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  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Him being transported by the Beyonder isn't his fault and missing out on the birth of his kids counts as tragic, i.e. he behaved as a hero in investigating this construct in Central Park and got transported to an alien planet and missed out on the most important day of his life. That counts as his activity as Spider-Man taking a tragic price from his daily life for believable stuff.

    But after that not so much. He wears the Symbiote despite knowing it's alive which shocks Reed. In 616, Peter dropped the suit the minute he found out. And his reasons for wearing the suit are more mid-life crisis and as he says, "to be relevant" than anything. He knows he can't cut it as well as Spider-Man anymore, he has a company and kids. But he decides to take this wacky alien suit. He doesn't even care about Kraven wearing his suit and shooting people when Reed brings it up. He just brushes that aside. His reaction on seeing Kraven-in-black-costume with the gun is more or less, "I came to blow off steam, beating up a guy who kills people in my costume counts as a guilt-free blowing-off steam exercise." So there's not any heroic motives for anything he does in this issue.

    Also the only reason he got ambushed by Kraven is because he decided he needed some "air" to get away from MJ and his crying kid.



    I am saying that there needs to be a sense that he is trying to balance being a father with being a hero. It's obviously a difficult thing to do, balancing being a Dad to a newborn and being Spider-Man. It's hard for writers to get into that especially if you are doing it in a Teens Rated setting with actual violence and so on (which Conway and Houser's RYV isn't set in). But the arc is Peter tries to make a go at balancing both, and then decides he can't and makes a choice.

    For that to happen, there needs to be a demand from society for a Spider-Man which Reed Richards' conversation implies there isn't. And Peter needs to show that he loves his children and wants to be a Dad and be there for them. He has to show that he's making a go at it. Otherwise all we have is the story of a selfish asshole who's forcing his wife and kids to adjust to his routines and the only person he allows in his personal life is his dementia-addled Aunt who can't talk back to him anymore and so on.

    In 616, Peter tries to be a good boyfriend to Betty, Gwen, Mary Jane. He tries to be a good nephew, a good student, a good husband. and so on. We see him put the effort, some days he scrapes through. Other days he misses out because he needs to be Spider-Man. That gives a sense of tragedy and poignancy to that.

    That's why I say Life Story Peter doesn't try.
    Ok yah I see your point and concede. Either way MJ came off as the better person in this story, no doubt. But I'm pulling for Peter to come around, realize he was wrong and get back with MJ and restore his family life.

    I was calculating and this book seems to take place at or around year 7 in their marriage. Thats a time when alot of marriages fail. Its long enough that the initial thrill of being together is over and alot of things settle in for the long haul. Just smacks many people broadside and they panic and decide to bail.
    Every day is a gift, not a given right.

  2. #77

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    I don't have time to read all the entries in this thread but I just wanted to say that I am amazed by this series.

    To take milestone moments in Spidey's life and rework/combine them in a way that works organically in a real-time retelling of Pete's history = incredible.

    I can tell some people aren't digging the dour tone but it makes sense. I love seeing the ramifications of prioritizing super-heroics. Good luck having a work/life balance.

    I had no idea how much I'd appreciate this series. And, for the haters, this is a What If? series so who cares? Interesting to explore these ideas.

  3. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by Obsidian Spider View Post
    I don't have time to read all the entries in this thread but I just wanted to say that I am amazed by this series.

    To take milestone moments in Spidey's life and rework/combine them in a way that works organically in a real-time retelling of Pete's history = incredible.
    Especially since Zdarsky envisioned this as a general story of the Marvel Universe before being bargained down to just doing Spider-Man. It feels like a story that works only with Spider-Man's own publication history where you had long sustained periods of growth and change in defining years in the original classic period.

    I can tell some people aren't digging the dour tone but it makes sense. I love seeing the ramifications of prioritizing super-heroics. Good luck having a work/life balance.
    Especially when you don't have the safety net that the ongoing comic and status-quo reverts to cushion that.

