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Miguel O’Hara – Spider-Man 2099 #5 Review

4 min read

“Beware… The Man-Thing!”

Creative Staff:
Story: Steve Orlando
Art: Stefano Raffaele
Colors: Raul Angulo
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit

What They Say:
BEWARE – REBIRTH OF THE MAN-THING! SPIDER-MAN must find a way to save the lives (and data) of the people of NUEVA YORK from the touch of MAN-THING 2099! What does this new shambling monstrosity mean for the future of Nueva York? Also featuring the return of THE SPECIALIST!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
I’ve long enjoyed the realm of 2099 even though I’ve not read much in forever. I still have incredibly fond memories of when the first book came out in the 90s and I’ll try to sample it when I can. This new five-issue series wraps up with this installment and again comes from writer Steve Orlando who has had a number of fun books for Marvel recently that keep me interested while at times wishing for just a bit more depth. For this book, he’s teamed up with artist Stefano Raffaele, which is my latest experience with their work. It helps that while some of these are established characters they’re not hugely defined in the way that the mainline ones are so it’s able to establish itself as its own thing well enough. The layouts are solid, Raul Angulo’s color design works well, and I enjoyed some of the blending that goes on with different story moments, and the characters look good while capturing this particular kind of terror.

With this wrapping up the run and knowing that more 2099 is coming this summer, what we get here is an interesting take on Man-Thing. The focus is on a scientist named Gray who left Pixel Corp because he hated the invasive project he was working on. While it would have given Pixel even more data about people in every way possible, he reworked it to try and make people invisible when it came to a digital footprint. That got Pixel Corp to basically torch his place, kill him,a nd toss him down the drain. Which is where he latched onto something else and was absorbing into this Warlock/Man-Thing hybrid that has now come to Nuevo York to end Pixel Corp and it’s taking out a lot of people along the way. Particularly since its touch can basically cause a digital and physical burn – especially when we see it affecting medical implants.

Miguel’s role in this is a bit delayed and in the end, I don’t think he does much overall but does try to get Man-Thing to understand that it can go after Pixel Corp but it can’t hurt people. There’s a lot of good action here by the nature of how it unfolds and it plays against the head of Pixel Corp trying to make sure it’s stopped and the data is safe only to have everything go very badly. We do get a guest appearance by The Specialist which is a fun moment but it didn’t seem to serve too much purpose in the moment. I do like that the “assistants” such as Layla for Miguel and Ida for the Haxan boss are the ones that do most of the work here in different ways and shows just how different life is in 2099 thanks to the nature of so many changes over the decades. It works well enough for Miguel to reinforce his approach to protecting the city as well.

In Summary:
This has been a fun run overall with its intent on tapping into five different characters/types for Miguel to face off against. It showed off the period well, the way Miguel operates and thinks in this time, and provided for a lot of action. What we didn’t get, however, was time with Miguel himself. It’s almost entirely with him suited up if not completely in that way and losing out on the who of the character is tough. I do like the overall approach of showing us basically an anthology of this time and place through opponents for Miguel but it loses some of that “Marvel magic” but not including material with him as a thread throughout it. But we do get character material through the opponents themselves and their stories so it balances out some. But not having time for our hero always feels a bit odd to me. Regardless, I’m cautiously optimistic for a new return to 2099 in the summer of 2024.

Grade: B

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Marvel Comics
Release Date: January 31st, 2024
MSRP: $4.99

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