What’s Wrong With You? Ultimate Spider-Man SHOULD Be Different

I’m looking the cover for the new Ultimate Spider-Man and thinking about all the ugliness in so many reactions (not you my children, but in many other places), and it dawns on me that to be upset about changing Ultimate Spider-Man is foolishness itself. To be honest, being upset about most comic book changes is sort of silly, but at least I get it. Man, 900 issues of a comic book, and there’s some valuable tradition, I can admit that. But Ultimate Spider-Man? It’s a copy.

And the more I think about it, the more I realize that they were probably actually too close to the original concept. Back when Ultimate Spider-Man started, Bendis changes some things here and there, but in essence, it was the same story with mostly the same characters, brought into the present (well, a decade ago). At the heart of the thing, it’s still a kid from Queens, same life story, same character, same girlfriend, but Uncle Ben has a ponytail. Where it succeeded was that it was very good, and most current readers hadn’t read those stories, and no one had read updated versions of them.

On the other hand, there was Ultimate X-Men which seemed to make itself obsolete, because it was just telling the X-Men stories again, and bringing almost nothing new to the table, with a bunch of different creative teams, rather than the single voice of Brian Bendis over on Peter Parker’s title.

The Ultimate line was started up to get away from the years of creaky continuity, sort of like what’s happening over at DC right now. But after a decade, they’re sort of right back where they started, hauling a big train of fictional history behind it, and as a result falling into the same old pitfalls. Flood New York! Kill INSERT CHARACTER HERE! And so on.

So why not do something that’s actually different? Sure there have been other Spider-Mans before, to varying degrees of success, but I can’t blame Bendis for wanting to take a stab at something different. But maybe it’s not that different? Maybe Miles Morales is a lot like Peter Parker. I don’t know yet. Bendis has been at this game for a long time, and he’s not an idiot.

Is it some sort of political correctness gone awry? No, because that makes as much sense as calling a centrist member of the Democratic party a communist. Is it a different challenge for the creators? Yes. Are there markets that would be served by having a more diverse superhero character? Yes. Is there anything wrong or sinister about any of that? No. God no.

If you’re worried about tradition, there’s the good old Peter Parker Spider-Man just like he’s always been. You love tradition? Great. Forty-nine years of incredible diverse stories await your love of tradition.

You watch. In 5-6 years, things will be cruising along with young Miles Morales, non-white, mixed race superhero, beloved by thousands, and they’ll think of changing him, and the same people will lose their damned minds again.

The thing is, I liked Ultimate Peter Parker. I read every issue of that comic book, but did I expect it to go on forever? That’s no kind of a healthy expectation. I’ll be there when the new #1 starts with a new character, because chances are better than not that it will be a fun comic book, created by artists at the top of their game. I might have shown up for Sara Pichelli alone. I live in a world with white people, latino people, black people, and a lot of other kinds of people I’m not even aware of. What if Spider-Man was a different kind of person?

Doesn’t Ultimate Spider-Man seem kind of like the perfect place to give that a shot?

Comments

  1. I totally agree with josh. the ultimate universe is the one place were you can play with the history of the characters. it’s been fun seeing what kind of twist they can do. I was the biggest skeptic but bendis is still writing so i’m excited to see what he can do. i’m going to give this a shot. great article Josh

  2. I now refer to all characters by the color of the skin. The last issue of White Flash was pretty crappy.

  3. Hear, hear! (Or is that, “here, here”?)

    I don’t know if it’s a small distaste for serial fiction growing inside, but I’m really starting to despise the idea that “SUPER-HEROES ARE FOREVER”, that these series deserve to run uninterrupted for decades for no other reason that “that’s comics”.

    I want endings. I want third acts. Ultimate Peter is dead, but clearly not forgotten, and I love it.

  4. Ultimate Spidey got me into comics. If I’m somehow forced to read only one comic book, it will be Ultimate Spider-Man.

    And yea, his death arc was kinda ho-hum… but man, remember how good the arc before that one was? Or the one before that? Yeah, that shit ruled.

    Looking forward to getting to know Miles.

    Great rant up Yah Shoo Wah.

