YMMV / Ultimate Spider-Man

This page is for the comic and video game. For the western animated series, see here

Ultimate Spider-Man, comic series

  • Anticlimax Boss: Kraven the Hunter. He's built up as a highly skilled warrior who decided to take down Spider-Man. Peter isn't even remotely interested in fighting him (he'd just beaten Doctor Octopus at the time) but when Kraven insists, Peter simply dodges a few times then knocks him out with a single blow. Instantly lampshaded by Spider-Man.
    Peter: Huh. I thought he had super powers or something. Showbiz phony.
  • Arc Fatigue: Many felt that the Double Trouble Doc Ock/Kraven the Hunter arc ran too long.
    • To some, mainly newer readers, this can be applied to the entire series: Brian Bendis's Signature Style of decompressed storytelling, while new and groundbreaking when the series debuted (to the point of being copied and imitated by just about everyone in the following decade), has since come under greater scrutiny from the comic reading public, if not fallen out of favor completely. As such, many of the storylines can come off as slow or padded by modern standards.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Kitty Pryde, who is either considered a welcome addition to the cast, or Bendis' own personal Mary Sue.
  • Broken Base
    • Miles' Venom Sting, which allows him to end most fight relatively quickly. Some like the distinction of his powers from Peter's while others feel that Bendis has used it as a crutch far too often.
    • Spider-Men, the crossover between the 616 & Ultimate universes to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Spider-Man's first appearance — is it a great idea, or yet another case of Quesada dropping the ball, given his previous comments on the matter of a 616/Ultimate universe crossover. Is it too soon to have Miles meet 616!Peter since the former is still finding his feet as a superhero, or just a wasted idea since it comes the year after Ultimate Peter was killed and shortly before 616!Peter is as well? The latter in particular, as it completely dropped the plotline going through the end of "Men".
  • Creator's Pet:
    • Kitty Pryde became Peter Parker's girlfriend in and, after they broke up, remained a part of the cast and was fit into as many plotlines as possible. Brian Michael Bendis has gone on the record to state that he's always liked Kitty Pryde from back when he was a kid and that he enjoys using her... combine that with a statement he made about Peter "being him" and the conclusion to come to is pretty easy. Some don't mind the attention paid to her... but others do.
    • Ultimate Kingpin is this from a villain perspective since Brian Michael Bendis elevated him to second most prominent villain after Goblin, had him win unlikely victories (and a superpowered Peter Parker couldn't land a punch on him which 616!Marvel called BS on in an iconic moment in JMS' Spider-Man's Back in Black arc). Bendis is a huge fan of Daredevil fan (and later wrote Daredevil) and his ridiculously convoluted manner in which Kingpin escapes justice despite being caught on tape strangling a man beggars disbelief in terms of a Diabolus ex Machina.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse
    • Gwen Stacy. So much so they eventually brought her back and more or less said that even if she's a clone she's the same Gwen as before.
    • Jessica Drew is easily one of these, having minimal screen-time but a huge fanbase.
    • Kong.
    • Miles' supporting cast is getting popular, such as Ganke and Rio Morales.
  • Foe Yay: During the "Return of the Green Goblin" arc, we get to look at things through Norman's eyes during a conversation with Spider-Man. The voices in his head tell him things like "kill him" "skin him" "burn him" and "kiss him".
  • Growing the Beard
    • For Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man it is issue 9 and 10.
    • For Ultimate Comics: All-New Spider-man it is issue 12.
  • Harsher in Hindsight
    • Back in the early nineties, one of the most famous songs by Italian band 883note  was titled "Hanno Ucciso L'Uomo Ragno", which is Italian for "They Killed Spider-Man". Fast-forward by twenty-years-or-so.
    • In "Cats and Queens", the focus of MJ's story was her wanting to run away from home so she and Peter could be married, with him saying he'll always be there for her. Also in the same arc, Black Cat tells him he'll have seven years bad luck. This was in 2004...
      • Similarly, every time the subject of sex came up between Peter and MJ, they resolve to "wait until they're older".
    • At July 2005's San Diego Comic Con, in response to the question the Ultimate & 616 universes crossing over, Joe Quesada stated that he'd rather close down one universe than have them cross over because it meant they were officially out of ideas. Fast forward to 2012, and Marvel announced that they will be having 616!Peter crossing over to the Ultimate universe to meet Miles.
  • Ho Yay: Apparently Miles and Ganke gave this off to Miles' parents...not that they mind. Doubles as Mistaken for Gay.
    Jefferson [after talking with Miles about his relationship with Kate Bishop]: Good to hear. For a while there I thought you and the Gankster had a thing going.
    Miles: What?!
    Jefferson: Frankly, your mother thought that years before—
    Miles: Mom thought that Ganke and I were...together?
    Jefferson: Nothing wrong with—
    Miles: Ew.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment / Harsher in Hindsight: Every discussion anyone ever has about Peter's future now that we know his eventual fate.
    • And then shot to pieces after the reveal that he came back to life.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight
    • A small detail, but in the 2004 "Hollywood" arc, when Peter fights Doc Ock on the set of a new Spider-Man movie, a black stuntman in a Spidey outfit hits Doc Ock with a camera. When he tells Spidey that he's just a stuntman, not the actor playing him, Peter says "I thought I got revamped there for a second..."
    • In one of the first issues, a photo can be seen that shows a young Peter with his aunt and uncle at Disney World. This was many years before Disney actually purchased the company.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: The series at times reuses plotlines and ideas from the original even when they have become The Artifact. A good example is Ultimate Gwen Stacy. The original reason why 616!Gwen was fridged was precisely because she was a bland Love Interest and that it was only her death that made her interesting. Ultimate Gwen Stacy having a more interesting look and personality, and likewise not being Peter's Love Interest at the time of her death, and Mary-Jane being the love of Peter's life from the start, renders the entire purpose for her fridging non-existent. As such the arc where Carnage kills Gwen is more or less marking The Stations of the Canon and adding drama and tragedy to Peter's life, and of course when they returned Gwen back to life anyway, via a clone (who is both a clone and yet as good as the real thing), it made that entire issue pointless.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Averted, considering the one involved is the title character.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Kingpin, he makes Lex Luthor look like a chump. For example - he bought out the wrestling company that Spider-Man made his first few public appearances for prior to becoming a superhero, purely so that he could make money over Spider-Man's likeness & knowing that Spidey's choices were A) quit being Spider-Man, allowing his profile to fall & kill off the demand for Spidey merchandise so Fisk couldn't profit from him, but at the cost of being unable to stop his operations; B) publicly unmask to claim ownership of the Spider-Man likeness & stop Fisk from merchandising it, but making his loved ones targets for Kingpin; or C) let him get away with it. Fisk even points out that if Peter quits, he'll just hire a new Spider-Man to make sure that people still want to pay for Spidey merch.
