Ultimate Spider-Man #97

Issue Date: 
September 2006
Story Title: 
Clone Saga: Part 1

Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Mark Bagley (pencils), John Dell & John Sibal (inks), Richard Isanove (colors), VC’s Rory Petit (letters), Brad Johansen (production), John Barber (associate editor), Ralph Macchio (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Peter and Kitty share an angry telephone conversation with each other. After Kitty heard Peter talked to his ex-girlfriend, Mary Jane, about all the things he went through with Morbius and the vampires, she thinks that he still loves her. Peter tries to deny it, but Kitty doesn’t really believe him. When Aunt May comes back home, Kitty at first thinks Peter is again talking with MJ instead of her. When Peter corrects her, he angrily hangs up the phone, leaving behind a saddened Kitty, who starts to cry. Later at school, a much happier Mary Jane meets up with Peter and convinces him to join her at the mall. There, they eat something together and talk a little. When Mark Raxton approaches MJ, he immediately realizes she’s talking to the famous Peter Parker, and lets the kids be. MJ confesses to Peter she went on a date with Mark, and he’s okay with it. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the mall gets attacked by a costumed villain calling himself the Scorpion! Constantly saying incoherent things, Scorpion faces Spider-Man in battle, with police officers meddling in it. Eventually, Spidey manages to destroy Scorpion’s facial mask, and shockingly enough discovers that the villain’s actually an exact duplicate of himself?! Meanwhile, Mary Jane had left the mall when the battle began and immediately ran home. She informs her mom about what happened, and later goes to her room where she writes things down in her diary. On that very moment, a shadowed figure enters MJ’s room and kidnaps her! When Anna later enters her daughter’s room, MJ is nowhere to be found…

Full Summary: 

Peter is on the phone, but doesn’t hear anything on the other side anymore.

At Xavier’s, an angry Kitty, holding her phone in her hand, sits quietly on her bed.

Peter, uncertain, looks at his phone, without saying a word.

Kitty remains quiet, still being angry.

Peter tries to ask Kitty if she hung up.

Coldly, she denies that.

Peter wants to know what’s going on. Kitty thinks that Peter is hanging out with Mary Jane again, and Peter is a bit startled to hear that. He defends that’s not what he said – he’s not “hanging out” with her. They go to school together. Kitty angrily shouts that Peter just said MJ helped him with all this Morbius vampire stuff. He said so.

Peter explains that MJ was there. She saw that he was upset, creeped out and she talked him down. He defends that he and MJ are friends. They’ve been friends since forever. She knows a lot of stuff about him, including you know what. Kitty mopes that this is just great. Peter wonders if this is about him not calling Kitty, because he did call her but she wasn’t home, probably out being an X-Man person. Kitty shouts that’s just great. Peter doesn’t know what he did wrong.

Kitty starts to cry, as this is killing her inside. Peter is speechless. Kitty states that she is the one Peter should come to talk to. She’s his girlfriend and should be the one! Peter defends she is, but Kitty doesn’t buy that: she thinks it’s Mary Jane. Peter shouts back that he isn’t the only person Kitty talks to, as she has all her friends in the X-Men. Kitty knows that’s true, but… Not letting her finish, Peter says he has no friends. Zero friends. And he has no one who knows about his “other life” but Kitty and MJ. (Not including all the super-villains in the tri-state area).

Kitty shouts that’s different, though Peter doesn’t see how. Kitty thinks he’s in love with MJ. Peter is stunned, not believing Kitty just said that. Kitty mentions that Peter didn’t break up with MJ because he hated her, he broke up with her because he had to keep her from getting hurt! Peter asks Kitty what she wants him to do: move?

Aunt May comes home and says hi to her nephew. Kitty thinks that was just MJ, but Peter quickly and angrily corrects her. Kitty realizes how stupid she has just been by saying that. Peter agrees and hangs up the phone.

He says “hi” to his aunt, who asks who Peter was talking to. He jokes it was the sheriff of Crazy Town. May smiles, thinking that means he and MJ are back together. Peter denies that, correcting that there’s a new sheriff in crazy town. May congratulates him on that, telling Peter to wash his hands as she’s got hoagies. “Yay,” Peter responds.

At Xavier’s, Kitty angrily stares at her phone. She says that two simple words would have been enough to convince her. “No, I’m not in love with her.” That’s all it would have taken. She lies down on her bed, with her head stuffed in her pillow, and starts to cry.

Midtown High School, Queens…

Peter walks alone through the school halls, when a happy Mary Jane waves hello to him, asking if he’s in better spirits today. Peter smiles back, wondering how he could know that. She asks if he ran into any more vampires today. Peter is happy to say he didn’t see any more vampires. When MJ asks where he’s going now, Peter mentions he was going to swing around. MJ asks if he has to, and Peter quotes that with great power there must also come…

Not letting him finish the sentence, MJ and Peter walk out of the school together and she tells Peter to come with her. He wants to know where. MJ reminds him that he needs a break as his head’s not in the game. He’ll get sloppy and somebody will pull his mask off. She wants him to take a break from up there and all that. Peter asks where they are going. “Your favorite place,” MJ smiles.

