Now I know what you are thinking, who cares about Ultimate Marvel? Well for one JulesTrue does, and I’m here to let you know it’s pretty frickin awesome if you give it a chance. Once a week I’m gonna hit you with a story arc from the Ultimate Marvel Universe starting from the beginning. I’ll spotlight on whats brilliant, what’s not so brilliant, and what might be a good idea for the 616!
This week being the first week only makes sense for me to start with what started it all! That’s right folks we start with the Ultimate Universe’s namesake and launch title! From the creative minds of Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagely came this gem!
The new millineum had just kicked off and Marvel had decided to launch a new branding. Ultimate Spider-Man was the first in this new alternate universe. Meet the new young and relevant teenage Peter Parker. We hit the scene in Osborn Industries and Norman Obsorn and company are trying to crack a new Super Soldier Serum. A experimental spider goes missing while the experiement s are being conducted. Meanwhile kids from Midtown High are on a field trip. Among them is Peter Parker, a young brilliant scientist with dreams of someday maybe working in a place like Osborn Industries. While on the the experimental spider bites Parker on the hand. Curious about the incident incase of lawsuit Osborn has Parker tracked incase of any side effects.
After several instances of fainting and displaying extraordinary strength and reflexes, Peter realises the bite gave him powers. On one occasion, Peter breaks his bully, Flash Thompson’s hand. Flash’s family then decides to sue the Parkers! Peter begins to grow interested in just how far he can push his abilities. He quickly joins a local wrestling circuit as the “Amazing Spider-Man” where they give him his costume. Peter also anonymously pay for his Aunt May and Uncle Ben’s legal fees.
Peter does not reveal this secret double-life to anybody, not even his crush Mary Jane Watson and friend Harry Osborn. Peter flees the wrestling organisation after being accused of stealing. Disgruntled, he allows a burglar to escape after robbing a deli owner. Peter returns home where his aunt and uncle berate him for his failing academic grades. Ben informs Peter of the “with great power, comes great responsibility” ethos that Peter’s father abided by. Peter runs away only to return to find that Uncle Ben had been murdered by the same burglar Peter had earlier ignored. Peter tracks down Ben’s killer, subdues him and hands the killer over to the police, now understanding what Ben had previously told him.
Meanwhile, Norman Osborn injects himself with an OZ formula, gaining confidence by tracking the effects the spider formula had on Peter. As a result, Norman turns into the monstrous Green Goblin. The Goblin destroys the lab, kills several scientists and leaves Dr. Otto Octavius, another scientist, for dead. All this is seen by Harry Osborn who runs home to find his mother dead and his house in flames, noticing his father’s goblin form leaving the scene.
Peter, having now invented web-shooters for his alter-ego, Spider-Man, went back to school to find the Green Goblin destroying it. After a small skirmish in the school, Spider-Man leads the Goblin to the bridge where the NYPD confront him. The Green Goblin is shot off the bridge. The NYPD also turn on Spider-Man who retreats. Peter goes back to the school, using the excuse that he had been crushed under a chalkboard. Harry moves to live with relatives elsewhere.
Needless to say this is a strong opening arc to what will be an incredible title. Bendis really nails the idea of a Spider-Man for a more relevant generation. This is my Spider-Man the one I feel the most connection for. Mark Bagley’s art is just classic and really sets the tone for how this title plays out. His character designs really created the Ultimate Universe. I loved this arc, and I’m sure you will too! Check it out and check out all my upcoming Ultimate Arc Articles coming your way!!!