Timestorm #2 saw Miguel O’Hara get his powers, and his origin is expanded on further here, whereby, after discovering his new powers, he quickly finds himself caught up in a battle against the new Scorpion 2099 with the original Spider-Man (who escapes from the Public Eye with embarassing ease).
The big problem is the reinvention of Miguel O’Hara. This seems like a move designed only to push away those fans of the original 2099.
In issue 1 I was praising how Brian Reed had taken the original comics and crafted a new world that was similar enough to the old 2099 to still be appealing while doing something new. However, with Miguel O’Hara he’s scored an amazing own-goal, by completely ditching the original character in favour of turning him into a carbon copy of Peter Parker. I really have to wonder what the point of that is? The point of Miguel was that he was the exact opposite to Peter Parker. When Peter got powers he was a kid, so Miguel was an adult. Peter was quiet out of costume, mouthy in-costume, so Miguel was quiet in-costume and mouthy out of it. Frankly this seems like a huge disservice to the character and is in danger of putting me off this whole Timestorm mini-series.
(Not to mention Miguel’s powers seem to have now changed to be more like the original Spider-Man’s. He still possesses the organic webshooters of the original Miguel, however there’s no sign of his signature talons, aside from a scene where Miguel has managed to destroy his shoes which suggests they may be there, and this Miguel now has Peter’s signature spider-sense.)
I could’ve lived with Miguel now being younger if his character could’ve at least been recognisable, but sadly no.
I didn’t mind the way in which he and Kron got their powers. The fact they were doing a school experiment in genetic alteration when caught in an explosion I thought worked quite well, managing to provide a way to explain their powers within a busy, 4-issue series, and also to give us a look at a genuinely futuristic approach to schoolwork. Okay, it doesn’t beat the original, but then Miguel’s original origin had the benefit of 3 issues dedicated to it.
One thing about this I did enjoy though, was the elder, more experienced Peter coaching Miguel in the use of his powers. Miguel has literally just discovered his new abilities when he’s caught by Spider-Man (during a failed web-swing) and then drawn into the fight against the Scorpion (the less-fortunate Kron Stone). The scenes where Peter gives Miguel advice in how to sling webs more accurately and control his web-swinging I thought worked well and were quite fun. Similarly I thought Kron’s transformation into Scorpion 2099 worked well played against Miguel’s own transformation. The horror factor of Kron’s mutation helps underline how much worse Miguel could’ve had things.
I’m still onboard for this event, and I still think that overall this reimagining of the 2099 universe has some legs. But there’s no denying that the character that was arguably the signature character of the 2099 universe has been mishandled for this reader. The strength, for me, in what Brian Reed had done so far was to take the original and retell it while retaining recognisable aspects. With Spider-Man 2099, there’s not really any aspect of the character other than the costume (which also lacks the explanation of the original – the fact that Miguel choses such a radically different costume to Peter’s isn’t really that well covered) that’s recognisable as anything other than Peter Parker. And that’s a real shame.