Spider-Man 2099 / Miguel O’Hara

Fictional character biography[edit]

Early years[edit]

Miguel O'Hara is born in New York City, many years after the end of what his people's history calls the "Heroic Age", which is the modern day era of Marvel heroes. He grows up with his mother Conchata, his younger brother Gabriel, and the abusive father George O'Hara. A rebellious boy with prodigy-level intelligence, Miguel is an adolescent when he is awarded enrollment into the Alchemax School for Gifted Youngsters (heavily implied to be a renovated version of the X-Men's headquarters) in Westchester, owned by the powerful Alchemax megacorporation which also controls local law enforcement agencies. Here, he befriends Xina Kwan, a girl of similar intelligence who specializes in computers. Xina helps Miguel defend himself against the bully Kron Stone, son ofTyler Stone, Vice President of R&D for Alchemax.[12]

As adults, Miguel and Xina date seriously until Miguel cheats on her with Dana D'Angelo, who originally is the girlfriend of Miguel's brother Gabe.[13] Later on, Miguel and Dana are engaged. Though seemingly arrogant and confident in all walks of life, Miguel is a very private man and trusts almost no one save for his apartment's holographic aid Lyla, an artificial intelligence programmed by Xina.[volume & issue needed]

Origin as Spider-Man[edit]

Miguel eventually becomes head of the genetics program of Alchemax, intended to create new corporation-controlled super-powered soldiers called "corporate raiders." Miguel is specifically inspired by surviving records concerning Spider-Man and hopes to one day create a similarly powered person. But after a human test subject dies during an early experiment, Miguel tells Tyler Stone he wishes to resign from Alchemax and discontinue his genetics research. Rather than let Miguel leave, Tyler Stone tricks him into taking Rapture, an addictive drug that genetically bonds to the user. Tyler reminds Miguel that only Alchemax is allowed to legally distribute this drug, so if O'Hara does not remain with the corporation then Tyler must assume he is getting the drug from the black market and will be forced to tell the police. Not wishing to be a blackmailed addict, Miguel recalls that he entered his own genetic code into his machine's databanks during initial experiments, using it as a human DNA test sample. Intending to use this older template of his pure genetic code to write over his current biology and free himself from the Rapture, Miguel sneaks into Alchemax and uses the gene alteration machines on himself.[14]

After Miguel turns on the machine to rewrite his DNA, his jealous subordinate Aaron Delgado sabotages the machines, causing them to alter Miguel's genetic code to be "50% spider DNA." Miguel survives the process, but realizes he now has spider-abilities.[15]

Realizing that there is now a person with abilities similar to Spider-Man, Tyler Stone sends agents to hunt this person. To conceal his identity while he fights his pursuers, Miguel dons a bodysuit with a mask that he once wore for the Mexican Day of the Dead festival. Miguel chooses this costume in particular because it is the only clothing he has that is made from "UMF" (Unstable Molecule Fabric), meaning it is the only clothing he owns that will not be torn or shred by the spider-talons that now occupy his hands and feet. After seeing him operate in public, a group of Thorites (worshipers of the Marvel hero Thor) come to believe that Miguel is the legendary Spider-Man back from the dead, and that he is the harbinger of Thor's eventual return.[16]

Heroic career[edit]

Originally focused with finding a cure for his condition, Miguel's further adventures as Spider-Man 2099 cause him to realize how ignorant of the world he was and how he had turned a blind eye to the oppression and pain the corporations of the world have caused. He is also surprised at the effect his presence has on the people who have been oppressed for so long, particularly his own mother, who ironically also hates the man her eldest son has become, admires the exploits of Spider-Man 2099. After this, Miguel decides to embrace his identity as Spider-Man. Donning his costume, he publicly proclaims himself to be an enemy to all the megacorps, saying he will use his powers to fight for ordinary people against those in power who abuse their influence and authority.[17]

Later on, Miguel discovers that an arrogant scientist at Alchemax called Jordan Boone is conducting "Virtual Unreality" experiments to create a doorway into another dimension. These experiments lead to the release of two mysterious figures: the Net Prophet, called "the prophet of Thor" by the Thorites, and a powerful megalomaniac called Thanatos. The Net Prophet becomes a new ally to Miguel. Since the Net Prophet is believed to be Thor's prophet, his association with Spider-Man 2099 leads more people to believe that Miguel's alter ego is the harbinger of Thor.[18]

In the "Time Flies Saga" that occurs years later in Peter David's Captain Marvel series, it is revealed that the Net Prophet is actually the hero Justice (John Roger Tensen) and that Thanatos is a corrupt version of Rick Jones from Earth-9309.[19]

