Comics : Spider-Man 2099 #10
This story is part of a Lookback Series: Spider-Man 2099
This review was first published on: 2001.
Miguel and Gabriel learn that their mom is not well and has requested to see them.
Spider-Man 2099 #10
Aug 1993 : SM Spin-Off
Summary: Behind The Mask
Miguel, Gabriel, and Dana attend to the ailing Conchata at the Wellvale Home. Conchata pretends to be dead, much to Miguel's consternation. Gabriel tries a softer approach to their mother, but Miguel is tired of playing his mother's games every few months. Conchata stands up from her supposed deathbed, and walks off. Dana and Gabe demand Miguel talk to her, but Miguel insists she hates him since he reminds her of their father.
Miguel concedes, while Gabe reminisces about the last time he remembered his mom being happy. In a flashback to when the boys were very young, Conchata played with Gabe while Miguel was lost in thought on the computer. Miguel's gruff father George came home from work proud and excited. He learned that Miguel's aptitude test scores enabled him to be enrolled into an Alchemax special training school - which would necessitate leaving home. Conchata tried to discuss the issue to see if Miguel really wanted to leave home. George, infuriated at his wife's resistance, erupted, physically abusing his wife while Miguel cared for his frightened younger brother.
Dana then recalled an event later when Miguel and she were on a date and she met George for the first time. George harassed his son, while Miguel verbally fought back. We learn that George was one of the designers of the Public Eye cameras, and was in disbelief that one of the cameras was vandalized. He was getting remarried after divorcing Conchata, who was in a sanitarium. George died about a year or two later. Dana recalled that Miguel did get upset at the funeral, despite everything - he still does have a heart.
Meanwhioe, Tyler examines damages upon Alchemax's Atlantis Restoration project via holocameras. The damages were done by the mutates of New Atlantis. Tyler makes clear there will be no toleration of terrorism. Tyler's assistant, Winston, delivers an urn to Tyler. He is informed that it contains the ashes of his son, Kron. Tyler makes a final gesture for his son's passing by flushing it down a toilet.
Miguel goes to talk with Conchata, who's smoking a cigarette (illegal in 2099). Miguel apologized for not seeing her much and is smacked. Her rescinds the apology and is smacked again. Conchata rebukes Miguel for being so self-centered. She shows him someone who she wishes he was more like, opening a wardrobe filled with pictures of Spider-Man! As Mig tries to offer that maybe Spider-Man isn't really all that great, his mother lashes back saying that Spider-Man is everything he isn't. Miguel, furious at the accusations, reveals that he is Spider-Man. Conchata laughs hysterically while Miguel tries to show her his talons. She thanks him for the trying to show he cares.
As Miguel walks home from Wellvale, he realizes the effect Spider-Man is having on him. He's not the same person anymore. Miguel let the Specialist live - and was hurt for it. Spider-Man let the Vulture plummet to his death, and not Miguel is glad he let him fall. He says "Miguel went Downtown, but Spider-Man came back up. "
Later, at a Thorite rally, the Public Eye tries to break-up the anti-corporate demonstration. Spider-Man arrives and attacks the Public Eye. In a demonstration of rebellion, he breaks the Public Eye camera, the same one his dad was repairing years before.
Afterwards, at a mausoleum, Miguel visits his dad. He admits he didn't strike back at his father that time when he was harassed with Dana, since he was afraid he'd have killed him. He wanted his father to live to be old and decrepit. Bitter but driven, Miguel takes comfort in that at least he found a cure to his "condition" - he can finally feel good about himself for once, since being Spider-Man has given his life purpose.
My favorite stories often don't have a lot of explosions and fists flying. They usually are those rare issues where we dig into some of the player's dirt, unearthing rich characterization that will nurture future stories. This issue was one such gem. By exposing his mother and father, we know so much more about Miguel and who he is today as a result of his past.
Honestly, I don't like Miguel as much as I like Peter Parker. And perhaps David never intended him to be someone you'd want to be around like a good buddy. Where Parker was misunderstood to be arrogant, Miguel is arrogant and jaded. But both are driven with strong emotions to make the world a better place.
Though I'm not crazy about Miguel's acceptance of the darker side of his personality, fighting fire with fire, I cannot deny that this was an excellent story. Surely, this was one of the must read issues in the series.