I've been thinking about getting some of my comics bound into nice hardcover editions at Library Binding. I had been a bit skeptical of it, but I was over at Bryan Deemer's house at the post Super Show party/unwind and got to see some of his bound editions. Simply put, they're beautiful. Very well done, very professional. So I got to thinking about what I would want to get bound, and what I'm willing to pull out of my collection to have bound.
One of the first books to come to mind was Spider-Man 2099. Spidey 2099 was a book that I was really into when it first came out and, for my money, the best of the 2099 line. Peter David and Rick Leonardi really put together an intriguing story with equally intriguing characters--an uncommon occurance in the early 90's (that is, if you believe all of the scorn many fanboys have for that era in comics). I think it's one of the great unsung books of that era.
Anyway, I pulled out the first couple issues of Spidey 2099 to confirm that this was the book that I wanted to get bound. While I was reading them something occurred to me and really made me think about my progression as a reader/comics fan. When I was a kid, and these issues were first coming out, I loved them because they were "edgy" this new fangled future Spider-Man was a badass and, inadvertantly, gets addicted to drugs (read issue #1 for the full story there).
When I re-read them I appreciate those issues on a newer, and more sophisticated, level. Naturally those other, "less sophisticated", elements are there, and are still enjoyable. But what I appreciate about the story now is the structure of how Miguel O'Hara came to be and how confronts his role as the new Spider-Man. But the thing that really jumped out at me is what's going on in the background. More precisely, New York City. In this future, New York is dirtier than the "current" NYC. It's kind of a grim looking place and has a very noirish feel to it. Add to that the fascist behavior of the police along with some of the other background happenings and you have a very interesting and, at least a little, frightening place. It's a great foil for Peter David and his new Spidey to play against and is, really, my favorite element of the early issues in the series.
So there you have it. Brief, I know. But trust me. Go out and get those Spider-Man 2099 back issues. They're cheap--like quarter and fifty-cent bin cheap. You can get the whole run (52 issues, if you include the variant covers) for less than $30. It's well worth it.
Once I send out my issues to get them bound, I will post pictures here and tell you about breaking my comic binding cherry.