Spider-Man 2099 (Vol. 1) #42

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


Tyler Stone is back to reclaim his seat at Alchemax after being shot and hospitalized. Thing is, Miguel doesn't want to give it back. Beat it, Tyler.

Story 'Earth'

Miguel sits in his office, surrounded by his department heads all trying his patience. Miguel jumps on the table and strangely begins a game of Duck-Duck- Goose, tired of "playing their games." Miguel kicks them out, and calls for his new secretary to protect him from the hoards. In comes the new hire, and old sweet lady named April, the spitting image of Aunt May. She adjusts his buttons to make sure he's protected from the chill of the air conditioning. Miguel immediately calls for a replacement - but nobody wants the job. Just then, someone has arrived who may be perfectly suited to care of Miguel's needs.

Downtown, Kasey and Raff are in an apartment watching the gathering of a mob from the Grunt Union made up of sewer workers, contruction men, watchdogs, and truckers led by a man with metal arms named Boru. Kasey was surprised to see him still alive.

Miguel heads over to see Xina and offer her a position in the new extraterrestrial research division. He rehearses in his mind the words he'll say to her. His driver, Bert, stops the levitating car. Traffic is blocked up everywhere. On a large public video screen, Miguel sees the Fantastic Four fighting. Miguel tells Bert he's going to walkt the rest of the way, and sends him home. Meanwhile, he gets into his S-Man suit, and tries a faster route. He questions why he's in the costume anymore - but he believes his investment in his alter-ego has put forth the best of himself - and he's afraid to lose that now. At Xina's place, her hologram, Jack, informs Miguel that Xina has left, and may never return.

Miguel returns to his office to find another line of people aggressively pursuing him to talk. One man faces Miguel's new secretary, insisting that Miguel owes him a report. Off panel, the secretary aims a gun to his head.

In his office, Miguel is surprised to hear it grow quiet outside the door. Who could've possibly cleared out the room? His mom.

The crowds outside Alchemax chant "Boru! Boru!" as their leader approaches the building. Miguel argues that his mom can't be his secretary. Conchata explains that they're in this together since she got Miguel the position he's in - she shot Tyler. She confesses that Tyler's seduction of Dana was the final act to push her to pull the trigger. Miguel pauses, then laughs thinking she must be kidding. Conchata replies sarcastically that sure she's kidding - like he kid her about being Spider-Man. Silenced, Miguel goes up to the roof to be alone. Down below, he sees Boru and his followers gathering. Believing Spider-Man may be able to address this problem, he changes into his costume and says hello to Boru. Boru explains that he represents the common laborers who's needs have been ignored by Tyler Stone, Alchemax, and the government. When questioned why come with a show of force rather than send a single delegate, Boru retorts that he did - but Miguel O'Hara ignored the request for a meeting. Spider-Man still questions the aggressive stance, but Boru decides to explain himself with violent action. He lunges like a lion at Spider-Man. The two trade blows left and right. Boru is clearly superhuman, bearing retractable steel claws. Miguel realizes that he's in a lose-lose situation. If he wins the fight, the crowd will be outraged. So, he chooses to flee. By the time Miguel changes clothes, his mother has smacked Boru across the face (for calling her a "dumpy little gnome") and subdued him into making an appointment to see Miguel.

In the desert, Xina picks up a hitchhiker - the the Net Prophet!

General Comments

An amusing story, and a nice bit of comic relief after the recent heavy drama of the past few issues. Not much happens, as it's more of a "day in the life of Miguel" type of story. Alone, it's not a timeless classic. But in fairness, the timing of a Boru story is right, we have subplots weaving their way through with Kasey and Xina. As I've said in previous reviews, I'm not a big fan of the style of Sienkiewicz's inking. I prefer crisper lines - give me Mike Allred or Jim Lee - but I try not to take points off style when he's obviously talented.

My favorite bit of Peter David's writing: Boru scheduling with Conchata saying, "Morning's no good. Parent-teacher conferences. I definitely need afternoon." Great stuff. Worst: Miguel playing Duck-Duck-Goose with the managers. I don't buy it - if I did that at a business meeting, I'd be wrecking havoc with my reputation and credibility for the sake of a joke.

Overall Rating

An amusing, enjoyable read.

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