Review: Spider-Man 2099 #1

SM20991-1“Okay, Well… Up Yours! And thanks!”

Almost two decades after appearing in his own ongoing Miguel O’Hara slips back into the webs in present day Marvel! But will a time travel oversight agency bring an end to his new beginning?

WRITER Peter David
ART Will Sliney
COLOR Antonio Fabela
LETTERER VC’s Joe Caramagna
EDITOR Ellie Pyle

Peter David back on a Spider-Title? It’s like Christmas in July. There are few writers and editors working for Marvel these days that actually *get* the Marvel stable of characters. Most who did have long since moved on. What’s left is an ever-increasing number of writers and editors who’d rather shoe-horn their own view or take onto decades-old, established characters. It’s usually jarring. Thankfully Peter David’s still working with Marvel and now Spider-Fans get to reap the benefits.

At my age (I just turned 42 last week) I don’t like to think about how long it’s been since Peter David wrote the first Spider-Man 2099 title. But just for giggles I’ll tell you I was a 20 year old college man when the character first appeared. Peter David & Rick Leonardi’s Spider-Man 2099 was amazing fun back in those days, even if I felt the rest of the 2099 line wasn’t nearly as strong. Spider-Mantle titles that are consistently good always wind up becoming fan favorites. ‘Mayday’ Parker, for example, is still very popular today despite Marvel’s clear dislike for the Parker baby. The same popularity applies Spider-Man 2099. Over two decades after his first run, Spider-Fans have still kept a place in their heart for Miguel O’Hara.

So ‘Welcome Back,’ Peter David & Miguel O’Hara!

SM20991-2SUMMARY: Miguel’s displacement in time from 2099 to the present has caught the attention of T.O.T.E.M. (Temporal Oversight Team Eliminating Mistakes) and they have dispatched an agent to deal with the threat via elimination. The T.O.T.E.M. ‘Adjustor’ dispenses varying degrees violence (depending in their importance to the future) to anyone that causes even a slight delay in his mission. While Miguel O’Hara (now using the pseudonym Miguel O’Mara) finds a new place to call home while in our timeline, the Adjustor makes his way to Alchemax, culminating in a surprise proposition and a big brawl in Liz Allan’s office. After the fight, Liz starts putting two and two together to come to some potentially dangerous conclusions.

ANALYSIS: Miguel is a very different breed of animal than our beloved Peter Parker. Whereas Peter would feel guilty using knowledge from the future for personal gain, Miguel O’Hara has no such misgivings. The revelation that his holographic personal assistant, Lyla, provided him with a winning lottery number was a neat twist. The situation could not be more perilous for Miguel right now. He’s out of his timeline and thrust into events that could dramatically alter his own future. Survival is key for Miguel. Finding a way to provide himself a comfortable resource cushion via the lottery makes sense for the character given his current situation.

I want to also mention that I am thrilled beyond words that Lyla is going to be around. Peter David really did some interesting work with her in the original title, and despite being a hologram she is a supporting character with many layers. In the past, she’s even fallen in love with Miguel. Here, she provides him with information from the future to help him navigate the past, i.e. our present. She also maintains his holographic clothing over his Spider-Man costume. I can’t describe how giddy I am to know that she’s along for the ride in this book!

We’re introduced to what might be a potential love interest for Miguel, who winds up being a woman he previously saved from muggers and the superintendent in Miguel’s new apartment building. The purple-haired gal with a grudge on her shoulder is named Tempest, and knowing Peter David it’s a mistake to just assume she’s the new romantic foil. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if he falls for her (he’s clearly attracted to her) but in a ‘Back to the Future’ type twist she winds up actually being his grandmother.

ISM20991-3t’s easy to feel bad for Miguel’s current situation. Not only is he a fish out of water here but he also has to keep a watchful eye on his own grandfather, Tiberius Stone, who is prone to all manner of douchery. When the Adjustor hits Alchemax, Stone flees for his panic room and leaves Miguel to fend for himself. So Miguel must fight for his life as well as find a way to protect (and presumably stop) his own grandfather. Christmas must be a real drag for these folks! I really like that aspect of Miguel’s current situation.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what Peter David does with Liz Allan in this book. For the last several years Marvel’s been incapable of finding anything good to do with Liz. When they decided to magically bring Harry Osborn back from the dead, they nixed Liz and Harry’s marriage in favor of pairing Harry up with the laughably bad Menace. Despite this, Liz still hasn’t been able to escape being lumped in with Goblin-stuff. Hopefully editorial will sit back and just let Peter David guide Liz into something much more interesting. In this first title she shows shades, just shades, of moving towards something akin to Lex Luthor. Not in a villain-sense, but in more of a driven business type who starts to care less about morals and more about bottom lines and manipulating things in her favor. At the same time she’s still very human and is clearly horrified when she thinks Spider-Man 2099 seriously accepts the Adjustor’s idea of letting him kill Liz to let him live.

The introduction here of yet another time travel police group makes me wonder if much is meant to be done with T.O.T.E.M. later on. Given the redundancy (Marvel already has a Time Variance Authority) and the tongue-in-cheek manner in which the Adjustor is presented at times makes me think they won’t be a recurring roadblock for Miguel in the book. Then again, maybe so! We’ll see.

Will Sliney’s art on the book is strong. He shows a terrific understanding of how a Spider-Hero should move and fight. Sliney also does great work with faces and conveying emotion. He’s a worthy successor to Rick Leonardi’s work for this character, though I will always wish we could’ve had Leonardi come back as well. That’s not taking anything away from Sliney’s great work so much as just me being a nostalgic Spider-Man 2099 fanboy. Heh.


