2100: The New World

Editorial: Y2.1K?

When the Marvel Comics Group consolidated the entire 2099 line into one book, then axed that poor son of a comic after only eight issues, a lot of people were very unhappy. I was one of them.

The 2099 line of comics originally¬†consisted of four different series that Marvel Comics first published in 1992. Spider-Man 2099, Ravage 2099, Doom 2099 and Punisher 2099 made quite a splash on the comics scene. Suddenly, cyberpunk became mainstream reading. Marvel soon added other lines: X-Men 2099, Hulk 2099, Ghost Rider 2099, Fantastic Four 2099, X-Nation 2099, 2099 Unlimited, plenty of annuals and one-shots … life was good 100 years in the future.

But then … the Marvel publishing empire suddenly decided to cut way back on production following the “great comics collapse” in 1996. Many regular titles fell to the budget axe. When the bean-counters turned their jaundiced eyes upon the 2099 line, the entire branch was pruned back to only one series: 2099: World of Tomorrow. Unfortunately, this one title tried unsuccessfully to mesh every existing 2099 comic under a single premise, devoting only two or three pages each issue to those characters we used to see in whole books unto themselves. Perfectly good characters were killed off or vanished into plot holes. Strange continuity-bending things happened. Loyal 2099 readers stopped buying the book in disgust. Finally, 2099: WoT died on the vine after eight issues.

About a year later, Marvel tried to appease 2099-ophiles by publishing a one-shot finale called 2099: Manifest Destiny. This book not only didn’t resolve any nagging plot holes, it opened about six new ones. Suddenly, dead characters came back to life for no worthwhile reason, and in a couple of cases with no explanation. A couple of enormously important, world-altering relics from 1999 just happened to show up at exactly the same time (how conveeenient, even for a comic book). An impenetrable bubble appeared around the solar system after the original 2099 books had shown star-faring races coming and going from Earth with impunity. The timeline was propelled another 1000 years into the future (incidentally ignoring certain future events like Spider-Man 2211) and ended with a happily-ever-after glow that many 2099 readers thought jarred with the slick, cool version of the future Marvel Universe we were given in the old books. Personally, I think it’s for the best that we just ignore this effort. I sure will.

(If you think my ignoring 2099: MD is cheating, then imagine this scene right after the end of that book instead:

Uatu the Elder awoke with a sharp snort. Already the dreams were fading from his mind. He rubbed his overlarge bald head and groaned. That’s the last time I eat six pepperoni pizzas before bedtime, he thought groggily.)

So what do I intend to do about it, you ask? Well, when Marvel canceled all the original 2099 titles, an underground movement called 2099 UG popped up on the Internet in which fans continued the comic line as if the World of Tomorrow books never happened. I like the idea, but there were a few worthwhile ideas that came out of the WoT series, and I’ve always enjoyed a challenge. So rather than join up with those worthy fellows, I’ve decided to chart my own course. (Plus, this way, I can keep tight rein over everything, not have to approve storylines with anyone, and otherwise be an arrogant prick. :) Consider this one-man effort as being an “alternate” 2099 UG, a fanfic novel, Chris’ pocket empire, an alternate universe, hoax, dream, imaginary story … ) I’ve only scanned a few 2099 UG web-books, not thrown myself into them. If I accidentally tread on someone’s storyline, it’s unintentional. But I apologize anyway.