DA NA NAAH NAH
GOING DOWN THE ONLY ROAD I'VE EVER KNOWN
BUH NA NAH NAAH
AND I'VE MADE UP MY MIND
I AIN'T WASTING NO MORE TIME
SO HERE I GO AGAIN
It's been a long time since I've read a comic. Superior Spider-Man happened and it made me so fucking mad that I didn't want to give any of these cretins money for their stupid bullshit ever again. And based on the reactions to the current Amazing Spider-Man run, I wasn't wrong. But then buzz started about a new comic. A new line of comics. They were doing another Ultimate Universe. That seemed a little trite, but they announced Jonathan Hickman was the architect, a writer renowned for his long-term planning and exquisite writing. I was intrigued. Then, the cherry on top. The new Ultimate Spider-Man would star a Peter Parker as an adult, already married to Mary Jane. And I was sold. It's no small feat that this made me drive over to my old comic shop for the first time in a decade and ask for a subscription. So I guess we'll check it out.
Comic Review: Ultimate Spider-Man #1
Now, I didn't read the two preceding comics for this universe, Ultimate Invasion or Ultimate Universe. All I know is what the blurb told me, and that's that Peter Parker didn't get bit by no spider because of The Maker, and he's like mid-30's now.
The issue is really about setting up the world our Peter lives in. It's a far cry from the original Ultimate comics where we pretty much knew what was gonna happen, e.g. Peter gets bit, Uncle Ben dies, crime fighting. So Peter is around 35 years old, married with two kids, Richard and May, and he works at the Daily Bugle with... Uncle Ben??
So yeah, I could go over every little change between this and the classic universe but you can read the comic for yourselves. The main point is: Tony Stark (who is a teen now I guess) gives Peter Parker the spider that was supposed to bite him, that apparently The Maker had locked in some science vault. Peter struggles with the choice to accept it. He's hesitant to make a change, scared to blow up his life, but his life so far has felt hollow, like he was supposed to be something but never did.
After reassurance by Mary Jane, he takes the spider out of its vial, and it bites him.
So as I said above, I bought this because it had a married adult Peter Parker, I didn't read anything preceding this so I didn't know how different it would be. I appreciate the choice to make Peter powerless until he's like 35, and furthermore make the powers a choice he made. Think about current Amazing Spider-Man right now. In an attempt to keep Spider-Man "relatable" they've turned him into an unmarried shmuck who can't keep a job, keep any friends, or form any stable relationships at all. He routinely finds himself having trouble with situations he handled as a teenager. ASM is just spinning its wheels, too afraid to do much of anything with Peter's character, just holding him in stasis. But this comic is the first time in a long time that I relate completely with Peter Parker.
He's aware something has been taken from him, he knows there's a big piece missing from his life. When the original Ultimate Spider-Man was made it was about a teenager who gained tremendous power, the kind I dreamt of when I was in high school. He faced a world that had grown cynical and compromising, adults who wanted to railroad him into their way of thinking. It resonated with me, especially when I started reading Amazing Spider-Man, who had just sold his marriage to the devil and was flailing through stories of wildly varying quality. So now, when all hope seems lost, we have another Ultimate. A Peter who's been around for a while, who's used to keeping his head down, given the power to make a change.
It's only been one issue so there's only so much I can say. This sets up a lot of potential, like what will becoming Spider-Man mean for his family? There's important things at stake now, instead of just an elderly aunt who honestly should have died years ago. J. Jonah Jameson and Ben Parker are setting up a new newspaper, what will it be like if Ben has it out for Spider-Man? There's a whole universe of possibilities in store, and I can't wait to read it. If this ends up anything like the first Ultimate Spider-Man, we might get some grownup Peter Parker in adaptations again! No more high school!
I have only two conditions:
1. He cannot shave his beard.
2. HE BETTER HAVE THE FUCKING SPIDER-SIGNAL