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  1. #1

    Default Spider-Man: Life Story #4

    So Spider-Man Life Story happened again today. This time a look back into the Clone Saga. Chip Zdarsky continues to show his gift in doing this. His great economy in suggesting, implying, and indicating with a few scenes, lines, and gestures a lot of stuff that he couldn't deal.

    The main thing that I liked is that he shows 48 year old Peter as being quite capable and strong. He's really experienced, smart, and knows all the angles. So you actually get a glimpse at what an experienced and capable Spider-Man really looks and moves like in this issue.

    spoilers:
    Zdarsky also gets at the bit that Sam Raimi first latched on to in Spider-Man 1, namely Norman Osborn is in some sense an embodiment of the grown-up Peter Parker. Here we see Peter at 48 not too different from Norman when he started as goblin. A workaholic middle-aged guy estranged from his wife and kid, and too blinded by his work and sense of duty to really be there for the people who love him. I gotta say for some reason, seeing an old man Norman with gray hair and overalls was really striking and the first sense of "man characters age" in this story. I mean I don't get that with Peter aging as much. We also get that with Dr. Octopus who drove away May just like Peter drove MJ away, and Otto is again obsessed with youth and finding a younger clone body, and tying that with the clone saga is pretty interesting
    end of spoilers.

    Zdarsky is really good at making what should be familiar and expected, and what still is when you read it, feel really unexpected and different.

    Next month will be LF#5 which for me is really personal because that was MY decade: JMS, Civil War.

  2. #2
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
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    Yeah, Civil War was also what really got me back into Marvel. More pertinent to Spider-Man, though, the JMS run was really great stuff coming out when I was in high school. The one and only question is . . .

    spoilers:
    What happened to Gwen('s clone)? There's not even a throwaway line about her after Life Story #2 despite Ben Reilly's presence here. I'm hoping this gets addressed at some point during Life Story #5 or #6, mostly for the sake of not leaving behind loose ends.
    end of spoilers
    The spider is always on the hunt.

  3. #3
    Incredible Member AngelJD's Avatar
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    spoilers:
    What happened to Gwen('s clone)? There's not even a throwaway line about her after Life Story #2 despite Ben Reilly's presence here. I'm hoping this gets addressed at some point during Life Story #5 or #6, mostly for the sake of not leaving behind loose ends.
    end of spoilers[/QUOTE]

    I agree with this statement.


    spoilers:
    I reread it hoping to have a clue to where she was. A simple line indicating she died or fine back in Chicago or anything could of been placed in as having Ben back a indication to Helen/Gwen Reilly/Parker of that Earth would of done well and not take to much space. Like when Peter talking to Ben (who now lied to by Norman and Peter into questioning and re-thinking his identity again for their convenience) to convince him to take over Parker Industries Ben could of said "I'll have to call my wife Helen to convince her to come to New York plus all the recent crazy stuff that has happened". One sentence alone could of filled a big info void. I do hope she hasn't died. For one any Gwen version that can live to old age would be nice plus any Gwens in the Multiverse born by science to be treated to matter as a person and have a life beyond a few years.

    2nd I still hope by late 90's or early 2000's Helen and Ben will be expecting a daughter and Helen plans to name her after her 'departed sister' Gwen which would sync just in time for a Earth-65 Gwen aged Gwen for that Earth.
    Tragically I don't expect Ben to live but die on 9-11 (which once more how Ben wore a hood that could tie in to why Gwen as a Spider hero wears a hood in tribute to her departed father she never got to meet but was told alot about).



    Now I enjoyed this for Peter's sake having a positive outcome for him HOWEVER rethinking this to other characters it doesn't make sense the choices or reactions as much. Some time has gone by and Ben forged a life with Helen (maybe) in Chicago and based on what Ben says to the gal Lori openly mentioning "I should head in and help" it seems to me as Ben he forged a life and connections in Chicago. To drop things and forced to stay in New York where he has no emotional connections established while Chico has possible friends and family doesn't make much sense. Now if he opens a 'Chicago branch' for Parker Industries so he could continue his personal connections he made and life yet now with a company that would make sense.

    We as readers assume he will stay in be locked only to New York but after 20 years living elsewhere that might not be the case and on 9-11 Peter could call Ben worried for him seeing the news with Ben telling him he's in Chicago. Or Peter calls thinking Ben is in his hometown of Chicago with his expecting wife only to find out due to a business meeting suddernly set up Ben's in New York and thus apart of the rescue team and also dies there. If Ben does die on 9-11 when the towers fall and like many tales of the people born by science in the Marvel Spider-man tales instantly becoming dust on death that would mean the public and other heroes will not see that happen. As dust and ashes was scattered everywhere plus there were bodies that was not found from people that died on 9-11. To the public and other heroes seeing it Spider-Man would be one of the heroes that died doing his duty that dark day.



