It’s Time to go Back to the Future!
2099 Alpha #1
This book left me more confused than anything. I enjoyed the art. And the story was intriguing enough to see where this will go. Just not enough to pick up five monthly titles.
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There’ve been a few attempts at relaunching 2099 since the 90s. The most prominent was Spider-Man 2099. Peter David wrote the original series. And the scribe was around for the relaunch in 2014. The future wall-crawler was also in the Spider-Verse series and was teased in the post-credits of the animated movie.
2099 offered future versions of classic Marvel characters. Several of them are teased on this cover. Aside from Spidey are Doom, Hulk from Unlimited 2099, the future X-Men, and Daredevil. There’s also the new female Captain America.
But the main focuses of this issue are Thor, Spider-Man, and Doom.
The Legacy of Thunder
“With great power must also come…Assemble!…Whoever holds –”
A child looks upon Mjolnir with wide, green eyes. As she inches closer, several captions read, “Worthy!” Its almost like they’re ominous chanting. Her hand hovers over the handle, and we see she has an eye in her ear.
Is she a mutant? Not X-Man, but closer to what the Morlocks were – too deformed to walk the surface?
But before knowing if she’s worthy enough, a pack of beasts from the shadows chase her off. I was hoping she’d use the hammer up to beat their asses.
The story moves on to a group of street-cleaning soldiers. They’re dressed in black suits, red shoulder pads, and helmet/masks with red circles in the face. Amongst them is a man dressed like Thor. They call him Jake. So I wonder if he’s Olsen, one of Thor’s hosts.
They approach a victim tied up and suspended. Dangling from his tie is Mjolnir.
“Apparently the God of Thunder’s not in a merciful mood today.”
Finally, on page nine are the credits. I understand the means for a prologue – almost like a TV show’s opening sequence before the theme song. But when I read a comic, from the get-go, I like to know who I’m reading.
Writer, Nick Spencer, pens the newest volume of Amazing Spider-Man. The imagery is courtesy of Viktor Bogdanovic, with Marte Gracia filling in the colors. And VC’s Joe Carmagna fills in the captions and word bubbles. I don’t know who this VC is, but I’ve seen Carmanga”s name before in other Marvel titles like Old Man Quill.
We arrive at Alchemax in Nueva York. This name should ring a bell for 2099 fans. It might also ring a bell for those who watched Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse.
Miguel O’Hara doesn’t wear his spider-mask in this issue. Instead, there’s this sequence at work with his boss, Tyler Stone.
“Our pursuit, our value, our reason for being, is the pursuit of truth. And this will certainly help us find it.”
What I believed was a nightmare sequence is cut in over their conversation. But given the context clues before and after, I realized this was some sort of test subject. A giant, furry, red-eyed spider climbs over a screaming man. The test subject stammers, “The Spider Man,” – no hyphen.
“What do you see?”
“I see the world as you made it. Cold and cruel – – Full of lost souls. Searching for something they know has been taken from them.”
These two disembodied voices turn out to be Doom 2099 and the Watcher. An impressive splash page has Doom in the foreground and a chained-up Watcher. Pried open are beaming white orbs that are his eyes. Doom is a mountain of a man, but the Watcher dwarfs him.
I thought Doom 2099 was a good guy. But this paints him closer to the future tyrant from Old Man Quill. Yet, even though he sounds more like his classic counterpart, he speaks of a man with good, yet twisted intentions. Much like the cinematic version of Thanos. But I suppose Victor Von Doom was always a misunderstood diplomat.
Doom’s kidnapped Watcher provides him visions of the outside world. Kind of like a witch or wizard with a crystal ball. They discuss this dystopian future in which Doom has created. Panels present a looming war – barbarians versus the red-faced, armored soldiers who were with Thor in the prologue. What led to this, I’m thinking, was yet another Civil War. Another splash has Avengers and the Fantastic Four battling amongst themselves.
Lost in Tranverse City
“I grow tired of seeing this,” Doom tells him. So the Watcher shows a familiar character in Tranverse City.
In this Mad Maxian metropolis of no laws, the cute little Fantastic Four robot floats into a mercenary bar. He inquires if anyone has seen his mother’s friends. But a couple of biker thugs want to use him for parts.
Just before they disassemble H.E.R.B.I.E., the innocent artificial life is saved by a cyborg gunslinger. She looks like Jonah Hex’s great-great-granddaughter, Jinny, from recent DC Comics. But the thugs know this is Venture.
“Let it not be said Doom is not without kindness, Watcher. This one I will spare, in honor of his ‘mother.’”
Surely, they’re speaking of Sue Storm. Doom and Namor both always had an eye for the wife of their rival.
To Be Continued In…..
“…Conan 2099, Ghost Rider 2099, Punisher 2099, Fantastic Four 2099, Spider-Man 2099, And More!”
So is Alpha #1 just a one-shot to spark these titles? I hoped for it to be ongoing. I won’t be able to afford all those titles.
I hoped this would feature Ravage 2099. Stan Lee created and wrote the 90s 2099 installment long after his tenure. The book opened with a caption describing this Doom-created world as “The Ravage.” And Stone tells Miguel that it’s a trying time in The Ravage.