Spider-Man: Life Story is the latest miniseries sprouting from Marvel’s 80th anniversary to celebrate a character and culture. Opening in the ’60s, the series’ premise focuses on following the life of Spider-Man if he aged normally. That’d put him at 57 years old. In the second issue, Chip Zdarsky and Mark Bagley explore the ’70s and how the life of Peter and those around him have changed.
So what’s it about?
Read our preview.
Why does this matter?
Changes are already occurring to the story thanks to the Vietnam War in the first issue which makes this alternate reality tale all the more interesting. This issue weaves in a ton of new developments and may just go down as the most dramatic two days ever for Spider-Man in any universe.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue took me by surprise, jam-packing every page with some new revelation, spin on a familiar character, or both. While the first issue was a bit slow, this issue weaves in so much Spider-Man mythos and remixes it so well it’s hard to put down. The issue opens in 1977, which is 11 years after the first issue. Things have changed — Peter works with another superhero under his real identity, Gwen Stacey is far more important in his life than we’ve come to know in the original series, and Spider-Man even has a cool new costume. It’s as if Zdarsky has given Peter Parker the ideal happy life he would have wanted if he was still with Gwen and had a relatively peaceful home life. Well, until that all gets blown up.
This issue is very good at building towards a major conflict, coming in hard with big reveals and twists, and then leaving Peter in complete shambles. Zdarsky puts very interesting and believable twists in this issue that’ll make you instantly want this series to be ongoing. By the end of the issue, anything can happen due to Peter’s life needing a new direction and it’s incredibly tragic. The Parker luck is alive and well with this issue.
Bagley does a great job, but you probably already knew that’d be the case. He’s joined by inker Drew Hennessy and color artist Frank D’Armata, who give the book that Ultimate Spider-Man or classic Amazing Spider-Man look we’re all familiar with. Hennesy’s inks are a touch thicker and more expressive, and give the book a newer feel. The colors do well to liven up skin tones.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
It’s pretty damn close. The only thing I could see throwing off a reader is anybody who didn’t read issue #1. They’ll be quite confused.
Is it good?
A second issue that tops the first and then some. Spider-Man’s life story is getting a retelling that is at once harrowing and deeply emotional. If you thought Spider-Man’s life was tragic, read this — it gets worse. Every Spidey fan will love this. The way Zdarsky and Bagley rewrite the Spider-Man story is so good it’s obvious you have to read this if you call yourself a Spider-Man fan.