It’s a one-two punch of #1 issues as we take a look at the opening issues of Spider-Man 2099 and Grayson!
Spider-Man 2099 #1 (Marvel Comics)
Spidey 2099 swings into his own comic series thanks to Peter David and artist Will Sliney in Spider-Man 2099 #1! Still stuck in our time period after his appearance in Superior Spider-Man, Miguel O’Hara has to navigate our world and find a way back to his time period without disrupting the natural flow of events.
This opening issue finds Miguel (under the guise of Mike O’Mara) continuing to acclimate himself to our modern world, which in this issue involves getting an apartment. Watching Miguel try and keep the fact that he’s from the future was pretty fun in this scene, but I have no recollection of Tempest the cleaning woman ever appearing in any of the past Spidey 2099 scenes that were in Superior Spider-Man. She probably did show up, but I don’t remember it all (honestly I wouldn’t even be bringing it up if Miguel didn’t mention meeting her throughout the comic).
Anyways, we continue to follow the everyday adventures of Miguel until a mysterious attacker arrives at Alchemex demanding to see the Spider-Man of 2099. This mysterious assailant is an “Adjuster” from T.O.T.E.M., otherwise known as the Temporal Oversight Team Eliminating Mistakes, and he, well, finds people that are outside of their correct time streams and eliminates them. What follows is an extremely entertaining fight sequence that is unfortunately over all too quickly.
This book would not be the same if Peter David wasn’t writing it. The Spider-Man 2099 co-creator is clearly having a blast with Miguel’s current predicament, and he peppers in plenty of amusing moments among the more serious “how will I get home” scenes that Miguel is involved in. However, the highlights of the issue belong to the Adjustor, who is absolutely hilarious. Seriously, I would pay for a series following T.O.T.E.M. and their Adjusters. Seeing him walk up to random citizens, dictate if they matter to the future of the world, then kill or let them live because of it was great, as was his banter with Spidey 2099 (and Miguel’s A.I. system Lyla). The Adjuster is like a Terminator with a snarky personality, and I couldn’t get enough of him.
On the art side of things, Will Sliney’s pages started off a little rough for me, but quickly improved a few pages in. While some of his facial work is a little iffy, Sliney absolutely shines when it comes to the action scenes in the book. He delivers a lot of fun layouts and design choices, especially in Miguel’s battle with the Adjuster.
Spider-Man 2099 wasn’t a book that I thought I’d enjoy, but I’m glad I gave it a shot. As someone who doesn’t have a very strong connection to the character (which is surprising given how much I love 616 Spider-Man), I didn’t know what I’d get when I cracked this bad boy open. Well, I can definitely say that this was a pretty great opening issue, and sets the stage for some interesting things to come in Miguel’s future. I’ll definitely be keeping my ear to the ground to see how things turn out for him.
Grayson #1 (DC Comics)
I’ll be upfront: I’m not too fond of the direction DC has decided to take Dick Grayson. With that in mind, Grayson was going to have to do a lot to get me interested in following the adventures of Dick Grayson, Superspy. Now, as good as this opening issue by Tim Seeley, Tom King, and artist Mikel Janin is, I’m still not on board with this new status quo.
The issue follows Dick Grayson and his partner (who’s -get this- the New 52 Helena Bertinelli) playing the spy game on a Russian train. Their mission: attempt to locate a meta human that could be used a dangerous weapon if put in the wrong hands. That’s the whole issue. There’s plenty of cool spy stuff, with disguises, chases, fights (with Stormwatch’s Midnighter, of all characters), but at the end of the day, none of it really clicked with me.
Tim Seeley and Tom King’s script tries. It really does, but like I said before, there are a lot of moments that make you go “what?” Case in point, the appearance of Midnighter. He just shows up. Now, I haven’t read Stormwatch at all, but I’m pretty sure that Midnighter isn’t the type of character who just appears and starts fighting. There’s no mention of why he shows up or why he’s at odds with Grayson’s mission. At least Seeley and King took the time to remind us that Dick is doing this to help Batman, and explain just how a man who had his identity revealed to the whole world can walk around and not be picked up on cameras.
Mikel Janin’s art is one of the high points of this issue. He clearly gives it all in the action scenes, and puts a lot of animation into our character’s faces. He also showcases Dick’s acrobatic skills really well, expertly animating a character who’s known for jumping around and using his environment to his advantage.
It’s a bummer that I didn’t enjoy Grayson more. I try to give everything a fair shake, and this book tries really hard. The creators did a pretty good job of showcasing what this new series will be about, but at the end of the day, I just can’t get behind this new status quo for Dick Grayson. At least I can take solace in the fact that this is a comic book character, and Dick will probably be back as Nightwing in about 6 months (give or take). Hopefully there will be some Nightwing fans out there who will like this new spin on the character, but unfortunately Grayson gets a pass from me.
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