......LAST CHANCE....In a movie filled to the brim with cameos and references, there is one character appearance that made fans especially giddy, especially if those fans grew up with '90s era Marvel Comics. The post credits tag of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse featured yet another alternate Spidey, this time it was the future webslinger Spider-Man 2099, voiced by none other than Oscar Isaac.First published in 1992, Spidey 2099 wasn't Peter Parker, but geneticist Miguel O'Hara, and was the biggest hit out of an entire line of 2099 comics back in the early '90s. Although his cameo at the end of Spider- Verse was more or less a gag, it did hint we would see Miguel far more in future animated Spider-Man projects. But just who the heck is this Spider-Man who kind of looks a lot more like Venom?Spider-Man 2009 is a very "of its time" creation. In the early '90s comics book publishers were expanding their lines in every way imaginable. Marvel announced an entire new line of comics set a century into the future, most of which were futuristic versions of their most iconic characters. There was an X-Men 2099, Hulk 2099, and of course, a Spider-Man 2099. The character was created by writer Peter David and artist Rick Leonardi, was one of the first titles out of the gate. He made his first appearance in a brief preview of the first issue of his then-upcoming series in the 30th-anniversary issue of The Amazing Spider-Man, which was released just a month later, and remains the biggest selling single issue of writer Peter David's long career.As explained in his first issue, Miguel O'Hara was a native New Yorker, of Irish and Mexican descent. He was named for actor Miguel Ferrer, of RoboCop and Twin Peaks fame, a good friend of creator Peter David. Miguel O'Hara has a genius level intellect, but is also a bit of a troublemaker and rebel. While still a teenager, Miguel gets accepted into the Alchemax School for Gifted Youngsters in Westchester, in what was once the X-Men's school, but it now owned by the powerful Alchemax mega-corporation which also controls local law enforcement agencies. Apparently in 1992, they believed the future would be ruled by giant mega-corporations. (No comment.)After becoming the head of the genetics program of Alchemax as an adult, Miguel helps to create new corporation-controlled super-powered soldiers, specifically trying to recreate the accident that gave Peter Parker his powers decades earlier. But when a human test subject dies during an early experiment, Miguel leaves the company in disgust. In retaliation, Alchemax injects various drugs into his system to make him dependent, and when he tries to rid himself of this addiction using their technology, the company sabotages the machines, altering Miguel's genetic code to be "50% spider DNA." Miguel survives, but now has powers almost identical to Peter Parker's, although he had "spider claws," probably because it was the '90s and Wolverine was all the rage. He also didn't have Peter's spider-sense, but enhanced, Superman-like vision powers.With a costume made materials invented a century prior by the Fantastic Four's Reed Richards, and a mask he once wore for a Mexican Day of the Dead celebration, Miguel becomes the New York City's newest Spider-Man. At first, Spider-Man was mainly motivated in finding a cure for his condition, but his exploits as Spidey forced him to see how the mega-corporations had inflicted pain on the regular people of the city, and he vows to bring down Alchemax and all the other mega-corporations down. Spider-Man 2099 sold incredibly well at first, and ran nearly four years, but the implosion of the comics industry in 1994/95 forced Marvel to trim their line, and Miguel's comic was sadly cancelled.Spider-Man 2099 showed up sporadically over the subsequent years, mostly in video games, but the last few years saw a revival of interest for the character in the actual comics, as '90s nostalgia has loomed large lately. After almost two decades, He received two ongoing series recently from Marvel as a result of his return in their 2014 Spider-Verse event, which found Miguel stranded in the present time, and working for Parker Industries. His last series ended in 2017, but with a role in the a possible Into The Spider-Verse movie follow up, and voiced by a hugely famous actor to boot, expect to see a lot more of Spider-Man 2099 in the near future.
Images: Marvel Comics/Sony