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Issue: 1
Title: Begin the Future History of...
Writer: Peter David
Art: Rick Leonardi

Summary:
New York City, the year is 2099. A group of youngsters soar through the skies in their car on a joy ride when suddenly they stumble upon Public Eye flyers in pursuit of a man gliding through the air, Spider-Man 2099. Spider-Man goes into a freefall. His dive is interrupted by one of the flyers but he manages to commandeer the flyer, crash into the surface and escape into a crowd inside a nearby mall. Miguel O’Hara returns to his apartment in Babylon Towers extenuated from his ordeal with the Public Eye flyers. When his home computer, Lyla, tells him he has not made an entry into his personal journal, Miguel tells his story. It begins at his lab at the Alchemax Corporation. He is head of a project to create a better corporate raider for the company. His project’s goal is to rewrite a subject’s genetic make-up to augment a subject’s abilities. Tyler Stone, the company VP, rushes Miguel to test a human; the subject becomes mutated and dies.  Following the incident, Miguel goes to Tyler’s office to resign from the company. Stone slips Rapture, an instantly addictive drug, into Miguel’s drink. Alchemax is the only authorized distributor of the drug, making Miguel bonded to the company for life. Miguel arrives home and finds his fiancée, Dana, and strikes her while still under the influence. When the Rapture passes, he explains what happened. O’Hara sneaks back into his lab at Alchemax to try and use his machine to imprint a clean sample of his DNA onto himself and therefore cure him of his addiction. Unfortunately for Miguel, Aaron Delgato, a fellow employee jealous of his genius alters the controls. The machine explodes. Aaron is surprised to find Miguel still standing. But when Miguel turns around, Aaron is horrified by the face which confronts him.

 

Notes:

  • Collected in Spider-Man 2099 Volume 1

  • Marvel reprinted this issue and packaged it with a Spider-Man 2099 action figure released as part of the Spider-Man Classics toy line. To my knowledge, there was no white cover second printing in 1992. However that doesn't stop sellers on ebay raising the price on this issue by itself with descriptions like "rare second printing". True it is rare in that it was only released with the action figure, but personally I would not pay an extravagant amount of money unless you're getting it with the figure, mint on card :

 

 

 

Issue: 2
Title: Nothing Ventured
Writer: Peter David
Art: Rick Leonardi

Summary:
Miguel continues his story with how Aaron tried to kill him after the sabotaged his experiment. An explosion leaves Aaron hanging off a ledge. Miguel tries to pull him up but discovers that he has talons on the tips of his finger which tear at his skin until he falls. Guards arrive to arrest Miguel as an unknown intruder. Miguel realizes that Aaron’s interference caused the Spider DNA to be imprinted on him. Jumping off the building, he hitches a ride with a Thorite to escape.  Tyler Stone hires an elite bounty hunter, Venture, to find Spider-Man. Venture follows his trail Miguel's apartment building. To throw Venture off the scent of his true identity, Miguel dons a costume made of unstable molecule fabric, jumps out the window of his apartment and confronts Venture.  

 

Notes:

  • The conversation between Tyler Stone and Tiger Wylde is seen from Wylde’s POV in Doom 2099 #1.

  • Among the alternate appearances and personalities Lyla has in her database is one of Aunt May

  • Collected in Spider-Man 2099 Volume 1

 

 

 

 

Issue: 3
Title: Nothing Gained
Writer: Peter David
Art: Rick Leonardi

 

Summary:

Spider-Man and Venture's confrontation is interrupted by a crowd of Thorites who believe Spider-Man to be a harbinger of Thor's return. Venture easily defeats the crowd. Miguel is outgunned and considers surrendering until Venture kills one of the Thorites. The death sends him into a fury and he begins to lead Venture away from the crowd in a chase. Miguel leads him back to his apartment in order to erase the trail which would have revealed his identity. Gabe recognizes the costume Spider-Man is wearing and realizes that its Miguel. Venture meanwhile finally captures Spider-Man and hauls him away. Spider-Man uses his talons to cut through his bonds and Venture's jet boots. As the two plummet down, Venture tries to rip Spider-Man's arm off but only succeeds in activating his spinnerets. The two crash into the streets below and continue their fight until Spider-Man jams Venture's weapon into his now open wiring thus shorting out all his systems. Miguel finishes recapping his adventure to Lyla asking how things could get worse. Suddenly a call comes in from Tyler Stone. He wants to talk about Spider-Man.

 

Notes:

 

  • Collected in Spider-Man 2099 Volume 1

 

Comments:

 

Spider-Man 2099's debut arc successfully launches the character in a fun and engaging adventure. We're introduced to all the principal cast and we're given a clear view of Miguel's character. Right from the beginning readers can see that this is not your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Miguel is nothing like Peter Parker. Spider-Man 2099 isn't a future translation of the original, it is it's own book. That said, there are a number of welcome nods to the original vintage. One of Lyla's alternate personalities is Aunt May, to which Miguel promptly says "kill that one". Also, whether it was intentional or not, I found that Venture's hauling away Spider-Man over New York to be reminiscent of the Green Goblin dragging Spider-Man from the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #39. The art by Rick Leonardi is top notch. Spider-Man 2099's costume is closer to the black symbiote than the classic red and blue. This gives the 2099 iteration of Spider-Man a chance to give a truly frightening first impression. This Spider-Man really does look like a menace. I don't usually mention the inker (for which I apologize to inkers world-wide), but Spider-Man 2099 was inked by none other than Al Williamson. As I write this, Al only just recently passed away. Anyone who claims to love Science Fiction should know Al Williamson. Between his work on Star Wars and Flash Gordon, for me at least, he helped define what a sci-fi comic should look like. Al inked the first 25 issues of Spider-Man 2099 plus the Spider-Man 2099 meets Spider-Man graphic novel. His contributions to comic-dom and to fueling the imaginations of readers are innumerable and he will be missed. 

 

VC 7/8/2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

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