Not sure if you heard, but Spider-Man died. Apparently this was some sort of “big news”. After that, some kid named Miles Morales steps up as the new Spider-Man. As I am given to understand, this was also a big deal.
I should mention, I’m kind of biased. I generally don’t concern myself with what goes on in the Ultimate universe. I find really trying to care about it, like trying to care about politics in Canada. I just can’t force myself to. I don’t dislike it, it just doesn’t matter to me, because I know that Spider-Man is still alive in the “real” universe, as is Cyclops, and a host of others that seem to bite the bullet for the sake of being gritty.
When Captain Marvel died…THAT was a big deal.
That said, there’s a new Spidey in town, and book 01 tells his origin story. Ultimate Spider-Man 01 does a good job of painting a picture of hope for young Miles. It sets him up as a not so well to do urban kid vying for a spot in a charter school by way of low odds lottery. Surprise, he gets selected with the final pick.
Let’s back track a little though. There is a prelude scene at Oscrop where Norm admits he created the original Spider-Man, admits he can’t replicate the serum, and tells a young scientist that he’s in the game for good or he’ll kill him. All the while, shifty Spider-sample number 42 escapes the scene and conversation.
Later that night, someone breaks into the lab looking an awful lot like Deadpool, Spider-42 stowes away on the intruder and makes way back to his apartment.
That someone, turns out to be the shady uncle of Miles. After sneaking away from his family after the lottery, Miles ends up in his apartment. Apparently sneaking over there is something he does often, and this gets him in trouble with his father. Before his father can catch up with Miles, lucky Spider number 42 takes a bite of our young would be web slinger, forever changing his fate and DNA.
Miles disappears again after his father shows up and starts having it out with his uncle. Right after that, Miles actually “disappears” standing next to a wall to his ultimate surprise (pun intended). End book 1.
So, we get retold the Spider-Man origin story again, this time, it’s with a different kid, in a slightly different situation, but it all goes down incredible similar. The number 42 features prominently through the issue. It’s spider number 42, and Miles wins his lottery on number 42. Is this a nod to Douglas Adams? The answer to life, the universe, and everything? Is it a sign of things to come? Is it a number that needs to be entered into a computer once every 108 minutes to prevent the end of the world? Will we get any of these answers in Ultimate Spider-Man number 2?
As above, we start at the start with Ultimate Spider-Man 1, which is a flash back in time from his costumed introduction in Ultimate Fallout. That may be a stumble for some. The fact that the origin is very similar to that of Peter Parker’s may be a stumble for others. The rest of the folks out there will probably just love this for what it is. The start of something new with a reasonably interesting new character that has familiar, and some new powers.