VOICE OVER: Rudolph Strong
WRITTEN BY: Andrew Tejada
So many Spider-Men! For this list, we'll be hopping in a time machine to dive into the story of a futuristic webhead before he swings across the multiverse. We'll have a look at his childhood, infusion of spider DNA, secret identities and more!
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re looking at the origins of Miguel O’Hara, AKA Spider-Man 2099. For this list, we’ll be hopping in a time machine to dive into the story of a futuristic webhead before he swings across the multiverse. What’s your favorite detail about Spider-Man 2099? Let us know in the comments below!
While there are tons of Spider-people across the multiverse, the hero from 2099 has managed to become one of the biggest breakout webheads of them all. Known as Miguel O’Hara, this futuristic character has appeared in virtually every artistic medium since his 1992 debut. But how did this Spider-person web up a major role in “Across the Spider-Verse?” Well, it all began with an exciting origin story that captured the imaginations and hearts of Marvel fans everywhere.
In the distant future of 2099, heroes are in much shorter supply than they were in the days that Spider-Man swung around New York City. But people like the Thor-ites still believed that the age of heroes would come again. Their prayers would sort of be answered after Miguel O’Hara had a really bad day. The man who would become an unlikely hero grew up as an extremely gifted child. After being smart enough to go to an advanced school in Westchester, New York that was formerly reserved for mutants, Miguel landed a job at a corporation known as Alchemax. This big business hoped to revolutionize the world with a project that could alter the genetic material of a person and give them powers like the lost heroes had. After conducting trials on animals, Alchemax suddenly decided to move onto human trials without warning. Although Miguel protested, he reluctantly agreed to help test their project on a prisoner. This trial ended with the subject mutating into a horrific creature before dying. Despite the grim results, Miguel learned that Alchemax wanted to continue testing humans. Although he quit on the spot, his company wasn’t ready to let him go so easily.
A crooked Alchemax executive named Tyler Stone secretly slipped a hallucinogenic drug named Rapture into Miguel’s drink. This addictive substance literally rewrites a person’s genetics so that they permanently crave more of it. Since Alchemax was the best chance of securing Rapture, it seemed like Miguel had been permanently blackmailed into working for his sinister boss. However, he was willing to try one last desperate measure to avoid his fate. Miguel decided to use the same machine that altered genetic material to curb his cravings for Rapture. Unfortunately for him, another executive sabotaged the procedure by ensuring that he was infused with spider DNA. When Miguel emerged from the machine, he realized that something had gone terribly wrong.
The scientist now had talons growing from his hands and his feet. Additionally, he had enhanced senses and a pair of fangs that were full of paralytic venom. Frightened by Miguel’s appearance, the executive attacked the scientist immediately. Their confrontation ended when the villain accidentally fell to the ground. As Miguel got away from the scene, he demonstrated some of his powers to a Thor-ite. This Asgardian cosplayer immediately believed that this mysterious stranger was the true Spider-Man. While Miguel wasn’t a fan of the comparison, he decided that imitating the webhead might be the best way to keep a low profile while he used his powers. So, he repurposed an old Dia de Muertos costume into a new and futuristic Spider-suit.
Initially, only Miguel’s holographic assistant Lyla knew that he was under the mask. But it wouldn’t take long before his family and enemies started investigating further. An assassin named Venture nearly squashed Miguel while trying to uncover who he was. Fortunately, the new spidey realized that he had super strength and the ability to shoot organic webs during a fight. He used these skills and his talons to overcome the assassin and swing away from his first battle as the victor. Despite getting a major win, Miguel still wasn’t that excited about the idea of being a superhero. His attitude majorly changed thanks to time travel shenanigans.
During a normal day of webslinging, Miguel found himself thrust back into the past. He quickly realized that he had switched places and time periods with Peter Parker. To make matters worse, Miguel arrived in the past right before all the heroes in the world were set to disappear. Thankfully, he and Peter managed to avert the crisis across time. When the two briefly met, the OG Spider-man gave his futuristic counterpart a large dose of inspiration. Their brief exchange was all that Miguel needed to fully lean into his heroic role. Although he initially wanted nothing more to return to his old life, he decided to focus on saving others as the heroic Spider-man 2099. While wearing the mask, Miguel let every crooked corporation know that he was coming to take them down.
Spider-Man 2099’s futuristic setting and darker stories had fans running to buy issues each week. The character became so popular that Marvel even considered launching an animated tv show for Miguel. But since Batman Beyond was airing and had an extremely similar setting and plot that revolved around a legacy hero, Spider-Man 2099’s prospective program was axed. Luckily, this setback was far from the end of Miguel’s media career. The hero was a playable character in a number of great Spider-Man games. And when “Ultimate Spider-Man” jumped into the Spider-Verse, Miguel made another major appearance. The series further established that the webhead from 2099 was edgier and a little less optimistic than Peter Parker on a daily basis.
After that appearance, Miguel made a surprising and well-received cameo at the end of “Into the Spider-Verse”. We learned that he and his holographic assistant Lyla had created a way to cross into other worlds. Years after this scene, a trailer for “Across the Spider-Verse” showed that Miguel had greatly expanded his operation and added countless heroes to his web. However, he doesn’t seem to like Miles all that much. The gruff hero of the future will be voiced by Oscar Isaac. Since he played another edgy Marvel hero during Moon Knight, we have no doubt that he’ll perfectly embody Miguel. His talents will undoubtedly help to further solidify Spider-Man 2099’s legacy.
When Miguel was first created, no one could’ve foreseen how beloved he would become. He’s had a strong comic run, fantastic gaming cameos, and has been a part of great crossovers. And it’s almost a guarantee that “Across the Spider-Verse'' will make him a household name. It’s ironic that Miguel never wanted to be a hero. In the future, it’s likely he’ll be known as one of the greatest and coolest Marvel champions of all time.