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Looking back at the original Spider-Man Clone Saga with its creator, Gerry Conway

Gerry Conway on the secrets of the original Spider-Man Clone Saga

Amazing Spider-Man
Image credit: Marvel Comics

Gerry Conway is easily one of the most consequential writers in Spider-Man history. Conway began writing for Marvel Comics as a teenager, and took over scripting duties for Amazing Spider-Man when he was just 19 years old. His first run on the title was explosive. Conway killed Gwen Stacy and the Green Goblin, transformed Harry Osborn into the second Green Goblin, introduced the Punisher, almost had Doctor Octopus marry Aunt May, and introduced the Spider-Clone who eventually became Ben Reilly.

The Clone Saga came from a Stan Lee mandate to bring Gwen Stacy back. This mandate snowballed into one of the biggest events in Spider-Man’s publishing history. Although Conway’s original clone storyline only ran from Amazing Spider-Man #144-149 (1975), it was later used as the basis for the multiyear saga of the same name that ran across all the Spider-Man titles in the '90s. For a time it was promoted by Marvel Comics that Ben Reilly, the clone introduced during Conway’s story-arc, was the true Spider-Man.

Popverse had the chance to sit down with Gerry Conway during Dragon Con 2022 to chat about the legacy of his original clone saga. The critically-acclaimed writer shared some insights on how the saga came together, why he tried to retcon it in the '80s, his opinion on the '90s sequel, and the ultimate legacy of the story.

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Joshua Lapin-Bertone avatar
Joshua Lapin-Bertone: Joshua is a pop culture writer specializing in comic book media. His work has appeared on the official DC Comics website, the DC Universe subscription service, HBO Max promotional videos, the Batman Universe fansite, and more. In between traveling around the country to cover various comic conventions, Joshua resides in Florida where he binges superhero television and reads obscure comics from yesteryear.
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