Warning: SPOILERS for Amazing Spider-Man #34
Alternate future realities are a cornerstone of the Marvel Universe. Heroes and villains are constantly showing up from some distant future to stop a threat before it begins, or in search of a more prosperous one. As a result, it's usually assumed that Marvel's main 616 Universe is the branch from which all future timelines branch off.
From the confusing history of the X-Men to the recent events of Old Man Logan and his dystopian future, the butterfly effect says that a small change in the past can result in large differences in the future. The future is, and always was changing -- resulting in endless realities, and countless stories as a result. But thanks to the latest comics... that is no longer the case.
The thought of a constantly changing future depending on if our beloved heroes were able to save the day -- or fail, made each story carry more weight. However, it appears that Earth-616's destiny is written in stone, and will always lead to one future no matter what. In Amazing Spider-Man #34, Miguel O'Hara a.k.a. Spider-Man 2099 revealed the shocking twist that the future known as Marvel 2099 -- one where the mantle of Captain America has officially been passed onto Roberta Mendez is the one and only future for the Marvel prime universe. Miguel appears out of time, in present day New York looking for this time's Spider-Man -- Peter Parker. Miguel's reality is in jeopardy, and the present day universe is ground zero for the event's origin. When Miguel finds Peter, the Spider-Men are hardly surprised to see each other, given the shear number of spider-people Peter has run into during the Spider-verse events. Miguel does surprise Peter --and readers alike, when he drops a bomb of a reveal:
"My present and your future, your future and my present -- there is something that connects us. Interlinks us. You've met people from other futures, different from mine. But those futures are fixed within an infinite multiverse. They are other Earths. Where I'm from is still your Earth. There is no branching."
Here in lies the problem 2099 is currently experiencing. Both realities, are fixed to each other -- but Earth-616's future is constantly changing, causing Miguel's reality to collapse. Before Miguel could explain further, he is transported away, and Peter is forced to face down against an army of Doom-bots, looking for revenge.
The implications of this are unknown for now, but one can be assured that it will have huge effects on the Marvel Universe. With this comes the gruesome realization that heroes will fall, and new champions rise to take on the time-displaced Doctor Doom who has taken control of the U.S.. And if 2099 is the one and only future, what does that mean for other futures from the Cosmic Ghost Rider to the Days of Futures Past? Do they even matter? And are the time-travelling heroes like Cable actually universe jumpers, and not time travelers? With the Fight for the Future: 2099 event just getting started, readers can rest assured more shocking revelations are on the way.
Amazing Spider-Man #34 is available now from your local comic book shop or direct from Marvel Comics.