“Ultimate Spider-Man”

ultimatespiderman.jpg“Ultimate Spider-Man” by Brian Michael Bendis

“Ultimate Spider-Man” is a superhero comic book series published by Marvel Comics. The series is a modernized re-imagining of Marvel’s long-running Spider-Man comic book franchise. Ultimate Spider-Man is set outside the Marvel Universe continuity, in the Ultimate Marvel Universe, which it introduced.

The protagonist of Ultimate Spider-Man is Peter Parker, a teenager who lives in Queens, New York. He is bitten by a genetically altered spider and inherits its powers, including enhanced strength, agility and reflexes. When a burglar that Peter refuses to stop kills his uncle, he feels guilty and dedicates his life to fighting crime as the costumed vigilante Spider-Man. Peter tries to balance school, a job, a girlfriend, his family life with his widowed aunt, and his activities as Spider-Man. In contrast to the mainstream Spider-Man concept, Ultimate Spider-Man strongly focuses on genetic engineering as plot devices and largely bypasses such elements as radiation, magic, aliens and space opera. – From Wikipedia

“Ultimate Spider-Man” is my favorite of the Ultimate Universe. Reading from the beginning it modernizes Spider-man and is influence heavily from the successful motion pictures by Sam Raimi. Respecting the historical core of Spider-Man, but is drawn and told with the modern interpretation that makes this comic so successful.

I truly like how they give him the complex problems of a modern kid in today’s world. Bendis does a great job of balancing what makes Spider-Man who he is and giving him a modern feel. He has a good pulse of what motivated this Spider-Man and smartly displays the battleground that is being a teenager.

In my opinion this is a better comic than the mainstream Spider-man. Modernizing some of the established stories that define him and make him the character that has lasted the 40+ years. Ultimate Spider-Man shows more of the psychological onion than the mainstream and that’s what makes this comic better. You see the clear toll that being a superhero has on Peter Parkers life and how his motivations changes in the wake of his “great powers and great responsibility.”

If you have never read a comic, this is a great one to introduce you into this wonderful world that most people overlook. Modern comic have complex stories and characterization that rival even some of the best novel but you get the added benefit of pictures. Even with the established history of Spider-Man in the mainstream comic this one is an easy adjustment to make and will be a delight to the reader, keeping them coming back for some of the best storytelling around.


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Filed under 2002, Bendis, Brian Michael, Book Review, Comic Book, Graphic Novel, Marvel, Spider-Man

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