Graphic Novel Review: Spider-Man 2099: Spider-Verse

Spider-Man 2099: Spider-Verse

Spider-Man 2099: Spider-Verse - Credit: Archant

It’s back to the future then back to the past for the webslinger of 84 years from now...

(Panini Books)

Although the main Spider-Verse storyline has already been collected in a volume of Amazing Spidey, the peripheral plot threads played out in other series, including 2009, Spider-Woman and mini-series like Spider-Verse Team-Up and Scarlet Spiders, all of which contained details essential to the overall narrative, but some of which are unlikely to be collected this side of the Atlantic.

Although Spider-Woman is forthcoming, the next instalment of the Spider-Verse arc can be found in this second volume of 2099, which initially focuses on future webslinger Miguel O’Hara’s efforts to dissect the clone body of the Inheritor Daemos in order to uncover information which might aid the Spider-Men of multiple realities in defeating the rest of his family.

Assisted by Lady Spider of Earth-803, a six-armed Spider-Man and the Punisher of 2099, Miguel uses the future technology of his own time to investigate the Inheritors’ weaknesses, but are forced to escape when Daemos is revived in a new body, at the cost of the multi-limbed Spidey’s life.

After discovering that many of their team-mates have already been slaughtered on Earth-13, Lady Spider and Miguel take refuge in her reality in order to rebuild the Japanese Spider-Man’s giant robot Leopardon, and rejoin their surviving allies in a final battle against the Inheritors…

In the wake of Spider-Verse, Miguel somehow ends up in a post-apocalyptic 2099 ruled over by the Maestro, a ruthless future version of the Hulk who has annihilated all other superheroes and is now seeking new challenges in other times and places…

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There’s barely a moment to breathe throughout the six issues collected in this volume, as Spider-Man 2099 finds himself catapulted between different worlds and time periods, before ultimately ending up back in our present day ready for the events of the multiverse-shattering Secret Wars.

However, writer Peter David succeeds in juggling numerous characters and plots with ease, despite working with different artists in the process, and it’s down to his talents as a creative force that readers are carried along with Miguel on his adventures, instead of being left scratching their heads on the sidelines.

With Miles Morales, Peter Parker and now Miguel O’Hara set to be running around as Spider-Men in the contemporary Marvel Universe after Secret Wars, one might ask what each character can bring to the table that remains original and innovative. On the strength of this volume, the Spider-Man formerly of 2099 has nothing to worry about.