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Theory: Clones Types in Comics

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I recently went looking at the Doc Ock page on Fandom site and noticed that they separated the original Doc Ock with the "parker clone" doc ock. There is a debate on the site on whether to whether or not to merge the 2 pages together (they should as it is the same character just different bodys, but that not what this is about). This got me thinking about clones in general in comics as a whole and have come up with a theory how clones are basically broken up into 3 types. The Grunt clones, the New Character clones and the Legacy clones.

  • The grunt clones are obvious. They are the clones that are essentially made into soldiers or grunts to serve under a villain. These are usually mindless people given order that they will follow without arguments. Example of these are the Armin Zola clones of the Avengers or when they clone a heroes and mix it with animal dna.
  • Next is the New Character clones. These are the clones of a character that take one their own distinct personalities and storylines. Some may have the memories of the original but with their own personalities and storylines. Examples of these are Ben Reilly, Kaine Parker, X-23, Genesis, Honey Badger etc. You wouldn't confuse them with the original. (Visually maybe but they are their own characters).
  • Finally you have legacy clones (though I may change that name) which are basically the same characters, with the same personality and memories, with the same motivations. Using the 2 most frequent people who are constantly being clones, Mr. Sinister and Jackal. Both of these characters are constantly being killed only to return in cloned bodies, with the same memories and same motivation. Other examples are previously Doc Ock in Parker's clone body and Red Skull who was in a Steve Roger's body all from the 70/80s all the way up until he was killed by Winter Soldier. You wouldn't think of them as a different person. You know they are the same person.

So the reason I posted this on here is to hear your opinions and if there is anything I should add to it. 

Also let begin naming all the clones we actually have in our collections.

  1. Ben Reilly
  2. Kaine
  3. Ultimate Spider-woman
  4. X-23 
  5. Mr Sinister
  6. Jackal
  7. Red Skull
  8. Superior Octopus
  9. Black Ant

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I have:

  • Magik
  • Mr. Sinister
  • Multiple Man 😛
  • Phoenix (standard and Dark Phoenix)
  • Shatterstar
  • Stryfe
  • X-23 (X-Force and All-New Wolverine)

I'm assuming alternate reality versions of characters like the Deadpool Corps, Old Man Logan, Days of Future Past Logan, etc., don't fit the bill. Some of my assertions above could prove controversial, so I'll explain.

  1. Limbo's non-linear time has rendered multiple active versions of Illyana wandering around the 616 universe at different times, all branching off the original little girl who was spirited away to Limbo. The Marvel Now Illyana we have a toy for doesn't remember dying of the legacy virus in the 90s, and that version didn't remember being a New Mutant, but they're all the same character. I guess the same could be said of any character who has ever gone to Limbo, which is basically all the X-Men ever, but it's only been super relevant for Magik.
  2. Story-ruining retcon (that has never really been adhered to in any subsequent story involving the Phoenix force) notwithstanding, officially Jean wasn't the Phoenix. It just looked like her.
  3. I'm not sure I fully understand the Longshot/Shatterstar thing, but my rough understanding is that the two of them are clones of each other that exist in a timey-wimey causal loop.

You can tell my Sabretooth's not a clone, because Sinister only clones Creed wearing his 80s costume. 🙂

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Clones are just a lazy way of writing for unimaginative writers...a weak ploy to explain away some idiotic thing they shouldn't have done in the first place (that almost always makes things even more idiotic and confusing). Clone story done right, watch Orphan Black. Done wrong, just look at the hopeless mess in Spider-Man, or really practically any Marvel story done in the last 2 decades.

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Sure, but I'm looking forward to those Stepford Cuckoos.

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9 hours ago, Atlantis said:

Clones are just a lazy way of writing for unimaginative writers...a weak ploy to explain away some idiotic thing they shouldn't have done in the first place (that almost always makes things even more idiotic and confusing). Clone story done right, watch Orphan Black. Done wrong, just look at the hopeless mess in Spider-Man, or really practically any Marvel story done in the last 2 decades.

