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Ultimate Spiderman #1 (2024)

A little over twenty years ago, I was working at Blockbuster Video and met a guy named Eric. Eric was fifteen years my senior, and he took his time introducing me to all sorts of obscure 80’s movies, various nerd hobbies, and even Star Trek. My world expanded when I met Eric, and one of my favorite memories is when he took me to his local comic book shop The Comic Cellar.

I’d bought comics off and on throughout my youth, but it was never a serious hobby. I didn’t have the money nor the transportation to keep up with issues weekly. But by the time Eric and I pulled into the parking lot of what used to be a bank and was now a comic book shop, I was working and had plenty of money to spend on a new hobby.

Eric taught me about the current writers and popular series, and he recommended I pick up Ultimate Spider-man, a new take on the character written as a way for new fans to jump onto reading Spiderman without forty-years of stories and retconning to bog them down.

I loved it. Brian Michael Bendis’ writing was great, and the artwork really shined. Peter Parker felt real and relatable and in a strange way, he became my Spiderman. See, prior to reading Ultimate Spiderman, my favorite Spiderman was the 1994 animated series. Ultimate Spiderman just took my love of the character a step further by making him feel like he lived in the same world that I did.

I don’t read much Marvel these days outside of Ghost Rider, and definitely do not read Spiderman, but I was surprised when I saw a new Ultimate Spiderman was available. Not only that, but it was also an issue number one. I assumed it was a continuation of the previous series, but once I opened it up, I was thrilled to discover it was not.

The new Ultimate Spiderman is a unique take on the character. Not too unlike what the original Ultimate line did in the early 2000’s, this book takes a familiar story and updates it and then gives it a bit of a twist.

If you want to read the book blind, I will say I recommend it and I’m excited to see where the series goes. For anyone who doesn’t mind a little spoiler, keep reading.

## ::Spoilers::

The book begins with Peter Parker getting ready for work with his wife MJ and his two young kids. He’s tired, which leads us to believe he is exhausted from a night of crime fighting.

But as the story progresses, we see that Peter is a bit depressed and preoccupied. Aunt May has just passed away in a terrorist attack and Uncle Ben is alive and well working at the newspaper alongside his friend J. Jonah Jameson. This is a different Spiderman world, a world where, in fact, Spiderman does not exist.

I’ll allow the official synopsis to fill in the details:

>Twenty years ago, The Maker prevented a radioactive spider from biting a young Peter Parker. He likewise prevented the creation of any other superheroes and formed a secret council to rule the world from the shadows. When Tony Stark learned the dark history of his universe, he sought to undo it – prompting the Maker’s Council to attack Manhattan, killing thousands, and frame Stark for it. Peter Parker lived his life unaware of the Maker’s Council or the truth behind the spider, but that is about to change.

So, we have a middle-aged Peter Parker deciding whether or not to become Spiderman, since Tony Stark gives Peter a radioactive spider and the ability to change his life.

What appealed to me was the conflict Peter had with himself. He felt like he should be doing something more with his life and as this opportunity presented itself, he realized this may be his *dare to be great* moment. It’s something I think a lot of us entering our middle-age dream about, and in some strange way, it feels like the Ultimate Spiderman book has come full circle for me.

I was young, when I read the original series and related to Peter since we were similar in age. Now, I’m older, but around the same age as Peter in this latest issue and once again, I can relate. I love that and I’m definitely excited to see where this series goes.

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