An Interview with writer Peter David


How did you first become involved with 2099?

Peter: The Marvel editors approached me, as they did a number of free lancers, and said we’re going to be doing a 2099 line. And we would like you [meaning me and other writers] to submit a proposal on how you would do Spider-Man 2099. We knew he was Spider-Man 2099. We knew he worked for a company called Alchemax. Beyond that there was nothing about him established. So I sat down and I thought, the last thing I want to do is have him be a relative of Peter Parker. Because that’s the obvious thing. So I created someone completely from scratch. I made him of mixed ethnicity, because I felt that by the end of the 21st century mixed ethnicity is going to be more common than it is now. So I made him half-Irish and half-Mexican because I thought that was the most combustible combination I could come up with. And I decided I would zig wherever Stan and Steve zagged when they created Spider-Man. Peter Parker was a white bred WASP. So Miguel O’Hara was a combined ethnicity. Peter was an orphan. Miguel would have a living mother. Peter was alone. I gave Miguel a brother. Peter had no idea how to handle girls and was a teenager. Miguel was in his 20s and had a fiancée. I just made the contrary move all the way. And I submitted my proposal. A week later I get a call from the Marvel editors and they said ‘we love your take on Spider-Man 2099. For starters, it’s the only one that doesn’t start with a relative of Peter Parker.’ And I went ok, that’s interesting. They asked me if I would be interested in writing. I said, sure. And that’s how I became involved in it.

Did you want to write more solo stories about other characters in the 2099 verse (like with Net Prophet for example)?

Peter: I would have liked to keep writing the series for quite some time. Unfortunately Marvel fired Joey Cavalieri. He was the heart and soul of the 2099 universe. When he was evicted from the series I, along with the other writers, said ‘we’re done. We’re not going to keep on if Joey Cavalieri is out of it.’

What’s your recollection of the first crossover, Fall of the Hammer?

Peter: I thought it went fairly well. We had decided we wanted to do a big crossover, and we actually all plotted it together. How it would play out. As a result, I think it was reasonably well integrated. We foreshadowed it rather nicely. We led into it well and went out of it well. It was pretty good.

What were those 2099 conferences like?

Peter: The very first one was kind of a big introductory thing. Everybody met everybody. Then we broke up into small groups. I still remember sitting with Rick Leonardi, as he came up with the first visualization of Spider-Man 2099. I told him what I wanted the chest emblem to be like. And I told him I wanted the webbing on the back. He sat there and drew it up as I was telling what I wanted to see. It was the purest form of teaming up on something. I wish then I had taken the drawing. I could probably make a mint off it on ebay.

What was your take on Doom taking over America? Was the change in the status quo a positive for your series?

Peter: I think it was a change. It was an interesting story angle..

What do you remember about the Avatarr character, and how he evolved from his first obscured cameo to his full appearance?

Peter: I kind of did something with him in Spider-Man: Edge of Time, in which I put forward the idea that he was actually Peter Parker. I didn’t remember that we called him Avatarr, or that he had big bug eyes or anything like that. But he was really supposed to be Peter Parker. A very different Peter Parker, but that’s who he was.

I know from previous interviews you were reluctant to do Venom 2099. Was Flipside foreshadowing the coming of Venom 2099? Or were you perhaps trying to do Venom 2099 without actually doing the real Venom?

Peter: No, no. I was trying to do Bizarro.

What recollections do you have about working with Joey Cavalieri?

Peter: Joey was great to work with. He was so enthusiastic for everything we did. His support of 2099 was unilateral. That’s why I wound up leaving the book. My attitude was if we didn’t have Joey Cavalieri on board, then there was no point in doing 2099. Apparently Marvel Comics agreed with me, considering they then did away with the entire 2099 line.

How did the Young Miguel O’Hara back-up stories come about?

Peter: We needed some time to get the main artist ahead, so we did the back up stories to shorten the front of the book and we assigned somebody else to do the back stories. As is frequently the case, back up stories are a means to give the artist some breathing space.

You’ve revisited 2099 twice, in Captain Marvel and to some extent in Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man (with Spider-Man 2211). Was there a feeling that you had “unfinished business” with Spider-Man 2099?

Peter: It wasn’t a matter of unfinished business. I just like the characters and I like the environment. I thought it might be fun to revisit them. And then lo and behold, we’re doing the comic book. So I get to revisit some more.

Looking at past interpretations of the future often tells us a lot about the time in which they were written. What do you think 2099 says about the 90s?

Peter: Nothing. I’m sorry, I just don’t think it’s a commentary on the 90s. It’s supposed to be a commentary on the 21st century. I think it really centers on the notion, and it would be pretty hard to contradict it, that much of the world we live in is run by corporations. In some way shape or form pretty much everything we do has corporate influence behind it. And in 2099 it’s just that the corporations are straight forward about it. The world is literally run by Alchemax and other corporations.





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