    Now for Ben suddernly becoming CEO of a company with no life experiences that happened to 616 Peter. In this case Peter forced and deceived Ben into it. Of course if Ben was thinking he might think as Peter saying "O since your the REAL Peter you should also have this company!"

    Ben: "Well..you really the person that started it. Before during our beginning when we both became being into this Earth we might had a person's identity crisis based on memories we recall to who we are that influence us but since I really live 20 years being Ben and making connections and a life and memories as Ben and thus a firm my identity by life experience that isn't into question that happened while you started yourself a company then quite frankly this still is YOUR company. 20 years not questioning real life experiences we have differences and all to make us who we are. Plus you have life experience and knowledge of how to run a company from the ground up while i don't so just dumping this on me without at least mentoring me maybe not a great idea?"

    Peter:"...TAKE MY COMPANY AND GUILT PLEEEEEEAAAAASSSSSSSEEEEEEEEE!!! Also by the way I seem to have a relationship maybe with a gal named Jessica Jones...I'll just going to leave so you can do the breaking up for me right? P.S. she might have super strength and a temper so you going in with a message of break up is going to go so well for you."



    I know on 616 Peter had a nasty mental attack and accidentally hit MJ when he was told he was the person born by science and not Ben. That make a bit more sense of identity questioning mental mess up due to memories feeling like a giant confusion and attack of what you know recently. 20 years difference with Ben going postal and not Pete with the same news seems a bit overreaching as now both men have their own identities and memories forged. Some confusion and a flat "What?!" is understandable but not the postal attack Ben was doing. It would of be for the best to see Ben's Life Story and how horrible it was for him to warrant this reaction.
    Not: "I left with Helen/Gwen whom I'm possibly attached/married to..started with hard work my own life, made personal connections, had good and bad like all people. Now thinking I might be the 'real' Peter sends me in a feazy as in makes me question my past life that I know to exist unlike my early days before. My life was 'stolen'! I could of been the divorced father that's unhappy and worried sick for dying Aunt May and be dragged into a Secret War and...wait a minute..."

    Meanwhile Peter's reaction: "I'm a Clone!?...HOORAY!!! Ben take over my company as I cha-cha out of here! I'm a clone cha! I'm a clone cha! I'm a clone cha! It gives me an unreasonable out Cha!"

    Lastly I like the reasoning and presentation of Norman's death. Him going into a rage and blaming Harry's death on Peter as always but then having a heart attack due to it with his age and with him dying blinded by anger and denying of his own doings. The importance of family for Peter hitting him in his mind seeing Norman dieing plus Harry's own death. Once agian though part of my wishes we saw Helen/Gwen plus have Helen, Ben, and Peter there...just to confirm Norman is dead and not acting by some way.
    Peter: "Norman's dead by a heart attack! Helen: "Are we sure...let's be sure about this or else you know he's just going to cause more problems for us and our families...(Helen starts to kick Norman 121 times) "...seems good"
    end of spoilers

  4. #4
    Incredible Member tib2d2's Avatar
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    Such a great series, can't wait for the 2000s. Bagley is so amazing, the details of the faces he draws are incredible, such emotion.

    Crazy thing is, they could do this series all over again under the same premise and make it completely different, and I would totally read it!

  5. #5

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    Enjoyed this issue more than the last two. Please can you remind me of the exact ages of Spidey in these four issues again?

  6. #6
    Spider-Fan Since '95 WebSlingWonder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Batman Begins 2005 View Post
    Enjoyed this issue more than the last two. Please can you remind me of the exact ages of Spidey in these four issues again?
    Issue 1: 1966-1967 Peter is nineteen
    Issue 2: 1977-1978 Peter is thirty
    Issue 3: 1984 Peter is thirty-seven
    Issue 4: 1995 Peter is forty-eight
    The Amazing, Spectacular, Sensational Web-Slinger!

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by WebSlingWonder View Post
    Issue 1: 1966-1967 Peter is nineteen
    Issue 2: 1977-1978 Peter is thirty
    Issue 3: 1984 Peter is thirty-seven
    Issue 4: 1995 Peter is forty-eight
    Cheers, WebSlingWonder. Appreciate it!

