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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He's Amazing, Spectacular, Sensational and now...Ultimate
==INTRODUCTION==

Looking back over ten years after its launch, it's easy to forget the climate in which Ultimate Spider-Man was launched. The first Spider-Man film was being filmed and coming close to release, the mainstream Spider-Man comic was struggling to pull in readers after an ill-advised attempt to remove Mary Jane Watson from the mythos and create a...
Published on 10 April 2012 by J Brackell

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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as 'Ultimate' as I had hoped it would be
After hearing & reading aall the hype for quite some time, I finally broke down and checked out the first major "Ultimate Spider-Man" story arc that this TPB collects. A new take on the origin and first efforts of the Spider-Man, eh? Hmm. I figured I'd give it a shot. Besides, I was (& still am) a big fan of writer Brian Michael Bendis' work on SAM AND TWITCH and POWERS,...
Published on 12 May 2004 by Zagnorch


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He's Amazing, Spectacular, Sensational and now...Ultimate, 10 April 2012
By 
J Brackell (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
==INTRODUCTION==

Looking back over ten years after its launch, it's easy to forget the climate in which Ultimate Spider-Man was launched. The first Spider-Man film was being filmed and coming close to release, the mainstream Spider-Man comic was struggling to pull in readers after an ill-advised attempt to remove Mary Jane Watson from the mythos and create a single (but widowed!) Spider-Man. This would later be reversed with a change in writer, when J. Michael Straczynski, of Babylon 5 fame, took over. The Spider-Man books had also recently experienced a largely-ignored reboot with John Byrne's "Spider-Man: Chapter One", which was a bizarre attempt to rewrite Spider-Man and his villain's origins and tie them all in together, so when Ultimate Spider-Man was announced as a modern-day retelling of the classic Spider-Man origin, there were purists who were understandably apprehensive about further butchering of their classic stories in an attempt to "update" the stories.

Fans of the classic Spider-Man stories shouldn't be worried as this is a different Spider-Man, in a different and 'Ultimate' universe. As with those 1960's origin issues, this is set in contemporary times and since that was the year 2000, some of the references are slightly dated twelve years on. Whilst Stan Lee and Steve Ditko's original story for the birth of Spider-Man was crammed into 11 pages, this Spider-Man's journey into becoming a costumed hero takes seven issues, and introduces the Green Goblin as his primary nemesis.

==PLOT==

This initial volume is written by Brian Michael Bendis, who had enjoyed success with his indie title, Powers, and with art featuring long-time Spider-Man artist, Mark Bagley. The story introduces Peter Parker and his school-mates during a trip to Oscorp, a science laboratory owned by the father of one of the students. The familiar events happen and a genetically-enhanced Spider (as opposed to the traditonal radioactive) bites a young Peter Parker, transferring its Amazing powers onto the boy. As with the traditional story, he first uses these powers for his own personal gain and the development of his powers is nicely dovetailed into his own changes through puberty, something that was echoed somewhat in the Spider-Man movie that followed. Again, there is a heavier focus on the characterisation of the human characters of the Spider-Man saga, with Uncle Ben getting a lot more personality and face-time than he ever had in the initial storyline (and some since). By allowing us to care for the Uncle Ben character, Bendis allows us to hope that along with the minor differences he has added to the Spider-Man legend, there may also be a chance of Uncle Ben surviving and having a larger impact on his nephew's life as a costumed hero.

Bendis also ties in the origin of the Green Goblin to Spider-Man's own genesis, giving the two arch-nemeses a stronger connection than they ever really had in the main book, up until the infamous Gwen Stacy on the bridge moment. The only downside is that Bendis removes the complex split-personality aspect of Norman Osborn by having him turn into a Green Hulk-like creature whenever he injects himself with the OZ serum. Whilst this is a more frightening visual and creates a less hokey version of the villain, compared to a man in a halloween costume on a glider, it does dampen down a lot of what made the Green Goblin iconic, reducing him to a Hulk knock-off who can throw fireballs.

==ART==

The artwork here is fantastic, as Mark Bagley knows how to draw his Spider-Man, and after years illustrating him in the mainstream universe, Bagley makes some subtle changes to make this version seem more youthful, such as a slightly larger head and feet (something that the behind-the-scenes sketches at the back of the book reveal). Whilst the initial few chapters are a bit scratchy and Bagley takes time to work out a design for the new characters - his Peter Parker in particular seems to vary slightly from panel to panel and doesn't really settle down until the end of the book - it remains a clear-cut and well drawn book. Later volumes improve on the artwork, with the addition of more visually dynamic characters, such as Doctor Octopus and Venom, but this is a nice start and it is clear that the artwork evolves over time.

