Ultimate Spider-Man #5


First of all, I just got out of the theater after watching Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens. Do yourself a favor and see this movie. If the Prequel Trilogy left a bad taste in your mouth, consider this movie mouthwash for the brain. It has its flaws to be sure but JJ Abrams knows how to do one thing. Make an exciting movie. Do yourselves a favor and go watch this movie. Don’t be a cynical jerk. Enjoy yourself. These movies aren’t a religion, they’re a fun way to pass a couple hours of your day.

Now onto Ultimate Spider-Man. What a kick in the gut this issue gives you. This is the moment where Peter Parker becomes the Spider-Man we all know and love. Once he finds out that Uncle Ben is dead and that the killer is holed up in an abandoned warehouse, he gets the suit on with every intention of straight up murdering the guy. Make no mistake here, Peter Parker has it in him to kill and it’s a trait he has to keep down in order to honor the memory of his uncle.

This is a dark story. I love that it pulls no punches much like the original origin story of Spider-Man in Amazing Fantasy #15. Spider-Man is a story geared towards a younger audience but even with the Ultimate universe they respect the intelligence of the reader by making everything that happens so real.

The best stories come from a place of honesty. Duh, you may be thinking but it is true. When you have a sudden revelation in your life that suddenly opens your eyes to what a fool you’ve been it hits you like a pile of bricks landing on your head. Peter’s reaction to the identity of the Uncle Ben’s killer sets the stage for everything. He could have easily went ahead with his plans to kill the guy because the bad guy was so much of an underdog it’s not funny. But much like Luke Skywalker at the end of Return of the Jedi when he has Vader down for the count but the sight of his father missing the same hand that Vader had cut off from him, Peter wins by not going through with his planned action. Revenge would have been sweet and with his powers he probably could have gotten away with it. But he thought of words from his Uncle Ben and simply tied the guy up for the police.

We also get a scene with the Green Goblin torching his wife. It’s an interesting idea that I really wish was expanded upon more but being that we’re dealing with such a Peter-centric story I understand why this part of the story was skipped over. But that leaves us as the reader a little confused as to what the hell is going on. We recognize Harry and the Osborne residence but the scene with the Osborne’s was all of three pages. I would have preferred this to be told in the next issue where they could have added a lot more to the story.

Bottom Line:

This is another can’t miss issue. Long time Spider-Man fans will know what happens going into this issue because while the story is certainly elaborated upon, it is still quite faithful to the original origin story that Stan Lee and Steve Ditko created back in the 60’s.

The problem with this issue however falls on the fact that it is trying to tell a couple stories at once. They really should have avoided the Green Goblin story. It had no impact on the story this issue and is so short that you really have no clue as to what is happening. It most definitely is expanded upon in future issues so this is not such a sore spot with me that it is a turn off but thinking of first time readers to this story I can see where a short little three page interlude like this could have you scratching your head.

The art work is amazing, especially the very last panel. When Peter arrives back in his neighborhood after taking care of the bad guy who killed his Uncle, Mary Jane is there to meet him. He tries to say something but ends up falling to the ground in tears, with MJ clutching him in her arms. The love between the two is shown to us in a beautiful picture on the very last panel. The issue is worth it for that alone.

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