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Final half of Chip Zdarsky's Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man reviews follow...

Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #304-305 by Chip Zdarsky. No More. Pete’/J Jonah Jameson/Teresa return to their world but it’s not how it was. This was a great what if with the young Peter we met in Amazing Fantasy (Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #301-303) giving up as Spider-Man having overheard our Pete about the bad he’s yet to face. Here he runs a company with his wife, Gwen Stacy who unlike Peter helps the resistance against Norman Osborn’s tyranny. We get to this world, versions of heroes, the villains and JJJ realizing he was wrong on Spider-Man, the latter was touched on in the Amazing Fantasy arc.

Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #306-307 by Chip Zdarsky. Spidey, JJJ and Teresa back from their travels need to stop the Tinkerer and the Vedomi AI invasion. This was good for a Daredevil appearance, selfless Spidey using the capsule to stop them without knowing the risks to him and the ending between Peter/Teresa Parker.

Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #1 by Chip Zdarsky. An alright story as someone from the old Daily Globe wants revenge on J Jonah Jameson. I did like the appearance of Arcade because he was in one of the first Spider-Man comics I ever read with Captain Britain.

Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #308-309 by Chip Zdarsky. The Sandman is breaking up so Spidey sees what he can do. I liked that bit of the story, what I didn’t like was a future Sandman showing up in the second half so it’s a Sandman smashup. Chris Bachalo’s art best suits his Doctor Strange written by Jason Aaron. I don’t like his art here or in The Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 5).

Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #310 is written by and drawn by Chip Zdarsky. Story called Finale is fitting because it’s Zdarsky’s last on the book. People are asked for their opinions on Spider-Man. This was an excellent issue for the varying stances about Spider-Man ranging from the funny to moving. The end to the moving anecdote is effectively done over five wordless pages. One of the best Spider-Man stories I’ve read as Chip Zdarsky goes out on a high note. I have my list of the 40 best Spider-Man stories ever, Finale places 8th. There’s also a piece by Zdarsky reflecting on his time on the book.

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Posted (edited)

Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man - The Good.

  • Great stories: My Dinner With Jonah (#6), Amazing Fantasy (#301-303), No More (#304-5) and Finale (#310)
  • Zdarsky’s Peter Parker/Spider-Man is better written than the majority of Dan Slott’s from 2014-2018.
  • Peter Parker/J. Jonah Jameson changes to status quo.
  • Zdarsky’s use of the above characters, Teresa Durand as well.
  • The arrival of a second Earth-616 Peter Parker/Spider-Man book to go with The Amazing Spider-Man. Long time coming.

Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man - Bad.

  • #300 is the worst anniversary story I’ve ever read.
  • Trying to get over the Tinkerer as a threat didn’t work.
  • The Tinkerer storyline out wore it’s welcome
  • Inconsistent run with some duds.
Edited by The Natural
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Age of Apocalypse happened about a year before I became a Wednesday Warrior.  I've been trying hard to keep up with Jay and Miles, but...this is not the kind of stuff I loved when I was in high school (when I mostly checked to see if Waldenbooks had a new issue of Quasar, X-Factor or Guardians of the Galaxy), and it REALLY isn't the kind of stuff that got me super into comics in college.  I can ABSOLUTELY understand why it was such a huge deal for so many people, but coming to it cold 25 years later I'm mostly "oh that's a neat angle" with no actual attachment or investment.

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It prob doesn’t help that the gimmick has been so watered down and repeated over the years. 
 

as I’ve said before, there are so many analogue characters these days they aren’t as fun as when the gimmick was done as a special occasion. 

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AoA is my all time favorite comics story.

i was like 12 and not really into comics, per se, but i loved superheroes and the Batman/X-Men/Spider-Man cartoons. so we walked into a comics shop while we were looking into this little row of boutiques on Main Street, and BAM! there was a trading card/checklist of the crossover. it was AoA Wolverine, with his one hand and looking all wild. that's all it took, and i was hooked. still own that card to this day.

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Posted (edited)

Having posted my Chip Zdarsky Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man reviews, now I turn to Spider-Man: Life Story…

Spider-Man: Life Story #1 written by Chip Zdarsky and on art is Mark Bagley. The premise of this series is Peter Parker/Spider-Man aging in real time across the decades. It’s an interesting concept and got off to a good start in #1’s 1966. I liked how Peter Parker wasn’t sure whether to sign up to the Vietnam War with the powers he has. There’s a great conversation between Spider-Man and Captain America about the war in Vietnam and what both should do about it. Cap fans, myself included will be happy with his cameo.

