In Review: Spider-Man: Life Story Anniversary Edition

Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Mark Bagley

Spider-Man: Life Story Anniversary Edition

Review by Mark Braithwaite

For decades, comic book characters have defied the ageing process but what if Spider-Man had aged a year for every year that had passed in real time?

Life Story isn’t officially a “What If?” title but it very much is a “What If?” premise and the multi-issued format it was originally published in (and collected in this Panini hardcover anniversary edition) allows this alternative timeline to be explored in detail.

Merging decades worth of major events in Spider-Man’s comic timeline with Marvel’s own version of real world history, such as Vietnam and 9/11, we see how Peter Parker adapts to having a family and running a business as major world events threaten to overwhelm him.

As you’d expect from a comic series encompassing a large time span, there’s a lot going on, yet Chip Zdarsky handles a huge cast fairly and ensures that the reader discovers not only how Spidey would age in real time but also his villains, fellow Avengers and his own supporting characters. J. Jonah Jameson’s arc in particular claims the spotlight in the “Life Story” annual, also collected in this edition.

Mark Bagley’s artwork is showcased superbly by the larger page format of the hardcover. His characters are expressive throughout, and age with a gradual subtlety as the story progresses.

Bonus material includes full page spreads of the “Life Story” variant covers with Chip Zdarsky discussing his cover art process using classic comics as an inspiration.

A celebratory and nostalgic celebration that revisits Peter Parker’s most memorable moments. Life Story addresses exactly where Spider-Man fits in a rapidly changing world where the challenges get harder as the mind, and body, get older.

Mark Braithwaite

Mark is co-owner of First Age Comics, Lancaster 

Spider-Man: Life Story Anniversary Edition is available from all good book and comic shops | ISBN: 978-1-84653-343-3 | AmazonUK (Affiliate Link) | Buy it from PaniniUK

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