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Rider Paladin

Spider-Man has had many representations in not only alternate realities but alternate futures as well. The first is Marvel 2099, an imprint started in late 1992 which was supposed to take place a century into the future, a ruined future where superheroes were nothing more than mythological figures, where gargantuan corporations effectively ruled the world through vestigial puppet governments and enforced that rule with privatized police forces answerable only to "paying customers," and where the downtrodden lived literally at the bottom of the barrel while the wealthy and powerful and their servants lived high above the misery of those downtrodden in towering technological spires. Into this future was born a man known as Miguel O'Hara, a prodigiously intelligent youth that had ascended to great heights within the corporate hierarchy of Alchemax, arguably the most powerful corporation in North America, and didn't care for much of anything but himself. He had a brilliant idea to bio-engineer create a corporate raider based on the powers of Spider-Man, as someone with the agility and wall-crawling abilities of a spider would have no problem infiltrating other corporations to steal knowledge or commit sabotage. Unfortunately, his first test subject came out horrifically deformed and insane --- and died shortly afterwards, horrifying Miguel enough to resign from Alchemax, to which his boss Tyler Stone responded by lacing his drink with a psychoactive drug called Rapture that would bond to his DNA and leave him a hopeless addict shackled to Alchemax, conveniently the only legal source of the drug.

Not wanting to live his life beholden to anything or anyone, Miguel broke into his offices in Alchemax and attempted to use an earlier recording of his DNA to override his forced Rapture addiction. Unfortunately, a jealous coworker who had long been belittled by Miguel, Aaron Delgado, sabotaged the process by incorporating spider DNA from the raider project into the imprinting, which caused Miguel's human DNA to mix with spider DNA, curing him of his addiction but giving him spider-like abilities similar to and yet different from Peter Parker's. Finding himself on the run, Miguel broke into his home to disguise himself using a Day of the Dead costume with an emblem that was effectively a spider and a skull mixed together so his pursuers would not recognize him. As Spider-Man, Miguel initially fought for revenge on Alchemax for trying to poison him into staying with the corrupt corporation, but an impromptu trip into "Downtown," where the downtrodden of 2099 scrabbled to survive, showed him the bigger picture, the misery and corruption that he had been party to without knowing or caring to know. Ashamed of his callous arrogance and how he had in his own way contributed to the misery of the world he lived in, Miguel turned his Spider-Man alter ego into an anti-corporate freedom fighter, battling various foes for the sake of those downtrodden he had once ignored.

The fun thing about Miguel O'Hara was that he was very different from Peter Parker and even designed as such by his creator Peter David. Where Peter was an orphan that never knew his parents and was raised in a loving home by his uncle and aunt, Miguel knew both of his parents and had a rather dysfunctional relationship with both of them and his brother Gabriel. Where Peter never really got the chance to utilize his scientific talents in a way that would lead to personal profit, Miguel was a top scientist at Alchemax at a rather young age. Where Peter was rather awkward with women, Miguel was quite the ladies' man in his own right. Where Peter was ultimately a nice if "somewhat flaky and sometimes unreliable" guy, Miguel was initially a jerk who could care less about anyone else, which is how he ended up seducing his brother's girlfriend. Where Peter was rather quiet as himself and could talk up a storm as Spider-Man, Miguel never quit with the cocky zingers as himself but went nearly dead silent as Spider-Man.

Their powers were also rather different, with Miguel's designed to be more "realistic" in terms of spider biology than Peter's. For example, Miguel had spinnerets in his forearms that enabled him to naturally generate webbing as opposed to Peter's mechanical web-shooters. Second, where Peter used a presumably bio-magnetic ability to attach himself to walls and ceilings, Miguel had one-inch talons extending from his fingertips and toes that could hook into the surfaces he climbed. Third, where Peter had a precognitive ability to sense danger (the spider-sense), Miguel simply had accelerated vision that enabled him to see things at large distances from his location and clearly perceive fast-moving objects . . . but he could still be caught off-guard. (Then again, so could Peter Parker, even with his spider-sense.) Fourth, where Peter would web-sling as his usual mode of travel, Miguel would use a Lyte-Byte "cape" to glide across distances and slow his falls and didn't web-sling as often as Peter did. In terms of strength, speed, and constitution, Peter and Miguel were nearly identical, though Miguel had only become Spider-Man in young adulthood and Peter had been Spider-Man since he was fifteen years old, and while neither of them were fighters before gaining their powers, they both developed extremely effective fighting styles based on their powers.

