One of Spider-Man’s oldest supporting characters is actually responsible for creating a major threat in the Marvel 2099 timeline.
In one of Marvel’s most famous future timelines, Spider-Man 2099 is a byproduct of his former employer’s manipulation with genetic experimentation. The megacorporation, Alchemax, took part in several different experiments, and Miguel O’Hara was caught up in one that granted him his spider abilities and also made him Alchemax’s greatest enemy. It looks like the classic setup, the lone street-level hero taking on the darkest type of corporation imaginable,
But Alchemax shares a surprising connection to Spider-Man’s legacy, one that most people don’t even realize. It wasn’t always called Alchemax, when it was first founded it was called Allan Chemical, and was owned and run by Liz Allan, one of Peter Parker’s oldest friends from high school.
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Elizabeth “Liz” Allan made her debut in Amazing fantasy # 15 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko as one of Peter Parker’s classmates during high school. For a brief time, Peter fell in love with her, but Liz was Flash Thompson’s girlfriend and she generally thought the same thing as her boyfriend about Peter: that he was a loser. Peter eventually passed from those feelings, but interestingly enough, Liz developed her own crush on Peter at the same time, having secretly seen his more heroic side. She would eventually accept that he did not reciprocate those feelings and then fell in love with Harry Osborn. The two would marry and have a son, Normie Osborn.
More urgently, Liz began working as an executive alongside her husband at Oscorp, but after Harry’s mental breakdown in the Green Goblin, Liz left him and took her son to keep him safe. Later, Liz began working in the science development industry on her own, forming Allan Chemical. He found massive success as its CEO and went a step further, buying what was left of Oscorp and Horizon Labs shares to merge both companies into one: Alchemax.
Liz couldn’t have known that the company she shed her blood, sweat, and tears in would eventually become a villainous megacorporation nearly a century from now.
When it was first introduced in Spider-Man 2099 # 1 by Peter David and Rick Leonardi, was much more malevolent, having a hand in almost all forms of demand from consumers, society and even the government. He worked on highly dangerous and illegal experiments, as well as having his own privatized police force called Public Eye. All of this occurs on Earth-928, Earth-616 is still in its infancy. But so far, Liz Allan has done her best to steer you in the right direction.
Still, the name was meant to attract the less desirable traits of its future counterpart. Alchemax already has several executives who are willing to use less palatable means to stay ahead of the business world. Men like Mark Raxton or Tiberius Stone. They’ve already gone behind Liz’s back and hired criminals known as the Ghost to sabotage their competitors, ironically that was Peter Parker at the time.
Despite Liz’s best intentions and capable leadership, it appears that Alchemax will likely become the original concept introduced to fans all those years ago. But, even if it does, there are still a lot of good things that come from Alchemax’s existence. After all, he created a new Spider-Man to help keep an eye on people and defend them when the authorities of his world (Alchemax) would abuse them in favor of maintaining control. So it’s less of a horrible result and more of a mixed bag.
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