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Welcome back superhero enthusiasts, 1990s arts and culture enthusiasts, Marvel Comics fans and comic book collectors! Today we go back to the wild 1990s and explore the far future of 2099 within the Marvel Comics shared universe through one of the tales of Spider-Man 2099.
In my previous retro review, the futuristic Spider-Man got involved with his era’s version of Vulture (Vulture 2099 to us readers). It turns out, Vulture 2099 is not your typical evil supervillain but the leader of a group of violent radical people who are willing to dominate society with a destructive mindset even though there are other opposing groups around them. And then Spidey 2099 realized something very wrong about the Vulture which leads to a big battle between them.
With those details laid down, here is a look back at Spider-Man 2099 #8, published in 1993 by Marvel Comics with a story written by Peter David and drawn by Rick Leonardi.
The story begins with Spider-Man 2099 and Vulture 2099 crashing into the interiors of the ancient St. Patrick’s Cathedral located in old New York City (underneath the modern city). Unsurprisingly, the people inside the cathedral got very surprised about the unexpected entry of the two fighters.
Elsewhere, Miguel O’Hara’s brother Gabriel helps Kasey with her head. She tells him that she saw Miguel but Gabriel does not believe her. Suddenly, members of a gang knock on the door and Kasey opens it.
Inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the fight between Spider-Man and Vulture continues. Spider-Man remembers that he has lapsed as a Catholic and he feels very uneasy about the trouble he and his enemy are causing inside the old church structure. Vulture suddenly throws a wooden bench at Spidey but breaks open a glass window and then goes outside. Upon looking outside, Spider-Man notices a group of Vulture’s gang…the Freakers.
Here is the good news about this comic book…the story here is a fitting conclusion to what happened in issue #7. The conflict between Spider-Man and Vulture here was carefully crafted and there were several key moments or scenes the provided readers some breathing room to grasp and understand the society of 2099 New York as well as the conflict between the downtown social groups who are deprived of the higher standard of living many miles above them. In some ways, the social divisions portrayed in this comic book is a sad reminder about modern day America and the many radical groups or gangs of people who divide society on race, ethnicity, social class, gender and ideology.
As expected, there is a lot of action executed in the fight between Spider-Man and Vulture of 2099 but there were pauses in between. This is not surprising considering how Peter David crafted the action-packed battles Spidey 2099 had with other enemies in the comic books released before this one. Without spoiling what happened, I can say that the battle between the two was nicely built-up and the conclusion turned out very satisfying to see.
Still on the story, Peter David added some layers of complexity into the conflict that easily made things much more difficult for Spider-Man 2099 on a personal level. I’m talking about his brother Gabriel and Kasey getting involved in the gang war against the Freakers.
Vulture 2099 is once again a standout opposition figure here. Not only is his ability to fly and cause chaos above his obsessed Freakers below is symbolic, his distorted, hardcore beliefs are reflected with his unrelenting use of violence as he fights Spider-Man. Not only that, he turns out to be very philosophical thanks to the rich dialogue Peter David came up with. It is also here that the futuristic Vulture is opposed to God and being the socialist-indoctrinated person he is, he easily blames Alchemax for God’s absence. This should remind you that through Vulture 2099, evil comes with fatal attraction that people could not realize until it is too late. The futuristic Vulture has a lot of common with the evil leaders of Black Lives Matter, Antifa, the Democratic Socialists of America and the long-time regime of Iran. Lastly, I should state that radical socialists are always wrong about God and they often live with distorted perceptions about Him. Vulture 2099 qualifies as a woke figure of 2099 and ultimately wokeness is foolishness.
Speaking of sub-plots, this comic book emphasizes Tyler Stone on how he handles ambitious projects of Alchemax that he believes will benefit people. His interactions with Dana here also sheds light about his very own obsession about the future of humanity.
With rich writing, notable in-story details and a very well designed conflict between the futuristic Spider-Man and Vulture, Spider-Man 2099 #8 (1993) is both very engaging and entertainting to read from start to finish. It is a great pay-off to what was built-up in issue #7. Very notably, the conflict between Vulture 2099 and the protagonist is great to see and it is clear that Vulture is not a disposable supervillain but one of the most definitive forces of opposition against Spider-Man 2099. Of course, as comic book history turned out, Vulture 2099 made it in the crossover comic book event between classic Spider-Man and Spidey of 2099. Along the way, the creative team succeeded with expanding the lore of 2099 and the social underclass of New York.
Overall, Spider-Man 2099 #8 (1993) is highly recommended.
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