SPIDER-MAN 2099 #1, November 1992
Where I got it: That same comic store that was briefly open in the Royal Palm Publix shopping center, with the Mexican restaurant with the awesome fajitas.
What I thought/think: Oh man, the time I spent copying the drawings in this comic in Mrs. Cook’s 6th grade science class. I loved this shit. Rick Leonardi’s pencils in this comic are some of his best, and the inks by the legendary, late Al Williamson are just what you’d expect. Williamson knew when to go really detailed with hatching, and when to be sparse and clean. Look at Spidey 2099’s legs on the cover to see what I mean.
I remembered this as being a really great origin story, but re-reading it now it seems kind of silly. Miguel O’Hara is a hotshot scientist working for Alchemex, a powerful corporation that specializes in genetic engineering, I guess? One of their products is a seemingly hallucinogenic drug that is so addictive that you go crazy and die if you try to quit it. That seems kinda like a dangerous product, but hey it’s the future! Miggy gets it slipped into his vintage ‘94 fine wine by his evile boss in a plot to keep him at the company (job security does not seem to be an issue 87 years in our future). The Miggster decides to basically Apple Timemachine himself and copy over his drug addicted genetic structure with a drug free earlier version of his genetic structure. Or something. Obviously a different evil boss tampers with the experiment in an attempt to either kill him or frame him with fucking up the lab to get him fired (doubt that’s gonna get him fired, it seems like the boss who got him addicted to super ‘shrooms/heroin wants him around pretty badly). But the tweest is- his genetic code gets mixed with a, you-guessed-it, SPIDER and he becomes some sort of SPIDER MAN. You might’ve seen that coming.
It’s funny reading about the future of 1992 20 years in the future of 1992. WAIT, 1992 WAS 20 YEARS AGO??? Holy shit. Alright, I’m okay now. In some ways Peter David was prescient about the future. Corporations have basically taken over the world, and um, some other stuff. Miguel has a holographic artificial intelligence housekeeper, which is kind of like what Apple advertises Siri as being. And voicemail is needlessly sophisticated- people send full body holograms to each other as messages. If anything voicemail has gone in the opposite direction with text messages.But yeah, we’ve still got 87 years, maybe full body interactive holographic monologs becomes the ideal way of saying “Call me” to someone.
The letter column has an interesting name, translated from Latin to Dateline language as “Spiderfucker”.
Like most Peter David comics there’s a great balance of drama and humor with great characterization. In a clever inversion of Peter Parker, who went from being a shy quiet introvert into cocky wise-ass post-spiderbite, Miguel O’Hara seems to go the opposite route. There’s some over expository dialog, but other than that the comic still reads really well, and the art remains fantastic.