A thing that is rapidly striking me as odd about the Ultimate Marvel universe is how unrelated the stories are, compared to 1960s Marvel. I mean, I’ve read three origin stories now, and all of them refer to events that are mutually exclusive of each other. As though they’re all actually set in mildly disparate realities from one another. This is not something that troubles me particularly, just an oddity. I mention it in part because it struck me last time and I never said, but also because it’s one of the many aspects informing my reading of the first Ultimate Spider-Man.
Other aspects include the initial Spider-Man movie, which appears to have been heavily influenced by this volume, my readings of the first 31 issues of the Amazing Spider-Man comic, and my expectations relative to the other Ultimate series in which I’ve dabbled that this one would be the most kid-oriented. And indeed, our Peter Parker is a mere 15 years old, with a fair bit of modern angst to him. So, on the whole, it really feels like I should be feeling a little meh about the whole thing. Instead, I enjoyed myself a lot. My guesses about this are that I’m even more of a sucker for high school angst than I thought (and, come on, get over it already, man), or that lowered expectations were just right for the book, or that the original story Stan Lee put together in 1963 has such a heaping helping of mythic resonance that any given retelling will affect me just as much as the first time I saw it. I think there’s a pretty good chance it’s that last one.
 I’ll be reading #32 pretty immediately after this review posts, in point of fact. Mary Jane Watson has been the elephant in the corner for at least 25 issues now, which is kind of hilarious to me, given my knowledge of what the future holds. I have to believe that Stan Lee had her in mind as the real deal all along; the set-up is too perfect to be coincidence.