The Marvel Universe Spider-Man had entered his twenties long ago, however, so how could they tell teenage Spidey stories that weren’t flashbacks?
The answer was the Ultimate imprint, which featured rebooted versions of popular characters in a new shared continuity. The line as a whole was a bit of a mixed bag, but Brian Michael Bendis’s take on Spider-Man perfectly captured the spirit of the character while modernizing all the classic elements. And he capitalized on story opportunities that weren’t possible in the established Marvel Universe—such as Spidey and the X-Men’s Kitty Pryde becoming great friends and a potential couple.
And that’s the main idea of this annual—two teenagers trying to connect despite and because of their unconventional situations. Charm abounds. It’s the sort of comic that just puts a smile on your face.
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mark Brooks
Inkers: Jaime Mendoza and Scott Hanna
Publisher: Marvel Comics
How to Read It: back issues; Marvel Unlimited; Comixology; Ultimate Spider-Man vol. 15: Silver Sable (TPB)
Appropriate For: ages 11 and up