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.
This issue starts out with a couple of security goons busting into Miguel’s lab and putting him under arrest. Has his secret life as Spider-Man been uncovered? No, it turns out that Miguel’s boss, Tyler Stone has heard a rumor that a corporate headhunter is a “O’Hara” and doesn’t want to lose him to a rival mega-corp. So Miguel is to be escorted to his home and placed under house arrest against his will.
En route, however, he is attacked by the corporate headhunter – Vlad the Impaler. Our villain has leathery wings, a quiver full of electronic stakes, big bug eyes, and weird tentacles where his ribs should be. Anyway, he incapacitates the guards and grabs Miguel. But it turns out that he’s not the right “O’Hara” and Vlad tosses him away to fall to his death. Luckily, Miguel spins a web and manages to cling to the side of a building. Unfortunately, his bodyguards recover and immediately take him to his apartment, so he can’t follow Vlad as Spider-Man.
While chilling at his pad, Tyler Stone calls him on the video phone and informs him that Vlad is actually looking for his brother – Gabrielle O’Hara. Desperate to save his brother, Miguel tells Layla (his home computer system) to put knockout his bodyguards with a sleeping gas while he suits up and webs his way across the city.
Spider-Man makes his way to Downtown where his brother is hanging out now. It turns out that Gabrielle is being chased by the Fenris Gang. Miguel easily beats them up and tells Gabrielle about the headhunter looking for him. Gabrielle says he’s staying at a camp of Thorites and that’s where the headhunter has probably gone to.
Cut to the Thorite camp and we see a mother and father dressing up their son for some religious ceremony. Vlad the Impaler is flying overhead and zeroes in on the kid. He swoops down and nabs the kid by his cape. Just then, Spider-Man shows up in the camp. The kid’s parents tell him what happened and he runs up the side of a building to catch up with his flying nemesis.
He shoots a webline and snags Vlad’s boots, but Vlad hits the building with his electronic stake thingy and it collapse onto Spider-Man. Vlad turns around to finish the job, but the little boy throws his Thor helmet at him and ruins his aim. Vlad swoops down once again and plucks Spider-Man up into the sky with him (he has hung the kid on a flagpole or something so he can use both hands during the fight). Spider-Man grabs one of the stakes, however, and drives it through his power pack. Then Spider-Man webs up his hands and sends him shooting off into the sky.
Meanwhile, the flagpole (or whatever) that the kid is hanging from breaks and he starts to fall. Of course, Spider-Man scoops him up and they land safely on a rooftop. They talk a bit and the kid’s name is revealed to be Gedde O’Hara and he was the original target all along.
I liked this story a lot. It has all the trappings of a true Spider 2099 story and uses Miguel’s supporting cast very well. There’re twists and turns and a wicked new villain to defeat.
This issue marks a definite uptick in the quality of the 2099 Unlimited stories.
There’s also a five-page “Secrets of Spider-Man 2099” feature that glosses over the major events in Miguel’s life so far.
Elsewhere in this issue we are introduced to Steel Rain, a new 2099 hero with liquid metal running through her veins that allows her to take on four different battle suits to fight against the mega-corps that used her. It’s a pretty interesting story itself.