  8. #8
    Spider-Fan Since '95 WebSlingWonder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Batman Begins 2005 View Post
    Cheers, WebSlingWonder. Appreciate it!
    No problem! Happy to help!
    The Amazing, Spectacular, Sensational Web-Slinger!

  9. #9
    Incredible Member your_name_here's Avatar
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    Another nice issue. Intrigued to see where this will all end up.

  10. #10

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    Every issue of this series just keeps finding new ways to hit me. This one was one of the best to date. It actually simplified the Clone Saga and gave it a more satisfying ending. I didn't think that was possible. Chip just keeps raising the bar with this. I look forward to seeing how he ends this. It could very well go down as one of the greatest Spider-Man comics of the past decade.
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  11. #11
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    Wow, Wow, Wow. What a fantastic series. I have been looking at news books to read and started looking at the original Amazing Spider-Man series and have really enjoyed it. It was quite far ahead of what DC were producing at the same time.

    This type of series really appeals to me as it has a beginning middle and an end. I’m a child of the 70s and a teenager in the mid 80s. This series really suits Spider-Man as out of all the superheroes, he seems more human than other chars across the Marvel and DC universes.

  12. #12
    Incredible Member Jman27's Avatar
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    surprising that this issue takes place the year I was born. whats, even more, surprising is the happy ending with Peter at the end of the issue. I could've sworn it would get worse but I was wrong. Wonder what will bring Peter back into the superhero life in the 2000s 9/11? civil war? we are about to reach the end and I doubt his age will affect him too much in the future because he was almost 50 and he is still saving people.
    "He's pure power and doesn't even know it. He's the best of us."-Matt Murdock

  13. #13
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    You know?, when this story ends, I can't stop thinking they should do the same thing for the rest of the main Marvel Characters: The Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Dr Strange... etc. It would be really funny to see how a world where all those heroes actually get old.

    In the meantime, we should think about what we could expect from the remaining issues:
    - 2000's: The main stories in this decade were "The Other", "Civil War" and "One More Day". With Aunt May already naturally dead, they better DON'T dare to use One More Day here. "The Other", however, could be interesting (although Morlun should not be used), and Civil War will surely be the main plot. Since Ben is still alive, I suspect he could be sacrified to save Peter's family. I never liked the original story, but if they adapt "Sins Past" to a proper way, it could be interesting too.

    - 2010's: We had a lot of interesting stories here. We had "The Grim Hunt", "Spider Island", "Spider-Verse", "Dead No More" and some more. "Spider Island" could give us a reason for Peter to continue as mentor of new "Spider-Heroes", "Spider-Verse" should be left aside because we are focusing in one reality mainly, and "Dead No More" could have some interesting prequels.

  14. #14
    Spider-Fan Since '95 WebSlingWonder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ursalink View Post
    You know?, when this story ends, I can't stop thinking they should do the same thing for the rest of the main Marvel Characters: The Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Dr Strange... etc. It would be really funny to see how a world where all those heroes actually get old.

    In the meantime, we should think about what we could expect from the remaining issues:
    - 2000's: The main stories in this decade were "The Other", "Civil War" and "One More Day". With Aunt May already naturally dead, they better DON'T dare to use One More Day here. "The Other", however, could be interesting (although Morlun should not be used), and Civil War will surely be the main plot. Since Ben is still alive, I suspect he could be sacrified to save Peter's family. I never liked the original story, but if they adapt "Sins Past" to a proper way, it could be interesting too.

    - 2010's: We had a lot of interesting stories here. We had "The Grim Hunt", "Spider Island", "Spider-Verse", "Dead No More" and some more. "Spider Island" could give us a reason for Peter to continue as mentor of new "Spider-Heroes", "Spider-Verse" should be left aside because we are focusing in one reality mainly, and "Dead No More" could have some interesting prequels.
    As much fun as it is to speculate, try not to say "they shouldn't use that character or do this story." It behooves us to know what Zdarsky is actually doing and we wouldn't want to limit his story.
    The Amazing, Spectacular, Sensational Web-Slinger!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jman27 View Post
    surprising that this issue takes place the year I was born. whats, even more, surprising is the happy ending with Peter at the end of the issue. I could've sworn it would get worse but I was wrong. Wonder what will bring Peter back into the superhero life in the 2000s 9/11? civil war? we are about to reach the end and I doubt his age will affect him too much in the future because he was almost 50 and he is still saving people.




    HUGE difference between 50 and 70 (which is how old he’ll be in the 2010s).

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