  5. Well it’s nice to see a writer take a bold step and change the entire character. It’s not like that’s ever happened before for Spider-Man and–

    (Holds ear)

    What’s that? Oh there was a Spider-GIRL comic out recently?……AND she was Mexican?….and it only lasted 8 issues? Well…

    • It also has to be good. Ethnic diversity no more guarantees quality than it precludes it.

    • Is that not more the fault of the story being B grade and the whole run being riddled with terrible fill-in artists?

    • I guess you don’t pay attention. Anya has carried a book for more than 8 issues. We had her first story arc in the resurrected Amazing Fantasy, then after 6 issues of that starred in her own title, which ran for 12 issues. Then she was a supporting character for a while. Yes, she only had 8 issues in the most recent Spider-Girl comic, but now she’s got a mini within Spider-Island, and I’ll be she’ll have a new ongoing following that, and at the very least be a supporting character in another book, like she was in Young Allies or any other Avengers title.

    • @neums Touche. I didn’t know she was getting a new ongoing, is that true?

      @josh Careful saying ‘It also has to be good’ around Spider Girl fans. *whispers* They’re kinda crazy.

    • I need to spellcheck. I meant to say “I’ll bet” she’ll have another ongoing in the not-too-distant future.

  6. Absolutely positively 100000000% agree.

    One of the biggest weaknesses with comic fandom is that we tend to view our characters a bit like comfort food. We always want it to be there for us the same as the last time. You just don’t want anyone to mess with that mac and cheese or meatloaf too much…maybe tweaked here and there, but don’t try to reinvent it because that just ruins everything.

    I agree with KenOchalek…i’m really tired of superheroes being 23.5 yrs old and having the same adventures for 60 plus years. It like the idea of characters having natural endings to their story. Maybe

    I thought Ultimate Peter Parker/Spiderman was awesome, but i’m also excited to get to know this Miles guy.

  7. I think of what Marvel’s doing in their Ultimate Universe as Earth 2 done right.

    So far we’ve had hundreds of issues of set in the Ultimate Universe and as fans we’ve been able to handle it because all the characters and stories have been more or less the same.

    With the death of Peter Parker and the introduction of a new Spider-Man in Miles Morales we are starting to see the Ultimate Universe turn into something truly unique from the Marvel Universe we know and cherish.

    What’s better than one House of Ideas? Answer: Two of them. And years from now when Marvel celebrates its 100th year we’ll have an incredible, amazing, fantastic, uncanny event of Crisis like proportions only we’ll care about the Ultimate Marvel characters as much and maybe more than the original ones.

    Imagine that.

  8. I’m with you, Josh — when they announced Ultimate… Everything in 2000, I thought it was inevitable they would up in a continuity logjam again. How do you maintain perpetually continuing comic adventures without accumulating history, a la “Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends” or the 1960s “Batman” series?

  9. I cannot wait for this issue. i’m way more excited about this book than i am for all the new DC books combined. i love the idea of a brand new spider-man

  10. Oh, how often have we done this dance? Normal people: why is the sky falling because a new piece of fiction is being created? Other people: *insane gibberish*. We cannot change them… only they can change them.

    • Are there normal people reading comics?

    • I met a normal guy once. He was worried about Greece’s financial situation. I forgot to ask him how he felt about reboots.

    • Normal is relative. In and of itself a willingness to read, even for purely enetertainment purposes is somewhat odd. I am talking about the people who are way out on the bell curve. For whom comics, movies, geekdom and their sundry paraphenalia are a religion. You just cannot teach a hardened zealot, regardless of what manner she or he is zealous.

    • I think what Josh was saying (not to put words in his mouth) was that there are so few people reading comics that we are already in the tails of the bell curve. We are talking about comic fans that are marginally less abnormal vs. those that are exceptionally abnormal. We are all outliers.

      He may also have been making a joke.

      Also, I agree with you completely.

    • I was making a joke. It has since been ruined.

    • Spectacularly.

    • Its okay. I am a notorious joke killer. I have an odd sense of humor that is hyper refined in some areas and tone-deaf in others.

