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Welcome back, superhero enthusiasts, 1990s culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we revisit the world of 2099 within the universe of Marvel Comics as published back in the 1990s, specifically through the Spider-Man 2099 monthly series.
Back in 2020, I reviewed the three key issues of Spider-Man 2099 (click here, here and here) particularly with the entry of Venom 2099. While tragedy happened in issue #37 (a very powerful story), the futuristic Venom was still on the loose.
With those details laid down, here is a look back at Spider-Man 2099 #38, published in 1995 by Marvel Comics with a story written by Peter David and drawn by Andrew Wildman.
The story begins with Spider-Man 2099 grieving over the death of Dana in the presence of Xina and two armed law enforcers. As one of the law enforcers approach him, Spider-Man hits and damages his helmet. The other law enforcer tells his companion to give Spider-Man some room. The grieving web-slinger asks where Venom 2099 is.
Meanwhile at another location, Miguel O’Hara’s mother saw the breaking news on TV about what the tragedy and Dana’s death. Her son Gabriel comes in and gets updated about what happened. As soon as he heard Dana’s name, he becomes concerned and focuses on the TV screen. As images of Spider-Man and Dana appeared, Gabriel begins to make a connection between them and punches the TV screen hard…
If you enjoyed the storytelling, tension and payoff that happened in issue #37, I can confirm to you that great stuff from that comic book continued smoothly in this comic book. As before, Peter David’s writing remains very engaging and gripping. So much so, issue #38 is a very believable and natural continuation of the events of the previous issue. In fact, the tension that started even as far as issue #35 continued in this comic book and at the same time David succeeded in developing the key characters further. Here, the death of Dana impacts not only Spider-Man/Miguel O’Hara, but also those connected with him.
Apart from the impact Venom 2099 left behind on those whom he victimized, the key selling point in this comic book was the portrayal of Miguel O’Hara wanting not only vengeance but also craves for the death of the vicious supervillain. I really find it very gripping to see Miguel using his authority as a high-ranking executive of his company to not only find Venom but also use company resources to get him. There was also the scene in which Miguel wants the captured living piece of Venom’s symbiote become dead which reflects the rage burning in him.
The way Peter David wrote Miguel’s rage is compelling not only because of the dramatics involved but also because it raises new questions about the personality and heart protagonist of the Spider-Man 2099 monthly series. I found myself wondering the following: Is Miguel O’Hara on the way to becoming a villain? Does he realize he is going off-track and could become a danger to others once he gets his way with Venom 2099?
When it comes to the visuals, Andrew Wildman did a really good job her. Not only was his art more detailed than what Rick Leonardi came up with, Wildman also brought to life the emotions of the characters through detailed facial expressions. Wildman also showed how skilled he is with pacing the story as well as being strategic on visualizing the spectacle.
I can clearly say that Spider-Man 2099 #38 (1995) is a great comic book to read. It is indeed a very worthwhile follow-up to the powerful and tragic story of issue #37 and the tension that started in issue #35 continued strongly in this comic book. Very clearly, Peter David carefully planned to shake up the Spider-Man 2099 series of the 1990s even as he built up Venom 2099 as the deadliest foe the futuristic Spider-Man faced. I should also state that the Spider-Man 2099 – Venom 2099 rivalry has a distinct style and flavor of its own, and there was simply nothing ripped off from the 20th century Spider-Man – Venom (Peter Parker and Eddie Brock) rivalry.
If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Spider-Man 2099 #38 (1995) be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $80 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $240. Spider-Man 2099 #38 (1995) also comes with a Venom 2099 cover edition which costs $200 for a near-mint copy.
Overall, Spider-Man 2099 #38 (1995) is highly recommended!
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