fourColorBullet1Welcome to  the Four-Color Bullet, the only comic book review column dedicated to those of us who wanted to be Superman, and have the x-rays to show for it. Let’s get to the Bullets.

Over on DC’s side of the multiversal boundary, Dick Grayson has traded in the Nightwing togs and Bat-tech for spy-tech, as he begins his new career as an agent of  Spyral, in Grayson #1; Joker’s Daughter, Deathstroke, and Black Manta join the Suicide Squad, as DC starts the series over again, in New Suicide Squad #1; and Knightfall’s deadline for all criminals to leave Gotham or be killed on sight is fast approaching. But Batgirl is not without a plan, in Batgirl #33.

Meanwhile, in the Marvel Universe, it’s Deadpool and Dazzler vs. Dracula, with all of the fallout from Original Sin, in Deadpool #31; Jim Hammond, the Original Human Torch, reveals a dark secret from the Invaders’ past in the Original Sin tie-in of All-New Invaders #7, and Spider-Man’s biggest fan becomes his first super-villain, in a telling of a story of the days after Peter Parker became Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man: Learning to Crawl #1.3

From IDW this week, Q plagues the crew of the new Star Trek films in an adventure that will send Kirk and the Enterprise colliding with pieces of  Star Trek lore, beginning with the crew of a certain space station, in part one of The Q Gambit in Star Trek: Ongoing #35; Black Dynamite goes to the aid of some Shaolin monks in Tibet, where he discovers a Red Chinese/neo-Nazi conspiracy to create deadly kung-fu fighting Man-Beasts, in Black Dynamite #3.

And Dark Horse Comics brings us the next-to-last Star Wars tale before the whole shebang moves to Marvel, as Han, Luke, and Leia are together again on a mission for the Alliance, but IG-88 might be in the way, in Star Wars #19.

Written by Peter David Penciled by Will Sliney MARVEL

Written by Peter David
Penciled by Will Sliney

Back in the 90s, when gimmick covers were all the rage, with their die-cuts and holograms and foil, all poly-bagged for extra protection; when parents thought they could get an issue of Superman #75, lock it in a safe, and send their kids to college on what it would sell for;  when comic-shop owners over-ordered X-Force #1 and we all bought 10 copies to help out;  when baseball card companies were getting into the comics craze, and going bankrupt as a result, Marvel released a series of books that all took place in the year 2099.  They spotlighted the return of a “Heroic Age” as new heroes would emerge to take up the mantles of heroes long dead and forgotten. Among these new heroes were the Punisher, the X-Men, Spider-Man, a dude named Ravage, the original Fantastic Four after a temporal accident, Ghost Rider, Hulk, and even Doctor Doom. And all of them had “2099” tacked on their titles. The most successful of these would be Spider-Man 2099 and would run 46 issues before being cancelled, a mere two issues after series writer Peter David left over an editorial dispute. The series starred Miguel O’Hara, a geneticist working for the villainous mega-corporation Alchemax in Nueva York in the year 2099.

In a nutshell, O’Hara has an accident that results in half of his DNA being re-written with spider DNA, giving him spider-like powers. He can climb walls with the use of tiny retractable talons on his hands and feet, shoot webbing via organic web-shooters in his forearms, and heightened speed and strength. The accident also turned O’Hara’s irises red, giving him a sensitivity to sunlight and forcing him to wear sunglasses. He also received a set of fangs, forcing him to alter his manner of speech to keep from revealing them, and as a result, he’s often accused of mumbling. As Spider-Man, Miguel’s foe was largely Alchemax and its corporate evil. Recently, however, in the pages of Superior Spider-Man, Alchemax sent Miguel back in time to 2014 to be rid of him. Now Miguel is stuck in the past, and trying to keep New York’s newest corporation, Alchemax, who he works for yet again, from becoming the evil entity it will become in the future.

Peter David returns to the series that was an instant fan-favorite back in the day, and Mr. David hasn’t missed a step. David’s sardonic wit and humor, and goofy asides fly in the first issue of Spidey 2099’s return to comics. O’Hara is just as charming and sarcastic and even heroic as he was before, only this time, in addition to his own burgeoning supporting cast, he also has Peter Parker’s cast to play off of. For example, Liz Allan, longtime Peter Parker foil, is part of Alchemax’s corporate management and is going to provide Miguel with no end of difficulty, starting with discovering who he is after a fight with a new, throwaway villain lands Spidey 2099 in her office.

But there is one thing that bugs me, and here it is:

complete with possible spoilers

Miguel’s new foe comes from a future organization called T.O.T.E.M. (Temporal Oversight Team Eliminating Mistakes), who has come to the past from a further future to erase Miguel’s existence. I won’t tell you why. But to stop the villain, Miguel kills him. Kills him. And to me, it just kind of put the screeching brakes on the story. Now, I know that Miguel isn’t Peter Parker, and Miguel has killed in the past when necessary. But, I don’t know. This issue would have perfect if not for that drag-the-needle-across-the-record moment.

Spoilers over

Written by Mark Waid Penciled by Chris Samnee MARVEL

Written by Mark Waid
Penciled by Chris Samnee

But while there’s no Rick Leonardi penciling in this new series, readers are graced with Will Sliney’s beautiful rendering of our temporally misplaced hero. The action is fast paced and is as good of a first issue launch as I’ve seen. I can’t wait to see where Peter David takes it. A fantastic and fun book that will give readers a sense of home, especially for those of us old-timers who loved the original.

After Daredevil’s move to San Francisco, Matt felt it was necessary to fake Foggy’s death to keep him safe, and, with his suffering from cancer, wouldn’t be a hard lie to sell. This issue is light on action, but focuses on the story of the details of Foggy’s “death”. I loved Matt’s unique solution to combating Foggy’s cancer, combating, not curing. Writer Mark Waid simply writes a poignant tale of two longtime friends and the efforts of one to give the other a place in the world. Really not much to say about this one, except it was enjoyable, and one more great addition to a great series.

And that is the Four-Color Bullet for this week. As always, feel free to leave comments below or shoot me an e-mail. Thanks to the many readers and listeners of Your loyalty and, dare I say, ability to recognize greatness, is deeply appreciated.

It’s a great time to be a comics fan. See you next week!


Michael Brown
Michael Brown

Michael Brown is a comics nerd and a father who lives in small town Tennessee. When he’s not making his players mad in his “Shadowrun” RPG or experimenting with new and inventive uses of duct tape on his children, you can find him checking out the latest comics and movies for!