==CONCLUSION==

Despite the hurdles it had to overcome, Ultimate Spider-Man managed to shake off the prejudices of an alternate universe book and not only became a Top 10 selling book, but also helped launch the Ultimate Universe, with Ultimate versions of the Avengers, Fantastic Four and X-Men following within the next few years. The legacy of the book reaches further than that with the creation of the Ultimate Spider-Man video game, set firmly in the comic book's continuity and the forthcoming Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon which looks to borrow heavily from the modern approach that Bendis took when it came to revitalising the Spider-man franchise. I have to say that Ultimate Spider-Man was one of the books that brought me back into collecting comics on a weekly basis and is one that I still pick up twelve years later (and Bendis is still writing it!)

FINAL SCORE - 9 / 10
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Retelling the story of Spider-Man for the 21st century, 10 Mar 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 1: Power and Responsibility: Power and Responsibility v. 1 (Paperback)
I started reading "The Amazing Spider-Man" and "Peter Parker: Spider-Man" again when I started doing a unit on comic books for my Popular Culture class and had ignore "Ultimate Spider-Man." Seeing that the first seven issues were collected in "Ultimate Spider-Man: Power and Responsibility" I thought I would check it out and was more than pleasantly surprised. The idea here was to update Spider-Man for the 21st century, specifically by going back and starting over from the beginning, doing so fully cognizant of where Stan Lee and Steve Ditko started off the comic book and where the character would end up in terms of super villains and future bride. There is certainly a sense in which this version is compatible with the blockbuster "Spider-Man" movie, but that is more in terms of having Mary Jane Watson there from the start than anything else. Ultimately, the point here is tighten the original Spider-Man story and give the characters some twists.
"Power and Responsibility" takes its time in developing the origin of Spider-Man. The original story by Lee and Ditko in "Amazing Fantasy" #15 was eleven pages long. Here it takes six issues to get to the same point in the character's history. Of course, since we know where things are going, we can take time to appreciate the journey. At the same time, there is a concerted effort to bring various elements more into the mix. That infamous radioactive spider is the creation of Osborn Industries, the pet project of Norman Osborn and one of his chief scientists, Dr. Otto Octavius. Osborn is extremely interested in why young Peter Parker does not die after the bite and the creation of the Green Goblin becomes a direct consequence of the fateful spider bite. In time I am sure we will see the birth of Doctor Octopus will come from this as well.
The stories here are by Bill Jemas and Brian Michael Bendis (who does the script), with pencils by Mark Bailey and inks by Art Theibert and Dan Panosian. In many ways I am reminded of when John Byrne had the responsibility of restarting Superman; there is a sense to be a bit more realistic. It is not that Peter Parker is an absolute scientific genius; it was his father who did most of the preliminary work on what would become the formula for Spider-Man's web. Once he gains his spider powers, Peter Parker does what just about any persecuted high school nerd would do; he goes out and becomes a super jock. When he starts web slinging he makes a lot of initial mistakes. I even like the way Peter snaps back at Uncle Ben and Aunt May as things start to get to him, both before and after the spider-bite. This jut increases the pathos of the tragedy that unfolds.
I like the fact that "Ultimate Spider-Man" is divorced from the two "real" Spider-Man comic books. Going back to the original stories by Lee and Ditko (later John Romita, Sr.) in either "The Essential Spider-Man" or "Marvel Masterworks" series are not going to be really helpful to younger readers of the character. It was well worthwhile for those of us who started reading "The Amazing Spider-Man" in the Sixties to go through Betty Bryant and the death of Gwen Stacy to eventually get to the day when Mary Jane confronted Peter with the fact she knew he was Spider-Man, but those are hundreds of issues to go through. Starting over again with full knowledge of where the characters are going to end up is a worthwhile approach, especially given how good of a start we see in this first collection (the next three are already out for those who want to continue the journey). Besides, how can you not be happy that Aunt May is alive again? I might have to check out some of these other Ultimate titles from Marvel as well, because this one is pretty impressive.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent beginning for the Ultimate Spider-Man, 4 Aug 2013
By 
Gareth Simon (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This story runs through Ultimate Spider-Man issues #1-7, collected as Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 1: Power & Responsibility TPB (New Printing) (Graphic Novel Pb). This is basically an expanded and modernised retelling of the (12-page?) origin story of Spider-Man from Amazing Fantasy #15, now taking up seven issues. We get much more face time with Uncle Ben and Aunt May this time around, as well as with Norman Osborn, the laboratory of whom the accident now takes place in, and where Doctor Otto Octavius is head of the particular branch of research that leads to the creation of Spider-Man and the Green Goblin.