    I feel that Life Story's concept is quite experimental, in that it's basically a story that really only works in comics* and it's specifically making commentary about the nature of character growth in serial stories. How you could have Spider-Man be Spider-Man and still experience those stories but in his actual age and in the actual period of publication. Doing that basically changes the stories and changes the outcomes in a variety of ways.

    * Having said that, I wonder if you can adapt Life Story for a cartoon TV series. 6 seasons, multiple decades with a time jump across seasons. I wonder if Sony is paying attention to this.

  4. #79
    Ultimate Member Digifiend's Avatar
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    Sony can't do it - they can't use non-Spider-Man characters, notably Reed Richards.

  5. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Especially since Zdarsky envisioned this as a general story of the Marvel Universe before being bargained down to just doing Spider-Man. It feels like a story that works only with Spider-Man's own publication history where you had long sustained periods of growth and change in defining years in the original classic period.



    Especially when you don't have the safety net that the ongoing comic and status-quo reverts to cushion that.

    I feel that Life Story's concept is quite experimental, in that it's basically a story that really only works in comics* and it's specifically making commentary about the nature of character growth in serial stories. How you could have Spider-Man be Spider-Man and still experience those stories but in his actual age and in the actual period of publication. Doing that basically changes the stories and changes the outcomes in a variety of ways.

    * Having said that, I wonder if you can adapt Life Story for a cartoon TV series. 6 seasons, multiple decades with a time jump across seasons. I wonder if Sony is paying attention to this.
    Great points. Well said.

  6. #81
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    Please note there will be some SPOILERS





    I thought it was a good issue. A bit of a step-down from the last two, but still pretty good. And yes, weaving together at least three major 80's stories from different parts of the decade, not to mention developments from decades later, was always bound to be a challenge - but by and large, I think Chip stuck the landing.

    I think this series has continued to do a great job exploring how a superhero story changes in a setting where 'Status Quo isn't God'. Last issue touched on the idea of Peter living with the long-term consequences of his actions. This issue subtly touches on the idea that being a superhero for decades will take not only a physical, but also a psychological toll on you.

    I mean, if you think about it, most superheroes are fighting a 'never-ending battle for justice'. Now, 90% of superhero stories show an 'experienced' hero to be roughly around a decade into his/her career at most, give or take a few years. So we rarely get to see what being a hero, potentially for the rest of their lives, can do to them.

    And that's what we get here with Peter. He swore, after Uncle Ben died, to never deviate from the path of responsibility. In 616, he made that vow around 10-12 years ago. In Life Story, he made that vow twenty-two years ago! He's been Spider-Man for more than half his life and it looks like he'll never feel like he can ever really stop. Leaving aside the physical impact, just imagine what kind of a toll that would take on any person. Leading a double life. Putting yourself in life-threatening danger day after day, night after night, while trying to also lead some semblance of a normal life. Never really being able to stop because you can't live with the guilt of not acting.

    When you throw in all the other tragedies Peter has faced on top of that...its no surprise that he's mentally a bit of a mess here.

    I kinda wished they dived deeper into the subtext of Peter being a little psychologically damaged - 'obsessed' with the idea of being Spider-Man, with the overwhelming responsibility he feels to honor Uncle Ben and atone for that one mistake. Not to mention, still reeling from the loss of Gwen Stacy and letting that spill into his marriage with MJ. Because I really feel it would have made Peter a somewhat more sympathetic character.

    That said, they don't really give us the most favorable portrayal of the Peter-MJ relationship here. Its pretty clear from last issue that Peter basically turned to MJ in his grief because he felt he had lost everything. And even this issue, it is hinted at that the marriage hasn't exactly always been a happy one - with MJ resenting the fact that she has to compete with 'the ghost of Gwen Stacy'. So yeah, as far as this relationship goes, Peter has been a jerk and you feel that MJ is more than justified in leaving him.

    As far as the actual plot goes - I think they did a great job blending in the Alien Costume Saga, Secret Wars and Kraven's Last Hunt. The plot about the nuke attack is something that seems to be a little off-sync with the rest of the story - I guess its a set-up for next issue. I wonder if the Soviet paranoia against American superheroes stems from the involvement of superheroes in the Vietnam War. If so, then you could argue that Peter was right not to go to 'Nam.

