Ultimate Spider-Man: It's A Wonderful Life

Writer Brian Michael Bendis takes readers for a swing around the Ultimate Spidey universe and gives a peek at the future

Share:

Comments:

ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #9 cover by David Lafuente
By Kevin Mahadeo

Since the events of ULTIMATUM, Peter Parker has led a very well-loved and popular life in the Ultimate Universe as the amazing Spider-Man. And writer Brian Michael Bendis is sick of it.

Beginning with April's ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #9, the prolific penman's going to spin one hell of a torturous web for the young hero--starting things off first and foremost by having the web-slinger's best friend Johnny Storm make out with his female clone, Ultimate Spider-Woman Jessica Drew.

"I've been racking my brain to think of a more screwed up relationship situation than the Human Torch having the hots for his best friend's clone without know that's what she is," laughs Bendis. "And with Peter realizing this and going, 'Um... ew.' It's one of my favorite bits in the book. I've been literally trying to find a way to do it since we introduced the character in the Clone Saga. I pitched this at a retreat years ago and every time I see [Jeph] Loeb, he's like, 'When are you doing that? I've been waiting for it since you said it.' The pieces hadn't been lined up but now they're totally lined up."

ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #9 art by David Lafuente
Bendis refers to the upcoming dating fiasco as a Marvel version of the "Seinfeld" episode "The Cartoon," in which the subplot included George Costanza dating a female version of his best friend Jerry Seinfeld. However, despite their genetic similarities and shared memories, Bendis says that Jessica isn't a carbon copy of Peter emotionally and psychologically and that her experiences have made her into her own fully-formed person.

"She has Peter's memories, but she's more of a fully put together character," explains Bendis. "Her feelings toward Johnny are a little weird and all of it is very weird to Peter. It's really about how it all affects Peter and it affects Peter in a very bad way."

Bendis admits that he really enjoys the idea of taking the clone concept, long prevalent in comic book writing, and building something unique out of it. Jessica's story in the Ultimate Universe revolves mainly around self-identity and finding a place in the world despite the bizarreness of her creation. The writer says he sees her journey as a character as "the biggest embodiment of power versus responsibility." And although the female arachnid shares her name with the mainstream version of Spider-Woman, Bendis insists that they are two very, very different characters and that he mainly named the character after her counterpart because it's a touchstone in the regular Marvel U.

ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #9 art by David Lafuente
"I've been soul searching and brain searching for ideas for ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN that were completely unique to the [Ult.] Spider-Man mythos," says the author. "I think it's important for the Ultimate Universe to start diving into things that are completely unique and with Peter's world being what it is--living in what is essentially a super hero halfway house of runway teenagers and all this stuff with Jessica and where the villains are coming from--it's all very unique. That to me is what I'm most proud of right now."

As for Jessica Drew's future beyond the upcoming storyline, Bendis says that while she appears on and off again in the pages of ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN, her biggest presence for the year will be felt in the pages of the "Ultimate Enemy" trilogy. Bendis teases the character's detective-like role in the limited series and an upcoming team-up with Spider-Man after the character is unable to return home after the events of ULTIMATE ENEMY #4.

ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #9 art by David Lafuente
Despite the growing number of supporting characters in the Ultimate Comics title, Bendis assures fans that it is still Peter's book. While the writer plans to continue the trend of "Amazing Friends"-style team-up adventures between Spider-Man, the Human Torch and Iceman going forward, the effects on Peter and his personal views still take center stage. Upcoming issues also explore Peter's relationship with both Gwen Stacey and Mary Jane. However, as mentioned earlier, all good things come to a crashing end very soon, especially for former X-Man Kitty Pryde and her recent vigilante activities.

"One of the biggest things coming into the book that's going to change a lot is that ever since ULTIMATUM, people's feelings and the government's feelings about mutants have heightened to the largest degree it could. That comes to smack Kitty Pryde right in the face when the government comes to get her right in the middle of class," hints Bendis. "So, that's going to be big for everyone involved. The other big one is that Peter has had a very good run of it since the re-launch--everyone loves Spider-Man. That all comes crashing down when a character that I'm going to say is like Ultimate Chameleon--but it's such a reinvention that it feels weird to say that--takes over Peter's life and ruins it both personally and publically."

ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #9 art by David Lafuente
As for why he decided to take away all the good fortune Spider-Man's been having over the past year, Bendis says the reason is very simple.

