Sunday, September 2, 2012

Villainy In Perpetuity


Name This Marvel Villain??

I doubt the identity of this villain produced a lot of head-scratching. Because although he hasn't been seen in quite awhile, the Jackal is widely regarded as being responsible for ushering in one of Marvel's most often-used--and most detested--plot devices.  I could kick his butt to the curb for that alone.

That said, the original run of the Jackal did create a lot of drama in The Amazing Spider-Man, and it was one of this title's stand-out stories.  And in the beginning, the concept of cloning was a pretty cool twist in Peter Parker's life, both due to the seeming resurrection of Gwen Stacy as well as the tense prospect of a battle between Peter and a clone of himself.  A battle which resulted in the clone's death:

This scene actually represents some closure for Peter regarding not only the Jackal, but his own doubts about whether or not the "real" Peter Parker was the one who met his death from the explosion the Jackal rigged.  From the events of the prior issue, Peter is reasonably satisfied that it's the clone's body that he's in the process of disposing of here; but from a reader's perspective, seeing his face here for the first time (particularly given Peter's familiar features as detailed by inker John Romita), it's still a little chilling.

As it turned out, due to the accursed "clone saga" that followed, we'd see more of not only the Jackal but also of "Ben Reilly," the poor guy above whom Peter assumes is dead and subsequently tosses down a smokestack.  Because when it came to sales, no way was Marvel going to let this concept go up in smoke.

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