Another Marvel future with Spider-Man at its center focused more on Peter Parker's immediate legacy, his daughter with Mary Jane Watson, named after his aunt and nicknamed Mayday. In high school, Mayday was the star player on the girls' basketball team and as brilliant as she was outgoing, combining the signature traits of her parents . . . until the day her spider-powers, inherited from her long-retired father, kicked in. Just in time, too, as Normie Osborn, the grandson of Norman Osborn and the son of Harry Osborn, had come back seeking revenge for his father and grandfather by becoming the new Green Goblin and finishing off Spider-Man for good. To his surprise, he got Spider-Girl, something that didn't sit well with her overprotective father at first, only for him to learn that just as nothing would have stopped him from being Spider-Man and helping people, nothing could stop his daughter from doing the same as Spider-Girl. Mayday would also meet future versions of the X-Men, the Avengers, and the Fantastic Four (which had expanded to the Fantastic Five) and mature as a superhero while fighting future versions of various Marvel villains and struggling to retain some semblance of a normal life, much like her father had in his youth. In a shocking yet heartwarming moment, the longstanding Spider-Goblin feud would not end with a battle to the death between Spider-Girl and the new Green Goblin --- but instead with a hug. In fact, it was Spider-Girl's unique compassion that enabled many characters that started as villains or antagonists to shed their villainous ways and change their lives for the better, a feat that even managed to be repeated with the Venom symbiote when it bonded with the redeemed Normie Osborn and her own clone "sister" April Parker, a unique hybrid of human and symbiote engineered by Norman Osborn as part of his final revenge against Peter Parker.

Of course, Mayday was not the only Spider-Man legacy within what came to be known as the "MC2" Universe. Ben Reilly, the clone "brother" of Peter Parker, had had a tragic love affair with a woman running from her own past, a redhead named Elizabeth Tyne. She had given birth to a son named Reilly while in prison, but Reilly had to be given up to his aunt and uncle due to Elizabeth still serving time for killing her abusive father, an aunt and uncle that abused him for much of his life. When his spider-powers kicked in, so did the cellular degeneration that had claimed his father's life. Desperate to save the last remnant he had of his erstwhile foe and "brother," Peter's first clone, the assassin Kaine, attempted to invoke the power of Zarathos, the demon that had empowered Johnny Blaze to become the supernatural hero Ghost Rider, to save Reilly and also resurrect his former foe Daredevil, only for Zarathos to turn on Kaine and attempt to possess Reilly. Through the intervention of Daredevil's spirit, Reilly managed to retain control of his body, albeit a body that had been drastically altered by the infusion of Zarathos's spirit. He ultimately learned how to assume a human appearance, but said human appearance was more like a young adult in contrast to the young teenager he really was, and he used his inherited spider-powers and demonic powers to become the vigilante Darkdevil in honor of Daredevil, something that would not sit well with Peter Parker, who presumed that Darkdevil was disgracing Matt Murdock's memory, unaware that Darkdevil was Matt Murdock, at least in part. Darkdevil would become a reluctant ally of Spider-Girl, growing fonder of her despite his reticent and occasionally insulting attitude toward her, to the point he even managed to admit it to both her and her "sister-cousin" April Parker, though he would not confess his true relation to either of them.

The actual name of Spider-Man in the MC2 Universe would be taken up by Gerald "Gerry" Drew, the young son of the first Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew, who had attempted to use the same process that gave her spider-powers to cure his cancer. While he did gain spider-powers from the process, it did not cure his cancer and Gerry ultimately decided that if he was going to die, anyway, he might as well die doing some good and thus became the new Spider-Man, albeit passing himself off as the original returned, which did not sit well with the actual Spider-Man's daughter at all. They would become reluctant partners, working together in spite of their mutual distaste for one another, only for Gerry to retire when Peter dressed up as Spider-Man one more time to dissuade him from fighting crime until he got treatment for his cancer, something Peter promised Reed Richards would be able to do for him. As for Ben Reilly's legacy, the costume worn by Spider-Girl was originally his redesigned Spider-Man costume, and the name of the Scarlet Spider was taken up by Felicia Hardy's daughter Felicity, who wanted desperately to be Spider-Girl's partner and used the Scarlet Spider name and costume, albeit modified.

