Remake & Reboot: Marvel 2099

Admit it, the future is cool.

It seems since the dawn of time, people have been looking towards to the future. Be it for salvation, doomsday, or just a really cool jetpack. In comics, the future has been used to show fast-forwarded visions of superhero worlds that, remarkably, have incarnations of many of the same heroes. Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s “Days of Future Past” storyline in Uncanny X-Men started it off, and we’ve seen future visions pop up numerous times at DC, Marvel and elsewhere. But paramount to them all in most any fanboys is Marvel’s 2099.

Launched in 1992, this line of titles showed the House of Ideas looking 107 years into the future and imagining futuristic incarnations of Spider-Man, the Punisher, the X-Men, Doctor Doom and many of Marvel’s key heroes. The world they inhabited was a dark, futuristic cyberpunk kind of world with corrupt corporations and people clinging to the stories of heroes from the 20th century. The line lasted for six years before it was shuttered due to low sales, but it’s continued to pop up in limited engagements in various comics and video games.

With DC reviving its Batman Beyond series and even doing spinoffs, maybe it’s time for Marvel to do the same. Pretty soon we’re getting “Marvel NOW!”… this could be “Marvel NEXT!”

The Concept:

Instead of risking the farm and reviving the 2099 universe as a whole line of right out of the gate, I’d instead minimize the risk and maximize the potential by putting it all under the roof of one title: Marvel 2099. Undoubtedly there will be detractors wanting more, but I’d rather pin their hopes and dreams (and purchases) on one title than a line of books that wouldn’t all be able to succeed.

In terms of story, I would task the lucky writer and artist to re-imagine the Marvel Universe in the year 2099. You can use characters like Miguel O’Hara, but instead of sticking close to his previous origin for nostalgia’s sake I’d give the creators full latitude to keep what they want, make new what they like and lose the rest. In terms of a conflict, in the original stories it seemed evil corporations like Alchemax and Doom were the big bads, and those could be looked at again — or possible there could be a new threat, from Kang to perhaps a modern hero gone bad in this speculative future.

And to ground this series into the here and now, I’d do something new and have the entire series (at least in the beginning) seen through the eyes of one of our current heroes, swept away into the year 2099. Similar to the way Flash was taken into the Flashpoint universe, this new Marvel 2099 series could show a modern character, say Captain America, to stand with the readers as they gaze into this uncertain future. Man out of time, redux. Sure it’d be a hard thing to take Captain America from his current title and the Avengers world , and even if you did the readers would easily know its not a permanent thing. Maybe this is a no-go, but perhaps a well-paid writer, artist and editor could figure out a way to make it work.. Or just drop my silly idea.

The Creators:

The Writer – Brian Wood: Since leaving DC, Brian Wood has been a useful writer to have around for Marvel, simultaneously writing two X-Men titles with some more rumored to be in the works. Although he hasn’t been penciled in for any of the Marvel NOW! books as of yet, Wood would seem like an ideal choice to be given a far-flung future and re-imagining Marvel’s heroes. George Lucas has trusted him to do an alternate reality version of Star Wars, and Wood has written the future in stories like DMZSupermarket and The Massive, so Marvel 2099 could be that on a much, much bigger scale.

The Artist – Michael Broussard: I had this guy pegged years ago to be a big star in comics, and although he dashed my hopes and is currently working outside of comics on a Castlevania video game, I don’t deter easily. Through his work on Top Cow’s The Darkness, Broussard has shown himself to be a classic illustrator in the John Buscema mold but with all the tricks and trends of modern comic artists. Broussard could readily envision a dark future with high stakes and low morals, and would be a surprisingly good combination with Wood.

The Cover Artist – Mike Del Mundo: Broussard is a Grade A cover artist, but this book needs something special and iconic. Mike Del Mundo has quietly been building up a portfolio of good work since I first saw his work with Marvel: The 198. The above X-Men Legacy cover really shows off his ability to find a simple, memorable design with storytelling innuendo. Giving Del Mundo the job of painting the portrait of Marvel 2099 could reap some awesome rewards.

Comments

  1. MisterKyleW MisterKyleW says:

    I really wish they’d use the 2099 concept more. Given his recent video game appearances, I think you could probably get away with calling it Spider-Man 2099 (plus, the Spider-Man branding couldn’t hurt sales). I think replicating the Batman Beyond model and throwing in a Marvel 2099 backup feature would work well. I actually LOVE the idea of using Cap as the displaced character. He probably wouldn’t be that fazed just because he’s experienced it before. You could even work around continuity problems by making it a Cap from the not-to-distant future or go the Avengers Forever route and make it a past incarnation of Captain America.

  2. Radmobile Radmobile says:

    Firstly, I love this idea. Secondly, they did a mini a couple years ago trying something that sounds quite similar but I’m not sure how well it sold. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timestorm_2009%E2%80%932099

    I’d buy into this easily as long as they keep the costumes at least similar to the old line. Spidey 2099′s is classic. And Doom and Punisher’s were great too. (Preferably Doom’s initial blue cape look.) Cyber-Ghost Rider would be welcome too.

    Keep the Thorist religion prominent.

    Keep the F4 out of it. They made it silly towards the end there. 2099 should be too dark for the likes of them.

    And please, no (old man) Wolverine!

  3. jcfrk4lfe says:

    I’m pretty sure they already did a “Marvel NEXT” subcategory of comics. Wasn’t that what they called the group that Spider-Girl came out of? Or was is just the Avengers Next, with people like Wild Child, the daughter of Wolverine and Betsy Braddock, and J2, Juggernaut’s son who could only sometimes be like Juggernaut.

  4. Smasher says:

    Why not hit the reset button play with the concept Hickman introduced in Fantastic Four – that the Thing ages only one day a year – and have Ben Grimm serve as the fulcrum of the 2099 universe?

  5. Dr.Casanova says:

    I really like these remake and reboot series of articles. I wish there was a separate one for how to save failing series or ones that seriously need a kick in the butt. Or how about ones for series based around underused characters? Never say never!

  6. They already did this. Its called The Ultimate Universe

  7. TheFyl TheFyl says:

    Meh, they have it already. It’s called, ‘Age of Apocolypse’ and it ain’t so hot.

  8. Neither of those are in the future guys.

    • That’s irrelevant. 2099 and The Ultimate Universe had a lot of things in common at their inception that go beyond the superficial (such as setting details) They both used preexisting franchises, reimagined through a new lense with a fresh start. Both used creator star power to attract readers. Both quickly got bogged down by their own internal continuity. Both eventually lost their momentum, going through a series of format changes and relaunches trying to survive.

      Age of Apocalypse is a good example of a single series trying to capture an entire former comic line in a single comic, and move it forward. So its a valid example as to why this idea of a single 2099 continuation series may not work. Marvel will probably put their C-list talent on it to preserve their trademarks, then quietly kill it six months latter after sales aren’t up to snuff.

  9. daningotham daningotham says:

    I still have every issue of Ghost Rider 2099.

  10. jmv jmv says:

    I actually bought both X-Men and Spider-man series but I doubt I would get them now.