Comics : Ultimate Spider-Man #5

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This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Issue five in Marvel's exciting new series featuring a young Peter Parker. Last issue Peter's wrestling-showbiz career came to a grinding halt as he was accused of stealing the box office cash. Norman Osborn has gone missing following a terrible explosion at his facility.

Peter has been struggling with the changes in his life since acquiring the spider powers, and made up his mind to tell Uncle Ben and Aunt May...

It looks like Marvel has stopped publishing alternate covers for Ultimate Spider-Man. At least, my local comic store never has any! Can anyone tell us if you've seen any alternate covers for #3 to #5?

In Detail...

"Life Lessons"
Ultimate Spider-Man #5
Mar 2001 : SM Title
Editor:  Ralph Macchio
Co-Plot:  Bill Jemas
Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils:  Mark Bagley
Inker:  Art Thibert
Cover Art:  Mark Bagley
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Review
 Reprinted In: Komikai Ultimate Spider-Man (Promo Reprint) #5
 Reprinted In: Spider-Man TPB (Ultimate) #1
 Reprinted In: Ultimate Spider-Man Reprints (Hardcover) #1
 Reprinted In: Ultimate Tales Flip Magazine #3
Articles: The Burglar

Harry Osborn is jolted awake in the middle of the night by a blood curdling scream for help from his mother. He runs into her room and sees that the place is on fire. The whole room has been demolished and his mom has perished in the fire! Turning around, Harry spies a menacing creature hovering above the house. The creature creates a fireball in it's hand and hurls it towards Harry, who narrowly manages to dodge certain death. Running downstairs, he sees the creature soar silently away into the night sky.

Back at the Parker residence, May Parker relates what happened to the police. A robber had been in the house, threatening them at gunpoint for cash. Upon learning the Parkers had no money, the would-be thief shot Ben Parker and ran off. Peter and May realise that Ben is dead! Peter overhears the police discussing a grounded criminal in the neighborhood and takes action!

Running off, he changes into his Spider-Man costume and heads for the abandoned warehouse. There's a standoff at the warehouse, with the cops out front waiting for backup, and the crim holed up inside. Spidey appears in the warehouse and confronts the criminal, easily dodging his hastily fired bullets and taking him down! Spidey in action!

Spidey knocks the thief unconscious, and gets his first good look at the guy. It's the same thief who robbed the deli he could have stopped earlier that evening! It's Peter's fault that his uncle Ben died!

Spider-Man ties a rope around the thief and dangles him out the warehouse window for the police. One of the cops looks up and sees a figure (Spidey) silhouetted against the moon, stuck to the side of the warehouse!

Peter makes his way to a rooftop and rips his mask off, overcome with grief. All he can think of is the talk he and Uncle Ben had about having the responsibility that goes hand in hand with great power. Peter may not have cared or thought about it before, but he sure understands that responsibility now! If he'd acted responsibly earlier that fateful day, his uncle would still be alive!

Spidey embarks upon his heroic crimefighting career! He rescues kids from burning houses, he stops muggers in their tracks, he prevents robberies all over town! Spidey is here to stay!

Peter heads home, dejected and exhausted. Mary Jane is waiting for him, and he collapses into her arms.

In General...

Well, that was it folks. The origin of Spider-Man, laid out in all its' splendor over five issues! He's fighting crime as a superhero, he has the costume, and he's learned the importance of responsibility in the hardest way possible. The next couple of issues should be really exciting as we watch Peter trying to create some order with his heroic alter ego Spider-Man juggling for time with nerdy Peter Parker. When will Peter take to the laboratory and perfect his father's adhesive compound into the famous Spider Web Fluid? Plenty more action and excitement coming up!

Last month I mentioned that it appears the Green Goblin will differ from the mainstream Marvel universe character of the same name by having altered appearance and super powers rather than using gadgets and a costume. This issue we see this taken further - the Goblin creates his own Jack O'Lantern firebombs and can fly without the aid of the famous Goblin Glider! He's obviously mentally unhinged too, killing his own wife and attempting to kill his son Harry as well.

Overall Rating...

Peter realizes the importance of his uncle's untimely death. He has shouldered the responsibility in the manner of a true hero. The origin of a legend. Spider-Man was born before our very eyes! Four and a half webs. Top effort, Marvel!

Just be sure to keep us enthralled over the coming months!