“Where the shock am I?”
When Dr. Cronos’s body gets stolen, Spidey tracks it down to The Fist’s base in Colorado, only to be transported back to the future! Is it the right future, though?
WRITER: Peter David
ARTIST: Will Sliney
COLOR ARTIST: Rachelle Rosenberg
LETTERER: VC’s Cory Petit
COVER ARTIST: Francesco Mattina
EDITORS: Devin Lewis & Charles Beacham
STORY: After the revelations from last issue, Spidey leaves Mrs. Monroe alone, provided she doesn’t kill anyone else. He heads back to Parker Industries when he learns that the body of Dr. Cronos has been stolen. After visiting the still comatose Tempest, Miguel tracks The Fist down to a secret underground lair in Denver. After sneaking inside in camo mode, he discovers that Glorianna has been recruited. Qweeg, now wanting to go by “Venture”, sees through Spidey’s camouflage and attacks. With Glorianna’s assistance, Spidey gets sent back to 2099 through an experimental portal, only to find it is not a 2099 he is familiar with. On top of that, he is immediately ambushed by Venom 2099 and Dr. Octopus 2099!
THOUGHTS: Peter David has hit his stride with this series and opens the issue strong, with a discombobulated Miguel wondering where the shock he is. Almost immediately, Sliney hits the reader with a splash page showing the now more hellish 2099. As Miguel puts it, “like science checked out and magic took over”. The new landscape is more desolate with nary a flying car in sight.
Before the reader can adjust, David winds the clock back 36 hours to the tail end of Miguel’s confrontation with Mrs. Monroe. With her confession, a lot of the steam went out of the purpose of Miggy’s visit, so he leaves, prompted by an alert from Lyla regarding Dr. Cronos’s body being moved. The scene ends with Mrs. Monroe looking abandoned in her deserted living room. It’s a far cry from how she was first portrayed. One can’t help but feel sympathetic for her now. I got a chuckle from Spidey’s line about the Commissioner shining the Spider-Signal!
Back at PI, Miguel is following the tracker on Cronos when Raul comes in with some conference reading material. Miguel gets easily agitated and snaps at him before apologizing. David ends the scene on a light note, with Raul incorrectly thinking they were going to hug, but Miguel leaving him hanging. Sliney does a great job interpreting the comedy timing inherent in David’s scripts and breaks down the “hug dis” over three widescreen panels. These two continue to work well together.
After a brief interlude visiting Tempest where Miguel asks her doctor for a full exam, looking for any evidence of powers, Spidey “flies” off to Colorado on the trail of the stolen body. This jet boot glide mode still feels more Batman Beyond to me than Spidey, even if there are spiders who can glide through the air, but this ability looks here to stay for as long as Miguel has this costume. Does Peter’s have this function, too?
Once inside the secret underground lair of The Fist, Miguel spots Aisa, “Qweeg”, Glorianna, and various mad scientist types working on some device. Qweeg wants to go by the name Spidey gave him, Venture, and is starting to look closer to his first appearance back in volume 1! Glorianna is there to use her Inhuman powers in an attempt to return Venture to his proper time and then back to the present. Switches are about to be flipped when Venture spots Spidey’s heat signature. A quick fight ensues, with Sliney’s fluid art having objects break out of the panels for emphasis when need be. I love how he depicts the portal enveloping Spidey, too, and the menacing look Aisa has when the test is rendered a success.
Jumping back to the opening scene, Spidey is caught off guard from a punch delivered by none other than his older half-brother, Kron Stone! Venom 2099 looks as menacing as ever under Sliney’s pencil, with a tongue length that would put the rendition of Erik Larsen’s Venom to shame! I’ve always found the bony tendrils the white spider emblem has to be off-putting and that effect continues in Sliney’s depiction. He really sells the creepy in the splash page he devotes to the character.
Joining Venom 2099 is apparently a very tentacled Dr. Octopus 2099. His extra appendages look very organic, unlike the metallic arms of Otto Octavius. If I’m not mistaken, this is the first appearance of this version with the only other Ock 2099 that I am aware of residing in the game Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. He definitely has a more oceanic look to him and I can’t wait to see more next issue!
Seeing Spidey back in a version of his home time made me very happy, especially with the return of some classic 2099 faces. The big tease at the end featuring Green Goblin 2099 and touting the Sinister Six have me eagerly anticipating the next issue. Colors by Rosenberg were rich and brought shading to Sliney’s always capable pencils. David peppered in his trademark humor and got Spidey back to the time he needs to be, now he just has to straighten it out! These last two issues have been stellar and it was wonderful to have the solo spider spotlight on Miguel, instead of the guest appearance of the month. I’m hoping this story will be one of the highlights of David’s run!
MY GRADE: A
JAVI’S HUH?: Are the statues on either side of the Alchemax gates supposed to be representative of Captain America 2099? They look to be cowled…