Review: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #34 Launches Into Marvel 2099

Marvel 2099 was initially a slow burn but now it's full speed ahead.

FIRST IMPRESSION

Amazing Spider-Man #34 features exciting story beats, dynamic art and a reference to a beloved meme.
Writing/Story
Pencils/Inks
Coloring
Lettering
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In Marvel Comics’ Amazing Spider-Man #34, (on sale November 20), the various elements of Marvel 2099 fall like dominoes and the event shifts into high gear. With such a heart-pounding issue, writer Nick Spencer draws the reader in and leaves us begging for more.

Amazing Spider-Man #34 

Writer: Nick Spencer

Artist: Patrick Gleason

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Colorists: Matthew Wilson, Dee Cunniffe and Chris O’Halloran

Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna

Amazing Spider-Man #34
Miguel O’Hara is struggling to remember the future, which could doom his efforts to save it.

To quote gifted comedian John Mulaney, “The other shoe just dropped.” Before this issue, Spencer slowly set up Marvel 2099. The event remained shrouded in mystery and we didn’t know what to expect. Here, Spencer firmly kicks off the event and, boy, it’s a doozy. From an attempted assassination to the end of worlds, the stakes couldn’t be higher. It had been easy to assume that Marvel 2099 would only affect the future but the present is clearly in danger, too.

In addition to the shift from a slow burn to a rapidly escalating mystery, another compelling narrative progression could define the event’s next steps. In previous issues, Miguel O’Hara and other characters have focused on how the present has doomed the future. But now, even though his world is ending, Miguel becomes more hopeful about tomorrow. He’s worried about his chances of finding Peter but his optimism shines through. “Who knows what the future holds?” Miguel asks. In times like this, hope can make all the difference.

Most events start with a bang but the sight of Doctor Doom getting gunned down might just take the cake. Of course, as Spidey points out, “It’s always Doombots with this guy.” Still, the art team makes Doom’s “death” feel like a major moment. In one lifelike panel, artist Patrick Gleason shows the surrounding crowd panicking or taking a picture with the fallen tyrant. (It’s easy to imagine some of the bystanders taking a selfie with the corpse.) Bright camera flashes, courtesy of colorists Matthew Wilson, Dee Cunniffe and Chris O��Halloran, light this scene and the body looks almost angelic in its innocence. Don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom; there’s plenty of visual comedy, too.

Amazing Spider-Man #34
Both in the present and the future, Doctor Doom plays a vital role in Marvel 2099.

Everybody knows the meme where the animated Spider-Man are pointing at each other, so it’s delightful when it pops up in comics or movies. The art team references the classic image when Miguel finally finds Peter Parker. Miguel eagerly runs to his predecessor and yells, “Spider-Man!” Confused, Peter shouts, “Spider-Man?!” Though the reunion is short-lived, it’s still the highlight of the issue — Spencer has slowly built toward it for weeks now. It’s fitting that destructive emerald energy blasts from the Doombot serve as the background; sure, it’s a chaotic time to meet up but for the Spider-Men, it’s just another Tuesday.

Marvel 2099, like many comic events, got off to a slow start. Inpatient readers (like yours truly) may not always enjoy this pace. But now that it’s officially off and running, we can’t wait to see where it goes.

What’d you think of Amazing Spider-Man #34? Where do you hope to see the series go from here?

 


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Colin Tessier
Passionate fan of Marvel/DC Comics. Freelance writer for Monkeys Fighting Robots, Bam Smack Pow, WrestleZone and other publications.

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