As a recap of the past, Miguel O'Hara, Spider-Man 2099 (Earth-928) was trapped in 2014 (Earth-616) by his father, Tyler Stone, in the arc Necessary Evil. Only ... Stone doesn't know Miguel is his son, or that Miguel is Spider-Man 2099. He just wanted to get rid of the hero because he's always messing with his corrupt corporation, Alchemax. Anyways, Miguel has been adapting to life in 2014 because he is stuck there. (Why he doesn't find one of those time machines that everybody in the Marvel Universe has is truly beyond me.)
Last issue, Spider-Man 2099 was met by another universes' version of himself wearing a device allowing him to travel dimensions. The parallel Miguel O'Hara was trying to warn his counterpart about a race of beings called the Inheritors who have been killing and eating Spider-People. As he was explaining, Morlun, an Inheritor, appeared and killed him! At that point, Miguel decided he must find Peter Parker and tell him about what happened.
Enter: Spider-Verse! Spider-Man 2099 has teamed up with other Spider-Men of various dimensions to battle the Inheritors. In Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 3) #10 they battled and killed an Inheritor named Daemos, but were disappointed when he returned to the battle in a cloned body. Peter Parker formed a group consisting of Spider-Man 2099, Six Armed Spider-Man, and Lady Spider (see Spider-Verse #1 (Story 3)). He instructed them to investigate Daemos' dead body in Miguel's home year and dimension (2099, Earth-928). Sadly, upon hearing that they were taking his corpse, the living version of Daemos began chasing the heroes.
(Wheh! That's one long recap!)
On Earth-928 of the year 2099, following the events of Superior Spider-Man #19, Tyler Stone sits relaxed at his desk in the Alchemax Tower. Stone happily recaps to Winston, his assistant, “We are finally rid of Spider-Man. He’s trapped in the year 2014 with no way of getting back here. Things could not be going better.” Stone yawns and decides to take the rest of the day off to sleep. At that minute, Winston finds that the Public Eye has forwarded a video to Stone, and when he views it, he’s appalled: not only is Spider-Man 2099 back, but he’s brought Six-Armed Spider-Man and Lady Spider with him!
At first, Stone is confused how Spider-Man 2099 arrived so quickly after he sent him off only two hours ago. Winston tries to explain to his boss, “He could have been gone two hours, or days, or years. It’s time travel. We’re fortunate he didn’t come back before we sent him back to the past. He might have warned himself and we’d have both a paradox and two of them to deal with.” (Ohhh, I have a headache now!) Anyways, Winston explains that the Public Eye is currently tracking Spider-Man 2099 … but that’s strange because he typically knows where the “holes in the system” are. Winston assumes that he could simply be distracted and not notice the cameras. Stone instructs his assistant to order the Public Eye to kill Spider-Man 2099 as soon as he stops swinging. He sits back down at his desk and crossly decides that he won’t be going home to sleep yet.
Meanwhile, Miguel O’Hara’s brother, Gabriel, is in his apartment, talking to his mom. She is wondering where Miguel is, and Gabriel wonders why because she typically never cares. “Do you need to borrow money or something?” he asks. The answer is yes, but she’s reluctant to say it. He ends the transmission, and is surprised when Spider-Man 2099 and his Spider-Friends enter his apartment. (FYI, Gabe knows Miguel is Spider-Man 2099.)
Miguel tells his brother that his company is alternate universe Spider-Men. When Six-Armed Spider-Man introduces himself (his universe is a case of Amazing Spider-Man #100 gone wrong), Gabriel is confused which hand he should shake. Lady Spider takes off her helmet and asks to be called May. Gabriel is very awkward and embarrassed with her, repeating things and shaking her hand for a bit too long. She offers he shakes Six-Arm Spidey’s hands instead because he has plenty.
When Gabriel asks what’s happening, Miguel explains, “Long story short: There’s a metric ton of Spider-People running around Nueva York at the moment. And someone is trying to kill us.” They elucidate who Daemos is, and Gabriel is angry that they have led him to his apartment. “We just needed a safe harbor and this was the closest place. I need to coordinate forces,” Miguel says. He plans on gathering the Punisher, Hulk, and Doctor Strange of 2099 to help against the Inheritors. The new heroes may catch the villains off guard, he thinks, because they have only faced Spider-Men so far. “I’m Spider-Man. Trust me,” Miguel boasts.
Suddenly, Daemos crashes through the wall, exclaiming, “You led me on quite the chase! Took me ten whole minutes to find you!” He asks where the heroes have hid his corpse, but they refuse to tell. Valiantly, Six-Armed Spidey tries to stall Daemos as his friends make an escape, but the villain asks how he plans on doing so, “Dazzle me with your wit? Fluster me with our intellect? Try to seduce me, perhaps? You do have a surplus of hands. Think of the possibilities.” Daemos quickly subdues him and prepares to feast. Spider-Man 2099 and Lady Spider attempt to stop him, but they’re punched away. He proceeds to eat Six-Armed Spidey and finds that he tastes especially good because he drank the formula.
