Saturday, August 15, 2015

Secret Wars 2099 #3 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

Uncharacteristically, David gets somewhat predictable here.  Cap gives her word to Strange that the Defenders won't be detained if they come to Alchemax to learn more about Hargood, and Miguel, natch, attempts to detain them once Strange refuses his "offer" to work for Alchemax.  We learn (possibly in an example of pet peeve #1) that all superheroes are legally obligated to work for Alchemax, explaining why Miguel does what he does here.  But, we still don't know why it's the case.  I think that it's supposed to be a reminder that corporations control the 2099 world, but David doesn't make that entirely clear.  Also, I'm not sure if we're supposed to believe that Cap thought that she was telling the truth to Strange when she said that they wouldn't be detained.

Although entertaining at points, this conflict between the Avengers and Defenders obscures the fact that the plot of this mini-series hasn't really been made clear to us (if it has one).  Before the inevitable confrontation that concludes the issues, Hargood revealed under torture that he didn't know who hired him to try to assassinate Cap, since he received his orders through middlemen.  But, he threatened that they'd all be sorry when the "Dweller" comes.  Strange informs Miguel that several people call themselves the "Dweller," so it doesn't really help us (or the characters).  (David also continues to keep the story isolated from the larger "Secret Wars" storyline, so we don't really have any hints from there.)

In terms of the other open questions, we get some answers.  Miguel was the one to incapacitate the Hulk with his venomous fangs, confirming (beyond the red eyes) that he's still Spider-Man in this reality and that at least the Avengers know that.  Also, although it initially appears that this 2099 is an entirely different reality from the one that we've seen in either volume of "Spider-Man 2099," David uses the same Sub-Mariner that we first met in issue #43 of the first volume of the series.  As such, it seems possible that this future comes extends the timeline of the first volume, where Miguel was CEO.

In sum, this issue has its moments, but I do wish that I had a better sense of where we're going.

** (two of five stars)

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