Spider-Man's guiding mantra of "with great power comes responsibility" is a maxim that's applicable to not just the main Marvel Universe, but all its possible futures and alternate realities. It's especially applicable to the 2099 era where mega corporations dominate all aspects of life. In that era, a super powered scientist named Miguel O'Hara took up Peter Parker's guiding principle and tried to bring some justice to his world as the Spider-Man of 2099.
In September, O'Hara's quest for justice will take him from the mean streets of his time to the present day Marvel Universe where he'll come face to with modern-day Spider-Man: a hero much-changed since their last encounter, thanks to the fact that Doctor Octopus' consciousness is now in control of Peter Parker's body. Beginning in "Superior Spider-Man" #17, writer Dan Slott and artist Ryan Stegman kick off chapter to a new arc titled "Necessary Evil," which introduces Miguel O'Hara to Spider-Ock's world.
CBR News spoke with Slott about the upcoming arc, bringing back Spider-Man 2099 for a new generation of readers and the significance of "Necessary Evil" to "Superior Spider-Man" moving forward.
CBR News: Dan, "Necessary Evil" is a time travel story that comes shortly after the space-time continuum was shattered in "Age of Ultron." How did this story came together? Did the finale of "Age of Ultron" open the door for it, so to speak?
Dan Slott: "Age of Ultron" played into the story that we wanted to tell. We announced that Miguel would be a presence in this book ages ago, though. When people see what's going on even at the top of the story they'll see that there's a character we've seeded in this book ages ago that will have a big role to play in this story.
"Necessary Evil" sends Miguel O'Hara to the present day for a confrontation with the Superior Spider-Man. This classic version of Miguel hasn't appeared in comics for some time, and the last issue of the "Spider-Man 2099" series hit stores in 1996. For readers that may not be familiar with Miguel, what's his personality like? How has his crime-fighting style developed? Is he more similar to Peter Parker or Otto Octavius?
He's the flip side of Peter. When Peter puts on the costume, there's something liberating in that. He can be this jokey flippant guy that he isn't in real life. It's the opposite with Miguel O'Hara. He's very flippant and would confront people in a way that Peter normally wouldn't. When he puts on his costume though, all the quips stop and he's all business.
Can you tease Miguel's motives when the story begins? How will they play into the arc's larger mystery?
You'll see what he's doing and why in the first issue of the arc.
Peter Parker met Miguel O'Hara previously, so he had some knowledge of the 2099 era. How much does Otto Octavius know about the world of 2099?
Not that much. Peter and Miguel met in a "Spider-Man/Spider-Man 2099" special by Peter David and Rick Leonardi. So Miguel has been to the present day and interacted with the cast. Plus, Peter has been to the world of 2099 and they've worked together in that story too.
One of the things that happened back in "Superior Spider-Man" #9 though is that Otto purged all of Peter Parker's memories from his head. If you think of all of Peter Parker's memories as books, all the ones that Doc Ock opened and read, he remembers. Everything he purged is like a book he never bothered to crack open. It's almost like he tossed the whole library out. The only memories he's able to access are the ones that he already experienced.
The question here with regard to the 2099 world is did he bother to crack that book open? You're going to have to wait and see.
One of the things about the world of 2099 is that our time, the present day, is very much a blurred mystery to them. They don't have accurate information about the "Heroic Age" -- what they call our time. There's no reason to think that Miguel would know that this was the point in history where Otto Octavius swapped brains with Peter. Who's to say it ever came to light or if that knowledge ever made it to the future?
We've seen hints in Chris Yost's "Avenging Spider-Man" book [now "Superior Spider-Man Team-Up"] That the time cops of the TVA are aware that this happened. There've been no hints though that anyone knows about this by the time of 2099.
Can you offer up any other hints or clues about the plot of "Necessary Evil?" The title suggests some difficult moral questions might be raised.
There is some of that, but I think they're the kind of questions that anybody who travels from the future to the past would have to ask themselves. Also, there are some major ramifications and serious repercussions from this story. They'll have a lasting effect on Spider-Man's world.
Let's move from plot to supporting cast. The solicits to "Superior Spider-Man" #17 state that we'll see an Osborn that we haven't seen in a while...
Yes you will.
Can you elaborate on that?
Not one bit. [Laughs]
Fair enough. What about the rest of the supporting cast? Can you talk about any of the other characters that will have significant moments in "Necessary Evil?"
I can say one: Max Modell.
Let's finish up by chatting about Ryan Stegman's art. What can readers expect from him on this story? His work so far suggests that he really enjoys drawing Spider-Man 2099 and has a real knack for the character.
He's having a blast drawing Spider-Man 2099. I think one of the biggest compliments I can give him is the second this story is over everyone is going to be screaming for a 2099 series. Well -- that is if he makes it out! [Laughs] I've killed one Spider-Man already! I'm not above putting another notch on my belt.
As you hinted earlier, the solicits for "Superior Spider-Man" #19, the final issue of "Necessary Evil," state that Spider-Man's world and the Marvel Universe itself will be changed. Are you able to comment on the scope and scale of that change without spoiling anything?
No. [Laughs] All I can say is there will be a massive change to the world of both Spider-Man and the Marvel Universe.
"Superior Spider-Man" #17 hits stores September 18.