Later, at the mall…

Peter smiles that this is nobody’s favorite place. Eating some burgers together with Peter, MJ claims that’s what she meant. Peter actually appreciates this, though MJ doesn’t understand what. Peter explains he appreciates what MJ is trying to do there. She still doesn’t get it. “Trying to be friends again,” Peter adds. And he really appreciates it.

MJ also smiles that she’s making Peter a new costume again. Peter, holding his hand on his face in relief, thanks MJ dearly for that. MJ admits she saw Peter on TV and noticed he has a hole in his current one. Peter ashamed says that he literally taped it closed with blue packing tape. MJ laughs about it.

Mark Raxton interrupts the two, saying hi to MJ. Stunned, MJ says hi to him as well. Mark asks if this is the famous Peter Parker. Hesitant, she confirms it. Peter and Mark stare at each other quietly for a while. Mark smiles this is good for MJ, and says he’ll see her around, and takes off.

Peter asks MJ who that was. MJ introduces Peter to Mark Raxton, the Molten Man. Having seen Mark’s leather clothes, Peter jokes now that was a bad costume! MJ corrects that Mark’s band is called “Molten Man.” Peter asks if something is going on here. Hesitant, MJ admits that she and Mark went out together. He asks when that was. MJ doesn’t understand, but Peter waves it away, telling her to forget it. MJ smiles it was when she and Peter broke up. Peter really thinks he doesn’t want to hear about this.

MJ agrees. They quietly eat their burgers and fries for a while. Shocked, MJ promises that nothing happened between her and Mark. That’s fine by Peter. MJ explains she talked about Peter all night and ticked Mark off. Peter jokes that’s good. “Nice,” MJ responds. Peter tries to explain what he meant, but MJ already knows. When Peter asks MJ if she has gone out with anyone else, she jokes that she and the Human Torch are engaged. Peter mocks MJ can only wish that. Actually, MJ jokingly corrects, she’s holding out for Daredevil. But seriously, MJ corrects, everyone’s pretty sure that she and Peter are going to get back together. It’s like she has a scarlet “P” on her shirt.

Peter jokes that’s a very literary reference. MJ thanks him for that. Peter apologizes for standing in MJ’s way for whatever. That’s not what MJ meant. Peter knows that, joking he’s just guilt-ridden by nature. MJ can only agree with that. MJ asks how things are with Kitty. Peter smiles he doesn’t want to go there. MJ noticed she hasn’t seen her skulking around school for a while. Peter explains Kitty’s grounded for a while, but can tell MJ that Kitty’s a big fan of her. MJ thinks that means Kitty doesn’t trust him. Ashamed, Peter admits Kitty doesn’t even know him. He and MJ quietly stare at each other.

Suddenly, without a single warning, a street diner gets thrown through the mall roof! Everyone starts to panic, and Peter wonders what’s going on. MJ is surprised that somebody’s trashing the mall. Peter can’t believe someone with super-powers is actually doing that. MJ jokes that if she would have super-powers, trashing the mall is the first thing she’d do. Peter warns MJ to get out of there, which she promises to do. She asks if he’s going to suit up, which Peter confirms. She promises in that case she’ll just do as told.

The diner continues to trash the mall, and people flee in panic. A lone mother and her young child try to escape the havoc, but keeps getting pushed by other running people around her. Some people fall against her back, causing the woman to drop her child into the air! She shouts after him, but nobody does anything and the child is moments away from impact on the hard floor. Luckily, webbing is fired against the child’s shoes and safely pulls him up. It’s Spider-Man, who proudly says “Ta-daa” to a surprised crowd.

Someone believes that Spider-Man is the bad guy there doing all the damage, and the woman fears for her child’s safety. Spidey doesn’t see how he could be responsible for all this, but hands the child back to his angry mother, who calls the webslinger a monster. Peter thinks he should have seen that one coming.

As he smells smoke, he swings toward it, joking that he too was upset Chik-Fil-A moved to another location, but that’s still no reason to wreck the mall. He stares at his opponent: a big, costumed man wearing a green scorpion uniform! (Well, Spidey knows what he’s doing for the rest of his afternoon).

As the villain faces Spider-Man, he shouts that he won’t fall for it. Confused, Spidey asks the man what he’s talking about. Scared, the villain claims that he knows all of Spidey’s tricks, but he’s so much smarter than he is, it isn’t even funny. He’s the Scorpion! He’s better! He knows that. So, Spidey better doesn’t try and psyche him with some stupid trick. It’s supposed to be right here!!

Spider-Man can see why Scorpion goes by that moniker. And seeing that the villain’s smarter than him and all that, Peter suggests that Scorpion just lies down and act like he can beat the crap out of him and they can save everyone the trouble of it actually happening. Scorpion shouts that he knows it was there! Spider-Man wonders if Scorpion was mad about a sale or something.

Police officers shout at both Spider-Man and Scorpion to freeze and to put their hands in the air! Pointing their guns at the costumed men, officer Pullman reports through his radio that at they’ve got a 545 at the Heights Mall.