  • Narm:
    • The final issue of Fallout ends with Nick Fury confessing to MJ how he feels responsible for Peter's death. In the middle of it, he admits he had been "grooming" Peter to be a super-hero. Not the best choice of words, given the unpleasant other connotations that word has in the twenty-first century.
    • In the middle of his long rant at Miles and Spider-Woman, Roxxon randomly yells "childcare" for no readily apparent reason.
  • No Yay: Bendis played up the Like Brother and Sister angle with Peter and Gwen so much that this was the reaction when they finally did hook up.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Miles Morales, for many fans of Ultimate Peter. Some characters In-Universe (especially friends of Peter) see him as this.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Upon its initial release, the mainstream universe Spider-Man was in the middle of a Dork Age following the end of The Clone Saga, and a back-to-basics style book like Ultimate Spider-Man seemed fresh and inviting to new readers(as a good jumping-on point) and longtime readers (who wanted a return to classic storytelling) alike. Fast-forward almost two decades and over 200 issues where the characters haven't left the teenage time bubble of The Oughties while most of its readership have grown up and new generations of teenagers find it a little dated. Many elements introduced in the book were later adapted in some form into the mainstream universe titles, while its family romance backstory involving Peter's Dad creating the Venom suit was adapted in the poorly received The Amazing Spider-Man Series which in turn tarnished its legacy further. Likewise, aside from some modernizations and changes, it didn't really succeed in entirely updating the characters and elements to a contemporary era.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Who made a better girlfriend for Peter; Mary Jane, Gwen Stacy, or Kitty Pryde. Have a lot of fun with that conversation.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: The first time Miles comes across any of Peter's True Companions in costume, he's promptly kicked in the head and asked "Who the Precision F-Strike do you think you are?". Bonus points for it coming from Spider-Woman, or if you prefer Peter's gender flipped clone.
  • Tear Jerker: The first Fallout issue is this for pretty much every page.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Some fans feel this way about the series. 'Tis a retelling though, so you can't win 'em all.
    • The main dislike is that Bendis took "teenage" Spider-Man to mean "incompetent" and that Ultimate Spider-Man gets unmasked all the time, not only to major villains like the Goblin but also minor random characters like Silver Sable. Apparently the fact that 616!Peter went through his original high school arc (which was a mere 28 issues by the way) with no one deciphering his secret and then with only the Goblin knowing it, was too much to handle. Likewise, Spider-Man was so competent that when Green Goblin finally unmasked him in OTL, he was shocked that Peter was Just a Kid since he was certain he was an Experienced Protagonist, the overall effect goes from Batman turning out to be as young as Robin, to Robin trying to be Batman and failing.
    • Likewise, the overall emphasis on SHIELD as the Government Agency of Fiction with Nick Fury being a kind of Trickster Mentor is Dramatically Missing the Point of the very essence of what made Spider-Man unique, i.e. he was a teenage hero who was not a sidekick or underling to major heroes, but his own man who solved problems entirely on his own.
    • Lot of fans disliked the changes to villains. The Green Goblin becoming a giant goblin monster who can throw fireballs was a neat concept in theory but it in effect made Norman more of a Hulk or Captain America villain than a Spider-Man one, and also made him too similar to Curt Connors (i.e. scientist who turns evil by transformation). The popular villains in the Ultimate run were the ones who were the least changed (Doctor Octopus, Kingpin, Electro).
    • Played straight with the transition from Ultimate Spider-Man to Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man. The change of artist and shake up of status quo has resulted in a more Broken Base. The second transition to an entirely new main character was less so.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Having Spider-Man undergo training from the Ultimates to become a better hero was an interesting idea...that was introduced just before volume three. For what it's worth, that ended up being the basis of the otherwise unrelated cartoon. So presumably someone in development agreed.
    • Peter coming back from the dead, since nothing ever came of it, and the entire ultimate universe got blown up a few months later anyway. The idea of Peter and MJ eloping and going underground and presumably having crazy adventures on their own, has a lot of potential but now that's just gone.
  • Too Cool to Live
    • Uncle Ben
    • Peter Parker
    • Rio Morales
      • Though in the latter two cases, they actually did come back.
  • Unnecessary Makeover: Mary Jane was on the receiving end of one via Liz Allen in one story, which involves wearing incredibly skimpy clothing and dying her hair black.Said arc wasn't very popular. MJ herself even hates it, and quickly ditches it the first chance she gets.
  • What an Idiot
    • Carol Danvers qualifies over and over again. She refused to just put Norman down, instead, every single time she chose to keep him alive in a prison he's proven capable of breaking out of at will. This reaches critical mass at the start of The Death of Spider-Man - not just Norman, but five other dangerous superpowered criminals break out of the Triskelion, all of whom are enemies of Spider-Man, and the last time five of the six teamed up, it required the Ultimates to stop them. So she not only sends the Ultimates off to fight Nick Fury's Avengers to cover her own ass, but she doesn't even tell Spider-Man that six of his enemies have all escaped from incarceration, all so that she can keep the breakout a secret. And the kicker? Because she inadvertently caused the death of Spider-Man, this wound up being the straw that broke the camel's back and got her fired from her position as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.
    • Eddie Brock Junior gets major points here. After being told by Peter that their fathers' life's work is actually dangerous in the extreme, and that Peter, a guy with superpowers, barely survived using it for a few hours at most, Eddie decides the best thing to do is get the other sample he had hidden, and stick his fingers in it. And as a result he ends up stuck in a living nightmare, hunted by a megacorp with an unrelenting hunger driving him to eat people.
  • The Woobie
    • Shadowcat in Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man.
    • And, as always, Peter. By the end of the Ultimate Clone Saga arc, everyone wanted to give that kid a hug.
    • Mary-Jane Watson on a regular basis, especially with her crazy father interfering with her and Peter's relationship in "Cats and Queens"