The first major crossover of Marvel 2099 happens when Miguel and Dana visit Alchemax's floating city "Valhalla" and are startled by the sudden appearance of two men claiming to be Thor and Heimdall, respectively. It is later discovered that Alchemax CEO Avatarr has transformed ordinary people into duplicates of the Asgardians in order to eliminate the rising influence of new superheroes over the public. By joining forces, DoomRavage, the Punisher (Jake Gallows), the X-Men, and Spider-Man 2099 are able to defeat the fake Aesir and Valhalla falls.[20]

Miguel later learns that Gabe is aware of his double-identity, having recognized Spider-Man's costume from what Miguel wore to the Day of the Dead festival years ago. Gabe has grown a bit resentful of Miguel's new heroic career, particularly since his girlfriend Kasey seems enamored with the costumed Spider-Man 2099.[21]

After his holographic aid Lyla suffers a serious malfunction, Miguel asks for repairs from his ex-girlfriend Xina. Dana later accuses Miguel of cheating on her with Xina and Miguel becomes angry about this and about Dana's noticeably increasing interest in Tyler Stone. The two break up and Xina and Miguel become companions again.[22]

Spider-Man 2099 Meets Spider-Man[edit]

In the 1995 one-shot Spider-Man 2099 Meets Spider-Man, Miguel and Peter Parker, the Spider-Man of the Heroic Age, find themselves having switched places, with Miguel waking up next to Peter's wife, Mary Jane, and Spider-Man finding himself in the future. They discover that their predicament is caused by Fujikawa (in the Modern Age) and Alchemax (in the year 2099) running experiments on a temporal energy generator. While Peter tackles the Vulture of 2099, Miguel faces Venom (Eddie Brock). Miguel realizes that this temporal anomaly is what will cause the end of the Heroic Age, since where he is in the past is when history tells him all the heroes and much of Earth's culture and technology were wiped out.

The two Spider-Man characters were united to face a major cause of the chaos, a time-traveling female Hobgoblin of the year 2211 (Robin Borne) from the alternative universe of Earth-9500. They are aided by this Hobgoblin's father, Spider-Man (Max Borne), and eventually everyone is sent back to their respective times.[23]

It is noted at the end of this adventure that by being in the past, Miguel has slightly altered his present world of 2099 since he has postponed when the Heroic Age will end to a now unknown date.[23] This implied that the world of Marvel 2099 might no longer have been the definite future of the modern Marvel Universe and in later stories it was said that Marvel 2099 occurs on the parallel world of Earth-928 (mainstream Marvel stories occur on Earth-616).

Revelations, Nightshade, and One Nation Under Doom[edit]

While eavesdropping on a conversation between his mother and Tyler Stone, Miguel learns that the Rapture that Stone gave him was only a short-lasting simulation and would have worn off in time. He also learns that Tyler Stone is his real father. Bothered by this, he leaves New York to go traveling with Xina.[22]During this time, they travel to Nightshade, an independent research town (free of megacorp rule) run by Angela Daskelakis, their former headmistress at the Alchemax institute. While they are visiting Alchemax attempts a hostile takeover of Nightshade, destroying most of the city and killing Angela in the process. Xina returns home and Miguel disappears into the desert, saved by a group of scavengers. As Spider-Man, they ask him to try and fix an old homunculus-like robot they had found. After seeing Spider-Man's mask, it transforms itself into a hybrid of the present day Spider-Man and Venom, naming itself Flipside. Seemingly harmless at first, the robot begins showing psychopathic and homicidal tendencies. Miguel escapes, leaving the scavengers to Flipside's mercy and returns to New York.[24]

Upon his return, Miguel finds out that Doom 2099 has assumed control over the U.S. and its megacorps. Tyler Stone is appointed as Doom’s Corporate Minister and Miguel is offered the seat of CEO of Alchemax. Later, Doom 2099 offers Spider-Man 2099 the position of Minister of Supernormal Affairs. Miguel eventually accepts the position at Alchemax, deciding to change the company for the better. He also uses his new influence to order law enforcement to leave Spider-Man 2099 alone.[25]

Venom, Submariner, and Goblin 2099[edit]

After assuming his new position of power, Miguel winds up encountering a modern version of the original Spider-Man's enemy Venom. The Venom symbiote, still alive, though slightly altered, takes on a new host body and attacks Tyler Stone, currently hospitalized after being shot. During a later battle between Spider-Man 2099 and Venom 2099, Dana is killed.[26]

