I'm a massive fan of the original run of Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man series (which ran from 2000-2009 and by Brian Michael Bendis) and spent many hours reading and re-reading the re-imagining of Marvel's long-running Spider-Man comic book franchise. There were 160 issues altogether and while the majority of it was amazing it started to lose it's way a bit near the end and unfortunately I must hold my hands up and admit I stopped reading altogether.
That was until I happened to read on-line that Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the Ultimate universe was to be killed off and would be replaced by a 13-year-old half-Black/half-Hispanic kid called Miles Morales. Who as it happened was also bitten by a genetically-altered spider and gained similar powers to his predecessor.
Immediately I was excited about this news but it would be many months before I had the chance to read this new take on the web-slinger as I have to wait about six months to buy a complete volume. The downfall of not having access to a local comic shop.
I was a bit slow on the uptake with this as it came out in February but yesterday I finally had a chance to check Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man Vol.1 out and I wasn't disappointed. I only intended to read a few pages before bed last night but I got so hooked I ended up reading it all in one go.
Volume one collects issues 1-5 and it's brilliant. Bendis has made me want to venture back into the Ultimate universe again. The artwork by Sara Pichelli really is awesome.
Mile's is an interesting character. He just wants a normal life, is unhappy about having these abilities (which he gets in a way that isn't explained in this volume in great detail), and initially sickened at the idea of risking his life to engage in super heroics. However, after witnessing Spider-Man's death at the hands of the Green Goblin, the guilt-ridden Miles realises he could have helped. His best friend Ganke suggests he assume the mantle of Spider-Man, and he learns from Gwen Stacy why Peter did what he did. And with this Miles is inspired to try his hand at costumed crime fighting.
This leads to one of my favourite parts of the story when during his first foray into costumed super heroics, Miles is confronted not only by those members of the public who feel his use of the Spider-Man costume (a Halloween outfit) is in bad taste, but also by Spider-Woman (now a member of the Ultimates), over his use of the Spider-Man identity.
After he is taken to S.H.I.E.L.D headquarters and given "The Talk" by Nick Fury, Miles helps apprehend a classic Spidey villain. Proving to Fury he has potantial S.H.I.E.L.D then release Miles and give him a modified black and red version of the Spider-Man costume. When Ganke finds out he feels this makes Miles "officially" the new Spider-Man.
And this is where the first volume ends. It's left me gagging for more. There are many interesting things left unexplained. Miles criminal Uncle who I'm guessing will have a bigger part to play. The discovery that Miles has a few new abilitys that Peter never had including Invisibility and a Venom strike where he can stun people by touching them. We also have yet to see if he has the ability to produce webbing. And I just love the costume. There are already some pretty cool cosplay pics online of it.
When it comes to Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man there are so many great things to look forward to I'm getting that feeling again when you really can't wait to read more of a series. The best thing is volume 2 is already out but annoyingly I'm going to have to wait a few weeks to pick that up.
If you have not read any of the original Ultimate Spider-Man you shouldn't be put off of buying this as I really don't think you need to know what has happened in the past.
Check it out true believers.