Back in the year 2000, Spiderman had been a character in comics for almost 40 years and people, including the hero’s writers, began to notice that the character was aging. He was still “the most relatable hero in comics” and yes, the children who read the comics back in the day have grown up with him, but writers wanted to attract the attention of kids and teenagers of today. One way to do this would be to reboot the character. Problem is, 40 years of the character has sparked a lot of fans and to suddenly change that character and revert him back to his teenage years would be almost insulting to the readers. So Marvel found a way to successfully reboot the superhero while still maintaining him at his current age: create a new universe, separate from the main Marvel world, titled the Ultimate Universe, thus creating “Ultimate Spiderman”.
Ultimate took a fresh, modern take on the classic character, reverting him back to his origins and redefining other key characters such as MJ, Harry Osborn and many others. But while Spiderman remained the same wisecracking, pure-hearted superhero, most of the changes revolve around Spidey’s villains. Electro is now completely made of electricity, Green Goblin is transformed into a hulk/demon-like monster and Venom’s entire origin relates to Peter’s parents and is not from outer space. New villains and new characters allowed for fresh takes on classic storylines from throughout Spiderman’s history including famous story arcs like The Venom Saga, The Sinister Six and even The Clone Saga. This new universe opened many opportunities for artist Mark Bagley and writer Brian Michael Bendis. Ultimate Spiderman lasted 11 years, ending in June of last year and released 160 issues. Overall, if you are a fan of Spidey and haven’t read the Ultimate books, I recommend you start. It gives you a look back at his origins along with many new twists and turns that keep it different from anything we’ve seen from the character before. Check it out, it’s “Ultimate”.