Monday, July 11, 2016

Spider-Man 2099 #12 Review

Party like it's 2099

Writer: Peter David
Artist: Will Sliney and Rachelle Roseberg
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 6, 2016
Publisher: Marvel
Review by: Branden Murray

I loved Spider-Man 2099 when I was into comics in the 90’s. The futuristic settings, the cool costumes, and the reimagined villains were just a few of the many things alluring about the title.  So when the title relaunched as I got back in the comic game later in life, I was all in. I scooped up and enjoyed all the issues but mostly ignored it upon the most recent relaunch because the story was primarily set in the present day which rubbed me the wrong way a bit. I want the future damnit and I want it now!  Well, a funny thing happened when Marvel Mondays began...future Spidey and I connected again and by god he’s back in 2099, at least for issue 12.  So let’s dive in to see if the future has anything good in store again or if I’m just a sucker to give up $3.99 based solely on nostalgia.

We actually kick off the issue in the present day with a character named Roberta.  It appears Spider-Man, currently in the year 2099, is trying to use Roberta to orchestrate a plan across two different time periods and help him take out the Sinister Six. Got all that? Good because we're not done yet.

It also appears the Fist is involved in trapping Spidey in the future from the present day. Now I just got back into this title and this part is not covered in much detail here, so this is an educated guess on my part. I'm basically crossing my fingers that all those years of college were worth something and helped me read between the lines. 

Still gathering my bearings in the setup pages of the issue, I’m going to jump to another conclusion and deduce that the Fist sent Spider-Man from the present to the future to stop him from interrupting some plan they are currently in the midst of concocting. Ok, so if you understood all of that and want to explain it to me in more detail, I’m all in because even after years of college, the summary page, and this setup, my head is swirling right now … but I trudge on.    
After setting this plan in motion, Spider-Man takes off to bring the fight straight to the Sinister Six of the future. As he approaches, Alchemax headquarters we see him begin to multiply and confuse the first incoming enemies, Vulture and Sandwoman.   Electro steps up to the plate next (a robot version in the year 2099 looking mighty similar to Ultron might I add) to put his skills to the test and is able to single out the real Spidey to blast him out of the sky.  This results in a battle between the two where Spidey is able to get the upper hand and rip off Electro’s chest plate, exposing his nakedness like they were filming a scene for Robots Gone Wild. 

As the fight continues, Spidey is able to seemingly complete the mission by rescuing the spy on the inside who also happens to be the 2099 Goblin?!?! These two take the opportunity provided to dispatch what’s left of the villains and take off to escape in time for sunset. By sunset, I'm referring to a door that leads back to the present day which is activated by Roberta. We see our two heroes step through to what we assume is safety only to see a sneaky tentacle come through the door as well. It grabs the 2099 Goblin, which results in an ugly death via tentacle just as the door slams shut.  

Well great, now I won’t sleep for a week because I can’t think of a worse way to go than a tentacle coming for your face and breaking your neck. Things wrap up in cliffhanger style as the remaining Sinister Five add a new sixth member in the future with nefarious plans for our hero I’m sure ... and also because Sinister Six just has a better ring to it really.

This was an interesting read mostly because of all the pure pulse pounding action and futuristic jet setting the story had throughout its pages.  I can’t say I didn’t enjoy what I read but I did feel lost at times. I attribute this problem not to the writer however, but directly on my own shoulders for jumping straight in at issue 12 with little to no research done, per company policy ... other than my knowledge of the previous volume of course. However, to Peter David’s credit he is actually able to keep a story going on in two different time periods that is pretty straightforward and simple to someone time travel phobic like myself. This folks, I can appreciate because time travel frankly hurts my brain. 

The art was suitable, but a lot of the backgrounds were plain and deserted looking and not what I was clamoring for in my first trip back to 2099, but really it's my only complaint. I will note the suit Spider-Man 2099 wears now looks great in action and on the page whenever he shows up.

Bits and Pieces:
I enjoy Spider-Man 2099 the most when he’s handling the issues and villains of the future and doesn’t linger in the present day Marvel U. I understand the long term goal of the character and series is to ultimately reverse the events that lead to Nueva York being so horrible in the future which all has to be done in the present to have an effect. However, this also removes what’s most interesting about him as a character to me as a reader. That’s mostly why this issue works here because it sticks to the formula that made the 2099 books effective in the first place. I hope we continue to see more of this type of story down the line from David and his team.

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