The Superior Spider-Man #17 Review (Guest Starring…Miguel O’Hara-SPIDER-MAN 2099!)


2099  CHAOS FROM THE FUTURE! Spider-Man 2099 must travel back to the distant past of 2013 to stop Otto Octavius a.k.a. Spider-Man from destroying his own grandfather! All this, plus…LIZ ALLAN!

liz-allan-in-asm13

Written by Dan Slott

Illustrated by Ryan Stegman

Colored by Edgar Delgado

Inked by Livesay

Lettered by VC’s Chris Eliopoulos

THE PLOT: In the year 2099, the time stream is being messed with due to an anomaly that happens in the past. Tyler Stone begins to fade out of existence, prompting Spider-Man to travel back into the Heroic Age to ensure both his and his grandfather’s existence.

LONG STORY SHORT: Because of Max Modell’s propensity for super science hijinks, he’s arrested and sent away, leaving Horizon Labs vulnerable for a hostile takeover which instantly happens. Liz Allan and her cronies show up to inform the remaining scientists that her company “Allan Chemical” now owns Horizon, and Tiberius Stone is now their senior supervisor. Peterpus refuses to let this stand, so he attacks Tiberius Stone as Spider-Man. However Miguel arrives thanks to the use of Grady’s time portal and engages in a battle with Ock to save Stone, revealing that he’s Miguel’s grandfather.

MY THOUGHTS: So here we are, the long awaited and much hyped return of Spider-Man 2099! How does Slott handle the character in this Superior era?

Pretty well actually. Nothing to complain about in that department.

I’m going to be honest, I’m not the big Spider-Man 2099 fan as the majority of the people who’ve read the series seem to routinely be. Not saying that it’s not good, but having bought the recently released trade collecting the first 8 issues, I wasn’t left clamoring for more. It’s okay. The world is interesting and the character of Miguel is fairly original.

But it was REALLY 90s.

I’m not holding that against the series, but I can’t say that it was a timelessly written title. The slang for one thing is something that Slott completely nails in this issue, because the swear word “Shock!” is uttered again and again, just like in Peter David’s book. To me 2099 was one of those futuristic takes that insisted upon hitting you in the face with how futuristic it was. Again I’ve nothing at all against the series, but I’d be lying if I said it’s my favorite alternate version of Spidey.

But let’s not get off topic. In this issue, Slott uses Miguel well. I can’t imagine he’s not a fan of the character since he incorporated him in the Shattered Dimensions video game. The first solid third of the book shows him and his world and quickly gets the plot into the picture prompting him to come back in time. While I have read some of Miguel’s title, I didn’t know that Tyler Stone turned out to be his grandfather. Luckily they establish that fact immediately so you can understand the need for Miguel to preserve his existence. Ultimately the world of 2099 is so bombastic that Slott’s style of writing fits perfectly for it. He could not have done a better job of bringing the character into the story.

17igzkj Now concerning the main plot taking place in present time, the plot of Max being arrested and Horizon being seized by Allan Chemical is an intriguing one to say the least. Slott brings forth the logic in having Max lead away in cuffs over the crap that he’s allowed to have happen under his watch, and although Ock thinks this is all a set up Max seems completely resigned to his fate. It will probably be revealed that Stone had something to do with it, but I’ve no problem with the idea that Max Modell by all rights should be punished for what he’s condoned from his workers in the past year or so. I like the character and everything, but…come on. The Morbius/Lizard story was more than enough to get this guy away from science as fast as possible.

According to Chris’ review, Tiberius Stone is actually a character originating from the pages of Iron Man. With the fact that he’s related to Spider-Man of 2099 compounded with revelation that he’s now working with Liz Allan of all people, this character has become increasingly notable in the past few issues. He’s still nothing more than a slime ball just waiting to get punched in the face, but he’s working a lot of angles to get things moving, which keeps the story less predictable. I would have been interested to see Peter take him on, because the guy’s only going to die at Otto’s hands sooner or later.

Okay, so Liz Allan. On the one hand, I really enjoy seeing her again as she’s a Ditko-era character who goes for years and years without appearing every now and then. She was gone for nearly ten years after she and Peter graduated high school, dipped in and out of circulation once she married Harry, and was all but completely absent in the 2000s (Save for some Paul Jenkins issues and Back in Black). I really like Liz as a character, and bringing her back for any reason has me interested (especially with a Goblin subplot brewing in the background).