Soon after this, a new villain called the Goblin appears and begins a smear campaign against Spider-Man 2099, displaying out-of-context evidence that implies he is actually a tool of the corporations and only pretends to be a hero of the people. Miguel hopes to get aid from Doom 2099, but the monarch is then removed from power.[27]

Meanwhile, as Miguel O'Hara, he must deal with Alchemax business, including an uprising by the bio-engineered Neo-Atlanteans, who were bred as workers to complete Alchemax's underwater colony "Atlantis". Miguel gets help when his mother becomes his secretary, attempting to rebuild their relationship and confessing that she was the one who shot Tyler Stone. The neo-Atlanteans, led by Roman the new Sub-Mariner (a reverse spelling of the original, Namor), attack the city but are fended off by Spider-Man.[28]

As the Spider-Man 2099 series approached its end, Miguel confronts the Goblin again and learns that it is actually his brother Gabe, twisted by jealousy towards his brother. This story is put aside as the Phalanx approaches earth, flooding New York and paving the way for the Atlanteans to return en masse. The final volume sees the deaths of Tyler Stone and Miguel's mother (however, in the Manifest Destiny one-shot his mother is said to have survived) at the hands of the Atlanteans, as the Vulture destroys the Alchemax building. Miguel, along with Dana's sister, Jennifer, are left in an Alchemax airship, trying to decide where to find a safe place to go.[29]

After series cancellation[edit]

In 2099: World of Tomorrow, the polar ice caps melt and a massive deluge kills most of the world's inhabitants. The remnants of humanity face a new threat from space: the techno-organic Phalanx. Spider-Man works together with Doom 2099 to end the invasion, in which Doom sacrifices himself for the survival of mankind.[30]

In the later one-shot 2099: Manifest Destiny, society rebuilds following the Phalanx invasion. Miguel reopens Alchemax and marries Xina. Together, they reawaken Steve Rogers, offering him Thor's hammer, Mjolnir (it had been previously established in mainstream Marvel Comics that Steve Rogers was deemed worthy to lift Mjolnir). Jettisoned into space, Rogers passes Mjolnir back to Miguel, who is likewise deemed worthy enough to lift and wield the mystical hammer, gaining new power from it.[volume & issue needed]

Secretly aided by Zero Cochrane 2.0 (Ghost Rider 2099), Miguel rules for the next thousand years, ushering in an unprecedented age of enlightenment. Peace, morality, and progress spread from Earth to the surrounding worlds. In 3099, Rogers is once again revived and takes the hammer, leaving Miguel to retire. Miguel O'Hara's journey from a cowardly, arrogant youth to superhero to galactic leader and icon comes to an end.[31]

Stranded in the present[edit]

In 2013, Miguel O'Hara is featured in The Superior Spider-Man issues #17-19. There are anomalies in the 2099 timeline and it is revealed that Tiberius Stone is indeed his grandfather and Tyler Stone's father.[32] The story concludes with Tyler Stone stranding Miguel in the present, and Miguel taking the alias "Michael O'Mara" and becoming Tiberius's assistant, to monitor the wrongdoings of the newly established Alchemax.[33] Although the Superior Spider-Man -Doctor Octopus in Peter Parker's body - briefly betrays Miguel and leaves him fighting various hi-jacked Spider-Slayers when the Green Goblin launches a mass attack on New York,[34] Miguel accepts Peter's explanation for his recent actions when he returns after being restored to his body - reasoning that the story is too stupid to be anything but true - although it is implied that he will remain in the present to monitor Alchemax after Peter learns that it is being run by the disguised Norman Osborn.[35]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Miguel O'Hara is a highly skilled geneticist and gifted with genius-level intelligence. Though he did not take combat training, he quickly develops an effective fighting style that maximizes the use of his superhuman agility, strength, senses, and intellect.[volume & issue needed]

After having half of his DNA re-written with the genetic code of a spider, Miguel develops a wide array of powers. He has the proportionate strength, speed, and agility of a spider. If his strength is equal to that of the original Spider-Man, he should be able to lift a maximum of approximately 10-15 tons and leap roughly 30 feet in the air. His speed allows him to dodge gunfire from a short distance away and move several times faster than a normal human being can. His superhuman agility and dexterity allow him to perform complicated acrobatic and gymnastic maneuvers that would be impossible for even the most highly trained athlete and help him achieve and regain perfect balance even under extraordinary combat situations. Access to these abilities are largely instinctual, due to his re-written genetic code.[volume & issue needed]