The Marvel 2099 imprint was rather short-lived, falling under within 5 years due to cost-cutting measures on the part of Marvel Comics that were ultimately far more costly than anticipated. However, Spider-Man 2099 was the best-received of the Marvel 2099 series and thus still fondly remembered, to the point that Spider-Man games would use his costume as an alternate skin and the two most recent --- Shattered Dimensions and Edge of Time --- would feature him as an actual character fighting alongside Peter Parker's Spider-Man. Not that such was entirely unprecedented, as a one-shot titled Amazing Spider-Man Meets Spider-Man 2099 came out in 1995, revolving around Miguel and Peter being time-warped into each other's eras and having to fight each other's unique foes and collide with each other's supporting casts . . . which was worth it just for Miguel telling off J. Jonah Jameson for using his paper to bash someone who would be remembered in Miguel's time as one of the greatest heroes in history while Jameson would be nothing but a footnote.

Spider-Girl was also rather fondly remembered by Marvel fans despite its ultimate cancellation a few years ago, to the point that it had repeatedly been saved from cancellation previously by the efforts of those fans. There was something just positively lovable about Mayday Parker and her family and friends, enough that her fans were inspired to go to the wall again and again to keep her from being canceled, which made her story last for roughly 10 years and more than 130 individual comic issues. Plus, it was refreshing to see a Marvel future that hadn't gone completely into the crapper, as was Marvel's tradition then and now, showing broken futures where the heroes' efforts had amounted to nothing and perhaps even made things worse. A sense of hope can be a phenomenally inspiring thing.

Here will be where we discuss the varying future legacies of Spider-Man and what context they may or may not add to the present-day Spider-Man. Just remember to be polite to one another even if you disagree, and we'll all be solid. In the words of Axel from Kingdom Hearts: "Got it memorized?"

5/30/2012 #1
Wait- we don't have enough road here! *laughs* Where we're going, we don't need roads. *puts on sunglasses* CCCCCCHHHHEEEEAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XD
6/7/2012 #2
Rider Paladin

Heh, all right, then. Where'd you get that reference, and how does it have any bearing on this topic?

6/7/2012 #3
CMR Rosa

I love Mayday Parker, her had the best of both her parents, like her mother, she is a beautiful, charismatic, and a popular student, and she is intelligent and bright, just like her father, I really hope Marvel someday makes a new comic about her, I love her supporting cast, who was your favorite supporting character?

7/1/2012 #4
Rider Paladin

I don't have a single favorite, but my Top Five would include Felicity Thompson, the new Black Tarantula, and Normie Osborn. Felicity because of the sheer irony of the Black Cat's daughter adopting the title of the Scarlet Spider and Felicity being just as ardent in wanting to be Mayday's partner as her mother was in wanting to be Mayday's father's partner. The new Black Tarantula because of his sense of honor despite being a crime lord and his love for Mayday --- and the new black costume he gave her, which was pretty awesome. Normie Osborn because that was just the best ending to the Spider-Goblin feud I could imagine, and he really became a better and happier person for it, thanks to her. Shame they didn't actually get together (that would have really been a nice "screw you" to Norman Osborn), but with her age and all . . .

7/1/2012 #5
Rider Paladin

Speaking of Spider-Man's future representations, Spider-Man 2099's first TPB collection is going to be reprinted this May according to the solicits for that month's Marvel Comics releases. The solicit itself is right below:


Written by PETER DAVID



The year is 2099 — the ultra-rich are above the law, and megacorporations rule. Venture, the Specialist, the Vulture — the future is full of menaces, but none so vile as a corrupt government and the corporations behind it! A scary future needs a hero who's just as creepy — perhaps a wall-crawler of some kind? See the world of tomorrow and the cast who inhabit it as the Spider-Man of 2099 battles evil in both high and low society in the 2099 imprint's flagship title, written by industry legend Peter David! Collecting SPIDER-MAN 2099 #1-10.

Oh, and Spider-Man 2099 may well really be making an appearance in Superior Spider-Man #7-8 in April, so stay tuned for that one when it comes out! Yes, this may well be the beginning of a Marvel 2099 renaissance, led by Miguel O'Hara, the Spider-Man of Tomorrow!

2/19/2013 . Edited 2/19/2013 #6
Rider Paladin

Well, Miguel didn't show up in Superior #7-8, but he is going to appear in issue 17, and the setup is going to be rather similar to the Terminator, with a time-traveler out to kill Tiberius Stone (exiled from Horizon Labs at the end of Amazing #697 when his ties to the Kingpin were discovered by Max Modell) before he (or his son Tyler) can create Alchemax and Miguel out to save him for the sake of preserving the timeline. Naturally, Superior believes Tiberius Stone is better off dead, given his mindset of preventing future evils by taking out bad guys now, and this will naturally cause him to clash with Miguel, who is understandably trying to preserve the timeline (and his own existence, as Tiberius is his grandfather).

