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If you’re looking for a powerful, dramatic tale of Spider-Man 2099 from the 1990s, you will find it right here in this retro review.
Before getting to the review, it is important to remember that Spider-Man 2099 was mainly driven by Peter David, who is one of the best-ever writers in the history of superhero comics in America. Many geeks I know admired his work on other Marvel titles, most notably The Incredible Hulk.
So how did he get involved in Marvel’s 2099 universe that was first launch in 1992? Check out Peter David’s words from an online interview in Doom2099.com:
The Marvel editors approached me, as they did a number of free lancers, and said we’re going to be doing a 2099 line. And we would like you [meaning me and other writers] to submit a proposal on how you would do Spider-Man 2099. We knew he was Spider-Man 2099. We knew he worked for a company called Alchemax. Beyond that there was nothing about him established. So I sat down and I thought, the last thing I want to do is have him be a relative of Peter Parker. Because that’s the obvious thing. So I created someone completely from scratch. I made him of mixed ethnicity, because I felt that by the end of the 21st century mixed ethnicity is going to be more common than it is now. So I made him half-Irish and half-Mexican because I thought that was the most combustible combination I could come up with. And I decided I would zig wherever Stan and Steve zagged when they created Spider-Man. Peter Parker was a white bred WASP. So Miguel O’Hara was a combined ethnicity. Peter was an orphan. Miguel would have a living mother. Peter was alone. I gave Miguel a brother. Peter had no idea how to handle girls and was a teenager. Miguel was in his 20s and had a fiancée. I just made the contrary move all the way. And I submitted my proposal. A week later I get a call from the Marvel editors and they said ‘we love your take on Spider-Man 2099. For starters, it’s the only one that doesn’t start with a relative of Peter Parker.’ And I went ok, that’s interesting. They asked me if I would be interested in writing. I said, sure. And that’s how I became involved in it.
Right from the start of the Spider-Man 2099 series, Peter David and illustrator Rick Leonardi established 2099’s New York City society and went on to develop Miguel O’Hara/Spider-Man 2099 deeply as well as his relationships with his family and companions, complete with his struggle working for a sinister boss at Alchemax. Things escalated further personally for the futuristic Spider-Man during my last review and we will find out what happens next.
Here is my retro comic book review of Spider-Man 2099 #37, published in 1995 by Marvel Comics with a story by Peter David and art by Andrew Wildman.
The comic book opens with a quick flashback in the past when Miguel O’Hara, his then girlfriend Xina and his brother Gabe spend time at a club talking about relationships. Eventually Gabe’s date Dana arrives late. Miguel could not help but react with his mouth open.
In the present day, Miguel faces Venom 2099 who has Xina and Dana wrapped with his symbiote. In reaction to Venom’s ploy, Miguel frees Dana which broke of Venom’s right arm. Miguel and Dana moved quickly to the next room and the door shut provided them temporary refuge from Venom. Before the two separated (Miguel to fight and Dana to leave for safety), they kissed.
Even without his costume, Miguel decides to go after Venom to free Xina…
Another well-crafted comic book carrying the same strong creative energy since Venom 2099’s debut in issue #35. While it is no surprise that Peter David’s writing remains top-notch and highly compelling in showing the continued conflicts between Spider-Man and Venom of the future, he inserted some flashbacks into the past showing how Miguel O’Hara got romantically involved with Dana and how it complicated matters in his family given the fact that Dana was the GF of his brother Gabe. Those flashbacks, which some might think served as padding, are actually helpful to not only inform readers about the Miguel-Xina-Dana triangle but also give readers a new look at Miguel’s personality. All of that added in the build-up leading to the very powerful ending. After being absent in issue #36, Andrew Wildman returned strongly in visualizing this comic book. His art on the ending is something I will keep remembering for a very long time.
The first time I read Spider-Man 2099 #37 when it was initially released, its story and ending proved to be powerful. In this review, I do confirm it still maintains that powerful impact by today’s standards. This comic book is not only great on its own, it also showed how much Venom 2099 made life for Spider-Man 2099 go upside-down. By the time this comic book got published, Miguel O’Hara transformed a whole lot since the first issue reaching the corporate leadership of Alchemax. Clearly, this means that Spider-Man 2099 carried tremendous power with him to go against his era’s Venom (who in turn really proved to be a very dangerous menace not only to the superhero but the public as well).
If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Spider-Man 2099 #37, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $34. The near-mint copies of the “Venom 2099” regular edition and the “Venom 2099” newsstand edition cost $85 and $255 respectively.
Overall, Spider-Man 2099 #37 (1995) is highly recommended!
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