Note: SPIDER-MAN 2099 #1 is on sale Wednesday, July 9.
It’s hard to believe that Miguel O’Hara is back in a solo SPIDER-MAN 2099 series. It’s also hard to believe that Peter David is back writing the character he first took on in 1992. What did we do to deserve these great things? The 2099 books were hit or miss but what makes this time different is Miguel isn’t in the possible future of the Marvel Universe. He’s in the present after getting stuck in his past in the pages of SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN. This clearly changes what the series will be like.
Marvel is handling this in a great way. Obviously readers familiar with the character will jump at the chance to buy this book but re-introducing the character in the pages of SUPERIOR was a nice way to transition the character into the modern timeline. If that wasn't enough, the very first page features a great recap telling you everything you need to know about the character. This is something Marvel excels at compared to other publishers.
The premise is Miguel is trapped in his past. What it boils down to is he originally was forced to come back to save his grandfather in order to preserve his own life. With time travel there is always the possibility of changing things for the worse so we'll have that element floating around. We also get to see Miguel try to adjust to being in his past without any real support from his timeline except for his holographic assistant, Lyla. We know there's always groups that guard against unauthorized time travel so Miguel will have other problems besides just trying to find a place to live. Peter David does plant some seeds to obstacles Miguel may soon find himself up against.
Will Sliney's art fits the tone of the book and character nicely. The key with these Spidery characters is the actions scenes need to flow just right to capture the agileness and motion of the character. During the main fight scene here, we even get an interesting mix of angles and perspective rather than the usual straight on shots.
My biggest question is what will be the direction of this book? With the one individual/organization he has to deal with in this issue, you have to assume it would be an ongoing problem for Miguel. It is an interesting subplot but we'll have to wait and see where it goes from here. There is also another interesting twist at the end with Liz Allen. We've caught little glimpses in the change with this character in SUPERIOR. It's good to see this carrying over but it was something that bothered me a little over there as well. We'll have to wait and see if Miguel has to deal with problems from the future or if he'll start to have run-ins with today's Marvel villains.
Spider-Man 2099 is back in his own series. As pretty much the only survivor of the 2099 line of books, it's great to see the character back in his own title. The fact that Peter David is writing makes it even better. The story picks up from arrival in the present in the pages of SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN but this series is set up so you can easily dive into the issue without having to worry too much about what happened before. Will Sliney's art style is a great fit for the title. It might not be totally clear what the direction of this book and what sort of adventures Miguel O'Hara will have but we see a few new plot threads to keep us hooked. Welcome back, Spider-Man 2099. It's great to see you back on my pull list.