The world never seems to run out of spider heroes. In Araña and Spider-Man 2099: Dark Tomorrow by Alex Segura, Araña is the latest in a long line of spider people who feels the same calling to use her powers to help others. Balancing high school, friends, and family, and saving the world is as hard for Araña as it’s been for every other spider hero. Then an unknown villain’s plans go awry and Araña finds herself flung into the year 2105.
Like a true hero, Araña never misses a beat, just makes a plan to find future Spider-Man, return to her time, and save the world. Easy, right? Find out on May 2nd when this book releases. In the meantime, check out my review below!
[Note: While I am reviewing this novel independently and honestly, it should be noted that it has been provided to me by Marvel Press for the purpose of this review. Warning: My review of Araña and Spider-Man 2099: Dark Tomorrow contains some spoilers!]
Araña and Spider-Man 2099: Dark Tomorrow introduces a spider hero for Brooklyn
Meet Anya Corazon, everyone. A smart and focused high schooler from Brooklyn. Her mother may have vanished without a trace when she was little but her Papi does all he can to fill the void. It’s not quite the same but she’s still grown up happy and well-adjusted – until the day a mysterious ninja-like man confronts her in the park.
A shady group attacks them as the man tries to talk to her, and Anya is mortally wounded. The only way to save her is for this man to pass on his arcane spider powers to her. Anya awakes with an odd spider tattoo on her arm and a host of spider powers that she can’t yet control. And with that, another spider hero is born!
The mystery man, Miguel, becomes her mentor. Under his guidance, she begins to master her new powers and fight crime in her neighborhood. Then an unknown villain kills Miguel right in front of Anya before disappearing. Devastated, Anya continues to protect her neighborhood but she feels very much alone and lost.
A big problem for a little Arañita
When the villain shows up again, this time he’s looking to destroy Anya using an ancient stone artifact. But something goes wrong. Instead of destroying Anya, the arcane stone blasts her to the year 2105.
Alone and with her powers on the fritz, Anya can think of only one thing to do. Find the Spider-Man of the future and ask for his help returning home. But finding him proves less helpful than she’d hoped. Can she return home? And if she does, how can she stop the Traveler when she doesn’t even know who he is or what he wants? It’s a lot for one little Arañita. But like a true hero, she will never give up.
Another take on a famous face in Araña and Spider-Man 2099: Dark Tomorrow
Anya Corazon is a great kid. She’s intelligent but down to earth. She has a nice sense of humor and comes up with great quips under pressure. She loves her friends and family and would do anything to protect them. Anya knows that being a hero is hard, but she’ll never stop until the job is done. She feels a great deal of responsibility to protect everyone she can. In short, she is Peter Parker in a skirt with a Latin twist.
Don’t get me wrong, Anya is a great girl. I felt for her and was proud of her sense of duty to others. It just felt like she was exactly the same character with a new outfit. I love Spider-Man but I’m starting to feel a little overloaded on Spider-Man variations, especially when they don’t seem to bring much new to the party. At least Anya didn’t get bit by a spider to get her powers. The whole mystic Spider Society was a new spin that I would love to hear more about though. Maybe future Araña stories could include the Spider Society and give some more information about them. That’s something I would like to read!
Araña’s story all the way
Even though the book is called Araña and Spider-Man 2099: Dark Tomorrow, Segura makes Araña the hero all the way. Spider-Man is there but he’s not the help that Araña hopes for. Honestly, she has to save him along with the world. She may be the inexperienced hero but she’s the one with the true hero’s heart.
Of course, future Spider-Man isn’t completely useless. In the end, they have an epic team-up. But no one will ever doubt that Araña is the hero of this story. And she should be. After all, the story is about saving her time and her home. Sure, if they don’t succeed there will be farther-reaching consequences, but as Anya finds out, you have to take care of your home first, then you can save the world.
Papi is a surprising delight
One unexpected bright spot in Araña and Spider-Man 2099: Dark Tomorrow is Anya’s Papi. An investigative reporter for The Daily Bugle, Papi has instilled both a thirst for the truth and a need for justice in Anya. But that’s not the best thing about Papi. Anya has nothing but love and respect for her Papi and his skills as a reporter, but she still believes that she has managed to trick him for months. She honestly thinks that he has no idea that she is Araña.
Of course, we parents know better. Even if he wasn’t an excellent investigative reporter, he’s a father and of course, he knows what she’s up to, as we parents always do. But like the best parents, he gives his little Arañita the space she needs to grow and reach her true potential. You can feel the concern and fear Papi has, but he holds it back for Anya’s sake. Papi, I see you and I salute you.
Pick this up and get to know Araña
So even though Anya is a little too much like Peter Parker, Alex Segura’s Araña and Spider-Man 2099: Dark Tomorrow is still a fun story. It’s always interesting to watch the younger hero bring the older hero back to life. Anya’s spirit is strong and she’s funny to read. The story is good and self-contained but with enough left on the table to return to in the future.
Spider-Man fans will love seeing a couple of lesser-known iterations of their favorite hero. New readers will enjoy Anya’s kind personality and snappy reactions. She’s a quintessential teenager but in the best way, with all energy, hope, and sass. I would definitely say this is worth picking up when it comes out on February 7th.
My Rating: 8/10
Araña and Spider-Man 2099: Dark Tomorrow by Alex Segura is available on May 2, 2023. Are you interested in reading it? Let us know on Twitter or in The Cosmic Circus Discord. And if you haven’t already, check out our review of Witches Unleashed, another Marvel Novel!