Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Marco Castiello
Colorist: Antonio Fabela
Cover Artists: Ryan Stegman, Jp Mayer & Marte Gracia
Publisher: Marvel Comics
It’s the year 2099 and things in the future are looking pretty bleak. However, Miguel O’Hara, the Spider-Man of 2099, is out to change that by taking down the Cabal and their leader Norman Osborn, aka the Green Goblin, who rules this dystopian future. In Spider-Man 2099: Exodus #2, Spider-Man 2099 goes looking to recruit Loki, the Asgardian God of Mischief of all people, for aid.
Just a heads up, if anyone’s looking for a cool story of seeing Spider-Man 2099 teaming up, let alone interacting with the futuristic Loki and Valkyrie, you’re out of luck. Following the past story, it seems Steve Orlando is using the issues in-between the Alpha and Omega issues to explore his take on the Marvel 2099 era. At this point, Miguel is basically on a recruitment drive for allies but he’s not directly involved in any of their stories.
This story is all about future Loki and this mysterious “Valkyrie” he finds while traveling in the world. The story of this comic is pretty simple as told in the synopsis, but there’s little action, barely a sense of adventure, and hardly any big mischief on Loki’s part. Essentially, Loki comes across this new Valkyrie in a town of outcasts attacked by cyberpunk raiders and recruits her to help resurrect Asgard.
The new Valkyrie has a story and background tied up with the lore of the Cabal in this storyline, but the character herself is hardly interesting or entertaining. She doesn’t have any fun rapport with Loki, and she feels more like a living exposition dumpster than a character. She does have a character arc of sorts in this comic, but like the previous issue that focused on the Winter Soldier of 2099, it’s pretty predictable once the real story starts.
As for Loki, Orlando goes all in with the anti-hero angle, but he neglects to give Loki any bite, edge, or charisma in the comic. Loki is defanged in this comic, even compared to how he has been portrayed in recent years. The art by Marco Castiello makes Loki look like he has all of those things, but the dialogue and actual events don’t always back it up. Speaking of the art, Castiello’s art is good, and with Antonio Fabela’s colors, it keeps up that grounded and dirty look that the artist in the previous issue established. Readers won’t be disappointed when they see Loki and other things in the comic, since Castiello’s art gets to shine wherever possible.
Spider-Man 2099: Exodus #2 shifts focus on to Loki and this new Valkyrie in the dystopian future. The story about them is functional but somewhat underwhelming particularly with this depiction of Loki. Meanwhile, the new Valkyrie serves as a functional supporting character with a background that fits with this Cabal storyline but readers’ mileage will vary on how compelling they think she is.