Dan Slott and Ryan Stegman wrap up the very enjoyable Spider-Man 2099 story in excellent fashion here, and also set up some very interesting stuff for the future.
There isn’t too much action in this issue, because Spider-Man 2099 is out cold for most of it, but the character elements for Otto Octavious are very interesting indeed. With 2099 unconscious, it’s up to our ‘hero’ to save the day, and for once, it looks like SpOck is actually inferior to Peter Parker. If Peter was there, he would have been able to remember the equation which would stop the Reverbium from destroying the fabrics of space and time. But of course, Otto never accessed those memories, so he doesn’t know the equation. We see him delve into the memories he does have, and it was very cool to see Stegman redraw many classic Spider-Man moments, in close approximations of the original artists (it may even be the originals) but with Doc Ock’s head replacing Peter’s. During this sequence, we also see a strange silhouette of someone rising from some rubble. It’s pretty obvious that this is Peter Parker in memory form, coming back from the defeat he suffered back in #9, Doc Ock has not completely erased him after all.
In the end, in a rather surprising moment of failure, Spider-Man is unable to remember the equation, and there’s a massive ‘time-quake’ which disappears both Horizon Labs and Spidey. It’s been a lot of fun seeing Doc Ock actually be good at being a hero, but it’s also interesting to see him screw up, for their to be a bit of balance, because at times, you are left wondering why you thought Peter Parker was any good in the first place. This issue showed that Otto, as entertaining as he is, is still no hero. So basically, things are back as they were for Spider-Man 2099, he managed to stop Tiberius Stone from being killed, and his timeline is saved, hooray. But, in the future, Tyler Stone breaks the time machine on their end, stranding Miguel O’Hara in the present. Miguel decides to keep an eye on Tiberius Stone, and becomes his personal assistant, as ‘Michael O’Mara’. This all feels like set-up for a new Spider-Man 2099 series, and whilst I welcome that, it does feel kind of stupid to me to take that character out of his setting and time period entirely. Part of the reason people like the character is because of the world of 2099, do we really care about his exploits in the now?
But then again, with SpOck lost in the time-stream, he’s the only Spidey we have! Except no, Max Modell and Grady Scraps use a nifty machine (and a Doctor Who reference) to rescue Spider-Man and bring him back. We don’t see where he went during the time he was missing, but he returns to a much more unkind world. J.Jonah Jameson has exiled Horizon Labs from New York, Max has fired Peter Parker, Mary-Jane no longer wants to talk to him, and oh yeah, Carlie Cooper has discovered the big secret. That’s a big one, as the issue is book-ended by Carlie and Wraith investigating Spider-Man’s taxes, in one of those tax haven islands, and at the end, Carlie finds a document showing that the money going to Spider-Island comes from… Doctor Octopus. Now, Carlie hasn’t pieced together everything, but it’s coming. I’ve been loving this storyline, and how surprisingly successful Ock has been, but I can’t wait to see all of the bricks come tumbling down. Spider-Man’s lost his job, he’s lost most of his friends, Carlie is close in on the truth, and even though they aren’t in this issue, the Goblins are circling. Oh man, I am excited, this book always delivers and the endgame should be even better.
The art here from Stegman was solid once again, but I did find the constant yellow colouring on most of the pages a bit distracting and annoying, I suppose it did get across the severity of the crisis, but it was a bit much from Edgar Delgado.