Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #20 Review: Something Sinister

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There Is More to That Saga Than Spidercide!

The Clone Saga remains one of the most controversial and polarizing stories in Spider-Man’s franchise. Some love it, some loathe it, and few are between. For at least a decade after it ended, Marvel editors all but forbade any mention of it, beyond a joke. Yet it involved some real trauma for the characters involved with is worth exploring. Losing Ben Reilly was like losing a brother to Peter, and losing their first daughter was among the worst trials of his marriage to MJ. Yet they emerged from that tragedy stronger.

Image by Marvel Comics

Perhaps one of the reasons why the Clone Saga was buried for so long (at least until last year’s Clone Conspiracy) wasn’t just for its divisive reputation. Perhaps it was because it demonstrates the lie put forth by Joe Quesada and other senior editors that marriage made Peter’s life “too easy.” Getting over a child being stillborn hardly seems “easy,” and Houser even hinting at such a thing here gives the previous mini series more weight. Annie is their second child, who survived. No wonder Peter and MJ are so hands on. No wonder not even Regent mattered more than Venom.

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Next: Peter and MJ Have a Whale of a Time in #19!

It won’t be long before Houser matches Ann Nocenti’s record for most issues of an ongoing Spider-Man series written by a woman. And it seems fitting that such a record be broken on a series which actually embraces Mary Jane’s role within the franchise in a way few comics have in years. Mr. Sinister is reopening old wounds, and a battle between the Parkers and their clones will be quite harrowing. Yet there is no greater responsibility than family, and it is great seeing Spider-Man embrace it once more.