"Because that's where the magic comes from," he laughs. "Even Peter in his narration is like, 'Wow. I'm uncomfortable with everybody liking me.' Not that he would go out of his way to ruin it, but it's funny how uncomfortable he is. But what's about to happen to him goes along the lines of 'you've never seen this in a Spider-Man comic book.' It gets that bad.

"With the Chameleon taking over Peter's life, it is a series of uncomfortable moments--not particularly for Peter, but for everyone in Peter's life as he starts doing things that are completely inappropriate. There's a whole issue coming up where it's the Chameleon as Peter trying to figure out what Peter's secret is. He takes over Peter's life without knowing Peter is Spider-Man and he's going into Peter's halfway house. So, he's trying to figure out Peter's life through backwards engineering."

Pick up your copy of ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #9, on sale April 21.

 

To find a comic shop near you, call 1-888-comicbook or visit www.comicshoplocator.com

Not a subscriber to Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited yet? Join now!

Download SPIDER-WOMAN and ASTONISHING X-MEN Motion Comics now on iTunes! For more information on motion comics, visit the Marvel Motion Comics hub!"

Download episodes of "X-Men: Evolution""Wolverine and the X-Men""Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes" and "The Super Hero Squad Show" now on iTunes!

Check out the official Marvel Shop for your favorite Marvel Heroes!

Related Characters
Tags

MORE IN Comics See All

Comments

5 comments
pgtyner
pgtyner

I personally an interested in the Spider Woman, clone question.....because as a clone you are a physical copy of someone but you would actually not retain any memories or developed personality traits of the original (you would lack the original's experience)...instead you would be your own person. Now add on top of that the engineers change a chromosome creating instead a girl...now you are also governed by a completely different body! Which would mean natural attractions for a girl being a guy! So the eww factor is really all in Peter's own mind....

bds197485
bds197485

[quote:b3146df27f="Agent 27"]I remember when Ultimate Spiderman debuted. I didn't buy it because I figured it was just another attempt to rehash the same old Spidey stories. I was wrong! With this relaunch I've thoroughly enjoyed Spidey's antics (and his amazing friends). I'm really looking forward to this new/old direction for Peter. I'd almost give up Peter in the title for awhile and shift things to Jessica. What Bendis has done with her and what is intimated in this article raises the expectation level of Ultimate Spiderman.Bill Foster for Frost Giant and Wasp for Valkyrie in 2010![/quote] I agree in letting Jessica lead the book for a few issues. See Bendis develop her and then maybe give her an unlimited book series for herself. Maybe the same for Kitty Pride.

AveJoe
AveJoe

I was very hesitant to jump on the Ultimate bandwagon because, like others have said, I felt it was just another attempt to cash in on the Spiderman franchise but I could only hold out so long against all of the positive buzz. I have to say that now it is my flagship for the Spiderman books (in fact it has basically replaced the others). They almost lost me as a fan with the Ultimatum garbage but this latest run has been great. Keep up the good work.www.comicsninja.com

ageightyeight
ageightyeight

I remember when Ultimate Spiderman debuted. I didn't buy it because I figured it was just another attempt to rehash the same old Spidey stories. I was wrong! With this relaunch I've thoroughly enjoyed Spidey's antics (and his amazing friends). I'm really looking forward to this new/old direction for Peter. I'd almost give up Peter in the title for awhile and shift things to Jessica. What Bendis has done with her and what is intimated in this article raises the expectation level of Ultimate Spiderman.Bill Foster for Frost Giant and Wasp for Valkyrie in 2010!

argos_jason1
argos_jason1

That's too bad. I was really liking this book. now its going to return to just another Spiderman, no more new or different than any of the other 6 books. What i don't understand is why? In the reg universe his like sucks, everyone hates him, and he gets no love, even thou he's an avenger. This book was dieing when it was just another version of peters dogged life. Now its starting to get really quite good, with nice development of the secondary characters like may, who has always been sort of bland generic old lady (except when she was part of spiderman's inner circle pre ironman betrayal and deal with the devil). Dealing with the school, even JJ is better developed post Ultimatum, Why would you though that away? Bendis gets a lot of bad press post Ultimatum, and i will admit he killed off a few characters in ways i did not agree with, But it did create a vastly different world. Now he's doing away with that. too bad....