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Wednesday August 12, 2009 8:33 pm

Marvel Comics Review: Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1

Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, Marvel Comics,


Rating: ****

Marvel’s Ultimate line of comic books began in the year 2000.  It was an attempt to get new and young readers on board without them having to jump in and figure out the years of confusing continuity that’s existed before.  I wasn’t collecting comics at the time when issue one of Ultimate Spider-Man came out, but I decided to pick up the first few issues.  I thought it was okay.  In my opinion, I think Ultimate Spider-Man really took off after the first story arc.  The comic lasted for over one hundred issues and there were some moments where I lost interest in the book.  I think I stopped collecting around the time Ultimate Moon Knight showed up.  However, I got back into the title when writer Brian Michael Bendis introduced his own take on the Clone Saga for the title.  I don’t know what it is about clones and Spider-Man that makes me go crazy.  The Clone Saga got me to pick up Ultimate Spider-Man again and now it’s done it again with the regular Spider-Man book.

After the Ultimate Clone Saga ended, I dropped the book and haven’t read it since.  With Ultimatum wrecking havoc in the Ultimate Universe, Marvel decided to cancel all of their Ultimate books and relaunch two of them with new number one issues.  So Ultimate Spider-Man is now Ultimate Comics Spider-Man and The Ultimates is now the Ultimate Comics Avengers.  So does Bendis deliver the goods once again with this new Ultimate Spidey title?  You betcha!

From the opening page, Peter Parker (Yes, Peter is still Spider-Man.  There was talk there would be a new person behind the mask.) gives us a run down of all of the stuff he’s done as Spider-Man since the beginning of the run.  He says he’s done all of this and all that’s left is one question: “Would you like fries with that?”  You see Peter Parker in the Ultimate Universe is a teenager and like most teens, he has a part-time job and his job is working in a fast food place.  The old woman whom he’s helping is being difficult, which results in Peter getting a warning from his boss to shape up or ship out.  Of course it’s not his fault, but the Parker luck strikes again as he ends up with the short end of the stick on this one.

A few things happen in this issue.  As I’ve not read any of the recent Ultimate books or the mini-series Ultimatum, I don’t know much of what’s happened.  Peter is now dating Gwen Stacy in the Ultimate Universe.  That’s cool, but having grown up only knowing a Peter Parker who has been with Mary Jane and him dating Mary Jane from early on in the previous Ultimate series, I have more of an affection and preference to Peter being with MJ.  Also surprising to me is Johnny Storm who shows up at Peter’s house looking for a place to stay after missing for months - I’m assuming due to Ultimatum?  He also collapses after he arrives.

More surprises are in this book with the arrival of a new hero who stops a robbery.  He has powers and is in cloak.  I’m not sure if he’s an original character or an Ultimate version of another regular Marvel character.  He seems interesting and I like his look.  He also has more of a Punisher approach to fighting crime.

The issue ends with the return of the Kingpin.  With court records being destroyed, evidence that implicated him to murder can no longer keep him from being put in jail.  Unfortunately his return is short-lived as he’s taken out by the Ultimate version of Mysterio and we end there.

This was a very good issue.  I picked this issue up simply to write a review for it because I know it’s a big issue for this week and a lot of people are interested in it.  Now I may have to continue collecting it because it was so good.  I prefer Mark Bagley’s artwork than the current artist David Lafuente Garica.  I’m not crazy about him drawing Spider-Man with a big round head, but that’s his interpretation and who am I to argue.  Peter also, looks extra small.  He seems to look more like a 12-year-old than a 16-year-old. 

Pick this one up, people.  It’s very good.  Brian Michael Bendis knows Spider-Man and we should all be glad he’s been around for so long writing this book.  It will be interesting to see when he does eventually leave, how a new writer interprets the character.  However for now, sit back, have fun, and enjoy the ride!



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