This week, on the Major Spoilers Podcast, Stephen, Matthew, and Rodrigo sit down to take an in-depth look at the first volume of Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man.

April 19, 2011
Ultimate Spider-Man: Ultimate Collection, Volume 1
Collecting the groundbreaking first year of Ultimate Spider-Man in one colossal trade paperback! High school, puberty, first dances – there are many pitfalls to being young. Compound these with intense personal tragedy and superhuman powers, and you can start to visualize the world of Peter Parker, a.k.a. Spider-Man. Following the murder of his uncle and the Green Goblin’s assault on his high school, Peter finds himself on the brink of manhood: getting a job at the Daily Bugle to help support his widowed aunt and taking on extracurricular activities – such as bringing down the Kingpin, the head of organized crime in New York City! Collects Ultimate Spider-Man #1-13.

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  1. I loved Ultimate Spider-man. My first memory of it was the comic book guy saying that he didn’t think that the series would last 6 issues and him admitting a year later that he was wrong about it. The relationship between Mary-Jane and Peter felt natural, the relationship between Peter and Aunt May felt real, and the discovery and his use of his powers made my younger (college) self very happy.

    Yes, I read the original issues & bought the trade so I could read this over & over again.

  2. I don’t remember much about the first volume. I do remember not liking it much, likely because even with all the little changes it was still basically the same old Spider-Man origin story. I did begin to enjoy the series later though.

  3. Brian Michael Bendis takes a lot of flack for story decompression and for re-writing the same origin story over again. But the fact is, the first four issues of this series did more for the Uncle Ben/Peter relationship than 40 years of continuity did in the 616.

    Volume 1 has sharp dialog, great character moments, and some of the best Spidey-Kingpin fat jokes (my favorite: “When you cut yourself shaving, Marshmallow fluff comes out.”).

    Mark Bagley’s art is fantastic. He brings a lot to the characters and Spider-Man works well as a 15 year-old kid since, even in costume, he looks like a 15 year-old kid.

    This book and Grant Morrison’s JLA are what brought me back to superhero comics at the turn of the century after being driven away by the garbage that came out in the early ’90s.

  4. I stopped reading comics back in ’94, then came back in 2007. I steered clear of Marvel as it seemed so bogged down in crossovers and nods to it’s own history. But when a stack of early Ultimate SM came my way, I was looking forward to jumping on board the somewhat fresher universe, that would not contain a whole lot of backstory. But as the series wore on, I found I had to turn to Wiki more and more to find out what the hell was going on. New characters were given only a token introduction, assuming (probably correctly) that the readers would be well aware of who they were, and twists on classic stories which were clearly meant to make the reader go “Wow!”, left me wondering what the big deal was.

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