    I loved that Peter became Venom for a bit. In fact, it kinda makes me wonder...the symbiote here isn't really depicted as making Peter aggressive the way it does in most adaptations of the story. It makes sense for an already battle-scarred and damaged Peter, who's just had a near-death experience, to want to aggressively lash out against Kraven. So the idea that Peter became Venom of his own volition, with the symbiote amplifying his own darkness is...compelling, to say the least! And really fits in with the darkness of this particular chapter.

    Was also kinda psyched about the fact that my theory of Kraven bonding with the symbiote came true in the last panel...

  7. #82
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bat39 View Post
    Please note there will be some SPOILERS





    I thought it was a good issue. A bit of a step-down from the last two, but still pretty good. And yes, weaving together at least three major 80's stories from different parts of the decade, not to mention developments from decades later, was always bound to be a challenge - but by and large, I think Chip stuck the landing.

    I think this series has continued to do a great job exploring how a superhero story changes in a setting where 'Status Quo isn't God'. Last issue touched on the idea of Peter living with the long-term consequences of his actions. This issue subtly touches on the idea that being a superhero for decades will take not only a physical, but also a psychological toll on you.

    I mean, if you think about it, most superheroes are fighting a 'never-ending battle for justice'. Now, 90% of superhero stories show an 'experienced' hero to be roughly around a decade into his/her career at most, give or take a few years. So we rarely get to see what being a hero, potentially for the rest of their lives, can do to them.

    And that's what we get here with Peter. He swore, after Uncle Ben died, to never deviate from the path of responsibility. In 616, he made that vow around 10-12 years ago. In Life Story, he made that vow twenty-two years ago! He's been Spider-Man for more than half his life and it looks like he'll never feel like he can ever really stop. Leaving aside the physical impact, just imagine what kind of a toll that would take on any person. Leading a double life. Putting yourself in life-threatening danger day after day, night after night, while trying to also lead some semblance of a normal life. Never really being able to stop because you can't live with the guilt of not acting.

    When you throw in all the other tragedies Peter has faced on top of that...its no surprise that he's mentally a bit of a mess here.

    I kinda wished they dived deeper into the subtext of Peter being a little psychologically damaged - 'obsessed' with the idea of being Spider-Man, with the overwhelming responsibility he feels to honor Uncle Ben and atone for that one mistake. Not to mention, still reeling from the loss of Gwen Stacy and letting that spill into his marriage with MJ. Because I really feel it would have made Peter a somewhat more sympathetic character.

    That said, they don't really give us the most favorable portrayal of the Peter-MJ relationship here. Its pretty clear from last issue that Peter basically turned to MJ in his grief because he felt he had lost everything. And even this issue, it is hinted at that the marriage hasn't exactly always been a happy one - with MJ resenting the fact that she has to compete with 'the ghost of Gwen Stacy'. So yeah, as far as this relationship goes, Peter has been a jerk and you feel that MJ is more than justified in leaving him.

    As far as the actual plot goes - I think they did a great job blending in the Alien Costume Saga, Secret Wars and Kraven's Last Hunt. The plot about the nuke attack is something that seems to be a little off-sync with the rest of the story - I guess its a set-up for next issue. I wonder if the Soviet paranoia against American superheroes stems from the involvement of superheroes in the Vietnam War. If so, then you could argue that Peter was right not to go to 'Nam.

    I loved that Peter became Venom for a bit. In fact, it kinda makes me wonder...the symbiote here isn't really depicted as making Peter aggressive the way it does in most adaptations of the story. It makes sense for an already battle-scarred and damaged Peter, who's just had a near-death experience, to want to aggressively lash out against Kraven. So the idea that Peter became Venom of his own volition, with the symbiote amplifying his own darkness is...compelling, to say the least! And really fits in with the darkness of this particular chapter.

