Spider-Man: Life Story #2

Written by Chip Zdarsky
Art by Mark Bagley
Published by Marvel Comics

PREVIOUSLY: Spider-Man: Life Story #1

This issue takes place in 1977. As it opens, Peter Parker (now 30 years old) is married to Gwen Stacy and is working as a scientist for Reed Richards’ (Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four) company, the Future Foundation. One of their coworkers is Doctor Octopus, whom we’re told is completely reformed after surviving a heart attack some years earlier. Gwen works as a biologist for their former college Professor Miles Warren, and the Vietnam War is still raging on, with heroes like Iron Man and Giant Man fighting alongside American troops, while Captain America is considered a rogue traitor, fighting to protect innocent Viet Cong. We also learn that Flash was killed in the war in 1974, which Peter feels guilty about, thinking that if he had joined Flash in Vietnam he could have saved him.

Harry has been running Osborn Industries and is engaged to Mary Jane.  Norman has been in jail since the last issue, but it looks like his memories of being the Green Goblin, and of Spider-Man’s secret identity have returned, and he contacts his son to let him in on those a few other pretty big secrets. I really don’t want to say too much more because there are some huge revelations in this issue which dramatically alter the lives of everyone by the time it’s over.

I’ll just add that we get some more interesting questions raised about the role of superheroes in our society, as Peter debates with Gwen and others about whether or not he and others like him are doing the right thing with their abilities. There’s a great scene where Peter asks Reed about why Reed hasn’t made clothing made out of “unstable molecules” available to the public, and his reasoning makes sense, although Peter doesn’t completely agree. This little argument also leads to the revelation that at some point Sue Storm left Reed to go be with Namor.

Another great story by Chip Zdarsky, with the amazing artwork of Mark Bagley, this is shaping up to be one of the best Spider-Man series that I’ve read in decades.

Spider-Man: Life Story #2


  1. Sue left Reed to be be with Namor? Say what? Speaking of superheroes and the Vietnam War, you would think that having Giant Man and Iron Man on the American side would lead to instead victory but I know you don’t want to give to much away but that is an interesting aspect of that storyline. I am definitely gonna have to try to cop my hands on a copy. Again thanks for the heads up on this series.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s not too hard to imagine Sue dumping Reed for Namor at some point. They’ve always played up the idea of Namor as a potential romantic rival for Reed. It’s just that in regular comics they’ll never actually have that happen, at least not for good. But this series is about showing how things could have realistically progressed over the years if they were allowed to.

      It’s like the use of Doctor Octopus in this series, I can see the idea that he would eventually give up his life of crime as he got older, especially after facing his mortality after a heart attack. Again, not something they’ll ever do in the regular comics, but they can do it here.

      As for the Vietnam War there is a point where Peter and Reed are discussing it, and talking about how long it’s dragged on, and Reed speculates that the fact that Captain America is basically fighting on the other side is part of why it’s still going. Since there are superheroes on each side it’s at a stalemate, keeping either side from clearly winning.


What do YOU think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.