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Spider-man 2099: The Irish-Mexican antagonist of ‘Across the Spider-verse’

Miguel O’Hara is a darker and unhinged version of Spider-Man who will be at odds with Miles Morales and Peter B. Parker in the new Sony animated film

A frame from the movie 'Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse' shows the protagonist, Miles Morales (right), and the antagonist, Spider-Man 2099.
A frame from the movie 'Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse' shows the protagonist, Miles Morales (right), and the antagonist, Spider-Man 2099.Sony Pictures Animation (IMDB)

During the post-credits scene in the Academy Award-winning film Into the Spider-Verse, a new version of Spider-Man is introduced. He looks like a futuristic version of the hero with a different suit and a virtual assistant, and he’s voiced by the acclaimed actor Oscar Isaac. His name is Spider-Man 2099. His brief appearance caused excitement among fans of the comics who are familiar with the character, and it raised questions about the sequel, which is now near its premiere.

Spider-Man 2099 will feature prominently in Across The Spider-Verse, the new Sony film that is not only the sequel to Into the Spider-Verse but also the first part of a two-part epic that will conclude with Beyond the Spider-Verse, to be released next year. However, the character doesn’t seem to be as heroic as Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore), the protagonist and official Spider-Man in his universe. Although he is the leader of the Spider-Society (a massive group of Spider-People - and animals - from different universes), this Irish-Mexican engineer seems stricter when it comes to dealing with villains. This is in line with his comic book personality, as he is a darker and more serious version of the beloved character.

Origins

Spider-Man 2099 was one of the many Marvel characters reimagined for the Marvel 2099 line, which showcased future versions of classic heroes living in a dystopian America governed by corrupt megacorporations. The character was designed by artist Rick Leonardi, with writer Peter David fleshing out his backstory and personality. His debut was in the 30th-anniversary issue of The Amazing Spider-Man with a brief preview, and he later made his first full appearance in November 1992 with the first issue of Spider-Man 2099.

Spider-Man 2099′s real identity is Miguel O’Hara, a young man who lives in Nueva York (the future name of New York). His mother, Conchata, is Mexican, and his father, George O’Hara, is Irish. He is a rebellious kid with genius-level intelligence who is interested in studying and working with genetics. This leads him to enroll in the Alchemax School for Gifted Youngsters, owned by Alchemax, a megacorporation that also controls local law enforcement agencies.

Miguel later becomes the head of the genetics program at Alchemax, which seeks to create new superpowered soldiers. He is particularly interested in creating a similar kind of Spider-Man. However, after a failed experiment that results in the death of a test subject, he resigns.

Tyler Stone, Vice President of R&D for Alchemax and O’Hara’s nemesis, convinces him to stay and tricks him into taking Rapture, an addictive drug that genetically bonds to the user. Addicted to the drug, O’Hara recalls that he entered his own genetic code during initial experiments with a gene alteration machine and tries to overwrite his current biology with it.

Nonetheless, Aaron Delgado, his jealous subordinate, sabotages the machines, causing them to alter Miguel’s genetic code to be 50% spider DNA. He survives the process and realizes he has spider abilities, similar to Spider-Man.

To hide his identity, Miguel wears a bodysuit with a mask that he once wore for the Día de Muertos festival.

Miguel O’Hara is a highly skilled geneticist. Like other Spider-Men, he has super strength, speed, and agility. He also has increased vitality and resistance to injury. He doesn’t have a spider-sense, but he possesses enhanced vision and hearing, allowing him to see in darkness and zoom in from a great distance. Due to his spider-like biology, he has other special abilities. Miguel has venom glands and pointed canine teeth that release a toxin that can paralyze his enemies.

O’Hara separates even further from Peter Parker by being more serious, confident, and private, not trusting anyone but his holographic AI aide, Lyla. This makes him a darker version of Spider-Man, influenced by his environment.

The character was a success for Marvel. His first run sold more than 100,000 copies per issue. However, in 1996, there were several changes at Marvel. Joey Cavaliery, the series editor for the 2099 line, was fired, and Peter David decided to resign after issue #44. The series ended with issue #46. After that, Spider-Man 2099 has made several appearances throughout Spider-Man stories and other Marvel comics, including the Spider-Verse crossover that inspired the animated film.

Across the Spider-Verse

During the Into the Spider-Verse post-credit scene, we meet Spider-Man 2099, who is testing a device for traveling through different universes. His first test is in Earth-67, where he finds two other Spider-Men, leading to a strange argument.

We now discover that he possibly used this tech to contact every version of Spider-Man from different universes, becoming their leader. When a villain threatens the multiverse, he has decided to eliminate them. However, Miles Morales, Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld), and Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson) disagree with that approach and become enemies of the Spider-Society by not following their orders.

The villain is The Spot, or Dr. Jonathan Ohnn (voiced by Jason Schwartzman), a former scientist from Alchemax who turns into a supervillain whose body is covered by interdimensional portals that allow him to travel through space and different universes. In the film, he doesn’t know how to use his powers or be a villain.

O’Hara is just one of the many versions of Spider-Man that we will see in the movie. According to co-director Justin K. Thompson, there are 280 variations of Spider-Man, with 95 of them being unique and named. Examples include Takuya Yamashiro (the Spider-Man from the 1978 Japanese television series), Spider-Bitch (named Ashley Barton), and Iron Spider.

Across the Spider-Verse is on cinemas.

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