Birth of a Hero...... and a series!!
Ultimate Spider-Man (just like all the Ultimate stories) is a revamped, modern retelling of a character that has been, since 1962, one of the most popular Marvel characters of all time. Stan Lee and Steve Ditko truly created a work of art, when it comes to superheroes. The whole concept of a superhero who's not an adult constantly worrying about saving the universe, but a teenager with problems that every teenager has. Because of this, Spidey appealed to a lot of teenage readers who could identify with him. Sales rose and in 1963, Spidey got his own comic title, The Amazing Spider-Man.
The angst of the teenager, his inability to cope with the society that is around him (but his own), was well captured here in this book. From the first moment you see Peter Parker you get a feeling of that alienation that everyone feels from time to time. That not all of us are perfect.
Bendis did a lot to change the typical Spidey setting we were all used to. For example.. MJ goes to his school. They are best friends. Uncle Ben and Aunt May are spunky and fun ''old'' people. These changes were very welcome, since these added a new sense of gravity to the character. The book wasn't just weighed down by one character. We get to see THE BITE of a GENETICALLY ALTERED spider (not a radioactive), which was cool but something just didn't feel right. I felt that it was forced a little bit too soon. After that, his spider powers start to progress.
The character of Norman Osborn was also given a front row in this book as the hard hitting, tough, relentless businessman, who made a fascinating discovery. His character was, in my opinion, one of the best in the book because you knew of the bat, that this one would prove to be a source of conflict for the character (i.e Green Goblin). His son, Harry Osborn, was also very interestingly introduced, because we were all used to his character from older titles. Here he is afraid of his father in a way. Always the one in his shadow.
So here we've reached the conclusion of this review where I'll point you the necessary elements:
Story: It's an origin story. These establish the main character and the supporting cast. Things progressed well here, regarding the story and some character development. Some were just stereotypical - Flash, Kong, Liz, etc....
Art: The art in this book is very nice. It's good to see Mark Bagley draw Spidey again. He creates very nice looking characters. It's the panel sequences that bug me a little. Also, the character movements here are really STANDING out. Too much I might add. Otherwise, it's okay.
In closing I give this book a 4 out of 5.