In the present day Marvel Universe, heroes fight an ongoing battle to keep powerful villains and entities from taking over the world. In the dystopian (possible) future world of 2099, however, that struggle is over -- and the heroes have lost. The oppressive reality is controlled by powerful mega corporations that dominate almost every aspect of life, and one of the biggest and most vile is Alchemex, a company that literally owns the police force.
Despite this level of control over the populace, freedom and justice are not forgotten concepts in the world of 2099. Heroes like Miguel O'Hara A.K.A. the Spider-Man of his era, struggle to break the Mega-Corps stranglehold on society. In the final issues of the current "Spider-Man 2099" series, writer Peter David and artist Will Sliney are chronicling O'Hara's battle against Alchemex which has sent him time traveling to the present day and then back to his own time. This May, following "Spider-Man 2099's" conclusion, the duo move to "Secret Wars 2099," where they'll take the fight to free the future to a new locale, the Battleworld of the upcoming "Secret Wars" event.
CBR News spoke with David about his plans for the final issues of "Spider-Man 2099," which include appearances by two characters he created -- the malevolent future Hulk known as the Maestro, and Strange 2099. We also dive into the shape and condition of the future reality when "Secret Wars 2099" begins, and designing the very first team of 2099-based Avengers with Sliney.
CBR News: In "Spider-Man 2099" #9, you kick off the series' first post "Spider-Verse" arc. What can you tell us about Miguel's state of mind when this arc begins? How is he feeling in the aftermath of "Spider-Verse?"
Peter David: He's just happy to have survived it. And he's pleased that he's returning to his home time. Unfortunately, things don't work out exactly the way he expects.
In this arc, you're returning to a character you created, the Maestro incarnation of the Hulk. How does it feel to return to the character? What made you want to pit him against Miguel?
Because I'm working on an upcoming project featuring the character, I decided this would be a good time to bring him back into the Marvel Universe. And since I knew that Miguel was returning to 2099, it seemed a good time to bring him in.
What can you offer up about the Maestro's plans for the 2099 reality? How much danger is the world in?
I'd rather not say, other than to make it clear that the Maestro's plan is quite different from what we've seen in previous incarnations.
The solicits suggest that this arc also finds you returning to another character you co-created: Strange, the Sorceress Supreme of the 2099 reality. What made you want to reintroduce the character?
I liked Strange when we first did her, and was saddened that we didn't get to do more with her. This seemed like a good opportunity to revive the character and take her some interesting places.
In May you continue your tale of 2099 with a new series, "Secret Wars 2099," which is set on the Battleworld of the titular event. Allowing for it being a Battleworld territory, it looks like it takes place in a world where Alchemex has become more powerful than ever.
It really has. Although there is still nominally a government in place, Alchemax is effectively running the country. And at that point in time, there is a law that if you are a superhero, you have to be employed by Alchemax. Fans are assuming that only the Avengers are in Alchemax's employ, and they're wrong. The 2099 X-Men work for them; pretty much everyone works for them. And the hold outs are treated as if they're villains since they're breaking the law. So it puts the Avengers in a rather unique dynamic.
The series takes place in one of the dominions of the "Secret Wars" Battleworld, but how important are the events of the main "Secret Wars" series -- and what's going on in the other Battleworld Dominions -- to the story you're telling?
Not remotely. "2099" stands on its own and, aside from perhaps mentioning stuff that's happening elsewhere, doesn't relate.
The core cast of characters appear to a future incarnation of the Avengers, though the description of the team as an Alchemax controlled group suggests that it might not be as simple as that. What can you tell us about the dynamic between your cast members and their role in the world.
Captain America is not only the leader, she's the conscience of the team. Which is needed, because the team members are rather amoral, so Cap has to rein them in repeatedly. They are basically co-workers -- they all work for Alchemax and know that they have to get along because it's the law.
What we'll be exploring is a series of events that shakes up the team's dynamic and makes them start to question the way things are. How they may come to realize that being the enforcers for Alchemax may not be the best way to live their lives.
Will Sliney drew the majority of "Spider-Man 2099" and he continues to collaborate with you on "Secret Wars 2099." What's it like coming up with an entirely new cast of characters and world for Will to draw?
Oh, it's great. Will had the chance to design the characters from the ground up, and he's been doing a great job. Probably the biggest challenge was Cap, because initially he drew her slender and sexy. My attitude was, "If the super soldier serum caused Steve Rogers to get heavily muscled, why shouldn't it do that to a woman?" Will came back with drawings that were based on female weight lifters and she looked great.
What I've found interesting was the division in fandom. Most fanboys claimed that she was awful because she didn't look sexy. Meanwhile, fangirls adored her, so I figure we did something right.