Scorpion angrily fires orange blasts at the officers, wanting them to die! Spider-Man tries to stop the villain but is too late. Most of the officers get hit, and the blasts hurt their eyes. Scorpion punches Spider-Man out of his way, causing him to crash through some of the mall stands.

The officers open fire on Scorpion, who points his tail at them and fires another blast at the cops. He exclaims that they can’t take this away from him. Spider-Man, getting up from under the rubble, jokes that this got too crazy, too fast. He fires a web at Scorpion and hits him and swings him against a pillar.

Scorpion tries to get up and continue Spider-Man again, but he goes to stand over him. Spidey tells his adversary not to think about it, as he already got enough troubles with the cops as it is and doesn’t need any more help with that. Some officers request backup, while others promise they’ll shoot Scorpion here and now. Scorpion kicks Spider-Man off of him, against another wall. The officers are ready to arrest Spider-Man. He tries to explain he isn’t the problem there, but the cops don’t even listen to him.

One of the cops Scorpion hit in the eyes earlier is still blinded and doesn’t know where to shoot. Scorpion tries to strangle him, but Spidey notices this and punches the officers away from him, apologizing as he does so. As Scorpion sees Spider-Man approaching him, he throws the officer out of his way. Spidey gives the villain a hard punch in the face. The officers once again open fire. Some bullet hits Scorpion’s armor, though Spidey manages to jump to safety. He fires some webs at the cops’ guns, blocking the guns’ barrels. In response, the officers dispatch and request code four, needing backup.

Scorpion hits Spider-Man a couple of times, causing him to fly through a shop selling Captain America T-Shirts. As Spidey tries to get up, Scorpion jumps toward him, quoting “Who are you, masked mystery man? Unveil yourself to the crowd!!” Scorpion claims that’s what “he” said. Spidey manages to get up and hits Scorpion, joking that he’s no doctor but believes the guy needs some different medication. Scorpion shouts that the webslinger isn’t listening, which he needs to do. Peter wonders if the guy is talking to him or the voices in his head, and if they talk to each other or only to Scorpion.

Spider-Man hits Scorpion again and again, and eventually destroys his facemask. Peter begs for Scorpion to calm down, but Scorpion keeps insisting that Spider-Man has to listen. Scorpion turns his face at Peter so he can have a clear look at him. And, shockingly enough, Peter is looking at… himself?!

The Scorpion again quotes “Who are you, masked mystery man? Unveil yourself to the crowd!!” That’s what “he” said… Holding Scorpion tight, Spider-Man can’t keep his eyes off of him.


Mary Jane rushes home and calls out to her mom, who sits in the kitchen. MJ asks her mom if she saw what happened on TV, but she hasn’t. Smiling, MJ explains there were some crazy things happening at the mall but that Spider-Man was there and took care of it. Anna asks if MJ got hurt, but she replies she didn’t, as she immediately ran home. Relieved, Anna hugs her daughter, reminiscing that this city used to be so safe and that she hates it now.

MJ knows that isn’t true. Anna asks her if she needs to go to the hospital, but MJ smiles that she’s fine. Nothing happened, as she ran away. Anna tells her she did the right thing. They both know that. They share another hug, and MJ can’t help but smile.

She goes to her room, and sighs. As MJ picks up her diary from her desk, she doesn’t notice she’s being watched by a shadowed person, who spies upon MJ from her closet. MJ lies on her bed and starts to write in her diary. A squeaking noise is heard. The mysterious individual opens the closet and… grabs MJ! The person holds its hand in front of MJ’s mouth, rendering her unable to cry out for help.

A little later, Anna enters the room, wanting to tell her she got something in the mail from Barnard. But weirdly enough, Mary Jane isn’t in her room anymore…

Characters Involved: 


Mary Jane Watson

Anna Watson (MJ’s mother)

Aunt May


Mark Raxton


shadowed kidnapper of Mary Jane

various kids at Peter’s high school and at the mall (all unnamed)

various police officers and firemen (all unnamed)

Story Notes: 

“The Clone Saga” is an alternate, “ultimate” version of the well-known “Clone Saga” storyline from the Earth 616 universe, which originally began in Amazing Spider-Man (1st series) #141 but was later expanded in the Spider-Man line of books in the 1990s.

Peter dealt with Morbius and other vampires in the last two issues.

Mary Jane’s date with Mark Raxton can be found in Ultimate Spider-Man #78. Peter asked MJ when MJ dated Mark because, a while ago, he discovered that she kissed his friend Harry a short time before going out with him, and never told him about it.

First appearance of the ultimate version of Scorpion.

The reference to the “Scarlet ‘P’” is a reference to the book the “Scarlet Letter.” In the book, which takes place during 17th century New England, the letter is “A,” standing for “adultery,” as the main character’s protagonist, Hester Prynne, had conceived and borne a child though her husband had been missing for years.

Despite Kitty’s exclamations, “No, I’m not in love with her” is seven words, and not two simple ones.

Issue Information: 
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