The 2099 universe welcomes the future version of the Green Goblin. His identity is unknown, he's green and purple, ugly, plays with nasty techno- gadgets, doesn't like Spider-Man, but as far as we know, he never got one of Spidey's ex-girlfriends pregnant. Maybe he's a she?
Tyler Stone is lying in his hospital bed, demanding to know the status of Dana D'Angelo. The doctor informs him that Dana is dead. Tyler sheds a tear, asking how it happened.
In Downtown, the Goblin and Spider-Man battle in the sky. The Goblin binds Spidey in an Goblin-bat, while blaming him for betraying the people of Downtown. Kasey and Raff drive to the scene after Kasey received a message from the Goblin saying he would prove his accusations about Spider-Man. As Spidey plummets to his death, he snags the Goblin in a web and reels him close. The fall, face to face. Spidey promises to save them both if the Goblin releases the bat-trap. The Goblin remains stubborn.
Elsewhere Downtown, a man appears in Father Jennifer's Church. It appears to be the Net Prophet. The priest is not in, so he departs.
At the last minute, the Goblin releases the bat. Spidey goes to save the Goblin in a webline, but the Goblin breaks free and blasts Spidey in a rainbow colored burst. After multiple bursts, one finally connects with Spidey's head. He begins to hallucinate, seeing multiple Goblins. Delusional, Spidey accidentally punches Raff while the Goblin takes advantage of the situation to taunt Spider-Man. While Spidey makes a fool of himself, he finally comes to his senses and realizes he can't rely on his sense of sight to contact the real Goblin. With his eyes shut, he manages to get the upper hand and knock the real Goblin down. Kasey is confused and things she doesn't know the real Spider- Man.
Xina meanwhile, prepares to leave. After Dana's funeral, she plans to leave town with no plans to return.
The Goblin stands up and projects images of Miguel O'Hara ordering special treatment for Spider-Man. He shows Spider-Man rescuing Hikaru, the head of Stark-Fujikawa. The evidence appears to insinuate that Spider-Man is a corporate flunky, not a defender of the people. Spider-Man leaves disgusted by the accusations and ingratitude. He shouts back to the crowd from Downtown, but they fire guns back. Finally alone, fragments of President Doom's Environmental Maintenance Platforms (EMPs) fall from the sky. Something has happened to the sovereignty of Doom.
The Vulture, meanwhile, looks over Downtown, ready to feast on it's "corpse" with the Goblin, while planning to betray the Goblin when the time suits him.
I really don't get why the Goblin is giving Spidey such a hard time in this battle. I think Spidey acts like an amateur against this newcomer, and it won't make much sense once the Goblin's identity is revealed. I don't think the Goblin should've been much of an opponent once you know who Peter David intended to be the Goblin either (I'll cover that when I review the last issue). Whatever the case, I didn't care too much about this issue. It reminded me of a few things. It's issue #40, and I really don't care about Kasey. I don't care about Gabriel. Conchata is creepy. And Miguel's soliloquy at the end reminds me that I still don't really have a good sense of what's motivating Miguel to put the costume on at all. If he is driven by his hatred of the injustice of Corporations suppressing the little guy, then why haven't we seen him really excited to be in his new role at Alchemax? He should be there all day hard at work to make a new Alchemax that cares for the underpriviledged. But he says he never wanted to be the protector of Downtown. So, is this all about his hatred for Tyler Stone? Does he really not care about injustice to anyone but himself and those closest to him? Miguel's really hasn't grown into the role of a hero, in my opinion. He's done heroic acts, but this issue reminded me that his motivation is still fuzzy. As a reader, I find myself losing interest when I'm not rooting for the protagonist. It's been 40 issues, and I find myself disappointed there hasn't been more character growth by now.
And then there's Bill Sienkiewicz, revoutionary comic artist who rose to popularity in the 80's with the New Mutants. Wildman's pencils seem upstaged by Bill's inks. It's hard to review an issue negatively based on a artistic style I don't like, when I know he is obviously talented. You could be a chef praised for your adept craftsmanship with mushrooms...but if you don't like mushrooms, you don't appreciate the chef! I never liked the "messy" scribbles and ink splatter approach to comic book art. The surreal style has appealed to me in the past on rare occasions, like the graphic novel Arkham Asylum. There, the obscure shapes and textures generated appropriate feelings of anguish, like a suffocating nightmare. On a book like this (or New Mutants for that matter), Bill's style seems out of place, and just irritated me as if the art was rushed with imprecise sketches - even though I know it's anything but rushed. I know many find his style to be refreshing, breaking out of the tired mold. I can't argue that. Wildman tells a good story with his pencils - but to me, Sienkiewicz's inks detract from the story. Sorry, Bill.
Spider-Man 2099: The end is near. 2 webs