I’ve largely stayed out of Marvel Comics’ Ultimate Universe. The revamped look at classic heroes never really caught my fancy. The one exception to this was Ultimate Spider-Man, which I read sporadically for a short while before eventually moving on to other titles.
The Ultimate Universe has gone through quite a few shakeups in recent years including the deaths of numerous heroes. This issue, however, delivers the death of the hero with the longest running on-going Ultimate title – Peter Parker.
Of all the choices involved in this version of Peter the best was took keep his youth intact throughout his run. This Peter never graduates high school, and after the events of this issue it’s clear he never will. This also makes his death, at such a young age, much more tragic.
I liked this Spidey, but I was far less impressed with the Ultimate version of the Green Goblin, who plans the villain of this issue. After taking a bullet for Captain America in the previous issue our wounded hero makes his way to Queens to save his loved ones from the Goblin’s latest attack. He’s successful, but at a high price.
I have to mention DC’s Death of Superman which this issue kept reminding me of (probably more than either publisher would like) right down to the final panels of the loving girlfriend holding her fallen hero in her arms. Maybe it’s just me, but the heroic death unwitnessed comes with a much greater payoff (see Crisis on Infinite Earths #8). It also doesn’t help that this giant monster version of the Goblin comes off like Doomsday-lite.
Had I been reading the title more regularly (or at all the last couple of years) I’m sure the payoff would have been higher. Even with these issues, I still enjoyed the comic and it might even lead me to go back and re-read some of Brian Michael Bendis‘ run. It’s a nice send-off for the character, even knowing Marvel already has a replacement in the wings. It seems in the Ultimate Universe you can’t kill Spider-Man, even if you do manage to kill Peter Parker. Worth a look.