Next up, Lady Spider attempts to stop Daemos for Spider-Man 2099 to get away. She gets a good hit in, but the villain grabs her by the neck and prepares to dine. He is disappointed to find that she doesn’t actually have any Spider-Powers, but she imitates it with her mechanical prowess. “You have essence, yes, but it reeks of technology!” Daemos growls. Instead, he licks her and figures he can find other ways to please himself with her. Luckily, Lady Spider is saved when Gabriel fires a large gun at the villain, causing him to fall out the window. He tells Miguel that it is Dana’s “just in case” weapon. (It’ll take too long to explain who Dana is, so you can look it up yourself.) Spider-Man 2099 jumps out the window in pursuit, and Lady Spider follows, but not before giving Gabriel a kiss. He yells, “Stop by any time!”
On the street below, Daemos orders Spider-Man 2099 to appear before he starts killing civilians. The Public Eye shows up in hovercrafts and attempts to subdue him. He refuses their order to stand down, hijacks a hovercraft, and begins attacking the other Public Eye officers. Spider-Man 2099 jumps on top of an injured Public Eye officer and talks to Tyler Stone through their camera, “Ordinarily, I would beat the living crap out of you for [trapping me in 2014]. But this is your lucky day.” He orders Stone to prepare Floor 82, Lab C of the Alchemax Tower for him. This way, he won’t attack him but will instead owe him a favor. In his office, Stone instructs Winston to do as he says.
Done with the call, Spider-Man 2099 grabs Daemos’ hovercraft with his web and smashes it into the ground. Lady Spider webs Daemos’ hands, and he offers to spare her if she becomes his sex slave. “I would rather die,” she states. He tears out of the webbing, but Spider-Man 2099 quickly kicks him in the face and then uppercuts him. Daemos explains he will happily feast on him, but Spider-Man 2099 begins to flee the scene. Lady Spider and he swing between the buildings and the villain is quick to follow, which is part of his plan. She is impressed when Miguel begins to fly with his anti-gravity cape-like material. He explains what May has to do for his plan to be successful.
At the Alchemax Tower, Spider-Man 2099 is excited to find that Stone followed his instructions and opened the correct lab. And just in time, too, because Daemos is tailing him in a Public Eye hovercraft. To his surprise, Miguel jumps behind the Inheritor and covers his eyes with his hands. Lady Spider snatches him with a web and throws him into Lab C. “That is for being an officious dolt!” she yells. Unexpectedly, a stasis cell surrounds the villain, capturing him inept. Miguel explains that he once used it to capture Venom and assumes it can handle him. “Welcome to Alchemax,” Spider-Man 2099 declares, “You won’t be leaving anytime soon.”
Instead of having effect that most events have on monthly books, Spider-Verse has seemed to improve this title's quality, making Spider-Man 2099 #6 the most entertaining story so far! The main factor I enjoyed is how, unlike many event tie-ins, this one has an actually interesting story. The heroes’ battle against Daemos is very exciting, and Miguel’s way of stopping him is clever. The characters’ interactions, although they aren't a main feature of the story, are good. David shows that he has a solid grip on Lady Spider and Six-Armed Spider-Man's characters. It's nice to see Tyler Stone and Gabriel fitted into the plot. Also, I like how Peter David makes this a compact one-shot story, which he specializes in rather than multi-part stories.
As I said similarly in my Scarlet Spiders #1 review, I really enjoy how this story ties into the main Spider-Verse event. It feels like Spider-Man 2099’s battle against Daemos is actually important and will contribute to the event. Dan Slott has made sure that the stories incorporated in his event all have a plotline to work off of, which is fulfilling for those like me who buy all the tie-ins. Of course, Peter David makes sure this a standalone story, giving the reader the information they need about Spider-Verse even if they aren't reading it.
I did notice something about this story, and although I’m not the best at writing about time travel (I tend to get major headaches from it), I’m gonna try it right now. There are people who have always said that the current 616 Universe (regular Marvel) timeline will one day become the world depicted in the 2099 comics. Dan Slott has even hinted at that it will occur in recent Superior Spider-Man developments. It seems, though, that Marvel disproves that idea with this comic, as it refers to the 2099 Universe as Earth-928 instead of Earth-616. This seems to be Marvel’s way of getting out of the paradox that would occur when 2099 comes around. (Maybe Marvel has already done this … does anybody know?) On another hand, perhaps Earth-616 will actually become like 2099, just slightly different. Perhaps the Spider-Man 2099 that has been around from Superior Spider-Man #19 to now has been a different Spider-Man from the one depicted in the 90’s! Perhaps ... Awww, my head hurts now! Why do I do this to myself?! (EDIT: Marvel Editorial has confirmed that Spider-Man 2099's dimension IS the future of the 616 universe. And I wrote all that for nothing...)
On an easier term to talk about, Will Sliney’s artwork is as solid and consistent as always. He does a great job drawing Lady Spider, Six-Armed Spider-Man, and Daemos. Sliney’s facial expressions and character emotions are fantastic and full of heart. David’s script requires many characters per page, but his consistency never suffers. Most impressive is his depiction of Nueva York, which is futuristic and breathtaking (even if Fabela’s coloring sometimes takes away from it). Sliney truly is perfect for this book.
Peter David does a stellar job with this tie-in, providing an enticing story and fun character interactions.