Miguel's powers give him increased vitality and resistance to injury. He once suffered a punctured lung, broken ribs and major abrasions, and was still able to make it to a hospital where doctors said only his amazing constitution kept him alive. His metabolism allows him to heal a few times faster than a normal human, although he does not have a superhuman healing factor such as Wolverine.[volume & issue needed]

Unlike the original Spider-Man, Miguel O'Hara does not possess an extra-sensory "spider-sense" that warns him of oncoming threats. Instead, Miguel possess enhanced vision and hearing, which the original Spider-Man does not have. He can see in complete darkness and can accurately perceive and zoom-in on people and objects that are a great distance away. His enhanced vision causes him to be extremely light sensitive, however, requiring that he wear tinted glasses to avoid being blinded in normal lighting conditions, which he passes off as a side effect of the Rapture.[volume & issue needed] Thanks to his enhanced vision and reflexes, he can accurately perceive objects in motion that a normal person would see only as a blur. Miguel's hearing is also enhanced, though not to the extent of his vision.[volume & issue needed]

Spinnerets in his forearms enable him to fire an organic adhesive substance from the top of his wrists, usable in a wide variety of ways. Like the originalSpider-Man (Peter Parker), Spider-Man 2099 can travel at high speeds swinging on "web-lines" when necessary, and he can use his webbing to ensnare enemies. Over time, this webbing loses its tensile strength and can be removed.[volume & issue needed]

Although the original Spider-Man is able to have any part of his body (such as his back) adhere to surfaces through unknown and invisible means, Miguel can only cling to surfaces with his hands and feet due to angled talons protruding from his fingers and toes. These talons are not retractable but can fold down when Miguel concentrates and do so automatically when he touches his own skin so that he does not injure himself. Though only approximately an inch in length, Miguel O'Hara's talons are capable of easily slicing through flesh and plastic. They can even rend metal armor.[volume & issue needed]

Spider-Man 2099 possesses venom glands and pronounced, pointed canine teeth. When he bites a foe, he can release a toxin that temporarily paralyzes his enemy. While the exact makeup of his venom has never been discussed, it seems powerful enough to affect such foes as Thanatos and it differs from real spider venom in that it does not seem to act as a digestive agent.[volume & issue needed]

Appearance[edit]

A side-effect of Spider-Man 2099's enhanced senses is that his eyes gained red irises and are now sensitive to light. To protect himself from being blinded and to hide his strangely colored eyes, Miguel makes a habit of wearing sunglasses. When Spider-Man 2099 uses his enhanced sight to zoom-in on an object that is far away, his eyes often become completely white, with no visible irises or pupils.[volume & issue needed]

Miguel also cannot retract his fangs and so has had to learn how to speak in a way that does not reveal his strange teeth. On occasion, this has caused others to accuse him of mumbling.[volume & issue needed]

Since Miguel has organic spinnerets, pressure on his forearms has occasionally caused him to release webbing without meaning to. Likewise, when Miguel has lost his temper, his talons have occasionally popped up from his fingers in response.[volume & issue needed]

Paraphernalia[edit]

Spider-Man 2099 has a small, web-like airfoil attached to the back of his costume, which fans have sometimes called a "web-cape." The material for the air foil was obtained from a Thorite's hang-glider and is made from a material called "Lyte Byte" which is specially made to capture and direct air currents and gives off a low-level of anti-gravity particles. This allows Spider-Man 2099 limited gliding abilities, valuable since the New York of 2099 has massive sky scrapers that are often too far away for him to fire a web-line for travel. The Lyte Byte material also allows him to shift direction while in free fall and is very good at slowing down his descent, allowing him to fall from great distances without reaching terminal velocity. However, this does not grant Spider-Man 2099 actual flying abilities; he cannot hover nor can he simply rise into the air at will.[volume & issue needed]

Spider-Man 2099's costume is made from Unstable Molecule Fabric or "UMF." Originally invented by Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four, this fabric was made to be indestructible and was designed to interact with super-powers without hampering them. Miguel uses his talons through the UMF gloves and boots without tearing the cloth. The UMF does not dull the strength or sharpness of his talons in the process. The UMF costume has also offered Spider-Man 2099 limited protection from energy weapons, as the energy blasts could not penetrate it. However, this did not prevent Miguel from suffering the impact of the blasts, and he was still seriously injured. Likewise, if Miguel fell from a great height, the UMF would not protect him from the impact of landing, it simply would not tear in the process.[volume & issue needed]

While in costume, Miguel often reinforces his mask with webbing so that enemies could not remove it if he were captured or disabled in some way, provided he is not held for long enough for his webbing to degrade. He uses his talons to cut the webbing off when he removes his costume.[volume & issue needed]