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Comic Countdown #65: The Trouble With Clones

Posted on April 14, 2013 AT 09:13pm

It’s time for another Comic Countdown! In the sixty-fifth edition of the series, the Countdown will take a look at one of the staples of comic book culture, the clone. With so many superheroes around, it’s only natural that at some point, the writers will run out of things to do with the character, and that a clone of them would be introduced and the story would get complicated. This is something that has happened many times over the years, and despite the ridiculous concept, it’s something that has worked for quite awhile over the years. There are several major characters that have had this happen to them, and now it’s time to take a look at a few of them. That means it’s time for the Countdown!

#10: Fantomex (Marvel Comics)

Fantomex makes this list due to the concept of his own split personalities. While his story is pretty complicated (especially with his unique abilities and the existence of E.V.A, his sentient space ship, there are three versions of himself that result from the end of his  run on Uncanny X-Force. After some complications, Fantomex splits into three separate entities: Fantomex, the evil “Jean-Phillipe”, and the female version of himself, Cluster. This trio has their own odd relationships, but the odd cloned versions of this character make him a terrific addition to this list.

#9: Luke Taylor (Image Comics)

In a book with a name like Clone, there’s good standing to think that clones will be somehow involved. Doctor Luke Taylor finds out that he’s been cloned, and cloned often. This leads to a thrilling mini-series that leads Dr. Taylor on an adventure to stop the cloned versions of himself, who are after his wife and unborn child. This sci-fi mystery is a great look at clones as a whole, and while the concept of clones is a longstanding one, this one makes sure to use the concept well.

#8: The Flash (DC Comics)

The fourth Flash, Bart Allen, was the superhero Impulse before he took the mantle of the fastest man alive. Oh, he also has a clone named  Thaddeus Thawne. Thawne was created with Allen’s DNA with some other DNA mixed in, and a villain to the character was born. While he was initially a clone to the hero Impulse, he eventually became more of a Flash villain as Bart Allen took on the mantle.

#7:  Deadpool (Marvel Comics)

Deadpool is one man that should never have a clone. Unfortunately, he has one, and the clone of Wade Wilson named Agent X (Alex Hayden) had a brief appearance in several issue ofDeadpool, even getting his own miniseries. Eventually the character faded out, but there are several very funny issues to attribute to the use of his character and his interactions with the Merc With A Mouth.

#6: Magneto (Marvel Comics)

Yes, Magneto had a clone as well. After the apparent death of the greatest villain in the history of the X-Men, a young man appeared in the lives of the team, unaware of who he truly was. Originally thought to be Magneto under amnesia or an insidious plot, it was eventually revealed that he was a clone of the Master of Magnetism who joined the team for awhile, eventually dying with the true version of himself during a massive battle.

#5: Apocalypse (Marvel Comics)

Another long-running clone in the Marvel Universe, Apocalypse has a short lived run as a clone in Uncanny X-Force. The aforementioned Fantomex had a hand in creating a cloned version of the First Mutant, incubating him in the virtual universe called “The World” and raising him to be a good person, which causes its own issues for the rest of reality.

#4: Wolverine (Marvel Comics)

Marvel has a bigger history with clones than it’s DC counterpart, creating many alternate versions of their most beloved characters. This is the case with Wolverine and his female clone Laura Kinney, designated X-23. Created using Wolverine’s DNA, she has his abilities and adamantium claws. While she was created from a damaged sample of the Berserker, she’s gone on to be an integral character to the Marvel Universe, appearing in several series.

#3: Spider-Man (Marvel Comics)

Spider-Clones have been pretty common in the history of Marvel, but none have been as important as Kaine, the clone of Parker that would later go on to become the Scarlet Spider. Though he eventually wanted to kill his cloned self, Kaine eventually creates a name for himself as his own man and a hero in Houston, Texas. While not a perfect clone of the Web-Slinger, Kaine is just as formidable a foe as Parker himself, with some major variations on the suit and some of the things Kaine is able to do.

#2: Superman (DC Comics)

DC finally makes another appearance on the countdown, with a cloned version of the Man Of Steel showing his face. Kon-El, under the alias Superboy, is a clone made of an unknown source, the DNA of Lex Luthor, and the DNA of Superman. Having many of the hero’s abilities, Superboy has become one of the most popular alternate versions of a character in comics, even spawning some other versions himself, such as the mentally unstable Superboy-Prime, who eventually became a major villain.

#1: Jean Grey (Marvel Comics)

While Jean Grey’s clone, Madelyn Pryor, wasn’t around for a huge amount of time (in comparison to someone such as the Scarlet Spider), she arguably had the most impact. After meeting, falling in love with and marrying Cyclops during her run in the comics, she was a lover, a friend, a mother, a corpse, demonically possessed and completely destroyed in a very short period of time. The mother of Nathan Summers (also known as the mutant Cable), Madelyn Pryor was huge in the grand scheme of things, making room for the return of Jean Grey and the evolution of Cable as a character in his own right.

That’s it for this week, be sure to check out the Comic Countdown each and every week only on DigitalNoob!

Russ Pirozek, known as "Noobcrawler" to some, is a gamer and comic book fan who sometimes gets around to writing for He's also awesome. If someone looked up "awesome" in the dictionary, his picture wouldn't be there, but that's because he's too busy being awesome to pose for a photo.

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