Spider-Man Life Story written by Chip Zdarsky with art by Mark Bagley is one of the best series of Marvel Comics in recent memory, so why shouldn’t Marvel do it again? In this six-issue run, 60 years’ worth of storylines were condensed and distilled into something fresh. Instead of a complicated history lesson, readers get genuine character growth as Spider-Man gets older. Each choice he makes brings Peter Parker a life of authentic legacy and a fantasy devoid of an editorial mandate. Yet in that same series, a few other characters make notable appearances, and they could expand the universe.
Spider-Man Life Story: Fantastic Four Edition
One of Peter Parker’s most significant leaps in Spider-Man Life Story is his relationship with the Fantastic Four. Specifically, Reed Richards, who really shows his age as the decades go by. Each issue by the decade would be a reflection of the family dynamic between Mr. Fantastic and the rest. A good chunk of this would likely involve how Reed’s work ethic affects the people around him. From the Invisible Woman’s interactions with Namor despite her and Reed’s marriage to how his kids look at him. The Thing meanwhile would grapple with his relationships with Alicia Masters (especially when children are involved). Not to mention how Marvel’s First Family can’t decide between being explorers or superheroes. But the biggest obstacle would obviously be Dr. Doom. With his presence in both of the Secret Wars presenting him as the ultimate enemy, the idea has more than enough potential.
Captain America vs. Iron Man
The only other major heroes in Spider-Man Life Story are the ideologically opposing Captain America and Iron Man. Cap represents the conservative-yet-libertarian approach to the political changes of the decades. Instead of basing his life entirely on patriotic duty, he devotes time to helping others. Because with each passing decade come realizations that America still has room to grow. Steve could meet Falcon amid all the counter cultures and disillusionment with America. Because in these polarizing times, making and reuniting with friends could be the best thing.
Iron Man meanwhile approaches things like a neoliberalist. One where opportunities to improve are by competition and the free market. As a weapons maker, Tony Stark would make the most profits off of these conflicts. Given this ideology’s opposition to communism, his classic enemies like Crimson Dynamo and the Mandarin would fit again. With people trying to acquire his company every decade, from SHIELD to the likes of Doctor Doom, Tony would go to any means to keep his company under his control even if it meant privatizing parts of the US government to avoid regulation and acquire other heroes to his cause.
This would lead to the inevitable clash in Civil War where both sides end up losing everything. One where because of mutually petty conflicts, the villains win.
Other Life Story Imprints
Spider-Man Life Story features many characters like the Avengers and Jessica Jones. While not all characters have 60+ years of history, there are still a lot of potential stories to tell. Characters like Thor could have stories that are only touched upon between series. This would give a fresh look into characters with a new perspective on events while focusing on development. A Wolverine/X-Men Life Story would certainly make the mutant’s publications easier to swallow.
But what do you think? Could Spider-Man Life Story open up new What If universes in the vein of MC2? Leave your thoughts in the comments.