Review: Spider-Man 2099 #4


2099-1“You? And me? On the same side? Screw that!”

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.”

2099-2After 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!

REVIEW: A+

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!

–George Berryman!

(4) Comments

  1. Frontier

    Feels a little redundant to say at this point but 2099's been pretty awesome so far and I hope the book gets to stay around for a long-time. Especially once we're out of Spider-Verse since PAD seems to be really hitting it out of the park with this series and deserves more time to develop the and play around with Miguel and his story after likely being forced to tie-in to an event. I'd hate for 2099 to end up like X-Factor, though I'm getting the sense that with Miguel showing up in the finals issue for that series that PAD might try and resolve some of his plot threads from there in 2099. Be interesting to see at least. It is a little sad that we're not getting stories this good in Amazing, and that 2099 is in general just a better Spider-Man book in comparison, but I guess that's what you expect when you compare the work of a veteran like Peter David to Dan Slott. Not that I don't believe the latter does good work, but still. PAD just really knows how to tell great Spider-Man stories, and it's a shame that a book like Amazing would probably be too mainstream for him to take up. One interesting thing was that Gargan isn't stuck in his new Scorpion suit. I'm not sure if that was the case with his last one, even after SpOck gave him that thrashing, but now he evidently no longer has that issue. I wonder if we'll be seeing Miguel tangling with more Alchemax sponsored Supervillains after the book leaves Spider-Verse?

  2. Alex H

    Completeley agree with your review, 2099 has been awesome so far. Peter David is so good at creating these stories and characters that you care about. The best spidey comic around at the moment.

  3. Javi Trujillo

    Agreed. This is a pretty strong book, month in and month out. I liked how Sliney depicted the Scorpion's actual hands inside the pincers. It's a cool concept/visual.

  4. Evan

    Wonderful review. I love Will Sliney's art, and I love Rafael Sabatini. Incidentally, fans of his writing might also like Samuel Shellabarger. It's amazing to me (no pun intended) how the ancillary titles are so much better than the flagship title. I'd love to see what Miguel does during Spider-verse, though I would dread to see what would become of him if Dan Slott wrote the character.

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