    • @stulach that Greece comment? brillant! you win the internet today my friend ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. I was excited by the news because as much as I loved Ultimate Spider-Man, it hadn’t ever felt different enough. (Yeah, Kitty/Peter was great, and Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends was awesome!) So I was really happy for this new direction. I will say, I hope Marvel is committed to this. I don’t want Peter coming back in a year. I want a brand new Spider-Man, a brand new status quo, brand new supporting cast.

    • What if Morales becomes the status quo.. but sometime down the line an adult Peter Parker shows up to be something completely different. I have no idea what.. but something. Something to fulfill the hope everyone had in him.. the concern Sam Jackson showed for him in UCFDOSM #6. I think that might be an interesting angle a year or two from now.

    • I would prefer Peter remained dead, forever.

    • @PraxJarvin Well that’s never gonna happen.

      I mean if people went crazy over Clone Wars. Imagine if this entire Miles Morales story happened in 616 ASM. The internet would explode!

    • That’s a good point. I would be really disappointed if they jumped ship after 12 issues.

    • I feel the same way about the DC reboot. I don’t want to see them surrender and resort to the old continuity. However, I’d love to see the two universes become aware of each other at some point. And I want Grant Morrison to write that book.

    • @stuclach Two? The old one and the new one? The old old one? Which two you two’in?

    • The current universe and the new 52 universe. (But all the past iterations are more than welcome to play, too.)

    • I have read Bendis say that he is in this “for the long haul” with Miles so i think he really wants to avoid making this the predictable Marvel Death/Resurrection stunt.

  12. When MM is killed by Ultimate Hate-Monger and replaced with an Aryan “Uber-Spider,” then I’ll get upset.

  13. My only criticism is that there’s an Ultimate line at all. These changes should just happen in regular continuity all the time. Think of how great it would be if characters actually aged and new ones would come up over time.

    • Yes, it would be great for kids to grow up without Peter Parker, Bruce Wayne, Tony Stark, Stev Rogers, etc.

      These characters exist in perpetuity for a reason. They’re modern day myths.

    • What you’re describing are different kinds of comics than those produced by Marvel and DC.

      Dalliances into those realms can be fun, but that’s not what it’s about.

    • It would be really cool if this would happen but Marvel/DC aren’t about telling good stories, they’re about $$$.

    • @Connor, As you guys always say, they wouldn’t because those stories still exist. I’m pretty sure no one is still writing Cat in the Hat, but I can read it to my daughter every night. Also, we both know it’s not kids reading these comics anymore anyway.

      I say it more out of wishful thinking, knowing that’s not what the big two are. I know they are modern myths, (wrote a large paper about this in college (TAKE THAT GRANT MORRISON!(the paper only had some parentheses inside parentheses))). However, myths evolve too. What’s important is not the characters, it’s the archetypes.

      In any case, it’s a minor criticism. There’s room for all of it. Not like I don’t read the regular old stuff anyway,

    • @nudebuddha The old stories exist, sure. But if you age out characters like Peter Parker and replace them with new characters then corporate synergy will dictate you won’t get Peter Parker cartoons or movies or the like.

      And you can’t really compare serialized storytelling with single story books. Those are completely different animals with different goals, needs, and structures.

    • What general movie goer cares about Peter Parker in the movies? They go for the action and we all know it.

      Unless people really wanted to see Peter sing jazz music in an emo outfit in Spider-Man 3.

    • @Connor, I don’t disagree. But we were only talking about the comics themselves, not the cartoons and movies. However, if we want new readers, creating new characters that the new readers can grow up with is at least one option. At the end of the day, we are connected to Peter Parker, etc, because we grew up with them. Ask someone much older and they might say The Lone Ranger. Sure, some people our age might say so too, but it will be more rare. The myth is the archetype of the hero and its importance has to do with what you grew up with.

    • @nudebuddha We might have started with comics but these are corporate properties first and foremost and when you start talking about removing them then you also have to take into account the cultural ripple effect.

    • Regardless, there’s no reason that a Spider-Man movie 20 years from now can’t be about Mile Morales instead of Peter Parker. And if that’s true, there’s no reason the “real” Peter couldn’t be killed permanently. Well, there’s the one reason, money, and I don’t say that dismissively, but that’s really it.

