Lightning Libro: A Short Review of Spiderman Forever Young on Libro.fm

     

Welcome to “Lightning Libro” where I give you a quick overview of a story that I’ve recently (or not too recently) listened to on Libro.fm (if you’d like to learn more about Libro.fm I’ve written an article about it here). This time I’m going to be looking at Spider-Man Forever Youngby Stefan Petrucha. If you want the tl;dr review, it is great. The voice acting, the sound effects, and the writing does an amazing job at transcribing the “Lifeline Tablet” arc from the comics into a YA novel format. If you are at all interested in Spider-Man and like the idea of listening to a classic Spider-Man arc acted out in an audiobook definitely pick this up. Now, onto a full review

As mentioned above, Petrucha is adapting the “Lifeline Tablet” arc into a novelization. In short, the arc started with Amazing Spider-Man #68-75 starting and ending in 1969, covering the fall of the Maggia as its leader succeeds in drinking a potion that de-ages him to nothing.  In 2001 a sequel to this arc was released that pays homage to the original by adding an action packed conclusion written in the style of the late 1960s Spidey. If you want some more context about this arc the Tumblr blog “Hellz Yeah Spider-Man: The Web Wielding Avenger” gave an excellent in-depth overview of where this arc falls in the overall history of Spider-Man and how it has been released and adapted over the years (it even talks about Forever Young!) The interesting thing about Forever Young is that the first half basically adapts the broad 68-75 story verbatim (with slight alterations including removing Quicksilver and Shocker, and adding in Richard Fisk), but it sets the whole thing in modern day. This was so well done that until I was writing this review, I hadn’t absorbed that I was listening to a story written in the 60s, but all the characters had cellphones. The second half of the book is largely original, although it takes a lot of cues from the Lifeline mini-series (the 2001 sequel to 68-75). Switching from Stan Lee to original was surprisingly smooth, again, I didn’t realize it had happened, the story never skips a beat. If you want to read the original comic arc, I’ll have a link below to check out the collection previously mentioned, it’s not super popular, but it is one that has stuck with me.

The voice acting is also pretty good. Definitely not enough for, say, an animated version, but enough to never take me out of the action. The setup was a main narrator (Richard Rohan) and a full cast for the rest of the characters. The actual names of this full cast proved to be basically impossible to find, which I think is a little disrespectful to the work that was put in. But anyway, having a full cast meant that each character sounded unique and were easily identifiable, this added so much life to the listening experience. And I think that it is something that a book like this (one with over a dozen recurring characters) really benefits from.

On top of the voice acting, Forever Young is fully dramatized. From my experience, this is pretty unusual for an unabridged audiobook, but it is very welcome. Hearing Spidey’s webs thwipping out is so satisfying, and the grunts, crumbling walls, and explosion or two makes the whole experience pretty cinematic, perfect for a book about a superhero.

I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to any Spidey fan. However, it is a YA-retelling of a pretty obscure arc that started and finished decades ago, so it’s probably not the best place to start even as a casual fan. As far as an audiobook goes though, it is very good. The voice acting is on point, and being unabridged and fully dramatized is awesome. If you have an extra credit banging around your Libro.fm account, definitely check this book out. Keep listening, true believers.

Spider-Man: Forever Young: A Novel of the Marvel Universe (Marvel Novels #6) By Stefan Petrucha Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781785659867
Availability: This book is not at our warehouse, but probably is available from another source. We'll contact you to let you know for sure.
Published: Titan Books - October 30th, 2018

Sixth title in Titan Books' Marvel fiction reissue program: Stefan Petrucha puts his pen to the classic "Stone Tablet Saga," which ComicsReview.com calls "Stan Lee's Marvel and Spider-Man at their peak."

Take a swing through Spider-Man's past!


SPIDER-MAN: THE LIFELINE TABLET SAGA By Stan Lee, Fabian Nicieza, John Romita, Sr (Illustrator), Jim Mooney (Illustrator), Steve Rude (Cover design or artwork by) Cover Image
By Stan Lee, Fabian Nicieza, John Romita, Sr (Illustrator), Jim Mooney (Illustrator), Steve Rude (Cover design or artwork by)
$24.99
ISBN: 9781302907105
Availability: This book is not at our warehouse, but probably is available from another source. We'll contact you to let you know for sure.
Published: Marvel Universe - May 9th, 2017

Relive a Spidey epic decades in the telling! It all begins with a classic struggle over a petrified tablet said to hold the secret to eternal life! It's a priceless relic that a lot of dangerous folks want to get their hands on - like the Kingpin of Crime, the Shocker, Man Mountain Marko and Maggia boss Silvermane! Others are drawn into the fray - including Quicksilver and Dr.