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Off The Page: Timestorm 2009-2099

By Patrick McNair Oct 31, 2016 - 3:35 PM print


Time travel is a well-established sci-fi trope. The ability to travel to different time periods and experience history as well as the future is infinitely fascinating, so much so that entire TV show have based around the concept (e.g. Doctor Who). Time travel comes with its own inherent dangers, namely changing the past and creating whole new timelines or creating paradoxes, where two different things exist at the same time when they really shouldn't. Fiction often espouses the dangers of time travel and how individuals become victim to time, with the person in question attempting to reset the timeline to the way it was before they left on their journey. Comics too have often played around with the idea of time travel, incorporating the theme into a story, tying it in to an end of the world scenario, with superheroes uniting to stop the cataclysmic threat. In 2009, Marvel Comics launched the event series, Timestorm 2009-2099 , combining the mainstream Marvel Universe (Earth 616) with the world of Marvel 2099. Although there had been minor crossovers in the past with current Marvel continuity and Marvel 2099, Timestorm 2009-2099 was the first major title event to blend the two time zones together for an epic adventure, where time threatens to destroy both the past and the future.

The Setup:

In the year 2099, Alchemax CEO Tyler Stone sends the Punisher of that time, Jake Gallows to the past to eliminate the superheroes of the Heroic Age. During the ensuing chaos, Spider-Man and Wolverine are transported to the future, where they must work with the emerging heroes of 2099 to stop time itself from destroying the entirety of existence.

The Players:

Peter Parker/Spider-Man
Relur/Human Torch 2099

Wolverine
Kenshiro Cochrane/Ghost Rider 2099

Shakti Haddad/Cerebra
Jake Gallows/Punisher 2099

Miguel O'Hara/Spider-Man 2099
Tyler Stone

The Breakdown:

A four issue limited series, Timestorm 2009-2099 was written by Brian Reed and was a crossover event between the present-day Marvel Universe and an alternate version of Marvel 2099 (as opposed to the original Marvel 2099 series from the 1990s). Timestorm 2009-2099 consists of a core series, along with two tie-ins, focusing on Spider-Man and Wolverine, chronicling their experiences in 2099 to add more depth and context to the series as a whole.

Jake Gallows a.k.a. Punisher 2099 is sent to the past to destroy the superheroes of the Heroic Age by the nefarious Tyler Stone, the CEO of mega-corporation Alchemax. Stone tricks Gallows into believing that he is carrying out the work of the god Thor (a revered deity in 2099) and unbeknownst to him, uses a device in separate confrontations with Spider-Man and Wolverine, blasting them into 2099 (it's later revealed that members of Gallows’ security squad dressed up as Spider-Man and Wolverine, among others, to kill Gallows’ family, explaining his hatred towards the heroes). Peter Parker is swiftly captured by the Public Eye security force and is thrown into a cell with Shakti Haddad, a mutant woman with brain like hair, who recognises that Peter is from another time, while warning him of an upcoming apocalypse. Meanwhile, Wolverine finds himself fighting an army of Hulks, (a nod to his comic debut) before being rescued by the Ghost Rider of that time, Kenshiro Cochrane. Wolverine meets his future self, leading a new team of X-Men and fight alongside them, protecting a human colony in Baltimore. Having lived through these events before, the future Wolverine tells his younger self to go to Washington DC, along with Ghost Rider to find the one person who can tell him what's going on. Arriving at the Smithsonian, the pair encounters a barely alive Doctor Doom, informing them both Wolverine and Spider-Man are in the future, which is slowly being destroyed by the time experiments of Tyler Stone. Before he dies, Doom implores Wolverine to travel to New York in order to stop Stone and find a being known as Shakti.

Monitoring Gallows’ progress from the Chronosphere (a protective dome, shielding the user from temporal events), Stone unleashes another time change, the results of which create an energy blast that unknowingly injures his son Kron and his classmate, Miguel O'Hara (who were experimenting on insects) imbuing the latter with spiderlike abilities and horribly mutating the former into a human-scorpion hybrid. During the blast, Peter and Shakti escape and later find Miguel, the new Spider-Man, whom Peter takes a dim view of, calling him reckless and undisciplined. Undeterred, Miguel continues his exploits as Spider-Man, complete with a new costume (designed by Shakti) and tests his abilities in an underground fighting arena, where he squares off against Relur, the Human Torch, an Atlantean mutant who had developed fire-based powers. The teens are captured but later escape the arena, while another time blast fractures the timestream even further, to the point where past and future become one, leading to fights between the current day Avengers and the Hulks. As the time barriers collapse, Shakti discovers that the only way to repair the timeline is to use herself as a conduit in order to hold time together, but only as a temporary measure. Accepting her fate, despite Spider-Man's protestations, Shakti is absorbed into the timestream and everyone is restored to their respective time periods. In 2099, Jake Gallows confronts Tyler Stone for impersonating Thor, ending with both men killing each other. Back in the present, Spider-Man and Wolverine reflect what has transpired; heeding Shakti’s warning that time could unravel again.

Summary:

Timestorm 2009-2099 is noted for being the first major crossover between the modern day Marvel Universe and Marvel 2099. It's a fairly good comic, with past and future coming together to stop time ripping itself apart. It should be indicated that the Marvel 2099 on display here is not the original Marvel 2099 from the 90s and as such features a younger Miguel O'Hara, on par with Peter Parker, gaining his spider powers and becoming Spider-Man 2099. There's a lot going on in Timestorm 2009-2099 and writer Brian Reed does a good job of balancing out the main plot with character beats (although Jake Gallows does come off as rather gullible, being duped into believing he is carrying out the work of Thor and easily manipulated by Stone). The two one-shot comics, focused on Spider-Man and Wolverine provide added context alongside some cool moments like Wolverine meeting his future self and the two Spider-Men teaming together to face the Scorpion. With so much going on, some 2099 characters are given short shrift such as Ghost Rider (maybe in an effort to get fans to read the original Marvel 2099 lineup) but overall, Timestorm 2009-2099 is a well-written time travel story that sees the long-awaited team up between both sides of the Marvel Universe.



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