Over the years I’ve found myself revisiting Andrew Goletz and Glenn Greenberg’s Life of Reilly website to review potential resolutions that were proposed and all the ideas not managing to see the light of day.
Of all the unresolved plots emerging out of that period, I’ll admit I have not found any of the proposed Clone Saga resolutions intellectually satisfying (or the whole saga for that matter).
My own ideas on ways this saga could have been better resolved have, at their foundation, the conceit that Harry Osborn had not been the son of Norman at all but had always been the younger clone of Norman Osborn, and when we saw Harry in the throes of drug addiction, in the infamous “Not Approved by the Comics Code Authority” story arc featured in Amazing Spider-Man #96-98, it was a consequence of his becoming dependent upon medications he required to slow down the clone degeneration process.
With Harry now being the clone of Norman Osborn, one can adduce as the next logical step that an historical alliance existed between Norman and Miles Warren, Peter Parker’s biology professor at Empire State University (otherwise known as the brilliant yet twisted geneticist super-villain the Jackal).
In addition, since Spider-Man’s major enemies did not start reviving from death until after the Jackal’s return in Web of Spider-Man #122, this would become the nucleus for how I would fix/ resolve the Clone Saga.
I would reveal Miles Warren as the overarching villain behind all of Peter Parker’s woes at that time, like a jackal feeding off the remains of the dead. In line with his mythological counterpart, I would reveal that it was Warren/ Jackal who returned Norman Osborn from the dead through the process of cloning which was part of his wider plan to emotionally erode Peter by returning all of Peter’s deceased friends and enemies.
The Jackal that returned during the Clone Saga then is not Miles Warren per se, but in fact the New Man from his failed experiment when he worked as Herbert Edgar Wyndham(the High Evolutionary)’s lab assistant at his Citadel of Science on Mount Wundagore. Warren captures the Man-Jackal after it kills his wife and children, exposing it to the Carrion Virus, later successfully transferring his consciousness into its body after his regular body dies (similar to the process Arnim Zola used for his clones).
During the years of his self-imposed exile, I would further reveal Miles also perfects a technique which gives him a legitimate reason for naming his alter-ego the Jackal. That is, he feeds off the dead by becoming a body thief, and might even go so far as using Spider-Man’s dead enemies to reincarnate into (since, for some unknown reason, his own body won’t clone effectively, Carrion being the first of many failed attempts).
But Warren’s primary goal as a result of perfecting this technique is being able to incarnate into the body of a living human being, in particular transferring his consciousness into Peter Parker’s body, not only gaining revenge upon Peter whom he blamed for Gwen Stacy’s death, but so he could take Peter’s place as Gwen Stacy’s lover thereby fulfilling the unhealthy infatuation he had developed for her and his knowledge that any clone of her would never accept him in return in the guise of her creepy college professor.