GRAPHIC NOVELS

Spider-Man: Life Story

Marvel. Nov. 2019. 208p. ISBN 9781302917333. pap. $24.99 Rated: Teen+.. SUPERHERO
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Zdarsky (Daredevil. Vol. 1: Know Fear) and Bagley (Spider-Man: Ben Reilly. Omnibus: Vol. 1) imagine the life Peter Parker might have led had he aged in real time since his first appearance in this epic tale spanning nearly six decades. In the late 1960s, Parker struggles with guilt at staying behind to protect New York when he could be using his powers to help win the war in Vietnam. His acceptance as one of the greatest scientific minds alive in the 1970s is spoiled by the death of his beloved Gwen Stacy. The mid-1980s find him caught up in various conflicts that strain his relationship with his wife and newborn twins. Success as the head of Parker Industries in the 1990s is threatened by business rival Tony Stark and questions about whether or not he’s a clone, setting the stage for a superhero civil war that defines the last 20 years of his life, climaxing in a deeply moving conclusion as he undertakes a desperate mission to save the world in 2019.
VERDICT A fantastic collection suggesting that Peter Parker, even more than his spandex-clad alter ego, is actually one of the greatest comic book characters of all time.

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