Spider-Man: Life Story #2 written by Chip Zdarsky and on art is Mark Bagley. The story is set in 1977-1978. Peter Parker is 30, and married to Gwen Stacy but the shadow of the Green Goblin hangs over them. I liked most of this going in a way I didn’t expect as when I think of this decade in Spider-Man history, it’s The Night Gwen Stacy Died. There’s an unexpected twist tying together another arc. The third act did feel a tad rushed and wasn’t keen on the second talk between Peter and Reed Richards. I’m the camp preferring the first issue to the second.

Spider-Man: Life Story #3 written by Chip Zdarsky and on art is Mark Bagley. We’re in 1984 and Peter is 37. The issue covers 1980s arcs in Secret Wars, Alien Costume Saga and Kraven’s Last Hunt. The latter is the better of them with a twist in the symbiote strand.

Spider-Man: Life Story #4. Chip Zdarsky writes and Mark Bagley’s the penciller. We’ve now reached the 1990s specifically 1995. Peter Parker is 48 and the story is set around the infamous Clone Saga of that time period. Peter is shown to be smart, knows he’s the original despite Norman’s attempt to ruin him. Ben here is like the Ben I knew unlike the one brought back butchered by Dan Slott and Peter A David. Enjoyed this issue more than the last two.

Spider-Man: Life Story #5. Chip Zdarsky writes and Mark Bagley’s the penciller. Characters live or die as the book was promoted on, six decades in six issues. The ‘00s, 2006. Chip Zdarsky works with Coming Home and Civil War stories with his spin on them. Morlun has killed Ben Reilly who goes under Peter Parker/Spider-Man as the real Peter left those to him. The Superhuman Registration Act was introduced after 9/11. I really enjoyed the take on both those books more so Coming Home as I read a good chunk of Joseph Michael Straczynski’s The Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) run when reprinted in the UK’s Astonishing Spider-Man. We’ve had a flawed Peter Parker at times in this series. I have a feeling it may read better when collected but I’ve enjoyed it as singles.

Spider-Man: Life Story #6. Chip Zdarsky writes and Mark Bagley’s the penciller. We’re now in 2019 as the series premise was to age characters in real time. Peter and Mary Jane are old now. Peter goes with Miles Morales to decommission Tony Stark’s space station. The two big stories of this decade, Miles Morales creation and the Superior Spider-Man are here. TSSM strand is well handled, that it’s not a heroic act taking possession of somebody’s life when they’ve had theirs. This was a great issue, the best of the six as Zdarsky sticks the landing. This works as a definitive ending to the character such as Spider-Man: The Death of Spider-Man. Fittingly the beginning is part of the issue, Amazing Fantasy #15.

Edited by The Natural
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Re: AoA

1. Watchmen barely holds up as something special or revolutionary now because of how many things copied it, took it further in plot ways, etc. It's hard to see what it was pushing against. And that's Watchmen. So you can imagine how something like Age of Apocalypse was going to age.

2. It's hard to explain to someone who wasn't there. Because if you're a year or two older than me or a year or two younger, you wouldn't hit it quite the same. I was of perfect age for things when X-Men 1/Uncanny 281/X-Force 1 hit. Nine or ten. You were able to get on the ground floor of this this exciting, dynamic thing that also had so much history. You could have something all your own, but be part of a broader group. By 95-96 when AoA hit, there were a few years of this behind it. This was hitting RIGHT when the internet was starting to become a thing, so I was on Prodigy in X-Men clubs too. I was able to read the news online and print it out and bring it in to my retailer to tell him. I'd ride my bike to New England Comics and come back with my backpack and the comics. You found out about the solicits from the free New England Comics black and white Newsletter. And I was shook to the core by the idea of AoA. All these facts and bits of canon that I had learned, that made me part of some exclusive club (literally. I was part of a group on Prodigy at 13 where you had to pass a quiz to get in called X-Clusive. This is not a lie), and they were undoing all of it. It was a shock. They announced it in the promo page they had every much by having a blurb of AoA Sunfire (who is unrecognizable) with a little "Who is this mystery character?!" And he had the magneto neck bumps so we all thought maybe it was some version of Magneto. This era is a weird multi-sense thing too. It's when they just moved to the glossy paper so you can almost feel it in your memory.  And the idea of the FOUR characters coming over into the main reality afterwards. Anyway, it's not great. It doesn't stand up. I have no desire to reread it. But it was an important part of my youth. 

