Rating: 4/5 – Peter David Back on the Character He Defined 20+ Years Ago.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
In 1992, Marvel Comics launched an all new line of comics that looked at the Marvel Universe in the year 2099. That line originally had four titles that included Doom 2099, Punisher 2099, Ravage 2099 and Spider-Man 2099, which most agreed was the best of the four titles. Originally written by Peter David, Spider-Man 2099 ran for over forty issues telling the story of a possible future where Miguel O’Hara dons a Spider-Man costume that’s much different than the original, and does battle with the huge and all powerful mega-corporations of the time, including the one he worked for, Alchemax. Flash forward twenty years to writer Dan Slott who brings the 2099 Spider-Man back in his Superior Spider-Man run, tying the present day Marvel Universe to the 2099 Universe in today’s continuity. Although Slott brought the character back, the original writer Peter David gets another shot at writing the character he defined in an “all-new” series, and so far it’s like he hasn’t missed a beat.
This second issue is light on action and heavy on dialogue and characterization which allows new readers of the book to get to know Miguel O’Hara, (now going by Michael O’Mara to avoid any future problems with the same person working at Alchemax for over seventy years) and start to become a fan of the character, rather than just the costume. In this issue we see lengthy interactions between him and Alchemax president Liz Allan who may know a bit too much of just who Michael O’Mara is, and another funny yet touching scene between him and a possible future love interest that looks to add an emotional layer to the series. Peter David’s writing on this series has been great so far, balancing both the action and drama seamlessly, and although this issue is heavy on the drama, it moves Michael’s story forward setting up an even more complicated relationship between Michael and Alchemax.
In terms of art, Will Sliney who’s work was seen on Marvel’s Fearless Defenders has a very clean line and can portray the lithe and flexible nature of a character like Spider-Man. Even in an issue like this one where action is at a minimum, he’s able to clearly tell the story with emotion and feeling. It’s great to see him on a book like this as he can clearly capture Spider-Man’s energy and movement, while the supporting cast of characters out of costume look just as good and unique. As time goes by it will be fun to see this artist grow and hopefully he’ll stay on this book for the long term, helping to cement a consistent look and feel for the title.
Spider-Man 2099 is starting off strong and only two issues in, Peter David and Will Sliney are making this book an underrated gem. It’s combining strong writing with exciting art on a character that hasn’t been in the spotlight for over twenty years. It’s exciting to see how the two timelines are intersecting with one another, and you get the sense that this will only get stronger with subsequent issues. Although it helps to have read the previous 2099 series, it’s not necessary as David is filling the supporting cast with fresh characters that allow you to get to know Michael O’Mara along with them. If Spider-Man 2099 continues to be as strong as these first couple of issues, it has a chance to be the best Spider-Man book on the racks.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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