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Batman Beyond vs. Spider-Man 2099

VO: Adrian Sousa WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands
Written by Michael Wynands Apparently, in the future, crime is far from being a thing of the past. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be playing a friendly game of fisticuffs with Batman Beyond and Spider-Man 2099 to see which of these successors makes their namesake most proud. We’re evaluating a wide-range of categories to determine who’s the greatest futuristic crimefighter to don the mantle of a bonafide legend. Have an idea you want to see made into a WatchMojo video? Check out our suggest page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest and submit your idea.
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Apparently, in the future, crime is far from being a thing of the past. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be playing a friendly game of fisticuffs with Batman Beyond and Spider-Man 2099 to see which of these successors makes their namesake most proud.

We’re evaluating a wide-range of categories to determine who’s the greatest futuristic crimefighter to don the mantle of a bonafide legend.

Round 1: Costume

As the Spider-Man of the future, Miguel O’Hara kept the red and blue motif but made blue the more predominant color. The costume bears a sinister looking spider-skull logo that feels like Spider-Man meets the Punisher and a mask with similarly aggressive patterning. But hey, 2099 is a darker and more dangerous time, worthy of a matching costume. Despite its vague similarities to Spider-Man’s duds, the costume was actually already in Miguel’s possession before his transformation - he had bought it as a Day of the Dead costume. Thankfully he splurged on an extra sturdy outfit. The UMF or “Unstable Molecule Fabric” makes it tear resistant. He also rocks a web-like foil that helps him glide.

Then we’ve got Gotham’s future Batman, Terry McGinnis. His sleek, technologically advanced Batsuit was actually first designed and worn by Bruce Wayne himself in the latter days of his career. Thankfully, due to the material used, it’s a one-size-fits-all suit and Terry was able to take it as his own. This modern Batsuit is all black, with a red chest insignia. To call it stylish… is an understatement. One of the biggest upgrades from the traditional Batsuit sees the conventional cape traded in for retractable glider wings and foot thrusters. In addition, it increases the wearer’s strength, and comes equipped with every gadget and feature a vigilante could ever dream of.

When you’re taking the name of one of the most iconic heroes to ever don tights, you better make sure your costume lives up to the original, while still making it distinct enough to stand apart as its own. In this regard, both McGinnis and O’Hara succeed, but in terms of style and functionality, Batman Beyond’s costume is undeniably superior, and therefore takes the win.

WINNER: Batman Beyond 1/ Spider-Man 2099 0

Round 2: Powers, Abilities, and Skills

Like Peter Parker, Miguel O’Hara has enhanced speed, strength, stamina, and reflexes. The Spider-Man of 2099 isn’t just a carbon copy of his predecessor though. He lacks a few of Peter Parker’s helpful mutations, like a Spider-sense, but his own unique genetic deviations have given him some rather interesting tricks of his own. He has enhanced vision, including the ability zoom in, and superhuman hearing. His healing factor is also much stronger than Peter’s. In terms of improvements on the old Spider-Man, O’Hara also boasts organic webbing, sharp talons, and small fangs that can inject a paralyzing venom. Add to that the fact that he shares a similar level of genius intellect to that of his namesake, and honestly, his lack of formal fight training hardly seems worth mentioning.

Terry McGinnis started off as little more than a street fighter in terms of technique, but despite beginning his training rather late into adolescence, under the tutelage of one of the greatest hand-to-hand combatants in the DC universe, he quickly became a skilled martial artist. It’s been noted that he is in possession of genius level intellect, even if it wasn’t always evident during his teen years and pales in comparison to Bruce Wayne’s own. He’s also demonstrated keen detective skills, but again, has never stepped out of Wayne’s shadow in that regard either. Though Terry is pretty reliant on his suit in terms of powers, his abilities and skills nonetheless make him a worthy Batman.

To be clear, we’d gladly have either of the crime fighters to come to our rescue if we ever found ourselves in trouble, be it of the every-day or superpowered variety, but with his impressive and unique abilities, Spider-Man 2099 takes this round.

WINNER: Batman Beyond 1/ Spider-Man 2099 1

Round 3: Comic Book Success

Spider-Man 2099 is a thing of the past for many contemporary comic book readers. Yes, he’s featured in recent Spider-man events and series, but without much sticking power. However hard it may be for the uninitiated to believe, Miguel O’Hara’s Spider-Man 2099 title, which ran for 46 issues from 1992 to 1996, was, at the time, one of Marvel’s better selling titles. It consistently sold over 100,000 copies during its four-year run. So what happened? Well, the entire futuristic 2099 line was brought to a screeching halt amidst financial problems at Marvel and the firing of 2099 editor Joey Cavalieri. Though Spider-2099 has returned to the comics over the years, he never regained his status as a bonafide, heavy-hitting character.