Despite the rather forced-sounding plot lines above, this is an excellently written story, which takes nothing away from the original, and just makes the tragedies feel more tragic, and builds up the characterisation of the supporting cast.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A DC fan Converted!!, 15 Jun 2007
By 
Mr. S. W. Steel "stephensteel" (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 1: Power and Responsibility: Power and Responsibility v. 1 (Paperback)
I am a big fan of DC comics and their characters. I mainly follow the stories of Batman,Superman and the Justice League of America. I have never really got into Marvel at all, but have been a fan of the Spiderman films, and then my girlfriend started to tell me all about the sub-plots of the characters, so i decided to give this volume a whirl, figuring that if i didn't like it, it was no great shakes.

I have to say that i was really surprised bu the quality of the story-telling, sub-plots, background, characterisation and of course, the art-work. This volume deals with the origins of Spiderman, and although I believe it isn't quite the original version that first came out all those years ago, i thought it was very well done. It follows elements from the first Spiderman film with the Goblin, Harry Osborn,Doc Ock, Mary Jane, Aunt May and Uncle Ben, but gives the story some real depth. We see Peter as a typical teenager, with built-in angst and struggles against authority whilst not being able to tell the girl he is attracted to how he feels about her. We see how he gets his powers, and how he strives to find his place in the world - what he should be doing with them, how best to use them etc...

What i really liked was the pacing of the whole volume. It wasn't all about fighting and action sequences.It was punctuated by them, and not at the expense of the story or the characters. There is plent of smart humour in here too, and i liked that - it is something that other writers should take heed of. Sometimes a comic needs to have some fun too!

I read through this volume in pretty much one go. And i bought the next few to keep me going!! There are a lot more to come, and i for one, will be adding them to my collection.

I would recommend this volume to anyone who likes the films and wants to know more about Spiderman and all the other characters he meets. My girlfriend knows the original story-arc and says that for the die-hard Spidey fan these are excellent re-workings of those classic beginnings. So, i guess there is something here for everyone!Old and new fans alike!

Finally, i have to say that this is one of the best graphic novels i have read in a long time.I am a huge DC fan, but have found their recent work to be a little hit and miss. Some of their works are too action heavy, or too serious, or under-developed or don't add anything to the great characters they have. This collection by Marvel outshines anything i have read by DC in a long, long time - and that probably goes right back to Kingdom Come by Alex Ross, which is about 10 years old now!

