“Dude, I’ve lost count of the number of dead people I’ve known who came back.”
Miguel finds out reports of Tempest’s death were greatly exaggerated. He’s not happy.
WRITER: Peter David
ARTIST: Will Sliney
COLOR ARTIST: Rachelle Rosenberg
LETTERER: VC’s Cory Petit
COVER ARTIST: Francesco Mattina
THE STORY THUS FAR COVER: Rick Leonardi
EDITOR: Devin Lewis
STORY: Jasmine takes a stroll in the hospital and finds an unconscious, but not dead, Tempest in a room, being guarded by her mother. As Jasmine calls Miguel, Tempest’s mom calls for an enforcer to stand watch. By the time Miguel arrives, Man Mountain Marko is guarding the room and a confrontation ensues. Switching to his Spidey togs, and with the help of Peter, Miguel absconds with his love, pledging to have a chat with her mother next.
THOUGHTS: Well, I’m finally all caught up on this series! It still feels a little out of sequence in my mind, so I may start over from the very beginning of the last volume to see how it fits together. It’s good to have David back on any Spidey title.
David has always been a master of mixing comedy and drama and this current issue further showcases how he excels at comedic timing. There’s two instances this issue where he and artist Sliney use the sequential art to a lighthearted effect.
The police precinct scene is another great example of David’s sense of humor as Spidey drops down on a hostage taking gunman and surprises him. Miguel then has an introspective moment, pondering his version of the Parker Luck and the possibility of being a mutant with the power of creating chaos wherever he goes. He then recalls that Lois Lane was just fine in the first THOR movie until the title character showed up. It was a funny nod, especially given that original 2099 artist, Rick Leonardi, did a “The Story So Far” variant cover that depicted Miguel in a very Superman-esque pose, with glasses being doffed and shirt ripped open!
Miguel’s visit to the police station was to bail out Raul. As they head back to the car, Miguel gets the news about Tempest and Sliney pushes the camera in with every panel, heightening the tension. Miguel gets so agitated and his fangs pop. It’s not without notice and you can bet David will have to address this soon.
Sliney gives classic Spidey villain Man Mountain Marko a suitable entrance. He towers over Miguel as he guards Tempest’s door. As he swats Miggy away, Sliney’s art seemingly depicts the spinnerets in Miguel’s palms. I don’t think I’ve seen them shown that way before, if that’s what they are. Marko also has the annoying tendency to talk about himself in the third person at times, but at least it gives Miguel the opportunity to identify him and ask Lyla for more information on his opponent.
Miguel drops the clothing hologram as he enters Tempest’s hospital room and I really like how Sliney depicts the suit in that panel . You can make out both the Death’s Head skull and spider in the chest design depending how you look at it and he looks very menacing, shocking even Marko. As Sliney goes for the close up on the new suit’s narrower eye slits, I believe it when Miguel says he’ll kill Marko if he doesn’t leave.
Now that I’m all caught up on this series, I am starting to like the new costume more, but I still miss the old one a lot. I’m curious how other artists would depict it. Mattina hits it out of the park with every cover he does, but I purchased the Leonardi variant this time and the mask doesn’t quite work for me. It doesn’t capture the “spider eyes” look that the old mask does. Outside of that quibble, I really love Leonardi’s art and am glad he’s at least continued to work on a character that he’s been so entwined with.
As they fight, Marko figures out this isn’t the Spidey he first tussled with all the way back in Amazing Spider-Man #73. A big giveaway is the anger Miguel is displaying in the fight. His Spider-Man has always been more dangerous and when Miggy slashes out, it took me all the way back to the first Spider-Man 2099 #5 when he slit the Specialist’s throat. It shocked me then, but that has lessened over the last 20 years and I don’t think Sliney captured the same viciousness that Leonardi penciled in that old issue.
Marko’s realization does make me question again how everyone sees all these Spideys running around New York and what nomenclature they use for Miguel. As Bendis revealed in Spider-Man #2, there is already a video blogger calling Miles the brown Spider-Man. Would she address Miguel as the skull Spider-Man? Talon-fingered Spider-Man?
Peter comes to Miguel’s aid by the last page, helping to move Tempest to a safer location via helicopter. Despite having the straight web line design of the newest costume, I enjoyed Sliney’s interpretation of the Alex Ross suit, especially without the eye glow. Peter’s line about losing count of all the dead people who’ve come back seems eerily prophetic as we stand on the verge of the Dead No More event. Foreshadowing by Peter David or coincidence?
This was a pretty entertaining issue, but I’m curious as to if or when Miguel will get back to his own time. That sub-plot took a back seat this time out to move some other things forward. David’s banter is as snappy as ever and Sliney’s art continues to be clean and concise, but I’m starting to yearn to get back to the character’s original timeline. I’m not as attached to the P.I. crew as the supporting characters from the first volume and whilst I think David could continue to tell some great stories in our current era, I wouldn’t mind seeing the character romp around in a future tense setting where he is the sole Spidey.
MY GRADE: B+
JAVI’S HUH?: Lois Lane is in a Thor movie?!?!?!?!
I just realized that in her recap page, Lyla says that for years Miguel was the Spider-Man of 2099. So, what year was he the Spider-Man of before he got sent back, cuz it certainly couldn’t have still been 2099!