One of the most beloved alternate incarnations of the Marvel Universe is Marvel 2099, a dystopian, cyberpunk vision of the comic book world with drastically reimagined versions of iconic heroes and villains to match the futuristic setting. Eighty years since the launch of Marvel Comics in 1939 and 80 years before 2099 comes to pass, the publisher has revisited the future of Marvel 2099 with a line of one-shots focusing on various fan-favorite characters in the cyberpunk world, starting with the prologue special by Nick Spencer and Viktor Bogdanovic.
The new special plunges readers right into the dystopian future. At first, it takes the surprising perspective of Thor's mythical hammer, Mjolnir, then it expands its scope to the different cities in America in the 2099 future and its various protectors and conquerors. The future of the Marvel Universe is a mean, ugly place, with parts of the world looking outright post-apocalyptic as they struggle to survive. As the world is reintroduced over the course of the special, new technology that may spell certain doom for this possible future surfaces, poised to bring the colorful, futuristic heroes together for a new, ambitious adventure.
Spencer, who has also penned the adventures of Spider-Man 2099, hits the ground running right from the opening pages of this new special, diving right into the chaotically violent future before pulling back a bit to focus on the individual, fan-favorite returning characters within it. The approach certainly captures the reader's attention right away, even those that might not necessarily be familiar with the 2099 world, with the driving mystery of who will become the future Earth's new Thor. This is compounded by the futuristic incarnation of a certain villain pondering changes to the world as additional characters are woven seamlessly into the narrative.
This is all brought to life effectively by Viktor Bogdanovic, joined by colorist Marte Gracia. With such a variety of environments and characters across the entire, oversized issue, the art team is able to bring each to distinctly unique life. The post-apocalyptic action sequences and barren wastelands are juxtaposed with the roaring cyberpunk future of Traverse City and the neon grandeur of Nueva York. Each shadow contains its own sense of survivalist menace but the brighter sequences capture the futuristic wonder that Marvel 2099 can also provide with aplomb.
Marvel 2099 Alpha #1 is an immersive, extended prologue to a greater story revisiting Marvel's fan-favorite future world. Nick Spencer and Viktor Bogdanovic waste no time, even with the added page count. They dive right back into the futuristic setting as if no time has passed at all, while inviting new readers along for the fun. The creative team brings together all the expected mainstays to the proceedings and include some surprises as well, setting up a story worthy (literally, given a certain relic) of bringing the cast together for a new adventure that could impact the future of the Marvel Universe.