My thoughts exactly. Lazy writers who ran out of ideas and instead of going back to the successful formulas of the past they literally steal the identity of an existing character and try to make it their own. Another blatant example is Deadpool (and pretty much anything Liefeld "creates"). He cloned Deathstroke, gave it his own anatomically impossible art style put some different pretty lines and colors on it and called it his. Now in his defense he did come out and admit it was a Deathstroke clone, but only after he was a success. And of that success, there seems to be quite a bit of confusion as to who made him a success. Liefeld did not make Deadpool. Seriously, all he did was provide the basic idea and art. Back then when Marvel gave all these premadonnas their own books they at least had the sense to give them all "co-writers", Liefeld's co-writer happened to be one of the better writers (ie. less terrible) working for Marvel at the time Fabian Nicieza who actually filled out Deadpool's back story and gave him his distinct mouth and attitude that became the break out success he is now. Remember, Liefeld and a buncha other deserters bolted for Malibu/Image shortly after debuting DP and never really had all that much to do with his character development, so yeah if you wanna give him a bit of credit for introducing him and giving him his iconic uniform that's cool, but crediting him as the "creator" is a little rich. If anyone deserves co-creator credit it's Marv Wolfman, the creator of the original idea that became Deathstroke. If it looks like I have a particular dislike for Liefeld, that's only cuz I hate him. There's a reason the word LIE is in his name.

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People, the writing of clones is not the point of this thread. please stick to what it is about.

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Given what is revealed in HOX most of the X-Men (most of mutantkind) could be considered clones. 

Also Sabretooth is a clone

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Is there any place for characters like the entire Ultimate Universe which were basically clones of classic characters that other writers wanted to put their own twist on. And what about characters like Hobgoblin and Beetle and the entire Spider-Verse, who are all different people but were all "reinvented" for pretty much the same reason. Not trying to convolute thing, but I make it a point because I would never purchase any Ultimate version of a character if they didn't have the BAF.

But within the guidelines you previously put forth I would put Apocalypse, The All New X-Men and the soon to be release X-Man in this list

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2 minutes ago, monron999 said:

Is there any place for characters like the entire Ultimate Universe which were basically clones of classic characters that other writers wanted to put their own twist on. And what about characters like Hobgoblin and Beetle and the entire Spider-Verse, who are all different people but were all "reinvented" for pretty much the same reason. Not trying to convolute thing, but I make it a point because I would never purchase any Ultimate version of a character if they didn't have the BAF.

But within the guidelines you previously put forth I would put Apocalypse, The All New X-Men and the soon to be release X-Man in this list

They aren't clones, just alternate versions of characters completely different

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26 minutes ago, leokearon said:

Given what is revealed in HOX most of the X-Men (most of mutantkind) could be considered clones.

Dude! Spoilers! (I was going to post something similar, but given that issue is only 48 hours old, I stopped myself.)

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23 hours ago, leokearon said:

They aren't clones, just alternate versions of characters completely different

I suppose anyone can identify them any way they see them. I call them lazy and uninspired.

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23 hours ago, Benn said:

Dude! Spoilers! (I was going to post something similar, but given that issue is only 48 hours old, I stopped myself.)

Lol. Don't worry bro, nobody's reading it anyway. Anyone who has knows the story is being used as a way to weave the Mutants into the MCU. Which is not a bad thing. I just wish they could leave the comic universe alone. I have no problem with the 616 universe and the 199999 universe being similar, yet totally different universes.

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Clones can be lazy plot line yes but they also can be great way to explore what makes character a hero,  one of the (only) strongest points of clone saga were about Peter and his Clones trying to understand who Peter Parker is, unfortunately series was turned into never ending crossover after crossover but initial issues are still pretty good window into character study of Peter Parker and more general  questions like what makes person. 

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On 9/20/2019 at 7:15 AM, tarot said:

People, the writing of clones is not the point of this thread. please stick to what it is about.

Maybe if you were a little clearer on what you expected to come from this thread. You basically just made a list of the types of clones, as you see them, and asked our thoughts.

My thoughts?

You can't really put clones into specific groups, as they're basically Hamburger Helper. Writers bust them out when they need to cook up a story but don't have the time, tools, ingredients, and/or ability to make something better. It's like time-travel, magic, or the many worlds theory. No rules, no framework, just lazy writing. 

Sure, you can get all Trekkie about it, and attempt to attribute some method to the madness, but it's a losing battle. Pretty soon you've got way more "exceptions" than "examples of" the rules.

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