    • @nudebuddha: Well now we’ve circled back around to my original point which is that it would be a shame to deprive future generations of these characters just to satisfy the needs of a few thousand adults who want their DC and Marvel characters to age.

    • I’m excited for the oversized hardcover of this thread to be collected.

    • @Connor, Well, I guess we agree to disagree here, because I think it’s an equal shame to deprive them of new characters they can relate to because of a few thousand that don’t want to let go of the past. Myths need to be remade in order to be vibrant. If we continue to do the same thing over and over again, our numbers will drop more than they have already.

    • @udebuddha It’s not about “Not letting go of the past” it’s about understanding the culture importance of these characters. They exist for a reason. They have survived and thrived for decades for a reason. You mention the few thousand who want to hold on to them–again you’re just talking about comic readers. They are bigger than just comics. That’s why they’ll never age and grow old and die.

    • @nudebuddah: By that logic, the next Robin Hood movie would be about his modern day descendant. Some characters are just ageless, and that is what makes them great.

  14. Interesting article Josh but I think I’m going to have to be the voice of dissent here. First, just to be clear, I’m a huge Ultimate Spider-man fan – I consider it to be one of the truly great modern day superhero runs – and I will give this new take a shot because Bendis has earned at least some benefit of the doubt.

    That said, I’m unhappy about this new take for three connected reasons.

    1) If they were going to go a completely different route with the Ultimate version of Spidey, they should have done so in the first place. After 160 issues, the book has created a very compelling world and I am worried that with Miles will come an entirely new supporting cast and the characters and general set up that have been at the heart of Ultimate Spidey for the last 10 years will be tosses aside. I understand that a) this might not happen (I hope not) and b) if it does, I might as well just take it as an entirely new book. My only problem with this is that Ultimate Spidey didn’t need to end… the last couple of years have been brilliant and to have it abruptly end like this would feel like a huge waste.

    2) Spider-man IS Peter Parker. I realize that there are a number of superheroes that easily work as legacy characters but while there is nothing intrinsic to the characters of, say, Jay Garrick or Kyle Rayner that demands that they be THE Flash or Green Lantern respectively, the same cannot be said about the likes of Thor, Superman or, yup, you guessed it, Spider-man. Everything that’s great about Spider-man and, most importantly, Ultimate Spider-man lies in the character of Peter Parker. Indeed, Ultimate Peter Parker would probably have been a better title for the book in the first place.

    As such, “replacing” the character with Miles Morales, results in two very big problems that Bendis and co have to overcome. If he’s too much like Peter Parker then he will be little more than a PC-friendly (sorry to go there, but that is how it will look) rip off of the real Spider-man. If, on the other hand, he’s significantly different from Peter, why make him Spider-man in the first place? Why not just create a new superhero around this new character?

    Now, I know what many people are thinking: my theory is all very well and good until you take a look at Dick Grayson’s time as Batman, which has rightfully been very well received. After all Batman is as much Bruce Wayne as Spider-man is Peter Parker. It’s a fair point but there are some very noticeable differences. Everyone always knew that Bruce would return and that Dick as Batman works because it is an interesting story idea to see how a former Robin would deal with taking on so singular a mantle as that of the Dark Knight. Which brings me to my final point…

    3) Just who the hell is Miles Morales???? It’s one thing having a sidekick or a supporting character taking over from a beloved superhero but it’s quite another when the the replacement comes out of nowhere.

    (Yeah, yeah, I know – Kyle Rayner – but as I said the very concept of Green Lantern allows for this… at least to some point)

    This final point does clearly tie into the first two but it is probably Bendis’ biggest challenge. Asking us to care about a new character is one thing (which is why I really think Miles should have been introduced during Peter’s run) but to get us to care about a new character whose sole purpose is to replace the very reason most of us presumably read Ultimate Spider-man!

    Like I said, I’m willing to give it a shot and I would love it if Bendis proves me spectacularly wrong but, boy, does he have his work cut out for him.

    • So is Spider-Man 2099 not Spider-Man?

    • Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      It’s too soon to state #2 as fact.

    • @Conor,,, no, not really.

