Ultimate Spider-Man #1 Review: Middle-Aged Man

Ultimate Spider-Man #1 review

Read our review of Ultimate Spider-Man #1 from Marvel Comics, written by Jonathan Hickman with art by Marco Checchetto.

We reviewed the book on the Stack podcast. But in the interest of highlighting more about the title, here’s a summary of the conversation with our thoughts. And if you prefer the longer audio version, that’s below as well!

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Ultimate Spider-Man #1 Review:

In the first issue of this brand-new series, Peter Parker is in his thirties, married to Mary Jane, with two kids. But he wants something more. Something… Superheroic. Meanwhile, [Redacted] Parker and J. Jonah Jameson are dealing with the fallout from Tony Stark’s seeming attack in Manhattan in Ultimate Universe #1.

“This is a beautiful idea that is well executed,” said host Pete LePage. “I was almost moved to tears… I was getting choked up.”

Getting into spoilers for the book, Alex Zalben explained that beyond the extended Parker family, Aunt May was killed in the attack on New York, Ben Parker is alive, and partners with J. Jonah Jameson at the Daily Bugle. Not only that, but Norman Osborne and his wife were also killed, seemingly leading Harry to become the vigilante known as the Green Goblin.

LePage, in particular, was struck by the scene where we discovered Ben Parker was alive as “I was clutching my pearls that weren’t there.”

Justin Tyler added, “I love the Marco Chechhetto art… And this is more Pop Hickman… This is playing the hits… Getting all the stuff from Spider-Man, the core Spider-Man story of Peter Parker, Mary Jane, Uncle Ben… His spin on it in this new universe, and I love it. I loved the way the issue ended. I’m super excited to watch this brand new Peter Parker go about his business.”

Conversely, Zalben thought it was “an intriguing start” and that the Marco Chechhetto art is “gorgeous. I love the characterizations here. I love the slow play of the relationship particularly between Peter and Ben. Ben and J. Jonah Jameson as well.” But he added that “Mary Jane and the kids are a little short-shrifted here, they’re relegated to support mode.”

And beyond that, he was most curious about what makes this “the Ultimate Spider-Man,” particularly since he’s given spider powers and a costume by Stark. “How does it change Peter potentially, when he has the power but doesn’t necessarily have the responsibility?”

Ultimate Spider-Man #1 Official Synopsis:

THE NEW ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN FOR A NEW ULTIMATE UNIVERSE! Visionary writer Jonathan Hickman (HOUSE OF X/POWERS OF X) and acclaimed artist Marco Checchetto (DAREDEVIL) bring you a bold new take on Spider-Man, with this, the debut title of the new line of Ultimate Comics! After the events of ULTIMATE INVASION, the world needs a hero…who will rise up to take on that responsibility? Prepare to be entangled in a web of mystery and excitement as the all-new ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN comic redefines the wall-crawler for the 21st Century!

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