Amazing Spider-Man (vol 1) #399 VF

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SMOKE AND MIRROS PART 2 - RESURRECTION!

This story continues from Web of Spider-Man #122...

The Scarlet Spider lays unconscious on the snowy ground somewhere in the Catskill Mountains. His body is discovered by the assassin known as Kaine. As Kaine examines the body, Scrier arrives and tells Kaine that the Spider is not dead.   When Kaine tells Scrier to leave him alone, the cloaked figure assures Kaine that he has nothing to fear from him yet and suddenly disappears. Kaine is relieved as he was not ready to deal with Scrier at this time. Suddenly, he detects someone coming and ducks into the shadows again. Soon, Spider-Man arrives on the scene, finding his clone passed out on the ground. Suddenly, the Scarlet Spider comes around, and the two compare notes. Both have been drawn to this location by strange mental pictures of Peter Parker growing in a cloning tank. Spider-Man was able to find his clone thanks to images of the Scarlet Spider that appeared in his head.  They are soon interrupted by a diminutive man in a Jackal costume named Jack. He tells them that he knows why they have been drawn here but refuses to tell them yet.  The two Spiders chase after him but lose him in the swirling snow. However, what they find instead is a strange door that appears to be floating in mid-air. Examining it, they find handprint scanners and place their hands on them. When the door opens, they find Jack on the other side. Entering, the Scarlet Spider grabs Jack by the throat and demands answers. That's when Spider-Man's spider-sense goes off, but the warning comes too late to prevent them from leaping out before the door closes behind them. Jack then urges the wall-crawlers to follow him deeper into the secret facility, warning them that it is the only way they can see the light of day again.  Jack takes them to a massive lab facility. Jack says that this is where they were all created and tells them that the Jackal will be joining him soon. Spider-Man finds this hard to believe because he saw the Jackal die. Jack points out that he saw the Scarlet Spider die as well, yet he is alive as well.  While they are distracted the two Spiders are attacked by a degenerating clone called the Guardian. However, he is only lashing out due to the pain that runs through his body as he degenerates.  Despite Spider-Man's desire to do something, Jack points out that there is nothing they can do and they watch helplessly as the Guardian dies in Jack's arms. That's when Jack removes his Jackal mask revealing that he is a Peter Parker clone as well. He is also suffering from degeneration, telling the two Spiders that this is the fate of all of the clones created by Miles Warren. That's when the Jackal makes his presence known. Emerging from a regeneration tank, saying that Jack and Guardian were his earliest failures, but Spider-Man and the Scarlet Spider are his greatest successes. Having enhanced his body to the peak of physical perfection, the Jackal is able to fight off both Spiders when they try to attack. He then has Jack give him some clothes. As he dresses he tells them that he is not a clone of Miles Warren, but the genuine article.  He has spend the past five years restructuring his body into a perfect form.  He goes on to explain that the Miles Warren that appeared to die during their last encounter was a clone that stood in for him. The Jackal's mocking finally gets to Spider-Man who attacks his foe. However, he is stopped by the Scarlet Spider, who tells Spider-Man that the only way they are going to get answers as to what is going on is if they let the Jackal talk.  Seeing that Guardian is dead, the Jackal takes a moment to mourn his passing. As he does so, Kaine arrives in the room, watching things from the shadows above. The Jackal explains that they are all Peter Parker or at least genetic duplicates of Parker. That the Scarlet Spider's arrival in the Catskills revived them, but they suffer from degeneration and don't last very long. He leads them a chamber and suggests that both Spider-Man and the Scarlet Spider are both clones, saying that the real Peter Parker could be in the stasis chamber in front of them.   Spider-Man thinks the Jackal is lying and tries to attack again. When the Scarlet Spider tries to pull him away, Spider-Man fights him off. The wall-crawler refuses to believe that he is a clone especially after he has gotten his life back on track and is expecting a child.  This revelation comes as a surprise to the Scarlet Spider. However, he is furious at Spider-Man, telling him that he is unable to face the possibility that his being a clone is true. However, Spider-Man refuses to be afraid, pointing out all of the villains he has defeated over the years even in the face of impossible odds.  When Spider-Man finally says he can take whatever the Jackal is going to make him face, the Jackal obliges by opening the stasis chamber. However, instead of another Peter Parker, the two Spiders are surprised to discover that it contained a woman that the Jackal claims is the real Gwen Stacy.


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