Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Spider-Man 2099 #7 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

*** (three of five stars)

Favorite Quote:  "Spider-Man!  Spider-Lady!  I have an offer to make you!"  "That's 'Lady Spider.'"  "You may want to think about changing it."  -- Daemos, "Lady Spider," and Miguel

Miguel and May watch as Daemos struggles against his bonds.  May asks if he could escape, and Miguel assures her that the energy levels increase according to the pressure that he exerts against them; in other words, he'd have to take out the Eastern Seaboard's power grid just to make a dent in it.  He then escorts May to see Tyler.  He demands a lab from Tyler to inspect Daemos' body and orders him to send someone to collect it from where they hid it.  Tyler asks why he should do it, and Miguel basically threatens his life if he doesn't; Tyler concedes the point and orders Winston on it.

Miguel and May are dissecting Daemos' body while Daemos hurls abuse at them through the monitors.  Daemos asks Miguel if he really thinks that he can't escape, and Miguel says that the field would kill him before he could.  Daemos makes fun of Miguel for believing that he can stop the Inheritors, but Miguel stops paying attention to him.  He tells May that he'll continue working on the body, but orders her to work on the bracelet that he got off the arm of another Spider-Man that warned him about the Inheritors.  (He's referring to the other Spider-Man 2099 that appeared before him at the end of issue #5.)  Miguel hypothesizes that it controls interdimensional jumps, but, since it's not his field of expertise, he wants her to look at it, with the help of Alchemax' "analytic machinery."  May remarks on the amazing powers of the computer, and Miguel tells her that she could learn a lot if she sticks with him.  Tyler is watching from his office and remarks, "Indeed.  We all will."

Daemos calls to Miguel and May again, this time telling them that he and his siblings will spare their lives if they release him.  May discovers the controls for the armband, and Miguel laments that he can't find an alternate food source other than Spiders that the Inheritors could digest.  Daemos demands an answer to his offer, and Miguel declines, since Daemos is "evil" and he's not going to sacrifice the other Spiders so that he can live.  (May concurs.)  Daemos accepts the answer and begins some sort of meditation as Miguel heads to another lab, telling May to keep an eye on Daemos.  In said lab, a technician confirms to Miguel that they cured something in the 2040s and tells Miguel that he can synthesize a cure in two minutes.  Miguel tells him to do it, but he's distracted by Lady Spider telling him that the silent Daemos is worrying her.  She then tells him to get there immediately, and he arrives in time to see Daemos intentionally kill himself on the field so that he can re-spawn in a new body.  Miguel orders May to the lab and tells her that he hopes that she's fixed the device.  She tells him not to worry about it and asks about Daemos.  He figures that Daemos is probably on the way to them but tells her that he has a "good acquaintance" on call to slow down Daemos.

On cue, Daemos is blown off a flybike by a plasma blast, fired by the Punisher.  (Hurrah!)  Daemos charges him, but the Punisher blasts him again.  Daemos manages to get under the next shot, separating Jake from the weapon.  Jake pulls out a baseball bat; Daemos expresses disbelief that Jake thinks that it can hurt him, until Jake reveals that it's titanium and starts whaling on him with it.  Daemos tells him that he'll need more than that to stop him, and Jake immolates him with a plasma-gas cannon.  Daemos asks if he thinks that it'll hurt him; Jake says that he doesn't, but that he doubts "it will do the ground beneath [him] much good."  Daemos then plummets into Downtown, and Jake tells Miguel that he's bought him some time, but they should flee.  At Alchemax, May asks where they want to go, and Miguel tells her the Safe Zone.  They arrive, only to be stunned by the dead bodies littering the field.

The Review
This issue has some obvious plot holes, as I detail in the "Bad" section, but I'm giving it three stars because the banter between Miguel and May is particularly fun.  But, it's a weak three.

The Good
1) I was somewhat disbelieving that Tyler was so afraid of Miguel that he caved when threatened by him.  But, it makes much more sense that he's allowing Miguel to run his experiments so that he can observe and learn from them.  Crafty!

2) OMG, yay, the Punisher!  Although I've enjoyed Miguel's time in 2014, I've been waiting somewhat impatiently for us to return to 2099 to see where all my favorite characters from that era are.  (I was going to try to get through an entire post about this series without talking about continuity, but it looks like I'm going to fail that pledge here.  I'll try to keep it short:  since it's unclear where in Miguel's original history we are, it's also unclear which characters are still alive.  I'm glad to see the Punisher is one of them.)  This sequence was worth the wait.  Jake doesn't exactly have the that the Spiders have when it comes to killing, so it's fun to see one of the Inheritors face someone who never even wore kid gloves in the first place.

3) Also, the splash page of the Punisher made me happy.  It really made you feel like you were witnessing a Moment.  Nice job, Sliney!

The Unknown
My gut tells me that Spidey has the technician whip up a cure for some sort of ailment that he discovered that Lady Spider has.  If not, I'm curious to see what disease he needs to cure and why he needs to cure it.

The Bad
1) Throughout the start of the issue, I was annoyed because it was so obvious that Daemos should just kill himself to re-spawn in a new body.  Thankfully, he thought the same thing, so I don't have to go on a tirade.  But, a lot of the activity surrounding that fact doesn't make a ton of sense.  First, why would Miguel admit to Daemos that the field would kill him if he pressed too much against it?  Sure, he had the Punisher waiting in the wings, but he wouldn't have even needed him if he hadn't tipped his hand to Daemos.  I guess Daemos would've eventually figure out that he could kill himself on it, but, given that time was off the essence, it seemed a colossal (and uncharacteristic) mistake on the part of Miguel to give him that information for free.  Second, once Daemos knew that the field could kill him, why bother negotiating with Miguel and May in the first place?  Why not just kill himself immediately?  I mean, I don't think anyone believed that he'd spare them, but I don't understand why he even wasted time bothering to pretend.

2)  In the end, the dissection of Daemos doesn't really seem to have netted us much.  Sure, it was fun to be in 2099.  But, Miguel didn't really learn anything, since he couldn't figure out an alternate food source.  I get that not every line of inquiry needs to yield useful information, since that's actually much more realistic.  But, given how many separate stories we have running in the background of "Spider-Verse," I'm not sure why Slott spun off one that wasn't going to accomplish anything.

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