Clandestine (Vol. 2) #1

 Posted: 2008
 Staff: The Editor (E-Mail)


Alan Davis is an acclaimed writer/artist from the UK. He created Clandestine in 1994. He wrote and penciled the first eight issues of the twelve-part limited series, then was replaced for the last four issues. Subsequently, he retconned the last four issues out of continuity, re-asserting himself as the sole artistic creator.

Clandestine is a family fathered centuries ago by Adam Destine and Djinn. One human, one near-human elemental force, both are essentially immortal, as are their children. Nearly all possess super-human abilities. The two key protagonists are Rory and Pandora Destine, identical twin teenagers. As Imp, Pandora has power over light, while as Crimson Crusader, Rory has power over gravity... as long as he stays in close proximity to Imp.

Story 'ClanDestine'

  Clandestine (Vol. 2) #1
Summary: Spider-Man Reference (appears in Rory's Daydream)
Editor: Tom Bervoort
Writer: Alan Davis
Pencils: Alan Davis
Inker: Mark Farmer
Articles: Green Goblin I (Norman Osborn) (Cameo)

Rory and Pandora have been sent to a "normal" school, to learn to live normal lives. Rory daydreams about meeting Spider-Man in Manhattan, and saving him from an amassed army of super-villain foes. But his dream is ended as he falls off his chair, to the hilarity of his classmates.

Meanwhile, "Twelfth Red" of the the mysterious "Guild" has taken an interest in the Clan Destine. The guild has identified the members of the Destine family, and tracked how they have maintained their assets by carefully faking deaths and births to conceal their immortality under a facade of generations.

Back in Ravenscroft village, the Clan is going about their lives. Walter, Samantha and Jasmine are bickering. Dominic (aka Vex) has incredibly super-senses and lives in an insulated bunker. Vex is taking the twins out on crime patrol. The deal is that Crimson and Imp are allowed to go out at night fighting crime, as long as they live like normal kids all day.

The kids break the rules by flying home invisible, leaving the school to wonder how they suddenly vanished off the top of the school roof. So they're in trouble with Walter, their guardian. The kids don't like Walter at the moment because he won't tell them about their mother. Jasmine spies on Rory's dreams, he's dreaming about Spider-Man again. Jasmine attempts to open minds with Adam Destine, the clan father.

But this attempt causes her great pain, as Adam's mind flares with danger. Apparently one of Adam's children is under attack... and his power is such that he gains premonition of such events. The issue concludes with a night-sight sniper scope targeting Jasmine herself, even as she talks to Adam.

General Comments

I'm guessing that none of this makes any sense to you. It didn't make much sense to me, and I've got the comic here in front of me. That's the problem with reviewing these Spider-Man cameos that appear in these long complicated story-lines that otherwise have very little to do with Spidey.

I was under the impression that Alan Davis is a bit of a cult figure among comic readers. I enjoyed his Excalibur run, but I must admit I really struggled to get into Clan Destine. It seems to be a self-contained soap-opera that really requires you to read from the beginning. And I have very little inclination to do that. There's nothing in the characters or story-telling which motivates me at all to settle into this continuity. The whole issue feels rather small, contrived and lackluster.

Spidey's role here is minimal indeed. Perhaps "Spider-Man in Dream" should be a Reference rather than a Cameo, and hence not really need a review.

Overall Rating

Clan Destine doesn't do it for me. Self-contained and self-involved, nothing here hits any of my buttons. Two webs.

 Posted: 2008
 Staff: The Editor (E-Mail)