Ultimate Spider-Man, video game

  • Awesome Music: Venom's Leitmotif. The first rendition is dark and primal, while the other version is downright epic and intense, to the point where it can be considered a Boss Remix of it.
  • Broken Base: Whether this game or Spider-Man 2 is superior. Spider-man 2 is considered to one of the best superhero games ever made and was really innovative back in the day, which nobody denies, but it's graphicsnote  and the fact that only the console versions avoid The Problem with Licensed Games are points of contention. Whether or not the better graphics, larger map, Venom, the original story, the slight gameplay changes and the PC release make Ultimate an Even Better Sequel is up on the air. Pretty much nobody considers it an Contested Sequel, however, and both games are still loved by many.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The Marvel Database (that is, the Marvel wiki) is usually pretty damn reliable, so you can take the fact that the Ultimate Marvel Universe and its version from the videogame aren't the same universe as borderline Word of God (which got confirmed anyway, as the Ultimate Spider-Man videogame fell into Canon Discontinuity). Flash-forward to the latest events and to Peter's death. Once you think about it, you realise that thanks to the videogame version of the Ultimate Spider-Man we still have an alive-and-well Ultimate Peter Parker.
    • Doubles as Heartwarming in Hindsight. Not just for Spidey, but for the Fantastic 4 and most of the X-Men, since there's a chance Ultimatum didn't happen.
    • Venom's wanted level you unlock post-game is clearly inspired by Grand Theft Auto's. However, unlike GTA, Venom's wanted level only has 5 stages to it rather than 6. And then Grand Theft Auto V did the exact same thing, with only five wanted levels.
  • Narm: Spidey's game over screen is pretty melodramatic, with the web-slinger exaggeratedly falling to his knees as the ashamed faces of his loved ones look on in the background. It becomes even more hilarious if you failed something as simple as catching up to the Rhino after you exposed his weakspot, making it seem as though Peter had absolutely failed everyone by not being able to stay close enough despite the villain only traveling to a parking lot not far from where they started.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: In the video game, Venom's tutorial presents you with your first task of absorbing people so that you don't lose health, your first target? A child holding a balloon. In Spider-Man 2, everyone hated the missions of helping kids who constantly lose their balloons.