      @Paul… Well, it’s not so much a fact yet, that’s true but it is something that Bendis is probably going to have a bit of trouble getting past.

      Another, somewhat disconnected point that I wanted to raise was that Ultimate Spider-man IS already very different. Not because of some superficial difference like having a different guy under the mask because here we have a run on one of comics’ biggest superheroes that is entirely driven by a the vision of a single creator, Ultimate Spider-man is a very interesting cross between creator owned work and mainstream superhero work. And that is not something you see very often.

    • captamerica101 (@Autobot_Hunter) says:

      in answer to number two and kind of three, the identity of spider-man isn’t something that is chosen by a ring or a wizard, spider-man symbolizes the downtrodden and unlucky. he is the original teenage superhero and as long as a character can fulfill the qualities of spider-man, he can be spider-man, regardless of his connection or lack thereof to the original.

    • It’s worth noting that Stan Lee has often said that the beauty of the Spider-Man costume is that anyone can be under the mask and it allows everyone to relate to him.

    • I agree with you on that. Miles should have been like a friend of Peter’s or something. But I will admit, I love how he was given the “With great power comes great responsibility” mantle to carry.

  15. That would be terrible. I want to watch Peter Parker get old, have kids, and retire about as much as… well, exactly as much as I wanted to read Spider-Girl.

  16. @conor Aren’t there kids today who now grew up with Bucky and Dick being Cap and Batman respectively? Granted it only lasted for a few years, but what’s important is that kids care more about the mask rather then the person under it. I mean when I was 8 I didn’t give a rats ass who Spider-Man was. I just wanted to see him fight Shocker!

    I don’t get why so many people are against characters aging (even at a highly slow rate). Character will learn from experience and learn from mistakes. Bruce was a young starting out right? He wasn’t always stuck at being in hid mid 30s or 40s. Heck a lot of guys seemed to enjoy seeing a new crop of people taking up the mantle of classic heroes.

    • Kids don’t read comics.

    • You took some words out of my mouth. Though, I think the character does come into play once you actually read a couple of issues. I just don’t see why it should matter to a new reader whether that character is Peter Parker, Miles Morales or whoever. Peter Parker matters to us because that’s who first read. There’s no reason he can’t age with us and if the idea is to generate new readers, while not losing the old readers, that seems like a viable option to me. It will never happen to the extent I’m describing, but it kind of does happen in small ways.

  17. I’ve been excited about this since I heard about it. This has been done before guys (Spidey 2099), it shouldn’t be that strange. But now I see the new cover. They had to make the costume black. ๐Ÿ™ Just more fodder for the media to rip into and slam the book without ever having read it. Oh well. I’m not really a big fan of Bendis now that I think about it, but I love alternate Spidey’s, and since this character is a bit more stable than Moon Knight I’ll bet its going to be pretty sweet.

    • You know that Spider-Man’s costume was originally red and black, right?

    • I get what you mean the suite, but I doubt the media will think too much into it. Though, I can see some pundit making a stink about it saying something like “Spider-Man represented America and it’s values. He was red, white, and blue, But now they change the color of costume to match the color of his skin. He looks like a thug…blah..blah…blah”.

    • I cannot type ever. I meant “with the suit” and “of his costume”

  18. Dude, people who are getting all upset over Miles being the new Spider-Man are stupid… It shouldn’t matter what the character’s race is… As long as the character is well written, I don’t get the issue. Honestly, this is a good thing for the Spider-Man franchise, and comics in general.

    But, Bendis should have made the new Spider-Man Asian. Just saying. ๐Ÿ˜€

  19. Po-tay-to, po-tat-o. There’s still a kid wearing a mask who shoots webs and fights bad guys, right? BOOM! Spider-Man up in this house.

  20. You know what I just realized? I’m sure that someone has pointed this out and I just missed it, but the female Ultimate Peter Parker is still out there. I hope Bendis gets around to cooking up some great stories that include her and Miles.

    Plus, if they chicken out with Miles Morales, she can cut her hair and tape down her breasts and – voila! – Peter Parker with all the same memories up to about issue 100 or so.

    The best thing about this whole endeavor is that Bendis is at the helm, regardless of any change of direction. I look forward to growing attached to Miles as much as I was to Ultimate Peter & Co.

