Background: Spidey is captured by the scavenger gang, the Foragers after the demise of the corporate town of Nightshade. There, his visage activates a dormant robot called Flipside, who resembles a cross between Spidey, Venom, and Spidey 2099.
Flipside is a synthetic lunatic. The unstable robot nearly strangles Spidey with his welcoming embrace. Feigning to be emotionally hurt after Spidey shoves him off, one of the gangmembers, Solly, shows Flipside a bit of empathy. Flipside rakes his throat in return, killing him before the startled crowd.
Meanwhile, Tyler Stone and Dana share their first dinner date. Dana is impressed how long they talked without mentioning Miguel. She questions Miguel's accusations that Tyler addicted him to Rapture (back in issue #1), and Stone dismisses it as nonsense. Dana is starting to trust Stone, but is confused. Outiside the restaurant, Conchata sees what Tyler is doing.
Spidey tries to look through the computers to find a way to shut Flipside down. Flipside grows suspicious, and wrecks the computer. Attacking Spider- Man, he is greeted by a barrage of bullets. He brushes them off with a bad joke, and begins to tear through the gang.
At the same time, in Mexico City, Gabe and Kasey check into a dive hotel. Once again, he attempts to clear up Kasey's confusion, but she gets frisky and Gabe's admittance to a lack of spider-powers will have to wait again.
Spidey is ready to leave Packrat to be killed by Flipside, when he changes his mind. His altruism questioned, Spidey says he basically his apparent caring is being confused for apathy for his own well being. Flipside decides to assist Spidey in suicide by engulfing his head into a hole that had been blasted out of his chest. Suffocating, Spidey does all he can to claw his captor, rip out an energy cable, and free his own head. Spidey then raps the energy cable around Flipside's neck, pops his head off, and smashes his body. Packrat appreciates Spidey's save with a gun pointed at him. Spidey simply says "Move," and heads outside to make his way back to Xina. Packrat "graciously" gives Spidey some time to walk away as thanks, but then looks into hunting him down. Flipside appears, after rebuilding itself, and is ready to tear into Packrat.
Later, Miguel finds Xina, and comes up with excuses of his whereabouts. Xina tells Miguel of Angela's death, and disappointment over Spider-Man's ineffectiveness. Xina heads home, but Miguel says he needs to stay and hide out for awhile.
I thought Flipside was a fairly interesting new villain - something new, something different. I also enjoyed Ratpack and the rest of his lame gang of Road Warrior rejects. A fairly solid story - but once again, too short thanks to another useless episode of Young Miguel.
Speaking of which - Miguel apparently has a history of struggling between bravery and cowardice, as seen in Young Miguel. In the main 2099 story, at this point, I really don't see Miguel's motivation for putting on the costume anymore. Does he get a thrill out of it? Does he feel a sense of responsibility? If even guilt-ridden Peter Parker threw away the costumes a dozen times, I'm surprised Miguel lasted this long.
It's been 9 years since I last read this, and I had no recollection of this story. That's ok - they all can't be champs.