Web Slinger’s Tale #3: Spider-Man 2099

Spider-Man_2099_Logo_0001

In mid to late 1992 (not sure when in the year, I just know it wasn’t early) Marvel announced a series called “The Marvel World of Tomorrow.” This announcement was made by Stan Lee himself, in an article he wrote called “Stan’s Soapbox”. Later, the series name was changed to “Marvel 2093,” that being exactly one hundred after the start of the series. At some point though it was changed from a series to an imprint. Its name was once again changed, this time to “Marvel 2099.”

Included in this imprint was “Spider-Man 2099.” It was originally released to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of Spider-Man. The series started in September 1992, and lasted for 46 issues., and 1 annual. The original creative team was Peter David and Rick Leonardi. The main character of the series was not Peter Parker (remember this was more then 100 year in the future at the time), but Miguel O’Hara. He had the distinction of being the first Spanish Spider-Man.

So past all that formal rigmarole lets see where I should begin. Maybe I should start with showing you what Miguel looked like. This is him out of costume:

And this is him in his costume:

Hey, wait a minute. He looks familiar. Well anyway, even though they were both Spider-Men, their powers worked slightly different from each other. Lets use this table to compare the powers they had at the time, shall we?

Ability Parker O’Hara
Wall Crawling Uses a form of natural micro-velcro Uses sharp talons that can dig into hard surfaces.
Spider-Sense A slightly precognitive ability that warns of danger Increased senses of hearing, sight, and smell allow him to pick up on environmental markers and react appropriately instantaneously
Webbing Synthetically generated and excreted from shooters on his wrists Biologically generated and excreted from shooters on the back of his hands.
Powers Gained Bitten by a radioactive spider. Caught in a case of corporate espionage while attempting to recreate the powers of the original Spider-Man

Yes, I am aware that Parker got organic web shooters at one point but these are his powers from 1992 to the end of 2099. Along with these powers, O’Hara had a power that Parker didn’t. See, O’Hara had fangs. And with those fangs he could… well lets hear him say it:

Yep he would bite and poison people. The upside was this wasn’t the slow and agonizing death kind of of poison. It was more the sit there and shut up kind of poison. It paralyzed you. How strong it was always varied. But it was always just strong enough to petrify whoever he bit. Other then this and the differences listed above they had the same powers. Super strength, agility, and the rest of those wonderful and wacky abilities. Also they were both science nerds, although this didn’t play into O’Hara until much later.

Much like Spider-Man Unlimited, Spider-Man had his own versions of the classic villains. For instance their was the cannibalistic Vulture:

His own Green Goblin:

190846-87660-goblin-2099_large

Venom, Which is the original Symbiote on a new host:

As well as a few other future versions of modern characters. He even met some modern characters who may r may not have been stuck in the future. He also went back in time and met not only the original Spider-Man, but another Spider-Man from a farther future then his own.

Sadly, during the series run, Peter David left the book. He felt pressured due to editorial mandates, a problem that ran rampant in Marvel during the 1990s (just look at Clone Saga). David has stated in interviews that he was not happy with the path that some of the characters had taken, the identity of the Green Goblin for one thing. He has also stated that when Marvel wrote the final chapters to 2099 he had been consulted about things he would have done. Many things that he said were integrated and retconned as the proper explanation.

The end of 2099 was not the end of Miguel O’Hara. He would pop up a few times. He would show up in issue 74 of the team book, the Exiles. This was a slightly different version then the one in Spider-Man 2099. This ones identity was reveled very early in his super hero career, which would have negated many of the things he was meant to do with his identity hidden, so starting in issue 76 he joined the Exiles, and stayed with them until issue 99.

He also came back as a much younger version of the himself in the event 2099 Timestorm. This Miguel gained his powers from the Timestorm itself, while working on a class project involving a spider. This one’s powers are actually a lot  closer to the original Spider-Man’s. Though he does still have the organic web shooters. There are some really funny parts as Peter tries to tutor him with his powers, while still trying to get him to go home and burn his suit.

The most recent case where we’ve seen Spider-Man 2099 is in the two recently released games Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions and Spider-Man: Edge of Time. The Miguel O’Hara in this game seems to be a combination of the original and the Timestorm one. I say this because he has the powers of the original, but fights a character that on existed in Timestorm. He has a very particular gimmick in these games. Free falling.

See that web cape on the picture above? That’s actually something he kind of stumbled on. It has a very special property. No matter how far he falls from, he does not fall fast enough to be hurt (crashing into stuff on the other hand, hurts like hell.) It’s also used to steer him in free fall. He can also use it to catch wind currents and glide.

Peter David did great work while he was on Spider-Man 2099. He gave it more of a corporate espionage during his run, and you can defiantly notice a tonal shift when he leaves. However its still a pretty good read, even after David leaves the title. If you want a Spider-Man story with a different feel, I recommend this title.

Sadly I didn’t read Exiles during the time that Miguel O’Hara was on the team. He joined during the World Tour arc. Which turned me away from the book. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good story line. I just wasn’t a fan. What’s really sad is I didn’t keep up to find out when the story line ended so I missed his entire run on the team. It’s on my list of things to read but I can’t tell you if that last 26 issues of the series were. Sorry.

Timestorm is a decent story, but it really had no long lasting effects on anything. If you’re a big fan of 2099, feel free to check it out. Otherwise, you should probably pass this one up.

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions is a pretty decent game. It has some fun mechanics and has four play styles depending on the Spider-Man you play as. My favorite is 2099. Check it out as a rental, its fun, but pretty short.

Spider-Man: Edge of Time is just as long as the other game, but to be honest not as fun. It’s a tad bit more restrained. Everything takes place in Alchemex, the main corporation in 2099. Again, unless you’re into 2099, you could most likely skip this.

Well that’s all for 2099. I think maybe next time we’ll look at the past. Maybe the 1920s.

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