WRITER Peter David
ART Will Sliney
COLOR Frank D’Armata & Andres Mossa (#2) and Rachelle Rosenberg (#3)
LETTERER VC’s Cory Petit
EDITOR Devin Lewis
Miguel tracks down Tempest’s alleged killer, Mac Gargan schemes at Alchemax and not everything is as it seems in Miguel O’Hara’s corner of the Hickmanverse!
Apologies for the lateness on the 2099 reviews, folks. Can’t remember if I mentioned it on the podcast or not but I started a new full time job at the start of November. My free time of course flew out the window and I’m still adjusting. I did cover these on the most recent satellites podcast, but on with the opera!
SUMMARY: Following last month’s shock ending, Miguel wakes up in the hospital, surrounded by doctors, nurses – and the douchey new Tony Stark/Peter Parker hybrid that Marvel is pushing as the original Spider-Man these days. Miguel hears the unthinkable – that Tempest is dead, the victim of an apparent attack, and that two other similar attacks took place elsewhere in the country. Miguel swears he will kill whoever was responsible for killing Tempest and wrecking his new-found happiness in the Hickmanverse.
While Mac Gargan and Ty Stone discuss ideas for genetically modified super prison guard torturers, Miguel has Lyla recreate the scene of the attack – and gets a visual on what appears to be a robot driving the car that drove explosives into the restaurant where he and Tempest had been eating. Miggy returns to work and finds out from Raul that the robot design is similar to the work of ‘Doctor Cronos,’ a robotics engineer who taught Doctor Doom about robotics many years ago. When Miguel gets ready to go get some two-fisted justice, Lyla gives him a lecture on revenge. She goes to far though, and changes her form into Tempest, which does nothing but make Miguel more angry. Miguel then armors up (apparently Spider-heroes must armor up now, because Tony Stark reasons) and heads out to find Cronos to get some answers. And maybe a little payback.
At first, Cronos appears like an affable, polite psychopath – initially trying to kill Spidey 2099 with poison. But then the real crazy starts to come out and the fighting jumps up a few notches. Miguel uses the Spider-Armor Spider-Weapons (because Spider-Heroes apparently need those now) to hold his own against Cronos, and the two go back and forth until finally Miguel is ready to end it and just strangle the evil doctor with a webline for Tempest’s death. But Cronos manages to break free and seems to gain a second wind against Miggy.
The fight breaks out of Cronos’s lab and into the street. Miguel sees an opportunity to divert Cronos by faking his own death, then takes the advantage and once again has the baddie on the ground. As Miggy threatens to kill him, Cronos reveals that he works for a terror group called ‘the Fist’ – then he dies as someone elsewhere cuts a cord. Literally, someone cuts a cord with scissors and Cronos croaks.
After the fight, Miguel tries to debrief his boss Tony Stark… err, Peter… about what went down. Eventually he gets tired of talking about it and just shuts the conversation off. Elsewhere, we find out that Tempest is still very much alive in the hospital and being hidden by her very over-protective mother.
ANALYSIS: Solid issues. #2 was a big set-up but we did get a lot of proper angst and resolve from Miguel after Tempest’s “death.” Once again Peter David reminds us of the differences between Miguel and Peter. Peter may get mad enough to threaten to kill someone, but Miguel’s fine with actually doing it if the situation calls for it. Everything about Miguel here in #2 and #3 is on point, and it’s great following his reactions to everything going on around him.
The fight scene in #3 is very entertaining, and Will Sliney does a great job with the battle sequences. Sliney’s art… the angles, the close-ups… a lot of it really seems to reflect what’s going on inside Miguel at the time, and it’s very strong work.
I do have some small gripes though. Why do we have to see Peter in this book? The current Peter is so unfamiliar now… can we just ‘Hold the Peter, Please?’ when it comes to 2099? I really don’t need to see him in here, reminding us of how off the rails Amazing Spider-Man currently is. Also, what’s going on with Liz? Liz’s new level of smart-crazy was one of the strengths of the previous volume of 2099. We need more Liz. Take out Peter, give us Liz.
Another gripe, and I don’t blame Peter David for this so much as editorial. Marvel, please. We beg you. Stop forcing Spider-Armor on us. It’s Spider-Man, not Iron Man. We get it, Alonso. You have an armor fetish. But Spider-fans know full well that Spider-heroes are capable of delivering a beating without having to do Iron Man cosplay. So please, throw away the tin cans and just give us Miggy in a suit.
REVIEW: (#2) B (#3) B+
Solid set-up issue with a nice range of emotion followed by a great fight. 2099 continues to be the best Spider-Man book out on the stands.