Spider-Man 2099 (Vol. 1) #41

 Posted: 2005
 Staff: Mike Fichera (E-Mail)


It's the aftermath of Doom's presidency. There's a Goblin of the future on the loose, with a mysterious grudge against Spider-Man.

Story 'Despair'

Miguel takes a melancholic visit to see the ruins of the White House in the aftermath of Doom's presidency. Miguel quotes Percy Bysshe Shelley's famoud sonnet "Ozymandias" about the faill of the mighty. Benzelli, on the Alchemax soliders, asks what's the point of the visit. Miguel responds, "Closure." Mig finds Tyler Stone's cracked name plate, and departs.

At Alchemax, the staff are shocked by the return of Tyler Stone, wheelchair bound and recovering from his injuries. Stone visits his son, Kron, who is still imprisoned by Miguel after his attack as Venom. Stone receives confirmation that it is indeed his son, and orders him killed. The doctor watching over Kron argues that Stone has no authority to order Kron's death, since Miguel is still in charge. Tyler leaves, assuring the doctor that he will be back in charge by the end of the day.

Spider-Man enjoys some time webslinging without the Public Eye watching his every move. Down below, an apparent effigy of Spider-Man is being burned by a group of angry Thorites. When he drops down to investigate, he realizes that there's a man in the costume. Despite the previously peaceful tendendcies of the Thorites, this band declares Spider-Man a traitor, adn launches hammers and arrows at him. One of the gang stands out - it's Vulture in civilian clothes. When the Flyboys arrive, Vulture and the Thorites flee. The burned victim in the Spidey suit is in bad shape. Spider-Man removes his mask, and sees it's the Thorite from Issue #2 who gave Spider-Man the lite byte cloth from his skysail the helps Spidey glide when he webslings. The Flyboy cop makes a smart comment belittling the value of the Thorite. Spidey wails him briskly, giving renewed faith to the dying Thorite that S-Man hasn't gone corporate. With his last breath, he says, "Wait'll I tell...Loreen."

Downtown, at Fr. Jennifer's church, the Net Prophet reappears. He sees Father has a black eye. Jennifer dismisses the Prophet's concerns. The priest admits she had been enjoying their visits, and that she is suffering after the loss of her sister. This day is the day of her funeral, and she is reaching out to do something "life-affirming." The Net Prophet hesistates, uncertain as to what Fr. Jennifer is allowed to do in 2099. Apparently, they've changed "that much" and the two kiss.

At Gabe's apartment, Gabriel prepares for the funeral. He loses his temper over knotting his tie, and punches through a mirror. Conchata is there, and tends to her son.

Meanwhile, Miguel prepares himself in a more controlled manner, until Tyler Stone stops by. Stone tells Miguel that he's ordered Kron's death. Miguel protests, but Stone informs Miguel that he'll be assuming his old position at Alchemax by the next morning. While Stone stops to let Miguel know that he truly loved Dana, Lyla mockingly plays a violin. Stone leaves irritated.

At the funeral, Fr. Jennifer laments her sister's passing. She finds herself resisting closing her eulogy to avoid the finality of it all. Gabriel talks next, bitter at God for the injustice of Dana's murder. Xina weeps through her eulogy, saddened with survivor guilt. Fr. Jennifer invites Miguel to speak. He stands before the gatherers, but only sees Dana's face everywhere. He says nothing, and excuses himself. Down by a memorial wall, Miguel sulks. He spots a woman placing a mask of Spider-man by a grave. Miguel asks if she's Loreen. She is, and she tells him of her love, the Thorite Kenny. Kenny believed that Spider-Man just wanted to make the world a better place. Touched by what he just learned, the two suffering strangers embraced each other in their grief.

The next day, Miguel meets Tyler. Tyler excuses himself for not showing up at the funeral, and inquires if Miguel has cleared his things out. Miguel defies Tyler, saying he's not going to step down. He's going to run a compassionate Alchemax that serves humanity. He's rescinded the execution order on Kron, he's informed security that Stone is not in his right mind, and has aquired the funds from his expense account. Tyler threatens Miguel, and commands him...revealing that he is his father. Miguel nonchalantly quips back that he knows, and kicks him out.

General Comments

Wow! Great ending! A moment that we've all been waiting for! Miguel has a purpose, has the power and the authority, and actually seems MOTIVATED to use his gifts! Some blood is pumping in Miguel's veins!

What a shame that this new beginning will end so soon in only a few more issues.

Overall Rating

Not a lot of action, but an important issue nonetheless. The negatives: first, the cover has nothing to do with the story. Oops! The Goblin's Gonna Get You?

The artwork was fine. However, one thing that bugs me is poor renderings of grief. If you flip through the funeral scene, there are so many stoich faces that don't convey hurting people well. It's not just the facial expressions either - there's a lack of body language too. But still, the overall artwork was fine, with some great action poses and interesting layouts.

The positives outweigh these gripes. The respect given to Dana's passing is rare for comicbook deaths. The return of Kenny the Thorite was super, and his new importance to Spider-Man was a surprise. The final confrontation and expulsion of Tyler Stone deserved some cheers. It's great to see Spider-Man 2099 finally showing some drive and motivation!

4 Webs!

 Posted: 2005
 Staff: Mike Fichera (E-Mail)