WRITER Peter David
ART Will Sliney
COLOR Antonio Fabela
LETTERER VC’s Joe Caramagna
EDITOR Ellie Pyle
The Spider-Verse continues to intrude into Spider-Man 2099! But what does it mean for our hero, his allies and the 2099 timeline?
Before we start, let me bore you with a brief apology for once again being late with the review for #6. If you listen to the podcasts you know that back in December (and maybe late November) I was having issues with my PC. I’d thought I had used enough blunt tech force to overcome the issue and it worked again for awhile. But then sadly the same issues started cropping back up. I wound up having to replace my hard drive and the original reviews for Superior Foes #17 and Spider-Man 2099 #6 were casualties of war that hadn’t been backed up yet onto my external drive. Then in my haste to get the Superior #17 review up (which I had to rewrite from scratch) I overlooked the review for Spider-Man 2099 #6. Past that I ran into family obligations that kept me busy (for the most part – I mean I found time to eat & sleep) and delayed my ability to get around to the review for #7. Truth be told, I don’t get out to the LCS every Wednesday. I tend to go every two or three weeks nowadays and pick up a stack of things as my pull list these days is very small. And now, on with the opera!
SUMMARY: #6 kicks off with Miggy, the Steampunky Lady Spider and the Six-Armed Spider-Man (who I refer to as Six-Armed Pete in the most recent satellite podcast) head into Miggy’s hometown-timeline, 2099 and they’ve got Daemos’s dead body with them! Well one of them, anyway. It turns out that the Spider-Verse baddies also clone themselves. Surprise! Everything old is new again!
Our heroes stop by Gabe’s place to get their bearings and figure out their next move. For those of you who may not be familiar with the Spider-Man 2099 stories, Gabe is Spider-Man 2099’s brother. While the three heroes startegize, and while Gabe makes it quite clear that he thinks Lady Spider is the bee’s knees, Daemos (or another clone, because who the Hell can tell anymore) crashes the party. Six-Armed Pete sacrifices himself to buy Miggy and Lady Spider time to get to Alchemax but Daemos turns his attention to Lady Spidey first. After Daemos gets creepy & handsy with Lady Spider, Gabe shoots him with a massive gun and knocks him out of his skyscraper apartment. Effective, but good luck explaining that one to the landlord!
The fight spills into the streets. Daemos is swarmed by the 2099 cops but he manages to kick one off his sky cycle and steals it. Miggy uses that time to contact Tyler Stone and arrange for a surprise for Daemos back at Alchemax. He and Lady Spider than engage Daemos and lure the crossover villain to the Alchemax trap, fighting him along the way. Eventually Daemos is trapped in the same stasis cell used to fight Venom 2099 many moons ago.
#7 starts there, and while Daemos (or Clone Daemos, or whatever) is trapped in the stasis cell, Miggy and Lady Spider go to work on examining the dead Daemos they brought to 2099. While they examine the body, Daemos taunts them from the cell via the security monitor. As the two heroes work, Miggy hands Lady Spidey the portal device he acquired from the body of the Earth-6375 Miguel back in issue #5. Miggy figures with her tech knowledge she may be able to figure it out, and he’s right. The imprisoned Daemos starts to get concerned that he just might be stuck in his cell and begins to bargain for his release with a promise to let Miguel and Lady Spidey live. Miguel and Lady Spider, however, both know better.
With Lady Spider figuring out the portal, and with Daemos becoming more desperate, Miggy heads off on a personal side mission. He finds a doctor in one of Alchemax’s labs and discusses disease with him. The doctor states that the disease Miguel inquires about was cured “in the 2040’s” and it’s just a matter of a single shot dose. Miguel asks him to prepare one for him. Of course this has everything to do with Tempest, the purple-haired superintendent that Miggy’s interested in back in 616, and the leukemia that’s fighting.
Daemos begins throwing all of his power against his prison, threatening our heroes and telling them that even if he dies another will show up to continue the fight. Just when Miggy thinks Daemos has broken through the stasis cell, Daemos keels over, quite dead. And true to his word another Daemos clone is already making his way towards Alchemax on a 2099 sky cycle. Miggy calls in a favor from an old friend and Punisher 2099 engages Daemos from a nearby rooftop. Shots are fired, Daemos’s cranium takes a few blows from a titanium baseball bat and then falls several stories when Punisher 2099 super heats the ground below him.
This diversion allows Miggy and Lady Spidey enough time to use the portal and hop back to the Spider ‘Safe Zone,’ where they find the Captain Universe Spidey, Dino-Spidey and other Spideys very, very dead.
ANALYSIS: While the Six-Armed Spider-Man story is not remembered very fondly by Spider-Fans I couldn’t help but feel sad for him. It’s one thing to be a much-maligned Spider-variant; it’s quite another to be consumed like a fruit pie by a throwaway villain during a bloated crossover. Still though, Peter David manages to send him out like a champ, not a chump.
One of Peter David’s strengths (it’s hard to pick just one, isn’t it?) is genuine character interaction. When he’s writing, everything is believable. Everything makes sense. Character actions and reactions are fluid, natural and all-to-human. We get a lot of that here, from Six-Armed Pete’s sacrifice, to Gabe’s obvious attraction to Lady Spider, to Ty Stone seeing the big picture on what’s actually going on – as well as the dangers and possibilities. In these two issues Lady Spidey really shines and I found myself liking her a lot.
David also finds a way to get forward momentum with some of the main story from before the obligatory crossover. I look forward to seeing what becomes of the ‘cure’ and Tempest’s reaction to it.
Imagine that! I just mentioned something I’m looking forward to. This is the only Marvel book that makes me say that now. Oh, how I miss you Superior Foes!
Will Sliney’s art on this title continues to be strong. The fight between Punisher 2099 and Daemos was extraordinarily fun! I found myself identifying with it too much, with Punisher 2099 symbolizing my frustration with the crossover event du jour and Daemos representing the Spider-Verse event itself. *ahem*
REVIEW FOR BOTH: B+
On the Satellite podcast I previously gave these a B- and a B, respectively (that one hasn’t been posted yet). After reading them both a second time and enjoying the Lady Spider stuff even more the second time around, I am bumping the review to a B+ for both. I kinda wish Peter David could write another title for Lady Spider now. She’s exponentially more unique, original and interesting than Silk. Still, the stories are saddled with the nonsensical Spider-Verse event, and that does keep them in the ‘B’ range. Again – Peter David is doing the best with the hand that’s been dealt to him.
Though these are part of yet another bloated event, Peter David manages to make the most of what he’s given. Even more importantly Miggy is still the main character of his own book and takes a back seat to no one. The same cannot be said of Amazing Spider-Man going on for two years straight now.