Ultimate Spider Man
This is the comic that really got me into Spider Man. It brought the character to a whole new generation of kids, and amped up his popularity in general. The story is basically the same as the original, with a few new twists. Peter is still the quirky nerd, but this time, MJ is basically best friends with him, and she's a bit of a nerd too! The book establishes their realtionship early on, and does a good job with it. Clearly they have a crush on each other, but they're both too shy to admit it. Moving on to Uncle Ben and Aunt May. Unlike previous incarnations, Aunt May is in much better health. She's fun, but still a little protective of Peter. Uncle Ben, however, is portrayed much differently than the original. He's laidback, and even has a bit of a hippie look (gotta love the ponytail). Unlike the original story, we get to really know Uncle Ben alot better. This makes his death alot more impacting for the reader. And on to the most important character...Peter. Peter is still a geek, but he has an attitude. He's funny, and overall a likable character. Norman is also established early on, and he sees Peter as more of a son than Harry. You feel really sympathetic for Harry, with his mom dead and his own father ignoring him. So later on, Peter is on a field trip to Oscorp. Norman had previously been experimenting with "OZ", a wonder drug that enhances abilities in a human. When OZ is transferred to a spider, Peter is bitten and...the rest is history. It's alot of fun seeing Peter experiment with his new powers. He's even smart enough to figure out a formula for his web-shooters. But unfortunately...he's broke. So, he decides to use his newly bestowed powers for...what else...money. He constructs a pretty lame spider suit, heads to the wrestling arena, and takes down the champion, "Crusher Hogan." Soon, everyone becomes enthralled with this new masked fighter. Peter gets paid, gets a cooler suit, and starts going by Spider Man. In the life of Peter Parker, things are going great. He's being noticed by girls, becomes a basketball star, and even beats up Flash. However, the fame begins to get to his head. He heads to a party, and when Uncle Ben shows up to tell Peter to come home, Pete lashes out, screaming that he's not a real father to him. At this point, you just want to leap through the page and slap Peter in the face. So Peter runs away, and on the way home, he passes a robbery in process. He lets the robber go. The clerk yells at Peter, asking why he didn't stop him. Peter simply says, "Not my problem." and keeps walking. The writer does a great job of displaying Peter's arrogance. He feels like he's on top of the world, however, nothing could prepare him for what comes next...Uncle Ben is confronted by the very crook Peter let go. When Uncle Ben tries to reason with him, he's shot. Peter comes home much later to see what happened. Enraged, Peter puts on the suit and goes out to find who did this. It's a great scene. Peter goes from devastated to furious fairly quickly. When he confronts the robber, he doesn't show any mercy. But he then realizes...the crook was the same one he let go. He could've stopped this from happening. Peter now knows he let all the fame get to his head, and decides he's not doing it for the money anymore...he's going to be a hero. He recalls the same saying Uncle Ben taught him..."With great power, there must also come great responsibility." So overall, wow. This book took what was already a great origin, and gave it more depth and development that i could've hoped for. The art is outstanding, and the writing is top notch. It made me fall in love with Spider Man's character all over again. If you haven't read this, go get it now. It's a must for any comic reader, whether you like Spider Man or not.