Comics : Spider-Man 2099 #20

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This story is part of an Arc: "Discord, Firelight, Cyberspace"
     Part 1 / Part 2

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

This review was first published on: 2002.

Background...

Miguel entered Cyberspace to help retrieve his addicted brother Gabriel.

In Detail...

"Crash and Burn"
Spider-Man 2099 #20
Jun 1994 : SM Spin-Off
Arc: Part 2 of "Discord, Firelight, Cyberspace"
Editor:  Joey Cavalieri
Writer:  Peter David
Pencils:  Chris Batista, Rick Leonardi
Inker:  Al Williamson, Ralph Cabrera
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Review

Discord, with a digital hand-puppet of Gabe's head, mocks his opponent to Miguel. Miguel attempts a fight, but Discord quickly entangles him in his tapestry-like body. He gives Miguel a choice - join me as a sidekick, or die. In the real world, Conchata and Dana fret about the fate of the two boys.

Miguel sees an apparition of Gabe. Gabe tries to tell him something, but isn't heard. To stall, Miguel agrees to be a "Sancho" to Discord's "Quixote". Discord tosses Miguel onto a floating "disk drive", and they set off. He takes them to a mountain of data where he locked out the whole online community.

Elsewhere, at Stark-Fujikawa, Hikaru enters the room, surprising his staff that he survived the crash from last issue in which Spider-Man saved his life. Hikaru orders attention to their computer issues, backing up and protecting their data. But, more importantly, they must address a matter of honor...

Discord reveals his story, telling Miguel on how he was defeated at a cyberspace attack several years ago in an incident called the "Domino Crash". He was apparently left mentally fried by a team of "supreme banktanks", including Mig's brother "Firelight". His motives were deranged. Claiming to have created a time-line prediction program, he determined that civilization would cease by 2112. He thought he would ease humanitiy into it's destruction by crippling cyberspace so the shock of the end of the world wouldn't be so sudden.

Invisible to Discord, Gabe's digital apparition appears again, instructing Miguel to "pull the plug". Miguel races away from Discord into a giant wall outlet. Unaware of what's going on, Dana and Conchata swig down a drink. Mig finds a representation of a drain plug. Discord tries to stop him, but Mig pulls the plug, releasing a flood of data. Cyberspace begins to be rebuilt as Discord struggles to disentangle himself from the outlet. Gabe returns with a screwdriver, shorts out the circuit and blows Discord to "bits". As Miguel and Gabe fly off in a hovercar, Gabe tells Miguel "at least I'm not addicted to running around in a black costume...climbing walls and saving the world..like my brother Spider-Man." !!!

Young Miguel O'Hara in "Getting in Deep"

In class, Miguel and Xina Kwan share a joke, but are instantly caught by their holographic teacher with eyes everywhere in the room. After class, they flirt in the hall. Mig says he's interested in genetics. She, artifical intelligence on the record, extraterrestrials off the record. Kron Stone passes by the hall with a bandaged nose. He introduces himself to Miguel, and apologizes for the water attack. Xina says she's off to the pool, inviting Miguel to join her. Waiting for Xina to arrive at the pool, Miguel reluctantly enters the chilly pool. Eyes shut doing a back float, he's suddenly attacked by a hand from above, pushing him under until he passes out!

In General...

A quick ending to a story I felt was just begininng. Not much conflict or struggle. Miguel really didn't have to do much to defeat Discord - just listen to his brother, and stall. I guess they all don't have to be nail-biting tension filled tales. I think the story served more to flesh out some details about Gabriel's past, and to hit the home run ending that has been lurking in the background since the beginning - Does Gabriel know what his brother has been up to? A big moment - and a rather bland expression on Miguel's face in light of the accusation!

At least Peter David got some good computer-puns in the issue!

The adventures of young Miguel are good to provide some background stories...but I could see them be more appropriate to an annual, or 2099 Unlimited. Added depth is a good thing, and the stories are cute - but I'd rather have more pages in the main story.

Overall Rating...