When I was 17, I drank some very good beer. I drank some very good beer I purchased with a fake ID. My name was Brian McGee. I stayed up listening to Queen. When I was 17.
During my 17th year Marvel also launched their new universe that was set 107 years in the future. Featuring alternate or future versions of characters such as Spider-Man, Punisher, Doom, X-Men, Fantastic Four and some new characters like Ravage, the year 2099 would become synonymous with Marvel.
The breakout character of the bunch had to be Miguel O’Hara, 2099’s new incarnation of Spider-Man. Spidey had a new kickass suit designed by Rick Leonardi and prolific comic book writer Peter David was on board to flush out Miguel’s story. The title proved so popular that Spider-Man 2099 #1 is still the highest selling comic book written by Mr. David.
While the line would eventually peter off, Spidey maintained his popularity and is now back as a mainstay in the Marvel Universe of the present. After the cut, a spoiler-free look at how this is working out for Miquel in the All-New, All-Different Marvel.
I read a lot, but not all of the first volume of Spider-Man 2099. And I totally missed the “traveling around the multiverse with the Exiles era”. But I was pretty excited to see Miguel make his return in the pages of Superior Spider-Man. And because of time travel and reasons, Miguel is now stuck in the era of his predecessor because NYC 2015 needs another Spider-Hero. Peter, Jessica, Cindy and Miles just cannot be everywhere.
The second volume of the series, post Superior Spider-Man was a bit uneven. It tried it’s best to set up Miguel and his new undercover life at Alchemax, but the entire series got hijacked halfway through for 4 issues of Spider-Verse. (Now, Spider-Verse was great, but did nothing for moving the series along.) The next couple of issues featured Miguel returning to an alternate 2099 timeline that saw Peter David creation The Maestro in charge. And quickly after that the title was “cancelled” to make way for Secret Wars 2099 and it’s disappointing, mostly non-Spider-Man version of Miguel. Long story short, the series never gained much traction. So with all these big event crossovers out of the way, hopefully that will change with this new #1.
First things first, and this is somewhat spoilery, but before reading you need to know two things. One, like all other Marvel books returning after Secret Wars, 8 months have passed since the last issue of volume 2. Two, as seen in the short story in Amazing Spider-Man #1, Miguel has retired from the superhero biz and is now working as the head of R&D at Parker Industries. What happened to his undercover gig at Alchemax has yet to be revealed.
I haven’t read much All-New, All-Different Marvel yet. But I do wonder about the goal of the initiative in terms of new readers. I don’t think either Amazing Spider-Man #1 or Spider-Man 2099 #1 are particularly good jumping on points. For both series you may feel incredibly lost with the whole Parker Industries/Alchemax angle if you haven’t been reading pre-Secret Wars. 2099 also throws on the extra layer of making that Maestro appearance I mentioned above one of the core components of the book going forward.
The issue itself is low on action. It seems the main goal is to set up the plot threads for the book moving forward and to establish Miguel’s new status in this 616 (is it still the 616?) timeline and universe. His new job, his new girlfriend Tempest, etc. It is well written (not surprising from David) and Will Sliney’s art is good, even if he doesn’t have a lot to do outside of the explosive climax.
I’ll be picking up issue #2, but I know I would have anyway. I think it has enough hooks, particularly the ending to bring the causal fan back for more.
And if you are wondering about the new suit design that appears on the cover, and who is wearing said suit if Miguel is retired…you won’t get many answers this issue.
There does seem to be a great side story brewing for those that have read Secret Wars 2099 and figured that all would be forgotten. At the same time, in lends more to my argument of this not being a great jumping on point for new readers.