Review: Spider-Man 2099 #1
With Amazing Spider-Man down to once a month, Marvel needed to fill in those extra weeks with something Spider-Man related. Spider-Man 2099 #1 is a good start to the new series and surprisingly reader friendly.
Spider-Man 2099 can be a hard sell for someone not familiar with the 2099 Universe. The universe hasn’t been used much since the 90’s and doesn’t have many reasons to be remembered (besides Spider-Man). Peter David (who wrote the original Spider-Man 2099 series) dives in and makes the issue quite new reader friendly. David adds a few bits of exposition, such as why Miguel is working for Alchemax and his relation to a few people in the present. It doesn’t kill the pacing, but it’s strange to see Miguel going over his past while being chased. The villain, a throwaway named Adjustor, serves his purpose but keeps the issue from having any real sense of threat. I assumed Miguel was going to be all right, not because this is a #1, but Adjustor never seemed like a credible threat. I didn’t take him seriously. I laughed often while reading Spider-Man 2099 #1, but left an odd feeling by the time I put the issue down.
I loved the characterization that David gives Miguel. Miguel was an ok character in Superior Spider-Man, but Slott didn’t have the grasp on the character that David has here. David establishes the differences between Peter Parker and Miguel early and often, which help set the book apart from Amazing Spider-Man and the recently cancelled Scarlet Spider. The lack of jokes helps, but David adds enough humor to keep the spirit of a Spider-Man book in there. There is slightly more violence than Amazing, but not as much as Kaine liked to doll out in Houston (Scarlet Spider). This book fills the even ground of Spider-heroism Amazing and Scarlet have established. The 2099 slang is toned down heavily (thank god). The one thing that this book was missing was a hook. Why is Miguel continuing to be Spider-Man in this timeline when Peter Parker is around? David hints at one on the final panel but it doesn’t grab me enough to want the next issue. A superhero working for a corporation is a decent plot point, but has been done quite a bit. I’ll most likely be back next month for the characters instead.
Will Sliney’s artwork has improved vastly since the final issue of Superior Spider-Man, where he provided the artwork on a back up story. The panels have a sense of movement to them that was severely lacking before. The split panel of Miguel changing into a tux and his Spider-Man costume was well executed, and showed that Sliney will be a good fit for the title. The shots are mixed up enough that I didn’t feel like I was looking from the same direction all the time. Miguel looks strangely like Peter Parker, but that could be due to the sunglasses that he has on the entire issue. The eyes are the gateway to the soul and we should have seen Miguel’s at least once in this issue. Thankfully Sliney makes up for it with detailed faces body language. While script had me laughing at the threats of Adjustor, the guard’s faces read that he was a credible threat. A small thing that helped ease sell the villain.
Spider-Man 2099 #1 gets 4/5.
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