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Spider-Man 2099 Vol. 3: Smack to the Future – Graphic Novel Spotlight

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Following the events of Secret Wars and the spinoff series Secret Wars 2099, Spider-Man 2099 makes his return to the Marvel Universe.

With a job at Parker Industries, a stable relationship and uncertain of what impact his actions will have on the future, Miguel O’Hara has decided that it’s time to hang up the webs and retire from being Spider-Man. But when a dangerous new threat appears and puts his new life in jeopardy, he’s got no choice but to don some new threads and tackle the problem the only way he knows how: head on!

I am unashamedly a huge Spidey 2099 fan. Having first been exposed to the character via his awesome costume being an alternate skin for regular Spidey in several of the 2000s Spider-Man video games, I eventually found his solo series that ran from 1992 to 1996. Other than the Spider-Man name and powers, Miguel O’ Hara had little in common with Peter Parker. While both fought on the side of good, Miguel has always been prepared to go to far more violent places to achieve his goals than Peter and in general far more impuslive and hot-tempered. Whereas Peter fought evil when and whence it came, Miguel had a main target in his crusade in the form of the mega corporations that oppress the citizens of 2099, particularly his former employer Alchemax. This take on the hero vs the evil corporation was quite a fresh concept at the time and Spider-Man 2099 was one of the best uses of it in the super hero genre.

The original series is one of the most consistently great runs in modern comics, with Peter David regularly turning in sterling work over his 44 issues. It was therefore a source of great joy in 2013 when Miguel returned to the Marvel Universe and was even greater the following year when the Spider-Man 2099 series returned under the pen of original co-creator Peter David. After a short break as a result of Secret Wars, the series has recently returned and it hasn’t missed a beat.

I was initially concerned when I heard Miguel would be getting a new costume as the original Spider-Man 2099 costume is one of my all-time favourite character designs. Fortunately, the new look is not too radical a departure from the original and still looks pretty damn cool. Plus there’s a storyline reason for the change in duds so that’s always good. Other than the costume change though, this is still regular Miguel. In fact, the more aggressive aspects of Miguel’s personality are really amped up in this volume as a personal tragedy leads him to a ruthless pursuit of revenge. With Peter Parker now his boss, there is a great dynamic as the more level-headed (although Miguel would argue, naive) Peter is a great device to show the more aggressive stance this Spider-Man has taken.

There’s also plenty of the sci-fi action that helped define the original series as both Miguel’s science acumen and fighting ability are put into full use. The best instance of this is when he uses his tech savvy to track down the source of his problems, Doctor Chronos, and then has a brutal showdown with the Doctor which showcases both Miguel’s tech and brutal fighting style, leaving Chronos lucky to escape with his life. All this is wonderfully illustrated by regular series artist Will Sliney who excels in both the action sequences and the more emotional moments – the scene where Miguel threatens to permanently disconnect his personal AI and confidant, Lyla, after she makes a rather callous comment about Miguel’s girlfriend Tempest’s situation is particularly great.

I am a little biased, but this one of the most consistently great superhero/sci-fi comics being published today. This new era for Miguel O’Hara is well worth checking out.

Spider-Man 2099 Vol 3: Smack to the Future is published 10 May by Marvel US

Find more Spider-Man recommendations here

Browse our full 2099 range here

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This entry was posted on May 11, 2016 by in Graphic Novels and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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