Comics : Spider-Man 2099 #3

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

This review was first published on: 2000.


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 Gained"
Spider-Man 2099 #3
Jan 1993 : SM Spin-Off
Editor:  Joey Cavalieri
Writer:  Peter David
Pencils:  Rick Leonardi
Inker:  Al Williamson
Staff Only
 Reprinted In: Spider-Man Family; The Black Costume, Spider-Clan, Spider-Man 2099 (Story 2)

Miguel concludes his journal entry to Lyla of his transformation.

Thorites entered the battle against Venture, Alchemx's #1 hired cyborg, in defense of Spidey, the "Harbinger of Thor." Venture quickly trashed the group. Spidey charge was countered by a nerve-numbing shock to his right arm via Venture's rod. While Spidey planned his next move, Venture killed "Balder", a Thorite. Furious, Spidey connected with a powerful left hook. Remembering a need to throw the hunter off from connecting Spidey to his civilian identity, Spidey fled to his apartment, backtracking over his own heat path. Spidey ran through his apartment and out the window he broke out of before. Venture pursued, apparently unable to make the connection to discover Miguel's secret. While the itching on Spidey's arms increased, he landed another blow on Venture with a sneak attack. However, Venture zapped his chest, and tied him up in a molecularly dense body wrap.

Back in the apartment, Gabriel questioned Lyla as to what had happened to Miguel. The scene ended with Gabriel asking, "What was he wearing?"

With his talons, Spidey shredded the bonds and Venture's boot jets. As the two struggled in mid-air, Venture grabbed Spidey triggering the back of his forearms to spurt out a face-full of webbing. After a crash-landing, Venture ripped the webbing off his optical sensors. Spidey lifted a maglev car, aiming the magnetic bottom at Venture. While the car repelled his gun, Venture stood his ground. Rather than run away, Spidey closed in. Spidey slashed Venture's leg with his foot-talons, and stalled his adversary while the magnetized gun returned, slamming into Venture's metal back. Grabbing his opponent's rod, Spidey jammed it into the exposed wiring on his legs, shorting out his circuitry and successfully defeating him.

Spidey left and spent the next few days randomly travelling the city to throw off any other hunters from following his heat paths. At home, finishing his story to Lyla, Miguel realized he's at a point in his life when, for the first time, he doesn't know what to do. While Miguel counted everything wrong with his life, Tyler Stone knocked on his door!

In General...

Part 3 of the origin showed Spidey to be smart, scared, funny, passionate, humbled, and powerful. David wrote a wild and frantic chase scene, while unveiling the 2099 world setting up sub-plots for the future of the series. With Venture, Miguel met his match when it came to arrogance. Venture's defeat, despite his incessant boasts of superiority, was especially rewarding at the hands (and feet) of an inexperienced desperate rabbitting opponent.

I was concerned seeing someone other than Peter Parker calling himself Spider-Man (as I was with Ben Reilly). But unlike other swaps of the "men beneath the masks", this was not a substitution (like Ben, or Azrael replacing Batman), but rather a tale of the future lineage of Spider-Man. Spidey 2099 expanded Spidey's mythos into the realm of legend in the Marvel Universe. Plus, Peter David packed some powerful plots. As such, by issue #3, I had welcomed Miguel O'Hara as a second Spider-Man in the Marvel Universe.

Overall Rating...

Issues #1, #2, and #3 were three equal pieces of an excellent origin story.