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Welcome back, superhero enthusiasts, 1990s culture enthusiasts, Marvel 2099 fans and comic book collectors! Today we revisit the Marvel 2099 franchise within Marvel Comics’ shared universe during the 1990s. Specifically speaking, we take a look back at one of the early tales of Spider-Man 2099.
In this retro comic book review, the futuristic Spider-Man finally made his way back uptown after spending time in the old city of New York down below where he saw people living in poverty, violent gangs and Vulture 2099.
With those details laid down, here is a look back at Spider-Man 2099 #9, published by Marvel Comics in 1993 with a story written by Peter David and drawn by Kelley Jones.
The story begins at the Wellvale where Conchata O’Hara (mother of Miguel and Gabriel) suddenly suffers an attack from inside her body. The medics were called for emergency.
Elsewhere, Spider-Man jumps with excitement and relief after finally making it back from deep down the modern city. He almost gets hit by a hover car and decides to stop for a while at an isolated spot to calm down and reflect about what happened recently. He just defeated Vulture in battle below prior to climbing back up.
Suddenly, an armed Public Eye flyboy tries to apprehend him. After making getting near the flyboy and making himself look like he was about to submit himself, the flyboy communicates with his team. During that short moment, Spider-Man fires his organic web at the flyboy’s mouth which causes him to fire his weapon and miss. Spider-Man then knocks the flyboy out cold, leaving the communication line hanging…
Considering everything that happened to Spider-Man in the previous few issues set deep underneath the modern city, this tale was crafted to develop the webslinger’s personality some more while showing for the first time ever the group of Spider-Man 2099 idolaters who are so obsessed, they go around wearing their idol’s costume and even take risks imitating his physical abilities (example: crawling on the wall). There is no good-versus-evil conflict here but more exploration of the modern society Miguel O’Hara has long been part of.
For one thing, at this point of the monthly series, Spider-Man 2099’s misadventures and acts in uptown New York not only caused disturbance with the modern society watched over by Alchemax, he also sparked a new group of people who perceive him to be their holy savior. This kinda reminds me of DC Comics’ very own Sons of Batman which is a youth group inspired by Batman, and to see the Marvel 2099 have its own version of the concept is a pretty neat move by the creators.
Speaking of characterization, the complexities of the relationships between Miguel O’Hara with his brother Gabriel, his mother Conchata, his romantic interest Dana and the relationships the others have with each other begin to really grow in this issue. The good news is that Peter David not only provided solid dialogue for each character but also clearly defined their respective personality traits and thoughts about others. To see Gabriel personally reacting to Kasey’s reaction towards Spider-Man’s body was amusing and even a bit hilarious.
On the artistic side, Kelley Jones work here as guest illustrator was nice to see and certain visual elements of his work on Batman comic books also made it here. The result is a nice change of style and a new approach of showing visual details. I should state that even though his art style is radically different from that of Rick Leonardi, Jones managed to make the established characters look recognizable to me.
Spider-Man 2099 #9 (1993) is clearly a more characterization-oriented story which is a nice change of pace and approach considering the chaotic story developments of the previous few issues. This comic book also shows that Spider-Man 2099 continues to encounter challenges in both local society and personally. The revelation of idolatry and idolaters connected to Spider-Man added a new layer of foolishness and evil to the local society (for insight, click here and here). At this stage of the monthly series, something new was clearly brewing for the futuristic webslinger and this showed that Peter David laid out his plans for the direction of the series’ narrative. Lastly, Kelley Jones’ work here really stands out.
Overall, Spider-Man 2099 #9 (1993) is recommended!
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