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To Better Know a Hero: Ultimate Spider-Man, The Boy Who Slayed A Monster

To Better Know a Hero: Ultimate Spider-Man, The Boy Who Slayed A Monster


Real name:
Peter Benjamin Parker

First Appearance:
Ultimate Spider-Man #1, 2000


Powers and Abilities:
Spider-Man possesses superhuman strength, agility, reflexes, equilibrium, the ability to cling to surfaces, and a sixth sense that warns him of impending danger. However, his Spider-Sense is not as accurate as 616 Spider-Man, as he cannot pinpoint the locations of attacks whereas the 616 version is able to. Peter is an accomplished scientist for his age, with a stated IQ of 145. Spider-Man is also immune to vampirism, a fact Morbius indicates in issue #96, in which Morbius states, after Spider-Man is bitten by a vampire, “You’ve done something to your blood… Your blood cannot feed a night crawler the way normal humans’ blood can.”

Despite his strength and agility, the Ultimate Spider-Man’s biggest weakness is his age. While he is still the downtrodden Parker we know from the 616 Universe, Ultimate Spider-Man must deal with adolescence and a severe lack of life experience. This in return makes USM a danger to himself and those around him.


Gadgets & Accessories:
Spider-Man’s wrist-mounted web-shooters discharge thin strands of web-fluid at high pressure. On contact with air, the long-chain polymer knits and forms an extremely tough, flexible fiber with extraordinary adhesive qualities. He has taught himself to shoot these web strands into many useful forms, commonly nets, gags, and limb-binding loops.

Friends & Allies:
May Parker (Aunt/Legal Guardian), Mary Jane Watson (Friend/Ex-Girlfriend), Ben Parker (Uncle/Deceased), Gwen Stacey (Friend/Ex-Girlfriend), Kitty Pryde (X-Man/Ex Girlfriend), Johnny Storm (Housemate/Friend), Jessica Drew (Clone of/Spider-Woman), Kenny “Kong” McFarlane (Ex-Bully/Friend), S.H.I.E.L.D., The Ultimates, Nick Fury.


Norman Osborn/Green Goblin, Dr. Otto Octavius/Dr. Octopus, Eddie Brock Jr./Venom, Wilson Fisk/Kingpin, Kaine, Carnage.


Other Multi-Media Appearances:
Even though The Spectacular Spider-Man animated series is based on the mainstream comics, it contains several elements from the Ultimate comics, including Eddie Brock’s backstory and Kraven’s transformation. It also introduces the Ultimate character Kenny “King Kong” McFarlane.

Ultimate Spider-Man aired in the United States on Disney XD on April 1, 2012 and takes some reference from the Ultimate comics (mostly in character design).

Several aspects of Marc Webb’s  Amazing Spider-Man and its sequel are clearly inspired by parts of the Ultimate version.

Video Games:
Ultimate Spider-Man, an open world sandbox adventure released on various platforms. It ties in directly with the USM comic line.

Memorable Moment:

(Spoiler Free in the sense that you must understand that USM is deceased, which is widely considered public knowledge)

Ultimate Spider-Man #158-160. Being a 16 year old boy who sacrifices himself to save those he loves.

Fun Fact:
Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley’s run on Ultimate Spider-Man set the record for longest continual run on a Marvel Comics series by two people, an honor previously held by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby on Fantastic Four.


Sean’s Analysis:
When times were at their darkest, and the Marvel comic world was about to fold into itself, its salvation rested in the arms of one character. When Ultimate Spider-Man debuted 14 years ago, the world was a very different place. The comic industry was seemingly fresh out of ideas and readership needed a change.

It’s funny looking back now to think that a reboot was simply unheard of, but such was the case. After much give and take between the creative team, Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley, and Marvel-Editor-in-Cheif Joe Quesada, the seven issue origin story was met with critical and financial success. Spider-Man was back and more importantly, so was Marvel.

The tale of Ultimate Spider-Man is one of heroism, love and death. Peter Parker’s sacrifice is one that continues to shake the Ultimate universe to the core. With great power comes great responsibility, and no one has ever exemplified this more than the 16 year old from Queens. The boy who beat the monster and showed even Captain America what it means to be hero.