Miguel O’Hara, the Spider-Man of 2099 has crash-landed back in 2019 in an effort to save his world. He needs Peter Parker’s help to do it, but the present day Spider-Man is caught up in an international affair between Latveria and Symkaria. Are these two elements connected? What part will Doctor Doom play in all this?
You know all the long, drawn out parts of Star Wars: Episode I where a bunch of diplomats talk about the trade wars? Amazing Spider-Man #33 isn’t quite that bad, but it does drag out quite a bit. The issue opens when an exciting and fast-paced scene as Miguel breaks free of his prison inside Roxxon, then we follow up with a whole lot of talking for the rest of the issue.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with talking. There are can be some riveting conversations in these parts. It’s just that this is a major exposition dump. Writer Nick Spencer has to lay the ground work for not only the 2099 event, but the part this book will play in it. This is an unenviable task and unfortunately comes across as a big history lesson, first from Silver Sable, then from the Chameleon at the United Nations. There’s a war brewing between two nations and we hear both sides of the story.
Let’s jump back to the opening pages of Amazing Spider-Man #33 as they’re the clear stand out in this issue. Artist Patrick Gleason does some phenomenal work with Peter Parker’s Spider-Man, but I think I like the future version a bit better. There’s an exciting energy to the character as he lashes out at everything and everyone around him.
Colorist Matthew Wilson really makes these pages come alive, bringing the future to the present. Miguel is hallucinating a bit, so the reality around him bends and shifts between the future time and the modern day, creating a shocking blend of colors that really pops. There’s a frenetic quality to these scenes, like there’s an entire chapter worth of action packed in just a few pages.
Gleason shows off some awesome art direction in this issue, particularly with the showdown between Peter, Teresa, Silver Sable, and the Foreigner. I like how Gleason frames this with Spidey in the middle, unsure of how to come out of this with everyone in one piece. This leads to an explosive splash page with stuff flying everywhere. It’s pretty cool to see some elements closer to the reader shown as out of focus. That’s a really nice touch.
Even throughout this tense scene, Peter maintains his sense of humor. Letterer Joe Caramagna shows how the character can’t help himself, dropping jokes here and there in a lower tone. The font get smaller for these one-liners, like the wall-crawler is doing it mostly for himself instead of bringing in some comic relief.
I’m still hooked with this series not just because of my love of the character, but also because of the foundation laid for future stories. There’s a lot to unpack here once we sift through the political intrigue that might as well be on the Marvel Universe version of CNN. I’m anxious to get into the 2099 event and see what Miguel will do in our timeline.