Its so nice to see the 2099 universe back. Well, sort of.
This is a reboot of the 2099 universe, however it shares more similarity with the original than the reboot a few years back did. Brian Reed has created a universe that contains a great many differences to the original, however still feels familiar, thanks to familiar sights and characters such as Alchemax and Tyler Stone.
The story finds Jake Gallows (familiar to fans of the original 2099 as the off-his-rocker Punisher 2099) sent back in time. He thinks its by Thor, however we find out that its actually Tyler Stone, seeking to alter events for his own purposes, using a time sphere created by a Dr George O’Hara. Jake has been sent back to kill off superheroes, however what he doesn’t know is that when he kills them, they’re actually being transported to the future world of 2099. First to encounter him is Spider-Man, who ends up in the future, and quickly locked up by the Public Eye.
There’s a lot of differences in this version of 2099. While Alchemax and Tyler Stone appear pretty constant, everything else has a different, if sometimes familiar, spin on it. George O’Hara is now Stone’s top physicist, responsible for the time sphere Tyler is using, which was created so they could attempt to discover the missing pages from their history (a nice callback to the original 2099 which also had big holes in its history to allow for wiggle room with the present day Marvel Universe). Miguel is present, but is only a teenager, which makes me wonder if this version of Spider-Man 2099 will be closer to the original Peter Parker Spider-Man, which I hope not.
Familiar characters like Kron Stone, Dana (now Kron’s girlfriend), Xina (dating someone called Reilly) and Lyla (still a hologram, but no longer based on Marilyn Monroe and now Tyler’s hologram not Miguel’s) appear, and one reference which gave me a laugh was Rapture appearing as an energy drink, with an advertisting campaign fronted by Captain America.
And that’s something interesting about this 2099. The Age of Heroes in the previous 2099 was something of a curiousity and appealed to the scientific characters, however in this 2099 Superheroes are everywhere. Not just the Church of Thor, but Iron Man appears front and centre on Stark Fujikawa posters (for armaments!), Cap is hawking energy drinks and Spider-Man himself appears on posters. Even the Public Eye now bear very familiar Punisher motifs. This is a world where the Age of Heroes is treated like we treat celebrities, with familiar faces, being resurrected for adverts.
I really enjoyed this first issue, and despite the differences, its really nice to see these (mostly) familiar characters back again, and while a reboot, its one that feels truer to the original 2099, rather than the last one which just used the name. The only thing I’ve got reservations about is the much younger Miguel, but we’ll see how that pans out. There’s an element of time-mangling going on here with Jake Gallows back in the present day zapping heroes, so that could cause this world of 2099 to change to become more like the classic one. Interestingly there’s a profile of the original Spider-Man 2099 included in the book, which I found a bit odd, given the fact that this is a new take, so I wonder if that’s significant, or just a gift to the 2099 fans.