Spider-Man 2099 (Vol. 1) #21

 Posted: 2002
 Staff: Mike Fichera (E-Mail)


Miguel rescued his brother Gabriel from the net and the villainous Discord - but Gabe revealed to him that he knows he's Spider-Man!

Story 'Parlour Games'

Spider-Man is in Downtown being pursued by three cyber-warrior women. Spidey hides, trying to rest while nursing an injury.

Flashback to an hour earlier. A Public Eye cop ignores a distress call since there's no way the victim will be able to pay for his services. Spidey overhears, and goes to the rescue, while "borrowing" the officer's awful lunch.

In Downtown, Harvinder Mann runs for his life from the three cyber- punk women. He is one of society's rejects, stripped of all his rights. The three women catch up to him, stun him, and kill him. Spidey witnesses the brutal act and confronts them. It turns out they are the Maryjanes - Dita, Marly, and Jena. Spidey recognizes them as "black card brats", rich kids that think their money can let them get away with murder. Their money enabled them to soup up their physical potential and supply them with Stealth Armor technology. Dita lands some solid hits on Spidey, then threatens to use a neutron bomb upon Downtown, but Spidey flees. The three separate to hunt Spider-Man.

Apparently picking up from where the story began, Spidey unmasks himself and surprises Marly with his claws and fangs. He webs her mouth, trips her, and takes out her power cell. Second, Spidey tricks Jena with a web-decoy, wraps her up, and disarms her. Finally, Dita manages to blast Spidey a bit more. Spidey webs her eyes and her gun, but she tears them off. Chasing after Spidey, she steps through a weak floorboard, and falls into the water below before Spidey can save her.

Spidey catches up to the other two. They make empty threats, then beg for their black cards back so they can get home. Spidey says "tough", breaks their cards, throws them down the sewer, and abandons them to walk home from the middle of Downtown.

General Comments

A so-so issue, providing Peter David with his first pause in his run on 2099. There were some weak spots in Edginton's writing and with Fern's layouts that I found irritating. For starters, at the beginning, Spidey has a melodramatic soliloquy as he's trying to distance himself from the Maryjanes. Yet, on the following splash page, we see Spidey a few feet away from his hunters who are unable to find him on their scanners. Huh? Dita threatens to kill thousands with her neutron bomb, and Spidey runs away? Huh? Doesn't it seem like a bluff anyway, since detonating the bomb would clearly kill them too? Does tripping Marly render her so disabled that Spidey's able to disarm her? Why does he not mind revealing his face to her? At the end, when Spidey webs Dita's gun, the webbing has no effect? The next panel doesn't show any sign of the webs. Dita can remove webbing from her eyes without ripping her skin off? Does a falling woman scream, or would her voice drift away into "Don't let me..." as she plunges into what I hope is the last time I'll see this character? Was Spidey really so traumatized by his encounter with the three that he says "but most of all...I try not to think about them!" while at the end, a few minutes later, he so can casually say to the two remaining, "Go home girls. Fun's over." I didn't know the fun started!

Overall Rating

Bring back Peter David!

 Posted: 2002
 Staff: Mike Fichera (E-Mail)