You may remember my ecstatic review of the end of Superior Spider-Man some months ago. Well we’ve had a number of announcements and occurrences in the Spider-Man universe since that time. As you should know by now, Peter Parker is back, The Amazing Spider-Man is back and better than ever, and we’re on the road to what promises to be the biggest Spider-Man event of all time. This month, however, also marks another occasion for Webheads everywhere — the long-awaited relaunch of Spider-Man 2099!
If you were old enough in the ’90s, know your Spider-Man history well, or are a comic fanatic, you’ll know the premise of the original series, which was basically “Hey guys, let’s see what happens if we throw the Marvel universe a hundred years into the future!” I don’t believe the line was super successful, though it did last for a fair bit of time. It has a cult following these days, and the Spider-Man of that timeline, Miguel O’Hara, has made appearances since in both Amazing and Superior Spider-Man. In the latter, he was trapped in 2014, which is where our story picks up. The first piece of the story was given to us as extra material at the end of The Amazing Spider-Man #1, and Spider-Man 2099 #1 picks up shortly thereafter.
While it’s obviously too early to tell the style of the series as a whole, the first issue treats us to a fair bit of humor, though not in the form of Spidey’s quips — remember, this isn’t Peter we’re dealing with. The humor is more situational, but it works. I don’t want Spider-Man 2099 to be basically Pete in a snazzy futuristic costume. Miguel is more serious, and his style shows it. But long-time comic writer (and original series creator) Peter David knows how to keep the humor while differentiating the characters. What better way than a Terminator-esque parody? It’s not clear if the time-travelling timeline repairman is a robot or a heavily armed and armored human, but he’s pretty funny either way.
Of course, we have the set-up for the long story; whether it’s an arc or an overarching series-spanning thing remains to be seen. But what’s important is that 2099 is back. In case you couldn’t tell, this series is a must-have for any comic reader. Full stop. I don’t care what you’re into, get this series.
Ok, seriously, it’s not for everyone, obviously. But if you like Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2099, alternate timelines/glimpses into the future, hilarious time-travelling timeline repairmen, sassy holographic women, and/or some business intrigue to go along with your superheroics, you should check it out. David’s writing is tight and logical; you don’t need to know anything but the mere basics of what’s happened in the past to understand the comic. Will Sliney’s pencils combined with Antonio Fabela’s colors really make the action jump off the page, as hackneyed as the expression is. Really, the only thing I can say against it is the rather small amount of time Lyla (Miguel’s hologram AI companion) got. But it was only the first issue, so that’s not a huge deal. And she did break the fourth wall to give us a recap at the start, so there’s that.
Well, I think that”s all I have to say this time. This has been a brief intermission; we’ll return with another Green Day review soon!!