Ultimate Spider-man begins
Contains issues 1-7.
"With great power, comes great responsibility."
That same quote still applies in this new Ultimate universe of Spider-man. The Ultimate Universe was made for new comic readers in attempt to reboot the Marvel series. It was also an attempt of retelling one of Marvel's iconic hero. When fans first heard about this idea, there was a mixed reaction. However, things changed when the first issues came out. For some time, Ultimate Spider-man outsold the mainstream Spider-man comics, and while it didn't t take its place, it and became the main comic for the Ultimate Universe.
Michael Bendis does a fantastic job recreating and expanding Peter's origin for this universe. Peter Parker is still a geek in high school, who gets picked on and have no confidence whatsoever in himself. But that all changes when he goes on a class field trip to Osborn industries and get bitten by an altered spider. From there, things fall into pieces: Peter slowly begin to realize these changes, starts to get a bit more confidence, starts to act out against his guardians, tragedy strikes, and then finally, becomes a hero with his powers. That all sound clique, but it's the journey Peter goes
to becoming Spider-man that makes it interesting. What I love about these first seven issues is the fact that it expands on Peter's origins unlike the mainstream where Spider-man origins were a couple of pages (and later expanded as the series went on). It's also because this is set in the somewhat modern world that the idea of having powers in this day and age is unheard of (especially when people are so afraid of mutants in this universe (but let's save that for another time)).
Bendis also recreates old characters to tie into this world as well. Mary Jane Watson and Harry Osborn are introduced early and are Peter's classmates. Aunt May and Uncle Ben are a little bit younger than their mainstream counterparts. Norman Osborn is still the ruthless businessman who wants power. As the story goes on, other classic characters appear like Doctor Octopus and Captain Stacey. They all have strong personalities for this series, and the dialogue (as much as Bendis can fit in one page sometimes), is great. Bendis understand the younger crowd and what they go through every day, with school, parents, trying to be popular, etc. Sadly, Uncle Ben still dies in this universe, but readers get a better understanding of the character, and what he really meant to Peter.
Visually, Mark Bagley's artwork both artistically and emotionally is incredible. Characters look appropriately aged, and the character expressions are well done. When Peter dons the Spider-man costume and actually fight crime, there's a different tone to how he moves. The Ultimate version of the Green Goblin looks incredible. I'm also amazed at how much little details Bagley puts in the background.
Overall: Ultimate Spider-man volume 1 Power and Responsibility is a great start for this classic superhero, and is one of the main flapships to the Ultimate Universe. If you're new to Spider-man, I would definitely check this series out along with the mainstream.