Writer – Brian Reed
Artist – Eric Battle
Jake Gallows, the Punisher of 2099, is sent back to the past to eradicate the cancer plaguing the streets of New York City – superheroes. He has no love lost for superheroes. Evil men dressed up like superheroes and they killed his entire family. A quick prayer to Lord Thor and he begins his hunt. Spider-Man is swinging through the city, when he narrowly avoids a laser blast. Spider-man spies Jake on a rooftop and engages him. As the two men trade jabs and barbs, Spidey quips that this new vigilante might have to change his costume; there is already a crazy man that wears a skull on his shirt and carries guns around this town. Jake is able to blast Spidey with his weapon and the Web-Slinger disappears. A groggy Spider-Man comes to, gets up and dusts himself off, and looks around to find himself in a strange land – the New York City of 2099!
Brian Reed sets the present and the future on a collision course in this four-issue miniseries. There’s a Timestorm brewing and no one is safe!
Tyler Stone of Alchemex Industries sent Jake Gallows into the past, but the reason for this course of action isn’t clearly revealed by the end of the issue. It would seem that Tyler Stone is using Punisher 2099 to change the future for the CEO’s benefit by killing Spider-Man, but to what end? Miguel O’ Hara is seen in the course of the story, but I was unable to determine if this issue takes place before or after he becomes Spider-Man 2099. We will get answers in due time, but the first issue sets the stage for a possible Spider-Man/Spider-Man 2099 team up by miniseries end. Mr. Stone better hope and pray that Jake doesn’t realize he’s being used or he will end up in the crosshairs of the Punisher!
As much as I love the future of Marvel Comics in 2099, there are a few things that I was not aware of in this miniseries. For example: a woman is captured and we learn that she has the power to read minds and learn about the past of the person she touches. This character was revealed to be Shakti Haddad aka Cerebra. She was a member of X-Men 2099, which I didn’t have a whole lot of dealings with prior to reading this issue. As a casual fan of Marvel 2099, I know some things, but I have a few blind spots. There are a couple character profiles that are featured at the end of the issue that I will go back and read. Just keep this in mind if you decide to read along with me as I finish the next three issues in the miniseries.
There is one other Marvel character that faces off against Punisher 2099 by the end of the issue and ends up getting transported to the future. I won’t say who it is until the next review, but a showdown is set up on the final page of the issue. Your hint: it’s a classic battle between two heroes that we have seen many times before during the 80 years of Marvel Comics. Feel free to post your guesses in the comment section.
Who will stop Punisher 2099 from destroying the past and rewriting the future? Will Spider-Man ever make it back home to the New York City of old? Will the timestream be utterly destroyed? Strap in for the ride of your life!
Next Issue – It’s the heroes and villains of 2099–as you’ve never seen them before! Washington, D.C. overrun by REDACTED! New York City controlled by massive corporations that know your every thought and desire! A man from 2099 in the present day, killing our heroes!