Saturday, September 14, 2013

Comics Review: Superior Spider-Man #17

Written by: Dan Slott
Art by: Ryan Stegman

Last time we left Otto Park, he was cleaning up some Shadowland loose ends. Assuming the Kingpin dead, and now the Hobgoblin. Little does he know, Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin, is taking in any ad all Goblin followers and building his army. Slowly, but surely. This time around, by the looks of this fantastic cover by Stegman, we're gonna get a taste if Miguel O'Harra. Beloved Spider-Man of the future, year 2099. But the question is, does Miguel come to 2013, or does Otto shoot foreword? Only one way to find out, and that's by opening up this book and finding out ourselves panel by panel.

We open up in the year 2009 New York City or as it's now called, Nova York. The local police are evacuating a sector of the city, sector that our hero, Miguel, happens to be in. I guess he's got the same convenience luck as his predecessor, Peter Octavius. He quickly loses his civilian clothes (even the future there's no easy way to store clothes when you gotta get into your hero outfit on the go) and dons the Spider-Man suit! For those that've never seen it, it's a beautiful all blue piece, with red eye rims that wrap around the head, down the shoulders, and even form the design on the front of the suit. A red spider, with a skull for a body. It truly is a genius suit. Miguel arrives in time to find the local police on their hover bikes fighting...dinosaurs and biplanes? Guess it's true, you can't write a time travel story without dinos and biplanes. The authorities actually want Spider-Man to beat it, completely ignoring that he's helping them! Not long after the dinos and planes disappear and it's time to get to the bottom of what's going on, and Miguel knows exactly where to start. Alchemax.

Breaking into the building, Miguel follows these gold bubbles that erupted from the time displaced threats through the building. He ends up in a lab only to find Tyler Stone (his biological father who doesn't know Miguel is Spider-Man) with holes all over his body. Not like cuts or something, I mean holes! Like Kung-Pow hole in the stomach. Only this dudes got them everywhere! Legs, face, arms, chest, rear end. We learn that all the time traveling that's been done recently by our heels today, is COMPLETELY destroying the future! The X-Men jumping back and forth, the Hulk jumping into the old west, Kang and all his shenanigans, Marty and Doc Brown. Wait, wrong property, ignore that last one!  In order to fix the timeline and save Stone (which is something Miguel doesn't want to do) he'll need to come back to 2013 and fix it. Except Miguel doesn't wanna go, but he's told he absolutely has to. But, why? Dude doesn't wanna go, why should he? Oh, that's why, there's a picture of him in New York in 2013. Guess it kinda blows living in the future and all. Alright time to crank up his cool little time travel watch and get his futuristic ass back to the year 2013!

Cut back in time to 2013 New York. Horizon Labs is having their annual company softball game, it's a team of everyone who was turned into a Spider during Spider-Island vs. everyone who was turned into a lizard during Dr. Curt Conners' debacle last summer at the labs. Personally, I think those teams are hilarious. It's a good way to look back and laugh at the near death experiences you came across while working at Horizon Labs! And yes, that's product placement. I expect a paycheck. Otto's been taking this game way too seriously, determined to be the very best in the company at the game, something that he's mocked for by some of the other players. Right as he knocks a ball straight out of the park, a helicopter lands near the field. Two Feds come out and they're placing Max Modell under arrest!!! Bringing him up on charges like procurement, storing and creation of hazardous materials, harboring known fugitives, human experimentation. All things that've happened recently to the company, like Morbius working there, the serum that helped beat Spider-Island. Lots of stuff that really helped the city, he's being arrested for it, but who could've told? Someone with a grudge, someone who's tried to hurt the company before. Tiberius Stone. Professional brown noser of Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin and ex-Horizon Labs scientist who was beat out of a thin tank spot by Michael Morbius, the living vampire.

While all this is going on at the softball game, the Green Goblin is finishing his training with Phil Urich, the old Hobgoblin. He's being trained to be an even better, badder goblin! Back at Horizon Labs, the staff are all trying to comprehend what just went down with Max. And with all the perfect shitty timing, Liz Allan, newly made majority stock holder of Horizon Labs comes walking through the door. She's got her own staff ready to essentially replace the Horizon crew, and she runs her own company Allan Chemical. Hmmmm, seems like a familiar name, don't it. With her is Tiberius and Otto's Spider-Sense is ringing like a fire alarm. This isn't the time to be subtle, what Otto wouldn't give for his Spider-Sense to be more specific! Stone mentions how by being majority stock holder, Allan Chemical now owns all of the inventions to come out of Horizon Labs, for "Peter", that includes all his gadgets he's made for Spider-Man. Once they leave, Grady actually comes up with a great idea, all of Horizon's now problems are definitely caused by Stone, but they've got no proof. His idea is to go back in time and snap some pictures of Stone in the past. Seems like a pretty easy plan, except for the whole time paradox thing that always comes with basic time travel. The scientists all go to Grady's lab to fire up the machine when suddenly, it fires itself up! Meanwhile, "Pete"'s disappeared and Spider-Man is off doing some first hand work! Back at Horizon, everyone is shocked to see this new Spider-Man looking creature crawl out of the time machine. As if the names earlier weren't enough, Miguel jumped back FROM Alchemax, landing in the same spot some 80-odd years in the past. Looks like Horizon is doomed (or destined, however you look at it) to become Alchemax. And for those of you playing at home who didn't figure it out by bad.

Miguel wastes no time breaking out of the lab and off into the streets to fulfill his job. At the same time, Otto reaches the limo driving Tiberius and Liz and he acts quickly to stop it in the middle of the street. He's about to knock Tiberius' teeth in when his fist gets webbed and yanked at the last second. The final page of the book is a gorgeous shot of the Spider-Man of tomorrow swinging into the scene presenting himself to the Spider-Man of today. Next is the fight we'll be waiting 86 years for! Will these two clash heads and fists? Or work it out and help save time? I'm voting option A because well, it's a comic book and what's a book without peril and possible universe ending possibilities? Can't wait to see this unfold, especially because I love Spider-Man 2099 so much. Always had a strong liking for him even when I was young. And I believe SM2099 number 1 was the same month and year of my birth, but I digress. Keep checking with us to see what's coming next! Until next week readers!

-Matt Milanes

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