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Monday, April 12, 2021

Review: Ultimate Spider-Man 3, 4, 5

The kids have been making me read Ultimate Spider-Man to them, at least a chapter/issue every night, sometimes two. Since these are all easily checked out from Hoopla, I've been indulging them, having never read them. After being impressed by the first two volumes of the series, the next 3 have not been nearly so impressive.

For instance, I was very impressed by Peter Parker revealing his secret  identity to Mary Jane, but in his relationship with Aunt May, he reverts back to form, continuing lying to her and getting himself into trouble. The green goblin story arc so had none of the stakes that came in the original story, not just because nobody dies, but also because Mary Jane hadn't been established enough that even if she had been killed or injured, it wouldn't have had the impact Gwen Stacy's loss had in the original series.

Speaking of Gwen Stacy, I liked her in the reboot, but by putting two women immediately into Peter Parker's life, we actually lose empathy with him --- he's no longer the date-less nerd/geek we saw in the original series. The injection of other superheroes and Nick Fury into the series also feels premature. Nevertheless, the series stays true to the principle that whenever Spider-Man's life gets better, Peter Parker's life gets worse. There's also one humorous story in the fifth collection which sees Peter Parker being unable to change into Spider-Man while in school, which I thought was great but was completely lost on my little kids.

I can't say these were the best comics reading I've had in years, but I thought they were OK.

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