I can't wait to read the next volumes in this series - excellent, one-sitting stuff!!!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spidey's Origin Retold, 31 Jan 2004
This review is from: Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 1: Power and Responsibility: Power and Responsibility v. 1 (Paperback)
After 40 years of Spider-Man Brian Bendis and Bill Jemas started everything again, it was a risk, what if it didn't catch on? Well it did catch on! Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 1 collects the first seven issues, based on Amazing Fantasy 15 (Spidey's origin) with a slighly, ahem, different Green Goblin (that works perfectly.) The plot is pretty similar to the film and features a short appearence by Otto Octavius (Doc Ock.) Ultimate Spider-Man propels Marvel into the 21st century.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultiamte Spider-man: The ultimate book, 16 Dec 2003
This review is from: Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 1: Power and Responsibility: Power and Responsibility v. 1 (Paperback)
Since the classical words "With great power comes great responsiblity" in amz fantazy 15 in 1962 spider-man has become one of the most popular Comic book charecters of the 20th and 21st centrury with over 500 issues of amazing spider-man and a smash hit movie. But ultimate spider-man tops it all bringing spider-man into the 21st century was the best thing anyone has ever done , bendis' writing is absolutely flawless and the same can be said for bagleys art, power and responisibilty is a must have for all hardcore marvel fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever and original......, 13 Jan 2002
This review is from: Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 1: Power and Responsibility: Power and Responsibility v. 1 (Paperback)
Marvel's 'Ultimate Spiderman' idea was great. It is the way things could have happened to Peter Parker after he was bitten by that darned radioactive spider at Osborn Industries. Mary Jane, Flash Thompson and Gwen Stacy are all here at Midtown High. It's not exactly an alternative universe, Uncle Ben still dies and Peter still becomes the Amazing Spiderman, but it's a different take on things. It's all about starting the Spidey's origins again, modernising it all for a new audience. This book is a great collection and any Spiderman fan will love it as it contains all the action and all the character depth that the original stories had.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best that Spider-man can ever get!!!, 5 Jan 2002
This review is from: Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 1: Power and Responsibility: Power and Responsibility v. 1 (Paperback)
Let me start by saying, that i have been a large spiderman fan for many years, i have seen the carton series', the really bad films and also collected the comics, but nothing gets as good as this, it is new, its modern and its really well written.
You might think that when you see that someone has done a modern spiderman, you might be saying to yourself "Oh, i know how peter parker became spiderman blah blah blah!!!!" but this has NEW, yes NEW storylines, theres a new way how peter parker was created, and new way that villains look, including the Green Goblin who looks so scary you start to think that he might be from a horror film. HE'S THAT GOOD.
I have read this book and the second one and i can't wait for the 3rd one either, the artwork alone made me buy this, then i found out about the small different changes etc and it just gets better and better.
Buy this if you have been a fan of Spiderman for years, months or just days, it will get you hooked, or just keep that Spiderman 'tingle' you have.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spiderman all over again yet different enough, 24 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 1: Power and Responsibility: Power and Responsibility v. 1 (Paperback)
What we have here is the 'Peter Parker/Spiderman' story retold from the very beginning (the origin) only now crossed with 'Gen 13' and 'DC's Elseworlds Tales'. It's the story from the origin because you get to see all over again how Peter is in highschool, being 'tortured' because of his nerdity by people like Flash Thompson and eventually is bitten by the famous spider which turns him into Spiderman. Secondly it's crossed with 'Gen 13' in the fact that Peter and all his "friends" and relatives are updated to this day and age. They wear modern clothing and they talk 'modern-kid-slang' as they do in highschools in the 21st century. Finally it's also crossed with 'DC Elseworlds Tales' because it ISN'T the story as you know it exactly. Vital AND subtile points in the story have been altered in such a degree that you never get that deja-vu feeling and which turns this story in a very enjoyable experience on it's own. Not just a re-telling. You don't grow bored easily with it and you find yourself keeping on reading, having fun noticing the more subtle differences there are with the original thing. What also is very nice about this book is that there's no knowledge REQUIRED of the original Spiderman storyline, since it's an alternative time-line, so that newcomers to Spidey-comics can just as easily enjoy it as well. It stands very well on it's own. The only point of criticism I DO feel I have to mention is that the character Green Goblin really isn't handled well to my liking. Both in intelligence level as in outer appereance it doesn't seem right to me. Apart from that it's all good and not many people will dislike it.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as 'Ultimate' as I had hoped it would be, 12 May 2004
By 
Zagnorch (Terra, Sol System) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 1: Power and Responsibility: Power and Responsibility v. 1 (Paperback)
After hearing & reading aall the hype for quite some time, I finally broke down and checked out the first major "Ultimate Spider-Man" story arc that this TPB collects. A new take on the origin and first efforts of the Spider-Man, eh? Hmm. I figured I'd give it a shot. Besides, I was (& still am) a big fan of writer Brian Michael Bendis' work on SAM AND TWITCH and POWERS, and expected more of the same excellence from him here.
Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed by the results. It was decent reading, but nothing that I'd consider an all-time classic-in-the-making. I wasn't big on the setup to the origins of the Spidey/Green Goblin/Dr. Octopus feuds. Now they're sort of lumped together, rather than separate (This little twist isn't particularly original, either; an earlier Spidey-retooling attempt, John Byrne's "Chapter One", also did this with Parker & Doc Ock). This little grouping also had an element of destiny that I didn't much care for. However, I rather enjoyed the part where the post-bitten Parker finally stands up for himself (at least a little bit) against 'Flash' Thompson; it's about time!
Ultimately (doh!), this new Spider-Man tale suffers from the ol' Re-Make-Of-A-Classic-Movie syndrome: despite all the effort put into it- new plot twists, modernizing of characters, etc- it could never hope to match up to the original. I guess I'm still a bit of a chauvinist for Stan Lee & Steve Ditko's "Origin of Spidey" tale as told in Amazing Tales #15, and the first several issues of Amazing Spider-Man volume 1...
'Late
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