    Was also kinda psyched about the fact that my theory of Kraven bonding with the symbiote came true in the last panel...
    That's always been my personal canon for Spider-Man's strained relationship with the symbiote. It didn't really bring out anything that wasn't already there to start with, and that's what gets him the most, that all that anger and violence came from inside him, not some external influence. Beyond that, I concur with most of your points, especially the idea that Peter is psychologically damaged and severely traumatized from his experiences and losses and hasn't been able to find a way to cope that would be considered mentally healthy for him. That's also been my personal canon for his overall character, though it's not like he can see a therapist without giving away his secret identity, unless Doc Samson happens to be around in this continuity.
    The spider is always on the hunt.

  8. #83

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    So far, I am enjoying Life Story, but it does all feel very rushed to have these pivotal moments in a standard issue. This is a series that works if you're able to fill in your knowledge from the regular comics, but I think it would have been better with more issues per decade, even though I get why Marvel might not want to invest in that.

  9. #84
    Incredible Member your_name_here's Avatar
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    Where do we go in the 90s then?

    The theme seems to be Peter juggling between war/family life. This will probably come to a head in the 2000s with Civil War, where he finally gets “involved.” The 2010s I suspect would be him finally choosing family, and passing the torch on.

  10. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by your_name_here View Post
    Where do we go in the 90s then?

    The theme seems to be Peter juggling between war/family life. This will probably come to a head in the 2000s with Civil War, where he finally gets “involved.” The 2010s I suspect would be him finally choosing family, and passing the torch on.
    I'm guessing the 90's will likely see some version of the second Clone Saga, with the Peter and Gwen clones returning - possibly 'Ben Parker' (read: Reilly) becoming Scarlet Spider, or taking over the Spider-Man identity from Peter - which especially makes sense if Peter is getting too old and the clones age slower. And Norman Osborn is most likely returning - Harry as well, possibly. One or both of Peter's kids will play a pivotal role in the story, possibly a tragic one.

    I'm pretty sure the Cold War context will play some role - given the events of Part 3, its possible that the Cold War doesn't end, or ends very differently.

    When it comes to the 2000's, I'm leaning towards the idea that Peter's son, Ben, becomes the new Spider-Man and is basically the Life Story version of Ultimate Peter Parker. I think he'll also be the Spider-Man who gets caught up in Civil War - being persuaded by Tony Stark to join the pro-Registration side! Might be particularly dramatic if he unmasks and thus reveals his father's secret identity too...or if he is sent to round up all 'unregistered' heroes and turns against his father.

    2010's will mostly have Miles Morales and possibly some version of Spider-Gwen - maybe the Peter and Gwen clones daughter. Or maybe the Life Story characters get caught up in Spider-Verse and meet 616 Peter, or some other version of Peter.

    That'll be an interesting coda to the mini - 70-something Peter Parker coming face to face with 20-something Peter Parker from 616!

  11. #86

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    how many folks from the classic cast have passed away at this point?

  12. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypestyle View Post
    how many folks from the classic cast have passed away at this point?
    George, Gwen, Flash. Flash was the only one who died earlier than expected

  13. #88

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    Besides the clone saga, the 90s also had the return of Peter’s “parents”, the death of Harry Osborn, cosmic Spidey, Maximum Carnage, some big Sinister Six stories, and the Infinity Gauntlet.

  14. #89
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    The thing about the real-life aging of the characters - in the 1990s it would have to be practically all legacy characters. Tony Stark has got to be an old man by now, same as Reed Richards. The only ones of the originals from the 1960s who isn't going to be old are Steve Rogers and Thor. Hulk won't be old, but Banner will be.

    So either the 1990s is all legacy characters, plus a few of the non-aging heroes, or its more focused on other aspects like the political scene and business scene (continuing Parker Industries perhaps).
    Every day is a gift, not a given right.

  15. #90

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    Basically the big tragedy that an aging Peter will face...is the death of one, or both of his children. It might happen in LF#4 or in LF#5 but that's where the story would go.

    I think Reed Richards will die (of old age) in LF#4, Captain America is surely gonna happen in LF#5 (as per Zdarsky's cover), and then Peter himself will die in the last issue. That's a neat structure there with three Marvel heroes dying in the last three issues.

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