I was incredibly excited to cover the news about Marvel’s new Ultimate line at New York Comic-Con. The biggest reason why, was because the story promised that the new Spider-Man Ultimate story would take a page out of Peter B. Parker. To fanboys such as myself, this hinted at a pretty obvious potential storyline that middle-aged Spider-Man fans have been waiting on since they retconned their marriage during One More Day: to see Peter and MJ just living it out many of us comic-collecting adults… struggling to get by, married with children.
Well, it seems like Marvel listened and gave the fans exactly what they wanted. Writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Marco Checchetto’s new ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN is going to accomplish just that in featuring an older Peter Parker, who balances being a hero with responsibilities as both dad and father.
“When we decided that we were going to do a book about an older Peter Parker becoming Spider-Man, we really wanted to lean into him starting his superhero life from a very different place than what’s traditionally expected,” Jonathan Hickman explained in Marvel’s latest press release. “Peter and MJ being married is one of many decisions we made that underline this being quite a ‘different’ kind of Spider-man story.”
Without getting too nerdy into it regarding data, I think this is fantastic news as the entire Spider-Man demographic has been waiting for something like this for over a decade. Atop of this, fans from 2008-2012 are just about hitting dad age, so this story honestly relates to us a lot more regarding relatability. And to be honest, Marvel fans already have characters like Miles, Gwen, and the newly minted Spider-Boy, to cover the young teens to early 20s base demographic for the fans.
Personally, I also just think a large amount of Spider-Man fans just want to see Peter and MJ get the happily ever after they deserve. More recently, sentiment has soured a bit regarding Parker’s chaotic love life, particularly with the latest Black Cat breakup, and while marriage itself is never going to be perfect, the material is ripe for exploring as it hasn’t been touched upon in a long time in the Spider-Verse. Especially, in seeing how contemporary marriages could work – as romance in today’s age is much trickier now in terms of pop culture depiction.
To celebrate, superstar artist Elizabeth Torque will be providing some variant covers for the first four issues. Ryan Stegman also has a few promotional pieces for this interesting launch and take on the character. You can check out Marvel’s official press release below.
New York, NY— October 26, 2023 — Writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Marco Checchetto’s bold new take on ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN is shaping up to be full of surprises! Launching this January as the first ongoing series set in Marvel’s new Ultimate Universe, ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN will star a very different Peter Parker—an older, wiser web-slinger who balances his super hero duties with his responsibilities as a husband and a father. That’s right, Spider-Man is a married man!
Meet Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson—MR. & MRS. PARKER! They’re one of pop culture’s most iconic couples, and now readers will see them stronger than ever in the Ultimate Universe. To celebrate, Peter and MJ’s romance will be featured on a series of picture perfect variant covers by Elizabeth Torque that will adorn the first four issues of ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN. Spidey superstar Ryan Stegman also spotlights the whole Parker family on a new promotional piece.
“When we decided that we were going to do a book about an older Peter Parker becoming Spider-Man, we really wanted to lean into him starting his super hero life from a very different place than what’s traditionally expected,” Hickman explained. “Peter and MJ being married is one of many decisions we made that underline this being quite a ‘different’ kind of Spider-man story.”
ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #1 – 75960620796100111
Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN
Art and Cover by MARCO CHECCHETTO
Variant Cover by ELIZABETH TORQUE – 75960620796100191
On Sale 1/10