When I was a kid, I read everything I could get my hands on. Genuinely, I loved it and one of my biggest flexes was the fact that I never quit. Once I started reading, I’d finish the book. Except for ‘Far From The Madding Crowd’. Sorry, Thomas Hardy, that was way too boring for me. Anyways, returning to the comic world, my persistence has led to me continuing to read series that have disappointed me previously. One such series has been Volume 2 of Spider-man 2099. Who knows what I was in for now?
‘Smack to the Future’ is such a good novel name. I have to give them props for that. The novel starts with an armed bank robbery that sees two people dead. As Miguel O’Hara, aka, Spider-Man 2099, steps in to stop the criminal, he struggles with his rage and realizes that he doesn’t want to be Spider-Man anymore. Luckily for him, the present-day already has several Spider-people, and Peter Parker offers him a job with Parker Industries. Miguel very reluctantly agrees and it’s pretty evident that he’s not crazy about the job. He uses the majority of his time using a portal to try and find out if his future has changed, now that Alchemax is supposedly out of the picture. Meanwhile, his personal life is going great and he and Tempest are very happy. One day, whilst out for dinner, the two of them express how they feel about each other, and Tempest is just about to give Miguel some big news, a truck crashes into the restaurant. Miguel leaps into action only to find that it’s a robot that’s driven the truck. He passes out and when he wakes up, he’s in the hospital, and he’s been told by Tempest’s mother that she died in the restaurant. Overcome with grief and fury, Miguel vows to find the killer. His search leads him to Dr Alexei Chronos, a man who taught Dr Doom all he knows about robotics. Miguel, armed with a new Spider-Man 2099 suit, confronts Chronos and after a tough battle, his adversary informs him that he was hired by an organization called ‘The Fist’. As Miguel gets to investigating this new organization, a new problem presents itself. It appears that his assistant’s assistant, Roberta Mendez, is also from the future, and she knows Miguel, but he doesn’t seem to know her. When a villain from the future breaks through Miguel’s secret portal, the Miguel and Roberta must team up. Can either of them trust the other? And just what is going on with Tempest’s mother?
Finally. A Spider-Man 2099 novel that I actually have something nice to say about. Although not perfect, ’Smack to the Future’ does deal with a lot of the aspects that made Miguel a disappointing character in previous novel. There is clear character development without it seeming overly drastic. We also get to see a number of supporting characters play good roles, including Peter Parker, who plays a good mentor. Maybe the MCU wanna try and do this on the big screen? *cough* Bring back Andrew *cough*. I also enjoyed that there is a decent integration of the future with the present. So whilst Miguel is worried about how the future is going to pan out, he’s still pretty involved with the comings and goings of the present. I’m also super interested in seeing how Roberta’s role plays out in the coming novels and if there are more team-ups to come.
The artwork was decent, and I don’t think I had any particular complaints. I think the artist is certainly better at drawing the action scenes, rather than the nuances of human faces, but given they’re drawing comic books, it’s all good. The covers and the variants were also good, I just like how colourful this one was. Overall, a massive step in the right direction and I really enjoyed reading this novel! Let’s see if they can keep it up!
I appreciate stuff like this. I really do.
Miguel is finally starting to be a more likeable character. I wonder how long that will last!
Story Arc: 13/20
Character Development: 15.5/20