Sometimes old standards are revisited with a thud. Here, it’s with a colossal, confident “AWW HELL YEAH, BABY!” As a Spider-Fan, I couldn’t be happier. Peter David’s back with Miguel, Lyla’s back, Liz is interesting… this book has some great potential!

I want to wrap up again with stating my appreciation of Peter David’s writing style. Unlike many others he doesn’t force things or try to inject humor where it shouldn’t be. Many of Marvel’s current writers tend to wedge humor in with the finesse of a claw hammer to the base of the skull. Peter David’s work is always far better and much stronger. When opportunities for humor arise, he knows when and where to present them. He’s not someone who goes for the low hanging fruit. No Spider-Man-In-A-Diaper here, True Believers! ‘Nuff Said!

–George Berryman!

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(16) Comments

  1. RedHunter

    #15 you should have read scarlet spider, that was a great series for the short time it lasted. I really enjoyed this, it was everything that I could have hoped for and more. I enjoyed that the "bad guy" was just someone doing his job, and I loved the sense of humor that flowed throughout the story. Count me in as a reader, I already put it on my list.

  2. PeterParkerfan

    Ever since this Spider-Man 2009 title was announced, I was excited to read it. I was expecting an interesting story in the first issue, and my expectation proved to be true. The first issue was even better than I thought it would be! The writing, the artwork.... everything was great! It's been a long time since I enjoyed a non-Peter Spider-Man title. I'll be looking forward to the next issue.

  3. Cheesedique

    @13--FNSM wasn't too bad but it doesn't represent PAD's best work on Peter Parker. It was a title that was mostly saddled with crossovers it's whole existence. I don't see PAD ever getting to write Amazing long term, but one could hope. Also, I still haven't read this new issue, but I doubt that he's writing Miguel as a Peter Parker type in this series, even if it's set in the modern Marvel U. He wrote Miggy as very distinct from Parker on the old 2099 series.

  4. Scarlet Spider

    @11 - The last time PAD wrote Peter was in Friendly Neighbourhood right? That series was so great, it's such a shame that OMD put some of it out of continuity. I'd love to see him come on to Amazing, but I don't see it happening. But it's cool that due to 2099's current premise, PAD is technically writing a 616 Spider-Man.

  5. Adam S.

    I liked this. The writing was solid, but I'm mixed on the art. Some of the faces look weird and some of the action looks kind of stiff, but it could be a lot worse. It's a really good first issue though and it's nice to see Miguel in the costume for half of it.

  6. Cheesedique

    @10 -- "As far as I’m concerned this is now the main Spider title" - on that note, I was thinking how great it would be to have PAD write Peter Parker again in the 616, but I realized that character doesn't particularly exist anymore, at least not as PAD wrote him. I didn't really think about it at the time when PAD commented that Brand New Day was more like "Anything Can Happen Day", but thinking about that in terms of a continuity-respecting writer like him who also builds on the foundation of continuity, it makes perfect since now. Anyway, I am looking forward to reading this series.

  7. Scarlet Spider

    This issue was fantastic, book of the month for me. Miguel has once again become my favourite Spider-Man. As far as I'm concerned this is now the main Spider title. Can't wait to see how that cliffhanger develops.

  8. Sbee

    I'm too excited for words for this book. Hell I still have the #1 issue back when the amazing Peter David created this character and now I have this #1 as well yyyyaaaaaayyyyyy.

  9. AmFan15

    @#7 - Yep, there sure was! I caught that too.

  10. Yasman02

    Would anyone find it ironic if Liz did manage to get Miguel working for her? Technically that would mean he'd be working for Alchemax (like the company originally wanted in 2099). I also couldn't help but notice the year the TOTEM agent said he was from - 2211. Wasn't there a Spider-Man from 2211 in Spider-Man meets Spider-Man 2099?

  11. Anonymous Jones

    Absolutely shocking awesome 1st issue by David. I'm really looking forward to the stuff David's got in store for us. Really looking forward to Miguel's possible interactions with other heroes like the Avengers, X-Men, and Fantastic Four. If Liz somehow gets Miguel as the in-house super hero I'm going to predict a cross-over with All-New X-Factor, David's other book.

  12. cubman987

    Great review, completely agree. I'm so happy Peter David is writing this, even though it takes place in the present, it really reminded me of the original series, even after all this time it's like David never stopped writing this character. Just about every review I've seen has been very positive, hopefully the sales are good so we can have this series around for a while.

  13. AmFan15

    My local comic shop (which is about a 20 minute drive) got shorted on this issue...but I was so excited to see Peter David writing Miguel again, that I drove clear across town in the other direction (an extra 30 minutes) to get it. I haven't been this excited about a comic in years! Like you George, I was thrilled to see Lyla in the book. She was easily one of my favorite characters from the original series, and I'm glad to see her back. (Knowing her knack for taking Miggy's requests a little too seriously though, I thought for sure when he said "No tux! Nothing!", that she would leave him to fight in his birthday suit). I'm also interested in Liz Allen's role in the story. I'm surprised that she is coming so close to the truth so quickly...but then again, it's too early to say what will happen. Congratulations, got me. I'm definitely onboard for this series.

  14. ryan3178

    This issue was like welcoming an old friend home. Love the twists and showing just how different Miguel is from Peter. I'll have my review up for it next week. Going out of town tomorrow.

  15. Big John

    Awesome! I can't wait to read this. I usually shy away from collecting alternate Spidey stories, but since this takes place in the main Marvel U I'm so down. Heard great things about Miggy in the 90s!!

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