    • I thought all along that the new Ultimate Spider-Man would end up (*gasp!*) being Ultimate Spider-Woman, precisely because Jessica is still out and about.

      I was wrong.

    • Bendis loves his Spider-Women way too much to ever “tape down their breasts”…

    • Too true. I failed to adequately indicate I was kidding. That would be a silly solution if they were trying to back out of any potential “controversy.”

  21. captamerica101 (@Autobot_Hunter) says:

    look. everyone who’s talking about how they want ultimate peter to get older listen for a second. a character we all love got an ending and a new character who might get some great stories was introduced. and if you still want to see peter age then read 616 peter, to be honest, that’s what he’s there for. we don’t need two aging peter parkers

  22. Was there such an outcry when Ultimate Nick Fury was revealed to be black?

  23. Enough people already have done the same. But right on, Josh. EXACTLY.

    If not for USM being so good for so long, one could really rag on it for not being different enough. I fully endorse giving the book a different slant and purpose from 616 Spider-Man.

    My biggest gripe however is how this has been handled in the media. Marvel purposely made a big to do about it, using USA Today to get it mainstream attention. And as with anything, the mainstream media jumped to sensationalism and failed to get it’s facts straight. All those racist hillbillies you read on other sites, there was a reason for most of the reaction. Nowhere was it ever said that this was a different Spider-Man from main Marvel continuity. All the media pundits and loud mouth internet posters, all they read was “Spider-Man is a black Latino!!!” and ran with it.

    I know there’s no such thing as bad news. But Marvel, IMO, knew what it was getting itself into. And in turn is partially responsible for the deluge of hateful ignorance that followed. Marvel used this as a big news item to sell it’s comics with. They also had to have known that general media and readers aren’t going to know the difference between Ultimate Spider-Man and regular. Had Marvel really tried to sell it to the media outlets as, “We’re changing an alernate reality version of Spider-Man,” nobody would have cared or reported on it. Basically, Marvel might as well have changed 616 Peter Parker with the type of news coverage they sought out and got. “ULTIMATE Spider-Man (not the real one) is now Black!” was never going to be the headlines. And Marvel knew it. I’m not saying they should be ashamed or anything. But they are partly to blame in the ignorant replies the character change received.

    But yes to everything Josh said and than some. Make USM as different as can be. And for that matter I hope Bendis phases out all the Peter Parker collateral (Aunt May, Mary Jane, Gwen, etc), and allows Miles to start his own legacy.

  24. By the way, “What’s Wrong With You” needs to be a recurring Josh Flanagan column on this site.

  25. Now, am I given to understand that this fellow can do whatever a spider can?
    What about his webs? Is there a limit to their spinning potential?
    Perhaps you could outline an allegory as to his methods for apprehending criminals?

    A well-written, level headed response, sir. But then, what else should we expect from iFanboy? Kudos.

  26. That is a great point on Ultimate Peter being to close to the 616. He was easily the least experimental of all the titles. Kudos Josh.

  27. I’d love Ultimate Peter to stay dead, but comics being the way they are, it seems unlikely. Then again, I think there’s only been a total of 5 resurrections in the history of the Ultimate unvierse, which isn’t bad going, when you have certain other stories reviving 12 on one page.

  28. Interesting article and one that makes a lot of sense the more I think about it. For ME, the Ultimate Universe isn’t “the real thing”. I don’t read it. I never have. So why not screw with things all they want? It makes sense. I mean haven’t the Ultimate creators basically pulled attention getting stunts to try and sell there Ultimate books for years now.

    I didn’t read it prior to Mile morales. I see nothing to draw me to it now either. So let them experiment.

  29. This will be the first time I will read Ulimate Spider-man in a long time-the art looks really tight

  30. A bit late to the game on this one, but I’m happy to chime in.

    I started reading the Ultimate universe as soon as it came out, right from the get-go. A completely new universe where everything is different?!? Sign me up!

    Oh wait, this is the same story, except he’s an IT guy instead of a photographer. And these X-Men, they sure seem like exactly the same X-Men with ever so slightly different backstories. Even their premise was the same.

