WRITER Peter David
ART Will Sliney
COLOR Antonio Fabela
LETTERER VC’s Joe Caramagna
EDITOR Ellie Pyle
SENIOR EDITOR Nick Lowe
Spidey 2099 and the Scorpion duke it out in Trans-Sabal while Tiberius Stone scrambles to stay alive!
SUMMARY: Scorpion, believing Miguel to be the Spider-Man he’s always known and fought against, wastes no time in trying to straight-up murder our hero. Even after Miguel tells him that they’ve been sent by Alchemax and are basically working on the same side. When Scorpion gets the upper hand in the fight Spider-Slayers start to swarm in and quickly prove a threat to everyone in the area, from Spidey 2099 to the civilian populace. With quick thinking, Miguel is able to use his wrist interface & Lyla’s capabilities to holographically change Scorpion’s appearance so that he resembles the Peter Parker Spider-Man, causing the robots to turn on Scorpion.
Elsewhere, the rebel leader Mussaret is crushed to death while attempting to save Tiberius when their headquarters begins to collapse during the Spider/Scorpion battle. Her death seems to spark something in Tiberius and he begins to display something resembling a sense of right and wrong.
Miguel manages to save a kid while the Spider-Slayers overwhelm the Scorpions. Before the robots can kill him, Tiberius shows up and shouts out a phrase to instantly deactivate them: “He was laughter on his lips and a sense that the world was mad.”
After the battle is over, Tiberius and Miguel meet up the Trans-Sabal warlord who ordered the Spider-Slayers. During the meeting, Miguel is shocked when Tiberius cancels the warlord’s order for the death machines and announces that his money will be refunded. The two then get into a waiting limo to head to the airport, along with a bruised and unarmored Mac Gargan, who wonders if he hasn’t met Miguel before.
ANALYSIS: Right off the bat this issue jumps headlong into the fray and keeps us there. If you like your Spider-comics packed with action then this one’s definitely for you. The fight between Miguel and Mac Gargan is crazy-fun, with both of them giving as good as they get. Well at least until Miguel turns the tables on the Scorpion and has the Spider-Slayers jump him. These are the moments Spider-fans long for – when ability *and* intelligence come into play in order to bring down a powerful opponent and a risky situation. Artist Will Sliney seems to have had a lot of fun with this fight; it comes through in the work.
We also get a step forward in the characterization of Tiberius Stone, who suddenly starts showing signs that he may be human after all. It’s not an overnight miracle, to be sure, and his transition from being a complete jackass is just starting. Baby steps for now, though Peter David likes to keep us guessing and always throw surprises at us. Given that, expect for Tiberius to ramp up some selfishness again before too long.
With a win over the Scorpion and a small army of Spider-Slayers, and with Alchemax canceling the sale, at the end of the day it’s a win for Miguel. And it’s a win for us, too. This book is flat-out fantastic.
On a side note: if you are wondering about the line Tiberius uses to deactivate the Spider-Slayers then pick up Rafael Sabatini’s novel Scaramouche. You’ll get your answer pretty quickly, though the wording may differ a bit depending on which version you’re looking at. I got a nice charge out of the line since I’ve actually read some of Sabatini’s books, including Captain Blood and The Sea Hawk!
Peter David & Will Sliney are keeping Spider-Man 2099 sailing with a powerful wind behind it. The story ‘s compelling, the art’s great and the fun is non-stop!