“This time…these things…all of this…it isn’t supposed to exist!”
Spidey 2099 is caught in the clutches of The Sinister Six 2099! ‘Nuff said!
WRITER: Peter David
ARTIST: Will Sliney
COLOR ARTIST: Rachelle Rosenberg
LETTERER: VC’s Cory Petit
COVER ARTIST: Francesco Mattina
EDITOR: Charles Beacham
STORY: Spidey wakes up captured by the Sinister Six of 2099, only for some demonic being to burst in and cause a distraction, allowing Kasey to free him. Kasey takes Miguel back to his brother, Gabriel, revealing that it was he as Firelight who allowed them to get away. Before they can figure out what to do next, Electro deduces that the Green Goblin was aiding Kasey and Spidey and holds the Goblin, the newly revealed Father Jennifer, for ransom.
THOUGHTS: This title has some of the finest covers on the stands! Mattina paints a very menacing future Green Goblin and I love Spidey’s reflection off his (or her) mask! I don’t know how long Mattina takes to produce these images, but I’d love to see him paint a 2099 special some day! It would be breathtaking! The cover font also has a subtle purple shadowing to the title that I didn’t pick up on the first time I glanced at it. Well done!
The issue opens with Spidey waking up and right away the signature Peter David brand of humor is on display and he really doesn’t let up with the jokes and sarcasm as the issue progresses. Humor has always been a signature Spidey element, be it 1962, 2016, or 2099 and David has always been a master of it when it comes to this character, no matter the circumstances or stakes. Be it the interruption to order lunch during the Six’s interrogation of Spidey, the difference between anemia and amnesiacs, or a gorilla war vs. the Guerrilla War, David made with the funny like always.
After David lays a subtle clue to the Green Goblin’s identity, Sliney blasts the reader with a two page spread of the Sinister Six from the future in all their infamy. With the camera low and a helpless Spidey in the background, the villainous Six tower over our hero and give off a feeling of dominance and intimidation.
As the Goblin makes the introductions, I was super excited to see the Vulture back! As he was the first classic Spidey villain updated for 2099, he was always a favourite of mine back in the 90’s! We don’t get to see any of his lethal tendencies, but I’m sure it won’t be long!
Electro reminded me of a cross between Superman villain Metallo, 80’s robot Brainiac, and of course, the classic 616 Electro when he powered up, giving the impression of the original’s mask. I was happy to see David do another updated member of the original group, for a total of four overall.
The fourth classic member was Sandwoman. She also came off as the most enigmatic and with a different power set. She homages the original with her green striped shirt, but instead of green and dark green/black it’s green and purple, a classic Ditko villain colour scheme! In addition to that, I thought I saw what looked like a Mysterio eye on the side of her costume at one point. Could she be tied in with two members of the Sinister Six?
The lunch order scene, in addition to being silly and making the villains look ridiculous, was also notable for the return yet again of Winston! I was happy to see another old character from the first 2099 series make another appearance, and more are on the way this issue! It felt so good to be immersed in the 2099 world after all the early 21st Century stuff of the last two volumes, even if it is an altered future timeline. This scene reminded me a bit of the Robot Chicken episode when the Emperor gets interrupted during his conversation with Darth Vader to order a meal and it was just as funny.
Venom seemed slightly more simple minded than I recalled from the original 2099 version. At times, he felt more like the muscle-bound henchman than a standalone capable villain. He still looks frightfully creepy under Sliney’s pencil, though. I don’t know what it is about that skeletal spider!
Another welcome return was Kasey, Miguel’s brother’s girlfriend. She’s still maintaining her rebel status in this time line and is once again adorned in the Payback armor that was once given to her by those at Stark-Fujikawa, if I recall correctly. With some assistance, she springs Spidey and takes him to Downtown, in a well laid out page by Sliney, continuing to use his “camera” progression well.
Miguel questions Kasey about the altered (to him) timeline when they find a safe spot downtown. As she details it, three years from now, America is on the verge of Civil War, not of the SuperHero Registration Act or Inhuman kind, but over the proposed abolishment of the Second Amendment. During this unrest, a man with a test tube unleashed something that began to decimate the population of New York, something no gun could fight. During the ensuing years, Miguel’s mother died in an attack on the Sinister Six, but Tyler Stone disappeared. You can bet David will reveal the answer before too long!
Back at Alchemax, Electro has the Six turn on Goblin, based on intercepting an unauthorized transmission from him, only to unmask their leader and find out he is a her! And not just any her, but Father Jennifer, ally of Kasey, Gabe, Spidey, and her congregation Downtown. I was pleased that in this timeline, the Vulture still remembered her. Those who remember the first volume of this title may recall that the Goblin was Spidey’s brother, Gabe, but this was revealed after David left the book. Twenty years later and David gets to put the pieces back the way he originally envisioned! Looking forward to see where he takes this!
Rounding out the old character returns is Gabe O’Hara himself, or as he likes to be known as, Firelight! This reunion was undoubtedly the hardest for Miguel as he finds the emaciated form of his brother in bed, hooked up to tubes and monitors. To combat the Sinister Six, he’s been residing inside Virtual Unreality for months. It’s not as noble as it sounds, as Gabe admits he’s always been happier in there. Could David be laying the groundwork for us seeing Miguel return to his Virtual Unreality outfit that graced the cover of Vol. 1 #19? The nostalgic part of me would love to see Sliney’s take on it.
The reunion is cut short as Dr. Octopus cuts in on Kasey’s earpiece and puts Father Jennifer up for ransom. Now David has this alternate 2099’s stage set for Spidey to mix it up proper and I can’t wait for the next issue! This is exactly headed in the direction for what I want from this book! Not saying David hasn’t been great at character stuff in 2016 Earth-616, but I want to see Spidey 2099 in 2099 with that futuristic world. With Peter AND Miles running around, not to mention Silk and Spider-Woman, the present day has too many Spiders and I am overjoyed to be going back to the future with Miguel, no matter what timeline! This was the most enjoyable issue since #8 and ties it as my favorite for this volume!
MY GRADE: A+
JAVI’S HUH?: Venom knows Spidey’s identity, but wants to keep that secret to himself, even AFTER they kill him. Why?