Like Harley Quinn, Terry McGinnis was created by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini as part of the DC animated Timmverse, and just like the Joker’s on and off again partner in crime and romance, Terry quickly became a fan favorite character thanks to his critically acclaimed series. Unfortunately, while Harley found a place for herself in the comics beyond her place in Batman: The Animated series, Terry McGinnis has struggled to find a place for himself. Though DC has given him a variety of appearances, miniseries, and various digital and print series set in the “Beyond” timeline, they’ve failed to earn the character a solid footing in the print marketplace, evidenced by the number of resets and #1 issues the “Beyond” title has received.

Though younger readers may be more familiar with Batman Beyond, in terms of reaching the greatest heights of comic book popularity, Spider-Man 2099’s heyday in the ‘90s makes him deserving of this round. Miguel O’Hara takes another point and with it… the lead!

WINNER: Batman Beyond 1/ Spider-Man 2099 2

Round 4: Villains

What is a hero without a solid rogue’s gallery? Likely a sidekick featured guest star or the member of a crime-fighting team, but certainly not the sort of character capable of attracting a massive audience. At the end of the day, a hero is only as good as their villains, and thankfully for Miguel O’Hara, the year 2099 was crawling with evil-doers new, old and updated for him to duke it out with. Flipside, Data Pirate, Halloween Jack, Mutagen and O’Hara’s own half-brother Kron Stone, who bonded with a familiar symbiote to become Venom 2099, were just a few of the villains Spider-Man 2099 fought.

Like O’Hara, Terry McGinnis faced off against both new threats and familiar faces from Batman’s classic rogue's gallery. Over the course of the animated series and tie-in film, he tangled with old foes like Mr. Freeze, Ra's al Ghul, and the Joker, as well as the descendants of old foes such as Harley Quinn in the form of granddaughters Delia Dennis and Deidre Dennis. Batman Beyond didn’t simply fixate on the past though, it presented a fresh rogues' gallery of Terry’s very own which would boast such notable newcomers Inque, Shriek, Curaré, Willie Watt, Spellbinder and Batman Beyond’s very own arch-nemesis, Blight.

Though the villains that populated the 2099 universe were indeed interesting, they simply can’t compete with the colorful rogues' gallery Timm and Dini crafted for their futuristic Batman. Terry McGinnis takes home a point to tie it up.

WINNER: Batman Beyond 2/ Spider-Man 2099 2

Round 5: Origin

A great hero needs a great origin story. Just look at the icons who inspired our two contenders today - Bruce Wayne and Peter Parker have arguably the two most well-known tragic yet formative pasts in pop culture history. So how do their successors stack up?

Within the larger dystopian world of Marvel 2099, Miguel O’Hara lives in New York City, which has become technologically-advanced but deeply corrupt. Almost everything, including law enforcement, is controlled by Alchemax, a mega-corporation, where Miguel works as in the genetics program, trying to recreate Spider-Man’s abilities for the company. When one of his subjects dies, however, he becomes racked with guilt and tries to quit, only to be tricked into a drug addiction by his employer to force him into sticking around. Though he tries to write the addiction out of his DNA, sabotage results in his genes being spliced with that of a spider. Pursued by his old employers, he becomes Spider-Man 2099 - a force for justice against corporate greed and corruption.

Terry’s initial origin story was a classic one, but perhaps a bit overly familiar. After a run-in with a gang known as The Jokerz leads him to discover the truth of Bruce Wayne’s identity as Batman, McGinnis returns home to find his father murdered. Out for revenge, he breaks into the Batcave and steals the suit. Though Bruce initially disables the bat-suit, McGinnis manages to prove himself and earn the title of Batman. Though it resonates with Bruce’s own drive for justice, it’s a little forgettable. However, in the Justice League Unlimited episode “Epilogue,” we discovered that, unbeknownst to either of them, Terry is actually Bruce’s biological son - the result of a secret project of Amanda Waller’s. Her goal? To ensure that the world would always have a Batman.

This is a tough one. Miguel O’Hara boasts a dark, gritty and complex origin story that is a cut above most - arguably enough to beat Terry’s origin. But because of the whole “Son of Batman” reveal, Batman Beyond takes the origin round, and with it… the win!

WINNER: Batman Beyond 3/ Spider-Man 2099 2

It would seem that in the world of future super-heroics, Batman Beyond reigns supreme.
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