Comics : Spider-Man 2099 #2

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: Spider-Man 2099

This review was first published on: 2000.

Background...

In the year 2099, Miguel O'Hara, brilliant scientist and head of the Genetics Program at Alchemax Corporation, attempted to reset his genetic code after his boss, Tyler Stone, poisoned him with the addictive genetic drug. His jealous supervisor, Aaron DelGato, sabotaged Miguel's experiment. Aaron's interference accidentally transformed Miguel into mutated blend of man and spider - Spider-Man 2099!

These first three issues form the complete origin story.

In Detail...

"Nothing Ventured"
Spider-Man 2099 #2
Dec 1992 : SM Spin-Off
Editor:  Joey Cavalieri
Writer:  Peter David
Pencils:  Rick Leonardi
Inker:  Al Williamson
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 Reprinted In: Spider-Man: Family & Amazing Friends (Story 3)

Miguel continues to recount his origin to his holographic computer assistant, Lyla. After he emerged from the wrecked experiment transformed as a spider-man, Miguel frightened Aaron by his appearance. Aaron began firing at him, triggering an explosion. The explosion left Aaron dangling off the side of the building. Miguel tried to grab him, but his clawed fingers ripped into Aaron's arms causing him to plunge to his death. Security arrived, and Miguel leapt out of the opening in the building. There, he realized his ability to cling to the walls via the talons on his hands and feet. Climbing to the roof, Miguel wondered how he'd escape knowing the Public Eye would arrive shortly to investigate. Suddenly, a follower of Thor (a "Thorite") flew by on a skysail shouting "Repent!" in anticipation for the return of the god of thunder. Miguel hopped a ride with the Thorite. Jokingly calling himself "Spider-Man", Miguel was recognized by the Thorite as an ally of Thor and harbinger of his deity. They crashed the glider, but were unharmed. The Thorite gave Miguel material from his glider to cover his face, since the original Spider-Man wore a mask. (Check out Issue #41 for the return of this Thorite!)

Back at Alchemax, Tyler Stone hired a cyborg bounty hunter named Venture to investigate the explosion. Miguel made it home, fell asleep, and woke up later to realize he wasn't just dreaming despite how bizarre his day had been. Though his sheets were torn to shreds, he noticed that his claws retract when touched to his own skin. A call came in from Mig's brother Gabe. Gabe was worried and insisted on coming over. Realizing that he'll rip all his clothes with his claws, Miguel dug out an old costume made of unstable molecules from a Mexican Day of the Dead festival. Lyla tried to help Miguel's stress by changing her appearance to a rude punk, a stuffy butler, and a doting old aunt. (The Spider-Man of 2099 isn't as appreciative of doting old aunts as the Spider-Man of today!) Lyla returned back to her "Marilyn Monroe" look. Gabe entered and interrogated Miguel about the Rapture addiction. With enhanced sight, Miguel noticed Venture approaching the building. He also noticed an itchy feeling on his forearms. Mig forced Gabe out, and put on the costume. Attaching the Thorite's light byte cloth from the skysail onto the back of his costume, Mig hoped to give himself a fighting chance in the skies. As Spider-Man, Mig broke out his window, catching updrafts with the light byte cloth to help him glide and land atop of Venture. Spidey faced his opponent and said dramatically, "Hi."

In General...

An excellent issue #2 continuing the excitement and creativity of issue #1. More of the world of 2099 is revealed here, as is more of Miguel's powers. This was a fun, inventive origin story.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Miguel's first super-villain, Venture, bear no resemblance to any previous Spider-Man antagonist. Venture added a dramatic tension throughout the story, while Miguel scrambled about to figure out how to survive another day. Though Miguel stands apart from Peter Parker, he seems to share his characteristic bad luck!

Overall Rating...

The Spider-Man 2099 origin story was well done in every aspect. It left me anxious for issue #3 and what lie ahead.