“I’ve got to get to her. Tell her I love her. Maybe propose marriage. And kill my father. But first the love stuff.”
Spidey 2099 vs. Man Mountain Marko-REMATCH!!!
WRITER: Peter David
ARTIST: Will Sliney
COLOR ARTIST: Rachelle Rosenberg
LETTERER: VC’s Cory Petit
COVER ARTIST: Francesco Mattina
EDITOR: Charles Beacham
STORY: Miguel FINALLY finds out that not only is Tempest awake, but pregnant, too. As he rushes to her side, his father, Tyler, is trying to tempt Tempest with a cure for her paralysis. She submits and goes off with Tyler in a helicopter. Miguel arrives as Spider-Man, but is stopped by the rejuvenated Man Mountain Marko, who wants to settle the score with the web-slinger over the beating he took in their last encounter.
THOUGHTS: I’m willing to bet that most long time Spidey fans looked at the cover to this issue and immediately thought of the events of Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1 #33! I certainly did, with a dash of Spider-Gwen’s color palette! It’s a great symbolic cover for an issue where Spidey has his hands full with his opponent!
I was happy to see more forward progression of the long running plot this issue. Tempest awoke in #17 and here it is #20 and the hospital staff is finally able to get ahold of Miggy. Guess the doc forgot that Peter wanted all news regarding Tempest to go to Miguel through him. Whoops. I understand all our web-slingers are busy folk, but with modern technology and Miguel and Peter both being prominent P.I. employees, you’d think they’d be more available. Does Dr. Evans even know that Miguel hasn’t spoken to Tempest since the first issue? Do we even remember that it’s been over a year since they’ve consciously interacted? Let’s hope they get reunited soon!
With numerous distractions as obstacles, we finally get some time with Tyler Stone and Tempest this issue. Tyler is his smarmy best. All the traits Peter David has imbued him with are on display. He’s a master manipulator and con man, trying to say how much he loves his son and Tempest, to her credit, sees that sham for what he is. I loved the callback to Tyler referring to Miguel as “Mike”, a name Tempest knows Miggy disdains. It’s just the temptation that he offers is too powerful and Sliney ably depicts in her expressions where she is coming from. The regret is palpable. You know she doesn’t trust Stone, but waking up realizing she’s never going to walk again, and the challenges it will present for her upcoming motherhood, are making her take a very dangerous gamble, especially as she realizes it could estrange her from Miguel. David and Sliney really pair together well to get you inside their heads.
Miguel has fought quite a few of Peter’s rogues gallery, which is to be expected as he’s stranded in this timeline, but it’s safe to say Man Mountain Marko has made the transition over to being one of Miguel’s. After the vicious pummeling he received in issue #9 of this volume, he’s had some undisclosed upgrades, modifications that caused him to die on the table. TWICE. So, it’s easy to see why he’s got some hate towards this particular wall-crawler. I didn’t notice on my first read that Sliney depicts Marko’s jaw a bit differently. Sure, there’s the Band-Aid, but his jaw looks like its been reinforced. It’s implied that’s not all as Miguel remarks that it’s like punching Iron Man now.
Brief as it was, I still enjoyed how the fight was portrayed. It starts off very fast and feels more intense as the combatants don’t speak much at the beginning, giving away their states of mind. Miguel just wants to get to Tempest as fast as possible, whilst Marko just wants to let his rage loose. Tyler monologues to Tempest over the fight, laying his sales pitch on real thick. It also reminded me of how Tyler once upon a time tried to get to Miguel through his then fiance, Dana, back in 2099. That didn’t work out so well for anyone involved as I recall. It’s also worth noting that Miguel fights very tactically, using his environment to get any edge he can, compared to their last fight, where he was seeing red and swinging madly.
This has to be one of the most consistent teams in the Spider-Verse. David always brings the drama with a side of snark and Sliney has some crisp line work. It’s another enjoyable outing, but I wish I had a digital code for this particular comic included with the issue, so I could always have it in my library wherever I go. This new way that Marvel is providing unrelated digital content doesn’t sit well with me and lessens the value I saw in the book at the $4 price point. That aside, this issue makes me feel that things are really starting to gear up to a conclusion that we’ve all been waiting for over these last twenty issues as various threads start to spin together.
MY GRADE: A-
JAVI’S HUH?: So is Sonny still waiting around for Miguel to show up to their meeting?