Issue(s): X-Men/Spider-Man #3
The plot of this issue has Ben Reilly meeting the X-Men and they team-up to fight Carnage and Mr. Sinister. Sinister successfully gets a DNA sample from Carnage.
The story starts with the X-Men in the middle of a fight with Mr. Sinister.
Sinister flees the fight, and the X-Men find a box with information about Sinister's that involves Spider-Man. They seek out Spider-Man, who is in the middle of a fight with Slyde.
(I'd show you the panel revealing why Slyde quickly surrenders, which should be a cool pose of all the X-Men standing there menacingly. But as with a lot of Mario Alberti's artwork, the reveal kinda sucks for "big moment" type stuff. It's spread out across a very narrow panel that spans two pages and the X-Men aren't particularly impressive.)
But Spider-Man isn't the one that the X-Men know (and he's not able to keep up the pretense for more than a panel). He tells them that he's the original Spider-Man, and the one that the X-Men knew was a clone created by Miles Warren. And that dovetails with what the X-Men wanted to tell Spidey: Warren was exchanging notes on cloning with Sinister. Spidey isn't too interested in that ("I don't much care who checked his homework"), but he also sees in Sinister's notes that Sinister is planning on getting a genetic sample from Cletus Kasady, aka Carnage.
Carnage is currently being held in Arkham Asylum, er i mean The Ravencroft Institute. But Sinister gets there before the heroes, and he's apparently used mind-control (?) to send all of the staff to the cafeteria.
Carnage agrees to share his DNA if Sinister will free him. But then the heroes show up and so we have our fight. As with last issue, Gage has choreographed a fight event that would have been very memorable if done in the publication era. We have Carnage eating Wolverine's bone claws.
And, as with last issue, the scene also way over-utilizes a healing factor. Wolverine's claws grow right back during the fight.
It's all disappointingly and confusingly rendered by Albert in any event.
We also see more talk of Mr. Sinister's apparent mind control abilities.
In fact, it's via telepathy that Sinister is defeated. Spider-Man lets him read his mind, and being subjected to the clone's memories sends him running.
I guess Sinister has always had some degree of telepathy or something, but it's always seemed rather vague to me, whereas here he's talking like it's his primary method of attack. Just a question of emphasis, i suppose.
Carnage is recaptured after Sinister flees. But Spider-Man is upset about how Sinister referred to him as a mockery of life.
Cyclops tells him not to listen to Mr. Sinister's manipulative talk, and Wolverine tells him that he smells the same as the other Spider-Man but his showing during the fight proves that he's "Spider-Man in every way that matters". For the readers, at least, it's confirmed that this Spider-Man is the clone.
(As a side note, for a guy whose life's work is genetic manipulation, it's funny how disgusted Mr. Sinister is by Spider-Man being a clone. I guess he doesn't have much respect for Professor Warren's handiwork.)
We also see how Sinister's actions through this miniseries are coming to a culmination but it will be a while before we get to the final issue.
My thoughts on this are the same as the previous two. Alberti's art has its positive qualities but mostly i don't like it. Gage's writing is mostly fun, but occasionally he puts "fun" over good characterization (like Wolverine asking Spider-Man if he's "on dope" when Spidey says he's not the Spider-Man they know). Continuity feels a little loosely used but not too bad.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP have this between Amazing Spider-Man #409-410 and X-Men #47-48.
Continuity Insert? Y
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAngel, Carnage Symbiote, Cletus Kasady (Carnage), Cyclops, Iceman, Mr. Sinister, Scarlet Spider, Slyde, Storm, Wolverine
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