Miguel O’Hara is Spider-Man 2099. Much like Peter Parker he got his spider-powers from a lab accident (although his origin is slightly more complicated). He works for a mega-corp called Alchemax, and hates his boss Tyler Stone. He is constantly being harassed by the neo-fascist police for of the 21st century known as the Public Eye.
Two scientists working for MacroWare, Damien and Carmen, have just created a revolutionary invention which can reprogram a human brain by using a simple visual code (kinda like hi-tech hypnosis).
In 2099, however, making a new discovery can be dangerous. Mega-corps are always on the lookout for new patents, and are willing to do anything to get them. So, of course, our two scientists are paranoid that Alchemax is spying on them. Unfortunately, they’re right. A team of corporate raiders (basically glorified bounty hunters) is sent out to retrieve the new invention so the mega-corp can keep the profit from the technology all to itself.
To make matter worse, Damien and Carmen are having a tough time trusting each other as well. They are worried that the other one will double-cross them and cut them out of the deal. Carmen decides to make the first move. She places a call to her old friend Miguel O’Hara (Spider-Man 2099 to you and me) with a program that will force him to kill her partner Damien. Damien gets the last word, though, because immediately after she sends her message he sneaks up behind her and bashes her head in.
Meanwhile, Miguel gets home after a night of web-swinging to find Carmen’s message. He immediately puts his costume back on and goes off to find Damien. So now we have a group of super-powered thugs and Spider-Man all zeroing in on Damien.
Spider-Man gets there first. When he sees Damien he tries to fight against the programming, but isn’t having much luck. Just as he’s reaching for Damien, however, the corporate raiders bust onto the scene and start shooting away.
Spider-Man makes short work of them, then goes back to chasing down Damien. But the strenuous fight gave Miguel just enough control over his body for him to jump into a bunch of exposed wires and electrocute himself! Of course, he emerges from the explosion relatively intact and now fully in control of his actions (electricity sure is used as a deux ex machine a lot in this tales).
Before Spider-Man can do anything, however, the corporate raiders bust on the scene once again. And one of them accidentally fries the computer banks that held all the research on Damien and Carmen’s work. This somehow sets off a chain reaction and the entire office explodes. Spider-Man is tossed out another window and lands on the side of the building next door. With everyone dead, he swings back home.
This story is kinda blah. Spider-Man doesn’t save anyone. Nothing’s changed. Why tell it at all? What was the lesson the reader was supposed to learn from this?
The world could have gone without this story and still be perfectly fine.
In addition to a Hulk 2099 story, this issue features the debut of R-Gang 2099. They’re kinda like the Little Rascals for the 21st century.