Comic Watch: The Ultimate Spiderman

Comic books have broken into the mainstream, with films and TV shows being constantly adapted from them. With comics no longer for a niche audience, it makes sense to know which comics are worth reading. Welcome to Comic Watch – your personal guide to the world of comics.

Sandwiched between box office behemoths “Avengers” and “Dark Knight Rises” was “The Amazing Spider-Man,” otherwise known as the reboot nobody wanted. Yet despite the naysayers, the Friendly Neighborhood Wall-Crawler was reborn with a new perspective. Peter Parker was back in high school, lonely and angst-ridden over the death of his parents.

Comic book purists cried foul, but what they don’t understand is that this Spidey is not based on the original 1960’s comic. It’s the Ultimate Spider-Man comics, a modernized reboot first written 10 years ago, that this Spidey draws inspiration from.

The Ultimate line took Peter Parker and brought him into the 21st century, as does the new movie. Gwen Stacy, The Lizard and mechanical web shooters were drawn from the original comics, but the look and tone of the reboot, along with Peter’s personality, were taken directly from the Ultimate line.

While the Ultimate series now has dozens of story arcs since it’s been around for 10 years, newcomers should check out the earlier stories, including “Power and Responsibility” (the origin), “Learning Curve” (Daily Bugle intro), “Double Trouble” (Doctor Octopus intro) and the “Venom” and “Carnage” stories that introduce the infamous black suit.

All of these are great modern interpretations of classic stories and characters that filmmakers hope to draw for future sequels. Any fan of Spider-Man or good storytelling in general should read these stories before they catch the new film on DVD if they want the true inspiration behind the reboot.