The Marvel Universe has a lot of potential futures. While many of them featuring dark potential fates for the heroes of the modern era, others found hope in a new generation of heroes. One reality that melded those two ideas together was the potential future of the year 2099. A grim landscape where a new generation of harsh heroes tries to fix the world around them, the heroes of Marvel 2099 quickly became fan-favorites.
In the reality-smashing crossover Secret Wars, a new Marvel 2099 has been introduced that might hold some hope for a brighter future than what was established before.Sine Marvel will be revisiting 2099 later this year, we’re taking a look back at the original 2099 and how Secret Wars reinterpreted Marvel’s World of Tomorrow.
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Welcome To The Future
In the 2099 timeline, the present day is known as the “Age of Heroes,” which ended in chaos and fire. A sudden cataclysm threw society off and killed most of the heroes and villains of the era. The world that grew in its place is a cyberpunk dystopia, where society has transformed into a fully capitalistic and corporate-backed police state. The police service is essentially privatized by the Public Eye and the government is dictated by a handful of massive mega-corporations.
Alchemax is one of the most powerful of these companies, surviving from the modern-day (where it’s revealed to be th descendant of Allen Chemicals, which is run by Spider-Man’s friend Liz Allen) to become a foundational part of the political landscape. There’s little hope left in the world, with criminals casually paying off their crimes with cash and brutal violence being doled out at the drop of a hat. Some of the only hope left in the world can be found in the Church of Thor, a cult who believe Thor will one day return to Earth and usher in a new era of heroics to the dystopia.
A New Heroic Age
Even if the original heroes didn’t return however, a new generation of figures rose to try and protect the world. The illegitimate son of one of Alchemax’s board members, Miguel O’Hara, became the new Spider-Man. Kenshiro Cochrane became the new avatar of the Ghost Rider. A handful of the last mutants in the wasteland formed a new version of the X-Men. A former Private Eye officer named Jake Gallows was inspired by Frank Castle to become the new Punisher.
The various heroes were typically brutal and lacked much of the restraint the modern heroes possessed. Strangely, one of the most heroic figures to appear in the period was the original Doctor Doom, who suddenly materialized in the ruins of Castle Doom. Doom actually became a freedom fighter trying to liberate Latveria from a baron called Tyger Wylde. Doom even became one of the greatest heroes of his world, eventually becoming the President of the United States. He worked with a small handful of figures (including a restored Steve Rogers who was revealed to have survived the cataclysm by being put into suspended animation) to try and protect the world from a slew of crises.
The New 2099
Peter David and Will Sliney’s Secret Wars: 2099 presented a new version of 2099 as Marvel’s multiverse caved in on itself. After the multiverse was largely wiped out by the Incursions, Doctor Doom and Doctor Strange were able to save a handful of realities and create the patchwork Battle-World in Secret Wars.
One of these surviving realities was a version of 2099, which was radically different than the earlier version. The future is largely the same in terms of design, but the cyberpunk world is much more optimistic. Instead of being raised separate from Tyler, Miguel was raised as his son’s eventual successor. Miguel even operates as the driving force behind the Avengers of the era, who are the biggest heroes in the world.
Roberta Mendez is a wife and mother working an average job during the day, but when a subconscious signal is activated, her secret second personality as the new Captain America takes over and pushes her into action. Doctor Sonny Frisco is a genius inventor who, taking inspiration from Tony Stark, becomes the new Iron Man. Hawkeye has clawed hands and a set of wings that gives him flight, and the flirty but dangerous new Black Widow who spends her time away from the team as a serial killer targeting slimy men across the city. The group even retains an original Avenger in the form of Hercules, who has survived into the far future thanks to his place as one of the immortal Greek Pantheon. The group ended up going head to head with the new Defenders of the era, but eventually found an alliance with them.
This new future has even had an impact on the core Marvel Universe. Sonny and Roberta were both brought to the modern era. Working with a Miguel O’Hara who hailed from a version of 2099 that’s closer to the original timeline, they became allies. Eventually, Roberta was able to return to her home era, while Sonny elected to remain in the present day.