Well thank goodness we’re done with the anthology stuff for a while! If you read my reviews of the recent Spider-Man 2099 series, you’ll see that I was pleasantly surprised, in fact so surprised that I was looking forward to seeing what they did with the character post-Secret Wars. But that’s not what we have here, instead, we have the 2099 take on the Avengers, something we’ve never seen before and it’s making me wonder why the heck not!
So here’s an actual 5-issue, single story mini-series featuring the 2099 version of the Avengers. Let’s see how Secret Wars 2099 stacks up!
The names are the same but the characters are very different. Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye and Black Widow are still there, but they are definitely not the heroes we knew. In fact, they all work for Alchemax, the mega corporation of the future that controls pretty much everything. But they’re not alone, the Defenders are there too, but because they don’t work for Alchemax, they are declared villains, but when something bigger and badder than either team comes along, they have to join forces to save the city of Nueva York.
I really find myself liking both of these teams. Of all of them, only Hercules is the same that we know, but he’s an immortal god. The rest have entirely different characters, entirely different back stories and entirely different personalities and I found myself liking the majority of them pretty much from the start. You have Captain America, a woman who was subjected to the super soldier serum against her will, then brainwashed to induce a split personality. You have Black Widow, who is actually more like the spider, with bloodthirsty tendencies that she can’t really control. Iron Man is probably the closest to the character that we know, although the armor looks quite different, and Hawkeye, instead of being an archer, is actually a hawk. Then there’s Vision, who isn’t like Vision at all, instead she takes a page out of the Minority Report, floats in pool and has visions of the future of the Avengers.
This is actually a comic that I’d read in a second if it went on after Secret Wars, and honestly, it doesn’t feel like a SW tie-in at all. Other than happening on the Battleworld zone of Nueva York, it really doesn’t reference the event at all. Nowhere that I remember did they even mention Doom, which is great.
The mini reteams Peter David and Will Sliney and does it brilliantly. The art is fantastic, the writing is great, the characters are actually sympathetic and while most of the book is a series of long fights, they actually make sense.
Now granted, not all of the characters are as fleshed out as they could be. Iron Man, as I said, is just a suit of armor with a guy inside, but we really know very little about the guy. Vision, we get a few shots of, but no significant backstory. The best developed on the Avengers side is Cap and on the Defenders side is Hercules, but with only five issues, I can certainly understand why some are focused on more than others. But in the end, I want to see more of these characters, I’m not left feeling cheated, I’m left feeling invigorated and looking forward to future stories. Sure, there’s a lot we don’t know, but in the space they had, we learned a lot, we got a lot of tantalizing teasers and that’s really the best we can ask.
This is the best of all of the tie-ins that I’ve read so far and the only one that I really want to see continue. As much as I like Spider-Man 2099, I hope that this one gets a chance to continue, long after Secret Wars is a distant memory. If you’re only going to read one tie-in, make it this one.