Spider-Man 2099 #1
Marvel Comics (November, 1992)
I should note that I do have the reprint that came with my Spider-Man 2099 action figure but I’m reviewing the version reprinted in Spider-Man Family. Only one more after this. According to the Grand Comics Database the issue’s title is “Begin the Future History of Spider-Man 2099″ but I don’t see that in this story and I don’t remember a title in the Toy Biz reprint either. Part of it is written on the car with the credits but I’m not convinced that’s supposed to be the title of the story.
WRITER: Peter David
PENCILER: Rick Leonardi
INKER: Al Willamson
COLORIST: Steve Buccellato
LETTERER: Rick Parker
EDITOR: Joey Cavalieri
In the year 2099 scientist Miguel O’Hara works in Alchamex’s genetics lab, working to give a human superhuman abilities to serve as a corporate raider, stealing secrets and stuff. His boss, Ty Stone, wants the results sped up but Miguel is worried that they’re not ready for human testing, as proven when the test subject is mutated and dies. Miguel decides to leave, but Ty doesn’t want to lose his services and drugs the wine with Rapture, a legal drug they control. (Yep, it’s one of those futures.) While this worries his fiance Dana and even his home’s holographic computer Lyla, Miguel decides to go to Alchamex and use the project he was working on to try to cure himself. However, a rival unaware of Miguel’s situation tries to kill him with the machine, but may have created the very Spider-Man-inspired superbeing they wanted…and their own worst enemy.
What they got right: Giving us a few minutes with the new Spider-Man before flashing back to his origin is a good idea since the comic doesn’t have time to give us the hero in action. The idea of recreating Spider-Man in a world where superheroes no longer operate is a good one. And I really like Miguel’s character. No surprise he’s the only 2099 concept to keep popping up with any significance.
What they got wrong: At some point it was decided to make this an alternate universe instead of Marvel’s actual future (for example “Stark/Fujikawa” operating in this period when we know Tony reclaimed his half of the company in later stories) so it’s not really clear if this Tyler Stone is a descendant of Tiberius Stone but it does mean there’s a lot of Iron Man ties to this Spider-Man story, even if some of them come after the fact.
Other notes: This was the launch title for the 2099 line of comics, imagining Blade Runner-type future versions of various Marvel heroes. As mentioned earlier Spider-Man 2099 was the only one with any staying power and he still pops up now and then in the comics and other media. the rest are just trivia and based on what I’ve seen of the other 2099 concepts there’s good reason. Miguel is a good character that works apart from Peter Parker but the rest conceptually feel like the ripoffs this could have felt like except maybe Doom 2099 and even that one fell out of interest. Check out Linkara’s review of other 2099 titles and you’ll see what I mean.