    So I say *finally* to the changes to USM. Yes, what we’ve gotten was wonderful, but in a reality where anything could happen, isn’t that the point? Give me a Walking Dead version of the 616 reality, and I’m buying doubles to hand out to strangers!

  31. I wish a few of the existing storylines had been continued for a bit longer before we got miles. i feel like there was some good story potential still available and i think some of the dynamic will be lost because of peter’s history with what was going on. that said, i’m still curious to see where this all goes.

    • I think the fact that there are still potential stories for Peter means it’s the perfect time to move on to something new. It leaves readers wanting more, thus cementing the Bendis/Bagley/Immonen/LaFuente/Pichelle run as a new classic. And “the good left undone” by Peter is a character beat that can continue into this new ultimate universe.

      The last couple scenes in Ultimate Fallout 6 tells me that Peter had a big influence on a couple major players in the Ultimate Universe and I don’t think that’s going to be forgotten.

    • Yup. It’s always better to get off the stage while people still want more rather than to play one song too many.

  32. I’m sure this has been brought up before but Spider Man 2099’s secret identity was Miguel O’Hara, who’s considered Latino according to Wikipedia, but his father’s named George O’Hara, which is a PRETTY Irish name. Which means Miguel O’Hara is of mixed descent, preceding Miles Morales by about 20 years.

    Granted, O’Hara is not 616, but NEITHER IS MILES MORALES, which I believe makes the comparison valid.

    So there you go. Marvel’s always willing to rock the boat in alternate universes that don’t affect main continuity.

  33. I’m glad they are doing this. There’s no point in having an “alternate” version of a hero if it’s just the same thing as the original, with minor changes. If you want to make a “new’ Spider-Man, go the whole way and truly make him NEW.

    I never get people who want something to be exactly the same as what has come before. It’s just like when they change something from a book for a movie and everybody complains that it isn’t exactly the same as the book. If you want the book, just read the book! Some times change is for the better. Things work in a comic that don’t work on a big screen. Just because something was “first” doesn’t mean it’s the right choice.

    And they don’t go back and change the story you already have in your collection. You can read the old one and enjoy it after it’s been adapted differently somewhere else. it’s still there.

  34. This concept is exactly why I’m excited for the new series. The Utlimate line (at least with Spider-Man) is finally doing something different. That’s interesting, and for me, that’s the purpose of the line. I will totally pick this up so long as it is good, and I will relish in how different and unique it is.

  35. The whole ‘Death of Spider-Man’ was fantastic for its tragedy, but also its humanity. What I loved most is that I actually had an emotional catharsis when he actually died. I was sure this was some kind of gimmick and it wasn’t – it was the death of a true hero. On top of that, the dying smirk of Osbourne just NAILED the darkness of the Ultimate Universe and the dire consequences any hero takes when they put on that mask. These are not just battles of the week, these are battles are for keeps – and that mean something. It was a great run and fantastic piece of storytelling. I look forward to what Bendis and co. have in store for us with this new Spider-Man. In fact, his race only changes the context of his viewpoint, but not the person and what he’s will to do to sacrifice his life for the greater good – the greater responsibility.

    On the other note, half Black/half Latino? It doesn’t make sense since Latino is not race, but an ethnicity. There are millions of Black Latinos in the world… me being one of them. It’s like saying Black American. So if nothing else, it still shows the lack of ethnic knowledge in the industry, but gives us hope that your RACIAL identity as a hero will one day less important than the person who decides to don the cape/cowl/spandex/boots/glowy-starry-thingees.

  36. Great article Josh. Been trying to explain why this change is a good thing for 2 weeks now(happily not to anyone on this site mind you). It’s Ultimate Spider-Man, it should be different. As long as he(Miles) keeps the essence of the character there’s nothing wrong.

  37. I agree with you, but I don’t think the new Ultimate Spidey is different ENOUGH, certainly not with Bendis writing it. I give Marvel props for putting a minority character in the lead role. But is Brian Bendis the guy to bring out a legitimately new life-perspective in this Spider-Man? Doubtful. It’s just more Bendis talky-talk. The changes are literally only skin deep.