was trying to be a hero]].hero]]. He got his own short-lived series, kicked around the main universe and became a recurring character in ''Spider-Girl''.
7th Feb '13 2:27:47 PM SpideyTerry
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* BoldInflation: FemmeFatale Delilah, introduced in this arc, '''has''' a '''bad''' habit of '''this''' mixed in with '''weird fonts'''.



* BoldInflation: FemmeFatale Delilah, introduced in this arc, '''has''' a '''bad''' habit of '''this''' mixed in with '''weird fonts'''.



* {{Determinator}}: Peter is made to think his entire life is a lie. While he initially has a FreakOut, he comes to terms with it and moves on from there. Norman points this out:
-->"[[TheNightGwenStacyDied The death of Gwen Stacy]], the revelation that your life was a lie, that you were a clone--through it all you found a way to not only survive, but to make a life for yourself. Through the worst of it, you prospered. And I '''HATE''' you for it!"



* EvilCannotComprehendGood: Norman just can't understand why Peter never gives up.



* HeroicSacrifice: Ben gets in-between Peter and a goblin glider--taking a blade in the back and then falling to his death.



* {{Padding}}: See ExecutiveMeddling. It led to complaints of ArcFatigue, which was one of the bigger complaints of the Clone Saga. On the other hand, this was an unfortunate trend in the Spider-Man comics already.


Added DiffLines:

* VillainousBreakdown: While explaining his plan and intentions to Peter, Norman maintains a rather collected demeanor and keeps his anger in check. When Peter keeps getting up during their fight, however, Norman becomes increasingly unhinged.


Added DiffLines:

* WhyWontYouDie: After the part where Peter removes his and Norman's masks, Norman finally asks this.
-->'''Norman:''' I had you unconscious--at my mercy! How could this have happened? Why won't you just die?!\\
'''Peter:''' Because then you would win. And I'll '''never''' give you that satisfaction.
6th Feb '13 9:46:35 PM Anicomicgeek
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Added DiffLines:

* AdaptedOut: Several characters including Seward Trainor, Spidercide, Judas Traveller, Grim Hunter, and the Scriers were removed.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.TheCloneSaga