A Hero Deferred: Spider-Man 2099 #1 Reviewed

by Josh Davison

Mild Spoilers Ahead
Miguel O’Hara has recurring nightmares of a spider creature speaking the word, “Ouroboros.” He awakens to messages from his brother and fiance, but Miguel ignores both. He’s been without “Rapture,” a drug that enhances his cognitive abilities, for a long time. The withdrawals are slowly driving him insane and will eventually kill him. He could get more if he rejoined Alchemax and Tyler Stone summons Miguel to discuss just that. However, Miguel denies Stone; Miguel can’t become a part of Alchemax again. That said, Miguel still needs more Rapture, and he’s willing to go to extremes to procure it.

Spider-Man 2099 #1 cover by Viktor Bogdanovic
Spider-Man 2099 #1 cover by Viktor Bogdanovic

Spider-Man 2099 #1 is not a Spider-Man story. It’s about Miguel O’Hara and his place in the new 2099. Things have changed drastically, and Miguel is no longer Spider-Man. In fact, he has a paralyzing fear of spiders.
It’s the story of a corporate cog that’s found its limits. Miguel has been to the Ravage and seen what Alchemax has done to the Thorites that live there, and Miguel can’t be a part of that anymore.
The comic is a slow burn. We watch Miguel grapple with the withdrawals while shutting out Gabe, Dana, and Lyla–all of whom just want to help Miguel. The scene with Tyler Stone does drag a bit, but it also does a good job of illustrating the nightmarish social media/money hybrid that effectively controls this iteration of 2099.
We don’t get to see Miguel suit up and kick ass, but the book is compelling regardless. It’s a slow tearing at the seams of Miguel’s perception while he spirals down the path to ruin.
Spider-Man 2099 #1 art by Ze Carlos, Brian Reber, Andrew Crossley, and letterer VC's Cory Petit
Spider-Man 2099 #1 art by Ze Carlos, Brian Reber, Andrew Crossley, and letterer VC’s Cory Petit

Ze Carlos brings a clean and slick aesthetic to Spider-Man 2099, and it suits Miguel O’Hara excellently. It also allows the horrors and hallucinations he witnesses to be even more unnerving. The “Spider-Man” he sees is an outright monstrosity that will probably stick with me for some time to come. Brian Reber and Andrew Crossley conjure bright and lively colors for this future adventure.
Spider-Man 2099 #1 is another solid one-shot for the current 2099 story. We get to see how Miguel fits into the new reality of the future, and it’s desperate and saddening. Alchemax runs everything, and Miguel sold his soul to them. Now, even after quitting, he struggles to regain his soul and sanity. It’s a solid read that earns a recommendation. Check it out.
Spider-Man 2099 #1 comes to us from writer Nick Spencer, artist Ze Carlos, color artists Brian Reber and Andrew Crossley, letterer VC’s Cory Petit, cover artist Viktor Bogdanovic, and variant cover artist Travel Foreman.
Final Score: 8/10

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