The thing I didn’t like, and this very well might come down to Stegman’s art, is how mustache-twirlingly evil Liz and her entourage all come off in the takeover of Horizon. Company takeovers don’t have to be malicious, and the reason it’s happening is because Max Modell was doing illegal things. Nevertheless, because change is happening Liz is being painted (so to speak) as the bad guy and everyone she rolls with comes with incredibly haughty, snobby looks on their faces. It struck me as being desperate in the story needing some sort of villain for Ock to interact with, when Liz isn’t doing anything wrong. Her dialogue is barely registering tolerance for Peterpus’ “You shall rue this day.” (again, does Liz think Peter talks like that?) as tho the two aren’t friends who go way back. She’s one of Peter’s oldest friends going back to the beginning of the character’s history. I would have liked it if she told Peter they could catch up later in the day to discuss it further, but because she’s Ms. Business she has to come off cold and detached.

I really did not care for that. It’s one of those things where the response the issue is trying to achieve is “Hey, it’s Liz! But UH OH she’s absorbed Horizon and is looking to screw things up for our hero!” where my response is “Wait, why is Liz acting like this?” The last time she appeared she was thrown into the baby-mama stereotype to give drama towards Harry Osborn, which I utterly loathed. I like the return of the corporate Liz,  but this lends itself to a lame stereotype that serves the plot over the character. And since when did Liz own a company called “Allan Chemical” in the first place? Spiderfan.org says that she regained control of Oscorp and renamed it Allan Chemical, but when was this? Wouldn’t Harry have something to do with that? It’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but Slott’s relying too much on contrivances for his plot.

222tyg1Other than how Liz was portrayed, this was a decent issue. It serves as little more than setting up the next arc, but it does that well in providing interest in it and Spider-Man 2099 again. I don’t think for a moment that Miguel will learn or even suspect of what/who Superior Spidey really is because no one can, but nevertheless it’s fun to see him come back and to have another ally of Peter fight SpOcktopus. More than anything, this issue provided a lot of interest into what’s coming next.

B

 

 

 

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(14) Comments

  1. Jack Brooks

    What do you figure Modell will come out okay from this story and return as a partner once Stone is gone/fled/arrested, hence the whole place will become Alchemax?

  2. Sbee

    Is there any slim chance we can have 2099 as our superior spider-man after this arc? Honestly I'll take Liz dressed as spidey at this point bitchy attitude and all.

  3. Aziz

    At least Slott kept the trend of 'Shock' for 'Fuck' :p I don't remember if he made him say it in Shattered Dimensions Product of the 90s, but Spider-Man 2099 is still good fun Though, to be honest, I prefer the other brother, Gabriel, turning him to the Goblin of the future was a despicable move

  4. B-Mask

    Liz was a bitch right up until she grew into a mature and rather frightened woman. She organised a get together during Marvel Knights and had a chat with Peter about old times, laughing about their past. She was incredibly fearful for the goblins potential reclaiming of normie and had a relationship with Foggy Nelson for a time. Also, civil war is negated when you consider BND, so Liz still doesn't know Peter was spiderman. The spiderman vs spiderman premise is great fun and handled well, but the Liz Allan characterisation is very contrived. As with most of Slotts initial characterisations, as I guess he feels that's the only way he can start fresh and tell the stories he wants to tell. Other writers have done similar things of course- that one guy who wrote Feral and the resurrection of Nicolas Scratch (if they were the same guy) was much worse than Slott. And he loved his elipses :v

  5. Extreme Spider

    To be fair to Slott, Liz was kind of bitch since the Lee/Ditko days. She was a bitch to Flash back then. She was a bitch to Peter when MJ died by claiming that all deaths were his faults. And then again when she found out Peter's ID during Civil War.

  6. J

    Is it just me or is Tiberius Stone starting to remind anyone else of Donald Menken? And I applaud Slott for setting up a legitimate conflict between Superior and 2099. It's not like their impending fight is due to some arbitrary pissing contest, or mind control (e.g. Green Goblin and Ock's "fight" in Marvel Knights #12), or anything like that. These two have conflicting interests concerning Stone's health and existence, and such conflict usually leads to the best match-ups.

  7. hornacek

    "Ultimately the world of 2099 is so bombastic that Slott’s style of writing fits perfectly for it." I believe that is the textbook definition of a back-handed compliment. "And since when did Liz own a company called 'Allan Chemical' in the first place?" Could this be something that happened in the OMD reboot but we never saw? Like Harry coming back to life or Aunt May forgetting Peter was Spider-Man? Was there any mention about what she was doing for a living in that BND story when Peter and Harry visited her home?

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