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The Underground has been releasing stories since 1996.

Outta My Head

Editorial #2: "Full Circle. Or at least, full semi-circle."

Spider-Man 2099 #40.

That was the first issue I ever got of a 2099 title.

I was somewhere around ten at the time, and I thought it was so cool how Spidey and the Green Goblin could be perceived in the year 2099. SMAN had this completely different costume, which I would later find was a Mexican Day of the Dead outfit made of unstable molecules. The novelty of the costume totally captured my attention.

This was a MUCH darker Spider-man than I was used to. The whole bodysuit was mostly blackish blue and had no webs to speak of, as opposed to the twencen Spidey who’s got webs all over the place. Plus, the eye-slits really threw me for a loop. And the talons and the fangs? I’d never seen stuff like that before, and yet it felt so right. Plus, he was the CEO of a megacorporation that dominated New York. Tell me that wouldn’t be the wildest thing you’ve ever seen at age ten!

And the Goblin 2099? Man, was this guy a trip. He was so hardcore, screaming about penitence and making the SMAN hallucinate. All the Green Goblin ever could do was blow crap up. This guy could make you HALLUCINATE. Not to mention cause you to, in one fell swoop, ruin your reputation with the locals and almost single-handedly kick you out of Downtown.

Needless to say, I was hooked.

Of course, joining in on the fun so late, I really had no idea just what was going on. And certainly didn’t know any of the back-door politics or the inter-weaving plotlines….even Kasey’s history with the SMAN and his brother was lost on me. But none of that mattered. I really did enjoy those stories. And I didn’t even mind the Goblin 2099 being revealed as Gabriel O’Hara. After all, I didn’t know any better.

I missed getting SMAN #46. I never realized that the title had been cancelled. I just thought no one was stocking it anymore. Sometime later, I stumbled across the 2099 Underground.

It was hosted at Fortune City at that time, from what I can remember, with this huge picture of Halloween Jack adorning the page. It had continuations of old 2099 titles, and fanfics featuring all-new characters. This was some cool stuff.

Mind you, this was not only my first introduction to 2099 on the web; it was also my introduction to FANFICTION on the web. So, the 2099 Underground has always had some special meaning to me.

They always came up with the most imaginative stories. Like the “Fall of Alchemax” storyline. I was totally blown away by that. That this huge, city-spanning corporation Alchemax could ever be destroyed at all. It was just some cool stuff.

Eventually, the site moved again. Geocities this time. And with it came even more fanfictions and stories. Like the Coming of Galactus arc. The What If…title. Salem. Thor. I was blown away by all this stuff. It was like a golden age, here. Even though the 2099 line was halted by Marvel, it continued on in the hearts of fans throughout the world.

I was even inspired to write some fanfics of my own. Four years ago, I devised two new characters, Wolverine 2099 and -- drumroll, please -- Moon Knight 2099. Although these concepts were quite juvenile and not all that well developed (I was still in middle school. Cut me some slack!) I never forgot about them, really.

So when Mike Shirley approached me for writing a 2099 title, my original Moon Knight 2099 UG fanfic was never far from my mind. Although, originally I wanted to do a continuation of the Hulk 2099 UG series that the Underground had already released before I found out that the Underground was being REVISED.

We worked on that original concept, added a few things here and there, put it in a blender, shook it up, stretched it out, took out some stuff, flipped it upside-down and started the whole process over again.

What has resulted is a series that is FAR better than the original concept I had four years ago, with more than a little bit of mystery, that I hope everyone is enjoying with me. (end shameless, shameless plug)

Now, just about a decade after buying that first comic, I feel like I’m coming full circle. I’ve got a sizable 2099 comic collection. I’m writing in a fanfic group that I’ve admired for many, many years now. I know for a fact that having the Goblin be Gabriel O’Hara was just a bad, bad idea, for any number of reasons. And now I’m the Assistant Editor of the 2099 Underground Revised.

Helping to guide the path of 2099 more than a decade after its comic-book demise is very rewarding to me. It’s an honor and a privilege. And a hell of a lot of fun! And although our stories may be slightly more conservative than some of the Underground’s earlier efforts, I feel we’re sticking slightly closer to the feel of 2099 in the long run. We’re taking this world in some interesting new directions, and we’ll be trying to flesh out a few of the less-explored areas and less-mentioned characters of 2099 along the way.

For example, we’re currently exploring more of Downtown in 2099, as well as the Negative Zone. David’s shedding some light on corporate vampirism with Blade. I've also exposed some hidden truths about the Night of the Long Knives in Metalscream. Null will explore another mysterious area of 2099, and X-Men will continue defining the role of the mutant community in the future. Not only that, but a couple of one-shots we’re working on at present, the first of which set for release on July 28th, will delve even further into the world of tomorrow. So, for all you naysayers out there, we DO have a plan. Sort of.

I’ve learned so much since walking into that Rite-Aid long ago and picking up that issue from the stands. And I’ve still got a lot more to learn.

-Jason McDonald, Assistant EiC