- Written by: Steve Orlando
- Art by: Kim Jacinto
- Colors by: Jay David Ramos
- Letters by: VC’s Clayton Cowles
- Cover art by: Ryan Stegman, J.P. Mayer, Arif Prianto
- Cover price: $3.99
- Release date: August 3, 2022
Spider-Man 2099: Exodus #5 brings the X-Men 2099 to the Celestial Garden in a bid to find a new home. Can the future Mutants stave off Osborn and the Cabals’ Sentinels to stake their claim?
Is It Good?
Spider-Man 2099: Exodus #5 continues this series’s bizarre trend of using every issue to (re)introduce 2099 versions of characters and focus on their mission or origin story while keeping Spider-Man 2099 sidelined in his own comic. This time, it’s an X-Men 2099 issue with new faces and a few returning faces combined.
On that point alone, the score for this issue is going to take a hit. This is a Spider-Man 2099 comic, and for the titular character to barely show up for 90% of the run is a boneheaded decision. At best, it’s an ill-conceived creative decision. At worst, it’s deceptive.
We pick up with X-Men 2099 riding through the wastelands, searching for a new place to call home. They previously occupied the Savage Lands before Osborn’s Cabal stripped the jungle location of all its precious resources and forced the X-Men out. Now, the X-Men have received word of the Celestial Garden and head straight for it to claim it as their own land by right because a mutant is detected at the heart of the garden. To be fair, I’m no expert on land rights in 2099, but this quest of entitled land ownership seems a stretch, and Orlando makes no effort to explain how detecting a mutant at the Celestial Garden somehow gives the X-Men right of ownership.
On its face, this issue comes across as a heavy-handed statement on indigenous peoples displaced from their land, fighting to reclaim what is rightful theirs. However, Orlando doesn’t connect the dots when you consider the X-Men have never had a formal right to any plot of land (except possibly Krakoa), the Savage Lands are in a completely different part of the world, and detecting a mutant in the Celestial Garden only works if you buy into a Finders Keeper’s mentality, and only then if you ignore that several people have already visited the garden in previous issues. If Orlando is trying to make a statement, he’s doing it poorly.
Some of the Mutants are familiar (e.g. Bloodhawk and Young Cable). Others appear new. The lineup is eclectic enough to have potential, but readers aren’t given enough time with each member to get a read on their powers and function within the team. There are too many characters to stuff into one issue and give them their proper due, so we won’t see much of them again as this is the penultimate issue. You have to wonder what was the point of cramming an entire X-Men lineup into a single issue with no room for proper development when the series ends next month. Again, not a good use of time and page space.
The X-Men arrive, the Sentinels arrive, and mayhem ensues. Spider-Man 2099 and Nostromo show up at the end of the battle to lend a hand, but that’s all there is to it until the finale next month.
At least the art from Jacinto, Ramos, and Cowles is very good. The story may be rushed, but the visuals are strong enough to hold your attention with a few wow moments in battle.
About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.
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Bits and Pieces
Spider-Man 2099: Exodus #5 takes up the penultimate issue with yet another character introduction by way of X-Men 2099, keeping the titular character sidelined. There are too many characters to introduce properly, and the heavy-handed messaging about displaced indigenous people lacks a valid setup, but the art is well-executed with a few wow moments. The story serves no purpose other than as an excuse to get the X-Men in the middle of the fight, and the execution is superficial and poorly developed, at best.