It’s been quite some time since I’ve read any “Spider-Man 2099” adventures, but Slott gives readers all they need to know in “Superior Spider-Man” #17 with artist Ryan Stegman. Half of those pages present the calamity Miguel O’Hara faces and the reason to travel back to the present day while the rest details former Horizon Labs employee and Kingpin lackey Tyler Stone’s revenge on Horizon. Slott also spins out some threads connecting Stone’s plot to Allan Chemical, which in turn leads to Alchemax in the future. Yes, Slott did take the time to meticulously construct a web of subplots and now readers can step back a little bit to take in the big picture. It’s actually quite fun to see the threads that span time and space, illuminating the work that Slott has put into constructing a legacy for Spider-Man beyond the name “Peter Parker.”
With football season now upon us in the States, it’s best to compare Stegman’s gritty detail to a change-of-pace running back. Like that back, who may be lighter or quicker or bigger than the team’s primary back, Stegman still has the same job as the other pencilers for “Superior Spider-Man”, but he does it just differently enough to be refreshing while still working towards the same goal. Luckily for readers, “Superior Spider-Man” sports a penciler-by-committee team that brings visual punch and power to every issue, regardless of whose time it is to carry it. Stegman doesn’t take the easy way out, filling this issue’s one double-page spread with a pair of bookend vertical panels and stunning detail. Three panels across two pages deliver more splash and wow that some other artists are able to cram into an entire issue. The artist’s style is dynamic and hashed with energy and personality, making the Goblins creepy and eerily comedic in the same issue he also gives readers a gritty, roughed-up train ride with O’Hara. It’s a fun comic filled with visual wonders. Edgar Delgado’s colors and Chris Eliopoulos’ letters provide a comfortable shine to “Superior Spider-Man” #17.
The upcoming battle in the next issue blurb is billed as “Spidey Now! vs. Spidey Later!” which might mean that now is a good time to look to the future. Given the execution of this issue, there’s plenty more action and adventure to be found with Miguel O’Hara slinging the webs and his appearance in Marvel NOW! is going to be enough to remind everyone that he’s out there, waiting to have more stories told. There isn’t a lot of the Marvel NOW! version of Spidey, but the 2099 one has sufficient panel time to make all of his fans quite happy. I, for one, am anxious to see how these Spider-Men square off.