In the middle of the Superior Spider-Man series, Spider-Man 2099 travelled to the present and stayed. Now he’s getting his own solo series again, and written by his original creator, Peter David. It sounds like the perfect combination, and to think I almost didn’t pick this one up today.
Spider-Man 2099 stars Miguel O’Mara, a man who turned himself into a superhero based on Peter Parker’s powers along with stealth technology. At the end of his Superior Spider-Man storyline, he got himself a job at the company he’s fighting in the future, Alchemax, in hopes to prevent their monopoly of the world. That’s a very interesting premise for a series. While this comic doesn’t do much to explain Alchemax as a threat, it does set up an interesting supporting cast and several conflicts.
The writing is very solid. It kicks off with a Terminator-style time cop hunting Spider-Man 2099, who isn’t afraid to kill those who don’t have any significant contributions to society. Next up, Miguel is searching for a place to live, with several oddities involving his potential apartment and the cleaning staff. His internal narration flows naturally, adding both to the people he meets and the fight he has with the time cop. The way his fight ends is actually kind of surprising, and it shows that while Miguel is still a hero, he’s certainly isn’t Peter Parker. And then there’s his awkward introduction to Liz Allen, who intends to find out who Spider-Man 2099 is and how to exploit him for her own purposes. The comic doesn’t do too much to set up a larger plot, but it plants seeds for a greater story while remaining fun.
The art by Will Sliney is great. There’s a lot of environmental detail, especially in the fight scenes. When the time cop shows up, he destroys a truck complete with electrical effects, a crushed frame, debris flying around and even a nod to Serval Industries from All New X-Factor. The impressive detail continues through the issue, with the Alchemax CEO’s book-filled office, the city scape complete with detailed floors and windows. Both in and out of the fight scenes, most panels use interesting angles instead of the normal straight shots in most comics. One panel has Spider-Man 2099 looking down from a vent toward a woman she just saved, and the room is angled the same way Spider-Man would perceive it. Another panel looks up toward the ceiling after Spider-Man uppercuts the time cop. Characters are well drawn as well, with a variety of appearances and outfits, but the environmental detail is the real highlight.
While there could have been more of a story direction, this is a solid first issue. Miguel’s personality is perfectly established in one issue, and an interesting supporting cast is introduced. Everything you need to know is explained on the recap page. Fans of Spider-Man 2099 shouldn’t be disappointed, and it’s worth picking up if you’re curious about the title.