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Who Is Spider

Dec 24, 2023Dec 24, 2023

First teased in Into the Spider-Verse, 2023's Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse finally debuted Spider-Man 2099, an unusual version of Spider-Man.

Miguel O'Hara, a.k.a. Spider-Man 2099, debuted in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse after first being teased in 2018's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Released on June 2, 2023, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse caught up with Miles Morales sixteen months after he first became Spider-Man, and saw the Brooklyn teenager embark on a multiversal adventure with a number of interdimensional Spider-People. Among them is Spider-Man 2099, a very unusual variant of Spider-Man from an alternate reality's future, who is introduced as the leader of the Spider Society, and an antagonist to Miles' optimistic Spider-Man.

Miguel O'Hara was first seen in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse's post-credits scene, though Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse gave him a much larger role as the leader of the Spider Society, a group of Spider-People from various universes tasked with protecting the stability of the multiverse. O'Hara's origins as Spider-Man 2099 are drastically different from the typical Spider-Man backstory shared by many of his variants, though his story is only briefly mentioned during Across the Spider-Verse. Adapted from Marvel Comics' Marvel 2099 imprint, Miguel O'Hara is an incredibly complex version of Spider-Man and an important character in Miles Morales' story in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.

Miguel O'Hara made his first full Marvel Comics appearance in 1992's Spider-Man 2099 #1, which takes place in 2099 on Earth-928, an alternate future reality of the Prime Marvel Universe. Miguel grew up in Nueva York, long after the end of the "Heroic Age," the modern era of superheroes. Although a rebellious child, Miguel's genius-level intellect led to his enrollment in the Alchemax School for Gifted Youngsters - an adapted version of the X-Men headquarters. Miguel grew into an arrogant and confident man, eventually becoming the head of the genetics program at Alchemax, a massive corporation that has control over local law enforcement.

Working for Alchemax, Miguel strove to create enhanced super soldiers by imprinting the genetic codes of long-dead superheroes into regular humans. When a test subject, Mr. Sims, was tragically transformed into a hideous creature and died, Miguel handed his resignation to his boss, Tyler Stone, but unwittingly accepted a drink offered by Stone which was laced with the highly-addictive, hallucinogenic drug Rapture. In an attempt to rid his system of Rapture, Miguel tried his genetic test on himself, but the process was sabotaged by his supervisor, splicing Miguel's DNA with that of a spider, granting him spider-like abilities akin to his fellow multiversal Spider-Man variants.

Unlike other variants of Spider-Man, however, Miguel's transformation was much more physical, leaving him with talons on his hands and feet and spider-like fangs. In an effort to hide from Stone, who sought to capture him, Miguel donned a costume made from UMF (Unstable Molecule Fabric), which his talons wouldn't tear and a mask that he had previously worn during the Mexican Day of the Dead festival. Deciding to use his powers to fight for ordinary people who have been exploited by the megacorporations, Miguel finally embraced his new identity as Spider-Man 2099, fighting notable villains such as Net Prophet and Thanatos.

While Miguel O'Hara shares many similar powers to other Spider-Man variants, his unorthodox origin story means that he has a wide variety of abilities that other Spider-People can only dream of. Since his DNA had been rewritten with the genetic code of a spider, Miguel has superhuman strength, speed, agility, stamina, and reflexes proportionate to a spider. This means he'd be able to lift around 10 tons and leap roughly 30 feet into the air, as well as move much faster than an average person. Although he's had no formal fight training, Spider-Man 2099 developed his own techniques that allowed him to use the full scope of his abilities.

Spider-Man 2099 also has telescopic vision and night vision, with a visual acuity far more advanced than any regular human. He also has a regenerative healing factor that allows him to heal from wounds remarkably quickly and also grants him an elongated lifespan as his cells continuously repair themselves. Unlike other Spider-People, Miguel can communicate with others telepathically, though the full scale of this ability has yet to be explored. Perhaps the biggest changes to his power set are his talons, venomous fangs, and organic webbing, however, as Miguel's produces spider-like silk naturally from his wrists, rather than having made synthetic webbing like other Spider-Man variants.

Unlike other Spider-People, Miguel doesn't have a "Spider-Sense" that warns him of oncoming danger but instead has ultra-sensitive hearing and vision. Miguel also cannot stick to solid surfaces in the same way as other Spider-People, instead using the inch-long talons on his hands and feet to grip walls. Spider-Man 2099's costume is made from UMF, originally designed by Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four, an indestructible material. Miguel's costume also has a web-like foil on the back, allowing him to glide with ease - a skill displayed by Tom Holland's Peter Parker in 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming.

While Spider-Man 2099 is part of Marvel Comics' Spider-Verse event in 2014, interacting with other Spider-Man variants just as he does in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, his film counterpart has a variety of differences. Most notably, Across the Spider-Verse's Miguel O'Hara is depicted as the leader of the Spider Society, dealing with multiversal threats, including anomalies such as the Vulture in Gwen Stacy's universe, the broken canon event in Pavitr Prabhakar's reality, and the appearance of the Spot. Across the Spider-Verse's Spider-Man 2099 also has the ability to fire red laser webs, unlike his comic counterpart, and uses a dimensional travel watch to easily move between realities without glitching.

Perhaps one of the biggest changes concerns Miguel's backstory, however, which was far more tragic in Across the Spider-Verse. While much of his origin story as Spider-Man 2099 is assumed to be the same, Miguel was revealed to have previously replaced his variant in another reality, gaining a family in the process. However, his existence in that reality broke a series of canon events in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, leading to the utter destruction of that universe. This forged Miguel into a hardened Spider-Man, with a no-nonsense attitude and pure dedication to protecting the fabric of the multiverse - which brings him to odds with the reckless Miles Morales.

Oscar Isaac voices Miguel O'Hara in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, after previously voicing Spider-Man 2099 in Into the Spider-Verse's post-credits scene. Isaac gained recognition with minor roles in Robin Hood and Drive but received acclaim for his starring role in 2013's musical drama Inside Llewyn Davis. He has been featured in films such as Ex Machina, Annihilation, and Dune, and has also starred as Poe Dameron in the Star Wars franchise. In Marvel adaptations, Isaac portrayed En Sabah Nur, a.k.a. Apocalypse, in X-Men: Apocalypse, and recently joined the MCU as Marc Spector in Moon Knight​​​​​​​. Isaac is expected to reprise the role of Miguel O'Hara for 2024's Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse​​​​​​​.

As the leader of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse's Spider Society, Miguel O'Hara seems to have a command over all the other interdimensional Spider-People, granting him more power over them. He also appears to have far more knowledge of the Spider-Verse itself, the details of canon events, and the destructive capabilities of messing with the multiverse, which means he becomes an antagonist to Miles Morales, who seems to care very little about protecting the fabric of reality. Spider-Man 2099's more ruthless attitude and more violent scope of abilities make him stand out among the crowd of Spider-People, who perhaps had more conventional upbringings and origin stories.

Although Miguel O'Hara could be seen as a heroic figure in Across the Spider-Verse, as his only intention is to protect the multiverse, his actions toward Miles Morales set him up as another antagonist for Earth-1610's Spider-Man. The fact that he views Miles' existence as a continuous breaking of canon events suggests that Miguel would want to wipe Miles off the board, which could be an important storyline to follow in Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse. After the ending of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, it seems as though Miles will have to deal with the almost all-powerful Spider-Man 2099, as well as the impending threat posed by the villainous Spot.

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