Although death in general is rarely final in the realm of comic books, Marvel Comics is quite possibly the most egregious example of this when it comes to any particular slice of pop culture. Whether it be through rampant resurrections or mind-swapping schemes, it seems as if nearly every named character to lose their lives in the Marvel Universe eventually gets it back. Or, in the case of Marvel’s many clones, some version of the life they believe they once knew.

While plenty of clones of more iconic characters have gone on to make names for themselves across the Marvel Universe, others have taken it upon themselves to continue on with the lives their predecessors once lead. Whereas the likes of Madelyne Pryor and Ben Reilly are content to find and fight for their own path, not every clone is so lucky to form an independent identity outside the one they were based on. In fact, for many of these characters, the idea they need to live up to some former version of themselves has become an outright curse, and the most prime example of that is easily the Last Son of Kraven.

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The Last Son of Kraven Has Almost Replaced Kraven the Hunter

Introduced in the pages of 2019’s Amazing Spider-Man #16 (by Nick Spencer, Ryan Ottley, Alberto Jim?nez, and Alburquerque), the Last Son of Kraven was one of dozens of clones of the original Kraven the Hunter who were commissioned by the then disenfranchised villain. After being trained by their genetic father in the Savage Land, these clones were seeded across the globe. Each of the clones had their own mission that, when completed, would prove them worthy of taking up the mantle of Kraven the Hunter. Instead of following through with his assigned task, the Last Son of Kraven earned his name by hunting and killing each of his brethren.

In the years since, the Last Son of Kraven has officially stepped into his predecessors’ role following the original Kraven’s demise. However, that accomplishment hasn’t been enough to convince the ambitious clone of his own worth. Most recently, the Last Son of Kraven embarked on a plot with the Queen Goblin — herself a clone of Doctor Ashley Kafka — to return Norman Osborn’s sins to their rightful owner. Once Norman has returned to his villainous self, the Hunter will once more have a worthy prey to pursue. Unfortunately, that plan went awry when Spider-Man stepped in to take the blow meant for the former Green Goblin. The version of the Wall-Crawler who emerged from that experience turned the tables on his nemesis with lethal intent.

Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. Superior is Deadlier Than His Predecessor

For decades, the Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing, better known as M.O.D.O.K., has been one of the most underrated yet impossibly dangerous villains in the Marvel Universe. At least, that was until a weapon designed to take down the Hulk supercharged Amadeus Cho. In turn, Cho used his abilities to revert the transformation that caused the humble George Tarleton to become M.O.D.O.K. in the first place. This seemingly brought an end to M.O.D.O.K.’s reign of terror in the pages of 2010’s Hulk #28 (by Jeff Parker, Gabriel Hardman, Elizabeth Breitweiser, Ben Oliver, Frank Martin, Dario Brizuela, and Ed Dukeshire). However, the very next issue introduced a clone of M.O.D.O.K. who surpassed his predecessor in only the worst of ways.

After christening himself M.O.D.O.K. Superior, this clone of the original took it upon himself to prove that he was stronger, smarter, and more lethal than his predecessor could ever be. In the years that followed M.O.D.O.K. Superior’s debut, he has been at the heart of numerous storylines ranging from his defection from A.I.M. to joining the ranks of the Secret Avengers. He even took control of all reality by remaking himself with shards of Asgard’s then shattered Rainbow Bridge. Unlike the Last Son of Kraven, M.O.D.O.K. Superior’s status as clone hasn’t really been a point of discussion. This allowed him to seamlessly replace the original to the point that many fans aren’t even aware a switch has occurred.

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Marvel’s Black Widow Hasn’t Been Herself for Years

As the Black Widow, much of Natasha Romanoff’s life was one tense (usually deadly) encounter after another, with hardly any room to breathe in between. Being one of the most prominent and capable spies in the entire world, it was no surprise when the Black Widow found herself at the heart of Hydra’s takeover of the United States during the events of 2017’s Secret Empire. During an especially heated battle between Spider-Man and Captain America, Black Widow took it upon herself to protect Miles Morales from the latter’s shield, losing her life in the process.

Less than a year later in 2018’s Tales of Suspense #103 (by Matthew Rosenberg, Travel Foreman, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Clayton Cowles), a new Natasha Romanoff emerged in the form of one of the Black Widow Ops Program’s many clones. Unlike the other Black Widow clones, however, this particular Natasha retained all the memories of the original entirely unbeknownst to her creators. As such, the Black Widow fans know best was able to pick right back up where she left off — or at least, close enough to it that many readers missed the switch completely.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Got a New Drax the Destroyer

Drax the Destroyer has long been a more complex character than what his general demeanor would imply. That has only proven more true since he first stepped into the Marvel Universe over fifty years ago. Drax boasted an origin that was convoluted to various degrees. Once an ordinary man named Arthur Douglas, Drax was left after a fateful encounter with Thanos. Ironically, Thanos’ father then turned Arthur into an extraordinary killing machine. It wasn’t until the culmination of 2018’s Infinity Wars that both Arthur and his counterpart in the Destroyer were given a chance to rest in peace in their own respective afterlives. This was hardly as simple as it sounded, but still provided a fitting end for the character.

Then, almost one year later, Drax the Destroyer returned. This time, he was the clone of another timeline’s version of Drax and created by the malevolent Universal Church of Truth. Thankfully for his soon to be allies, this Drax left the Destroyer Horde he was designed to be a part of after he received a consciousness of his own from Moondragon, the daughter of the primary Marvel Universe’s Arthur Douglas. Using remnants of memories of her father, Moondragon imbued his clone with enough of the original’s personality to satisfy most fans. So much so that Drax joined the ever-growing group of Marvel clones who replaced their predecessors largely without notice.

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Spider-Man’s Most Brutal Goblin is a Shadow of Her Former Self

For almost thirty years, Doctor Ashley Kafka stood at the forefront of superhuman psychology, especially when it came to those who had used their powers for evil. From her position within the Ravencroft Institute, Doctor Kafka treated dozens, if not hundreds, of villains. This put her in rare company with contemporaries in her field, such as Doctor Andrea Sterman. Tragically, one of the last patient’s Doctor Kafka treated was also the one who ended her life in a brazen escape. Despite these circumstances, Doctor Kafka was legitimately resurrected in a manner nearly identical to the methods that brought back Black Widow. Her “savior” was none other than fellow clone Ben Reilly, then operating under the alias of the Jackal.

Ben Reilly did his best to stabilize the process he had seemingly perfected based on the original Jackal’s work. However, Doctor Ashley Kafka’s cloned body degraded within a matter of months. Fortunately, Norman Osborn later happened upon a second clone of Doctor Kafka. After reviving her from her comatose state, Norman managed to convince the clone that she was the original. Soon enough, this second clone was again working at the Ravencroft Institute. After its destruction, she began working for the ominous Beyond Corporation. Like so many other Beyond employees, this Doctor Kafka was tasked with helping them in their overtly villainous endeavors, which she subverted at every possible opportunity. For her would be heroics, Doctor Kafka was imbued with the sins of Norman Osborn that Beyond had acquired, giving rise to both the Queen Goblin and one of the most harrowing storylines the Marvel Universe has ever known.

 Death may not mean much in comics, but the way Marvel has replaced so many key characters with clones might be concerning.  Read More