Marvel, like many comic companies, has produced so many books over the years and so many different story lines, that occasionally a story line will become a part of its own divergent canon. This creates its own continuity or Comic UNIVERSE. One of the most beloved alternate realities of the Marvel universe is the universe of 2099.
As the name implies, this universe takes place roughly 100 years from now in the future of the Marvel universe. While our heroes of today are long since dead, they have their OWN superheroes to take care of business. One particularly beloved hero would be SPIDER-MAN 2099! But what happens when a hero of the future is forced to fight a war in the past? You get the “Necessary Evil” story line, featured in issues 17-19 of Superior Spider-Man.
Peter Parker is on the verge of being fired from Horizon Labs, his friends and family grow more and more worried about him, the goblins are massing an army, and to top it all off, Horizon Labs is being bought out! For over a year, even stretching back to the Amazing Spider-Man era, a man named Tiberius Stone has gone about sabotaging Horizon Labs. However, his plans are now stretching even higher, as he works together with Liz Allen of Allen Chem in order to buy out Horizon and all of their intellectual properties.
Needless to say, this is bad news for everyone, even Otto Octavius, as all of his inventions and accomplishments could be stolen right from under his feet. With his legacy in jeopardy, Otto sets out as the SUPERIOR Spider-Man, in order to stop Mr. Stone…by FORCE.
However, IN THE FUTURE, a time storm is occurring in the year 2099. Events collapse in on themselves, and Spider-Man 2099 comes to the rescue. However all is not what it seems. That era’s Norman Osborn equivalent, known by the name of Tyler Stone, is being erased from time itself. Thus, he is forced to ask his enemy, Spider-Man, to help him fix the time stream and stop his own demise.
After he is hurled to the present, Spider-Man 2099 confronts the SUPERIOR Spider-Man, thinking he is Peter Parker. Sadly, Otto doesn’t have access to all of Peter’s memories anymore, and doesn’t remember that Peter and Miguel, the 2099 Spider-Man, have met before. This leads to several aggressive Spider vs. Spider battles in order to save Tyler Stone’s grandfather, Tiberius. And as this is happening, Miguel is trying to avert a catastrophe that is to befall Horizon Labs and possibly destroy most of NYC.
MEANWHILE, the brains at Horizon are trying to find their own way around Tiberius Stone; by using a time door invented by one of their scientists, they travel back to points where they believe Tiberius had sabotaged the company in order to gain proof of their suspicions.
As the time door remains open longer and longer, the time distortions of the future become larger and more unstable; everyone is literally RUNNING OUT OF TIME.
Eventually, Spider-Man 2099 figures out what needs to be done to save his past, our present, and the whole future, and drags Tiberius back to Horizon Labs in order to undo the damage done by the time door. HOWEVER, thanks to the “superior intellect” of Otto Octavius, Spidey 2099 is knocked out and the Horizon scientists are left to avert the coming disaster without him.
The final issue of this arc features the Horizon scientists working to develop an “on the fly” machine in order to stop the time storm. Otto concocts a plan using several different inventions created by the Horizon team and merges them together. This plan seems foolproof, except for one problem: in order to make everything work correctly, they need an algorithm created by Peter Parker, something that Octavius does not have access to anymore. However, this did not stop him from trying to access the memories. Even though he failed in his attempt to find the algorithm, it appears that he HAS unlocked something else that has remained dormant in Otto’s mind for SOME TIME.
Without the formula, the Horizon team, along with Tiberius and Spidey 2099, evacuate the building and escape the eye of the time storm before it completely implodes, destroying Horizon Labs and Spider-Man as well. However, with the time storm averted, the future is saved, and Tyler Stone with it. Now confident his timeline is intact, Tyler traps 2099 Spider-Man in the present day, leaving him to fend for himself.
With Horizon destroyed, Max Model makes one last effort to save Spider-Man before he is forced by Mayor Jameson to leave NYC. Using a portable temporal device, he plucks Spider-Man from the implosion before he is killed in the blast, saving him but at a cost. Max no longer trusts either Spider-Man or Peter Parker and effectively fires him from Horizon.
This story arc was simply AMAZING. Not often are we treated to a storyline featuring alternate universe counterparts of out favorite heroes working with one another. And it’s even more scarce that we see them fighting against one another from beginning to end. Miguel O’Hara is an amazing character and well fleshed out through this story. Personally, I cannot wait to see him in his own standalone series.
The final issue really capped off the story and set up a brand new status quo for Otto Octavius. It even went as far as to FINALLY show Carlie Cooper, Spidey’s ex, get the evidence she needs to prove Spidey is a fraud.
And with the “Easter egg” artwork, featured when Otto was accessing Peter’s memories, we are well on our way to seeing the return of our friendly neighborhood Peter Parker.
-A fast paced story that only gets better with each issue
-Exceptional characterization of Spidey 2099
-CARLIE IS FINALLY GETTING STUFF DONE
-It will make you cringe at times, especially when Otto speaks to M.J. on the phone
-Issue 18 seemed to drag a bit, but made up for it with issue 19