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Yeah, I regard AoA as kinda unreadable, but it was a huge deal to me at the time and something that I genuinely got excited for.

To be fair, I feel like the Claremont era doesn't hold up once Byrne left.  I tried to re-read it a while back and it became a slog fairly quickly.

I'm not a Claremont fan, though.  The only thing I'd go back to is Excalbur.  And, even at the time, I didn't enjoy the book when Davis wasn't involved.

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I read AoA several years ago and enjoyed it well enough. I can see how it would have been such a big deal when it came out just like Death/Return of Superman and the Kngihtfall Saga.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Hickman deleted the tweet.

he asked: who was more of a Karen? 
 

kate, Jean or Emma

Edited by odessasteps
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Feels a bit like "Whoever Claremont is writing."

I can absolutely see the case for his Kitty but not anyone else's Kitty. 

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None?

 

Because none of them are middle aged.  Didn't they even mention that Jean is now physically younger than she had been prior to her death in Morrison's run thanks to the Phoenix Force rebuilding her body?

 

And going by the sliding "10 years since the Fantastic Four debuted" timescale, Kitty is barely 18-19 and Emma is maybe late 20's.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Southside Jim said:

And going by the sliding "10 years since the Fantastic Four debuted" timescale, Kitty is barely 18-19 and Emma is maybe late 20's.

 

Emma is that young? Wow, I always assumed she was at least in her early 30s.

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2 hours ago, Southside Jim said:

None?

 

Because none of them are middle aged.  Didn't they even mention that Jean is now physically younger than she had been prior to her death in Morrison's run thanks to the Phoenix Force rebuilding her body?

 

And going by the sliding "10 years since the Fantastic Four debuted" timescale, Kitty is barely 18-19 and Emma is maybe late 20's.

 

 

As of the start of All-New Marvel NOW!(2014), 13 years had passed since Peter Parker got bit by the spider. So at this point I would say Jean is probably in her early 30's, Emma would be in her mid to late 30's, and Kitty should be in her early 20's.

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Even that's gone out the window.  

 

Marvel 2-in-1 #2 (2018) retconned the Fantastic Four getting their powers seventeen years ago, while Dan Slott at the same time made repeated references to Peter & MJ being "almost 30," (a minor subplot during Slott's run, as MJ was worried about modeling oppurtunities drying up) and there were vague references to 616 Felicia Hardy being several years older than Peter dating back to the McFarlane era.

 

Nick Spencer has had characters refer to Peter & MJ being in their "mid-twenties," and Felicia's solo book has de-aged her to also being "mid-twenties."

 

Then there's Jubilee who went from being 15-16 when she debuted to de-aged to 13 when Generation X debuted, to her current age being anywhere from 15-19, depending on the writer and how long she was a vampire.

In the end, it doesn't really matter, as this is all a fictional, constantly changing world.

 

I'm sure we'll eventually get a writer who de-ages Sue Storm to being 16 when she got her powers and is now a 28-year old MILF who can't identify with the much older Reed anymore and leaves him to shack up with Namor.

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3 hours ago, Southside Jim said:

None?

 

Because none of them are middle aged.  Didn't they even mention that Jean is now physically younger than she had been prior to her death in Morrison's run thanks to the Phoenix Force rebuilding her body?

 

And going by the sliding "10 years since the Fantastic Four debuted" timescale, Kitty is barely 18-19 and Emma is maybe late 20's.

 

 

IIRC, Kate's in her early 20s now. 

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not trying to hijack this but I reached out for help in the DC thread and am pleased by the responses so I wanted to do so here.

 

Can someone recommend me some good Marvel comics to read from the past few years?  Mainly how has Daredevil, Punisher, Capt America been?  I've been buying omnibus books and reading a lot of older 60's-90's comics but would like to dive into recent books.

 

Thank you all in advance for your help and hope everyone is safe and well. 

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I'm really not a Punisher fan and have a hard time getting through runs on his comics traditionally, but that said I was really tempted by the Rosenberg run because it was well reviewed, had a long arc of Frank vs Baron Zemo with a lot of other players, and just sounded like good stuff, so you might want to check that out.

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