Secret Wars 2099 #1 Review


Secret Wars 2099 #1
Written by Peter David
Art by Will Sliney
Colored by Antonio Fabela and Andres Mossa
Published by Marvel Comics

When the announcement came that Marvel was ending their popular Spider-Man 2099 title as part of the mass cancellations due to Secret Wars, many fans were rightfully upset. The book has garnered a small but devoted following in no small part thanks to the presence of original Spider-Man 2099 architect Peter David and the talented art of Will Sliney, late of one of my favorite titles in recent memory, The Fearless Defenders.

So those same fans were probably very happy to hear about Secret Wars 2099, a new title that would pick up right where Spider-Man 2099 left off. It would not only tie into Marvel’s mega-event but also introduce the 2099 version of the Avengers, something that until now had never been done.

After reading the first issue, I can safely say fans of Spider-Man 2099 probably really enjoyed the first issue. Everyone else, however, I’m not so sure.

It’s not that Secret Wars 2099 is a bad or unentertaining comic, because it’s not. There is a decidedly retro vibe going through the book that translates into a fun reading experience. Sliney’s art is a blast, and he does a great work bringing the neon-soaked world of the future Avengers to life. He mixes elements of cyberpunk with the 2099 aesthetic to create a setting unique to the Secret Wars universe. In addition, his character designs for the 2099 Avengers, especially Captain America and Hawkeye, are radically different but familiar and creative. And his Iron Man 2099 is just all kinds of cool.

No, I think my issues with the first installment of Secret Wars 2099 have more to do with the story.

When it comes to super hero comics, there are few writers better than Peter David. He always mixes drama and humor with just the right amount of whatever makes a super hero comic a super hero comic to great effect. The problem here is that Secret Wars 2099 comes off as a bit formulaic and stale compared to what other writers are doing with the whole Battleworld idea.

The first issue follows a very predictable, tried and true comic book pattern. Introduce the cast. Action. Subplot. More action. Big dramatic moment. Cliffhanger ending. It’s more a perfect example of comic book script writing 101 than the exhilarating first issue of a new series.

Throughout the book, there is no mention of Secret Wars, Battleworld, where the world of 2099 figures into the event, nothing. There isn’t even much of Miguel O’Hara, who is now running Alchemax and the Avengers of 2099. Personally, I would have preferred to see Spider-Man as a member of the team, joining in on the action and interacting with the rest of the cast rather than just pulling the strings from behind the scenes.

At the end of the day, it just seems like David, instead of using Secret Wars as an opportunity to bring something new and exciting to the 2099 concept, played it very safe, writing a by-the-numbers story that, while a fun read, comes off as nothing anyone hasn’t seen a million times before.

The Bottom Line: If you enjoyed Spider-Man 2099, Secret Wars 2099 will be right up your alley and put a smile on your face. However, if you are planning to read it just because it’s part of the Secret Wars event, you may want to save your money and wait for the trade paperback on this one.

Next: More Secret Wars Reviews: Inferno #1

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