There’s been so much change in the world of Spider-Man, whether it be the rapid increase in spider-related heroes or Peter’s international status, surely it must be overwhelming to some fans. Fortunately, amidst the chaos, Peter David and Will Sliney have returned to a familiar story of a superhero trapped in the past, trying to fix the future. Spider-Man 2099 #1 doesn’t just re-establish the themes and characters from the best parts of the series’ first run, it also introduces exciting new ideas that have the potential to make this the most exciting title in Peter Parker’s corner of the All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe.
Readers are immediately re-introduced to Miguel O’Hara, who’s positioned as a sort of anti-Parker; while Peter has taken his tenet of power and responsibility to an international level, Miguel has completely abandoned it. He’s given up on costumed heroics and has decided to use his powers for personal glory. While Peter has been so precious with his secret identity, Miggy is sloppily risking exposing himself to the entire world. Instead Miguel trots his superhuman powers out onto the national stage by appearing on a popular reality competition show. That show is “Ninja USA,” think of it as the 2015 equivalent of wrestling Crusher Hogan. Miguel even thinks to himself, “Life is great,” a thought that goes against the very fabric of Parker’s DNA.
David makes an interesting choice by having nearly all the issue’s action take place in the opening scene. It’s successful, partly because the rest of the book moves at such a quick pace. David builds so many interesting corners of this world without wasting a panel. There’s Miguel’s relationship with Tempest, Miguel’s corner of Parker Industries, including his hilarious assistants, the fate of the future and Alchemax’s shadowy enterprises. The only moment that seemed disjointed involved is 21st century newcomer, Roberta Mendez, aka, Captain America 2099.
Since this issue included no scenes in costume and very little action overall, Will Sliney had to rely on one of his biggest artistic strengths: facial expressions. He does great work bringing emotion to scenes like a video teleconference, which is no easy task. Frank D’Armata’s colors gives the book a bright and rich look. Gone are the harsher neons of the previous series (almost all of them). Instead, D’Armata finds creative ways to bring color to ordinary scenes: the purple glow of the Alchemax board room, the gold reflection of Miguel’s sunglasses, the orange streetlights that make Sliney’s New York City jump off the page. Once again, the scene involving Roberta seemed different from the rest, specifically in the art’s brightness and shading. It’s like the art itself is foreshadowing that not everything is what it seems with this character.
In Spider-Man 2099 #1, the creators have hit it out of the park, bringing readers the familiar world that was ended too quickly in the series’ last incarnation, but they’ve also brought new aspects that may take the series to new heights. Here’s hoping the marketplace and editorial team give them the time and space to tell many stories. After one issue, David and Sliney are certainly making a run at creating the most interesting Spider-book.