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REVIEW: Ultimate Spiderman Vol. 1: Power and Responsibility

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Ultimate Spiderman TPB Volume 1
Power and Responsibility
Written by Brian Michael Bendis; Art by Mark Bagley
Published June 1, 2002
Marvel, 184 pages

At the turn of the century, Marvel decided to reboot their most famous heroes and storylines and give them a modern feel. This new venture would appeal to a wider audience while peaking the interest of veteran fans, too. It turned out to be a success as the Ultimate Universe was born (Earth 1610) was born.

Beginning with Ultimate Spiderman in 2000, readers got a much younger Peter Parker/Spiderman. Actually, he was fourteen at the time, and it provided a character that was more relatable to the youngsters of the time. The first arc in this ongoing series, Power and Responsibility, acts as an introduction to Peter Parker and his life as Spiderman. A lot is different this time around including Peter Parker’s job, and even the circumstance leading to Uncle Ben’s death.

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The reader is immersed in a day of the life of Peter Parker; harsh bullying from his peers, but a loving family at home. This is greatly appreciated because it sets up how complicated his life will soon become after he is bit by a genetically altered spider. Note that other versions had him bitten by a radioactive spider, but this is a more modern take on the beloved wall-crawler.

Things only escalate as his home life is turned upside down, and this volume was an interesting opener for the series that lasted over ten years. This Peter Parker is quite relatable to anyone who has ever been a hormonal teenager, and it shows as he steps up to uphold his responsibility.

More reviews to come!