“You know, if you wasted less time talking and threatening and just DID stuff, you might actually accomplish something.”
Be careful what you wish for, Spidey…
WRITER: Peter David
ARTIST: Will Sliney
COLOR ARTIST: Rachelle Rosenberg
LETTERER: VC’s Cory Petit
COVER ARTIST: Francesco Mattina
EDITOR: Charles Beacham
STORY: In the present, Lyla says a code word that turns Roberta into Captain America 2099 and instructs the Captain to go to Miguel’s lab. Back in the alternate 2099, Miguel, Gabe, and Kasey form their plan to rescue Father Jennifer from the SS. A multitude of Spideys descend upon Alchemax to carry out said rescue, but they’re all holograms provided by Kasey’s Payback armor. Kasey gets taken down by Electro, but Spidey escapes with Father Jennifer/Green Goblin. Cap 2099 opens a portal for Spidey and Father Jennifer to the present and as they arrive the Doc Ock from the future snatches the outed Green Goblin and kills her in front of Spidey. The portal closes as Ock escapes back and Miguel swears revenge and to prevent this future from happening. Venture volunteers to be the sixth member of the SS. Aisa advises a shadowy figure of recent events, a figure revealed to be Tyler Stone!
THOUGHTS: Another humorous and dramatic issue featuring our future Spidey! Mattina once again dazzles with his cover. One question, though. Goblin is still aligned with the Sinister Six on the cover even though she has already been revealed to be a traitor to the group. Is this done to not spoil things when the advance solicitations come out?
David has Kasey go meta with her explanation to Miguel on how Father Jennifer is actually the Green Goblin, too, basically amounting to “it’s complicated, trust me.” Love it as it’s a callback to David’s original intentions for the character back in the first volume that got changed by editorial.
As Spidey and his futuristic friends get ready to strike, Miguel vows to Gabe that he’s going to stop the terrorists who did this to their world. Gabe insists he’s happy the way he is, emaciated and plugged into a virtual unreality, but Miggy begs to differ. Kasey volunteers that the group who caused this is The Fist. Rosenberg darkens the white on Spidey’s costume to all black, whilst Petit bolds “The Fist.” for emphasis as Miguel repeats it, heightening the fact that his blood is beginning to boil. It’s all starting to come together now and will even more so by the final page!
David builds up the animosity between Doc Ock and the captive Father Jennifer as the SS (now SF?) dangle their bait from atop the Alchemax HQ. Could this tension be leading somewhere? Sliney depicts shock well on the faces of Ock and the Vulture and I love the way he depicted the fleet of future Spideys flying toward the camera!
Spidey flips the Vulture into the line of fire of Sandwoman’s nightmare inducing dust, causing him to see his greatest fear. As it turns out, the cannibalistic inheritor of Adrian Toomes’ mantle has patterned himself out of that which he fears the most, just like Bale’s Batman. It never occurred to me that this version was taking after that which frightened him, but I can see how it would fit with his characterization of picking on the weak and downtrodden, almost like he is trying to appease a sinister dark god by taking on his appearance. In his fright, Vulture makes quick work of Sandwoman.
Miguel’s viciousness once again rears his head as Electro stuns him. Miguel comments that he hopes it didn’t screw up the costume’s inner circuits. I kinda hope it did on the chance that he’ll go back to his original suit! Spidey rationalizes his guilt away from slashing Electro by the fact that he’s an android, but clearly Electro is more than just a machine. He definitely has formed consciousness of some kind and a hatred for humanity. This won’t be the last time this issue that Miguel will feel enraged, either.
It’s notable that David has Father Jennifer save herself. Sure, Spidey and Kasey provide the distraction, but she’s no damsel in distress as she blasts Venom with her gauntlet that her former comrades failed to remove. I’d also say that Ock’s hubris was a factor as well. She later orders Spidey to let go of her as she can fly, too and doesn’t need to be carried.
It’s here that Spidey makes a fatal mistake. Like all Spider-Men (and women) do, he taunts his foes. I’m sure he’s not the first hero to tease a villain for monologuing when they could actually be carrying out their evil plan, but in this case the seed of an idea gets planted in the villain’s mind as the heroes make their getaway…
Miguel and Father Jennifer briefly discuss her backstory before arriving at their destination. Sliney’s layouts again are very cinematic as he sequentially shows the portal to 2016 opening. As they go through the portal, Rosenberg again colors Spidey as a red and black shadow as Father Jennifer gets wrapped up by Ock’s tendrils. The scene plays like a horror movie as Ock appears behind his victim. Sliney has him leap out in the next panel as he viciously snaps the Father’s neck. He jeers at Spidey, getting in his insults as the portal door closes shut before our hero can exact his revenge.
Sliney goes for a minimalist approach as Miguel collapses to the ground in failure. He’s the only thing in the panel, his isolation caused by the banter he delivered to Ock earlier. His eyes glow red as he vows to take every last one down. It’s all very dramatic, but tempered slightly by the fact that Miguel is in 2016 and has a chance of undoing this alternate future.
Vulture still has his doubts that Electro took care of Kasey for good. She may be a deus ex machina later, but if not, she falls in with Father Jennifer-her death can be reversed if Miguel restores the proper timestream. I got excited when Venture showed up to join the SS! Having him on the team is a perfect addition being one of Miguel’s oldest foes!
Speaking of Miguel’s oldest foes, as Aisa briefs her boss on recent developments, the head of The Fist is dramatically revealed to be Miguel’s father, Tyler Stone! I didn’t see it coming, but yet it all makes perfect sense! I don’t know how he got to 2016, but it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest and it makes The Fist’s involvement not only with Alchemax, but how their current day attacks have involved Miguel in some fashion all seem logical.
Peter David and Co. are keeping the momentum going with this title. Unfortunately, the ad for what’s next indicates a Civil War II crossover. David was doing so well, but a crossover has reared its head again to cut in on his story. Hopefully it doesn’t detract too much from the goings on. I also noticed a solicit for a future issue has someone in the classic Spidey 2099 costume as Miguel lies in a tattered version of the new one!
MY GRADE: A+
JAVI’S HUH?: Did Ock retreat from one punch? Or was he “strategically moving” to a transport of some kind to catch up to Spidey and Father Jennifer later?