Details in the link above, and for those who like Ryan Stegman, he's the guy doing the art for that particular arc. Now if only I could see his take on Superior's new costume . . .

4/28/2013 #7

Yes he's back and he'll team up with Ock...i wonder if they will make a reference to Edge of Time or shattered dimensions in this issue.

4/28/2013 #8
Rider Paladin

Considering Slott wrote Shattered Dimensions, that is a faint possibility. However, they won't be working together so much as clashing because they want very different things concerning the life of Tiberius Stone. Miguel wants Tiberius alive to preserve the timeline, and Spider-Ock wants him dead for all the evil he's committed and will likely go on to commit in the future as the possible founder of Alchemax.

4/28/2013 #9

Yeah and if he dies no 2099 Alchemax.

4/28/2013 #10
Rider Paladin

Unfortunately, that also means no Miguel O'Hara to become the Spider-Man of 2099. Real dilemma, isn't it?

4/28/2013 #11

Yeah no wonder O'Hara is out to save Stone not just for him but his entire reality.

4/28/2013 #12
Rider Paladin

Pretty much, and the only thing Otto's concerned with is that killing Stone means stopping a century's worth of evil in the future.

4/28/2013 #13

He's not wrong when you put it like that.

4/28/2013 #14
CMR Rosa

Did you know that Tiberius Stone was original a Iron Man character, he was a childhood rival to Tony Stark and friend, they been rivals for years and he even stole Tony's girlfriend Rumiko Fujikawa, it was also revealed he kill his parents when Tory father drove Stones to the verge of bankruptcy to get the money to become richer then Tony, by the end of the Iron Man storyline he was in a coma.

4/28/2013 #15

Yeah i wonder how that will tie in with issue 17.

4/28/2013 #16
Rider Paladin

Uh-huh. I mean, he just showed up out of the blue working for Horizon Labs, and Slott never said anything about how or when he woke up from his coma. Maybe we'll figure it out in 17.

In another future timeline revolving around a Spider-Man legacy character, I got the Spider-Girl: The Last Stand TPB yesterday. I'm still rather miffed that it ended with April Parker's death and before Darkdevil could reveal to the Parkers who he really was. Would have been worth it to see Peter's reaction, in light of him always bashing Darkdevil for making a mockery of Matt Murdock's legacy. As for April, as unstable as she was and as warped as her ideas of what being a hero meant were, considering that all that came out of some massive validation and self-esteem issues on account of being a clone, issues that weren't helped at all by Peter's treatment of her for the time she was living with the Parker family, I rather felt sorry for her. Her ending story was rather poignant, with her seeing the horrible future that would result from her actions and choosing to let herself die in Mayday's place, though given the regenerative abilities of a symbiote, it wouldn't be hard to conclude that she eventually reconstituted herself somewhere. Sadly, as the series has been over for the last few years, we'll never quite know, now will we?

4/30/2013 #17

Yeah that sucks.

5/1/2013 #18
Rider Paladin

Three more months, and we will have Spider-Man 2099 back in our hands! They've even released Ryan Stegman's covers for those issues, and I am honestly stoked in a way I haven't been in a good while.

6/6/2013 #19

Good i am also looking forward to it and the possible revival of the 2099 line.

6/6/2013 #20
Rider Paladin

That's what I'm hoping for, too.

6/6/2013 #21

Yeah we really need that line back.

6/7/2013 #22
Rider Paladin

The solicit for Superior Spider-Man #17:


It's actually S-Man, Marvel solicit writer, but I'm so psyched I think I'm going to let you continue to breathe unaided.

6/13/2013 #23

Man this is going to be so awesome!

6/14/2013 #24
Rider Paladin

Yes. Yes, it is. And Stegman's covers for #17 and #18 are awesome.

6/22/2013 #25

Yeah i am so pumped up for it and i think this is connected to the events of Age of Ultron.

6/22/2013 #26
Rider Paladin

Considering that Age of Ultron ended with time so broken that Angela from Spawn crossed over into the Marvel Universe, yeah, I can definitely see that being a major factor in Spider-Man 2099 coming back in time.

6/22/2013 #27

Or Superior Spidey being sent into the future.

6/22/2013 #28
Rider Paladin

That doesn't seem to be the plot they're going with, but I could be wrong.

6/23/2013 #29

yeah i'll just wait till more info is released.

6/23/2013 #30
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