Ultimate Spider-Man #3 Review

Ultimate Spider-Man #3 Review

Jonathan Hickman and Marco Checchetto have been firing on all cylinders with Ultimate Spider-Man. Right out of the gate they have created a unique Spider-Man title by simply allowing the characters of the franchise grow up and evolve from the start. While this is an older version of Peter Parker, he is still just starting out his rookie year as Spider-Man. Because of that we’ve seen that Peter is going through all the usual superhero mistakes. Those coming against the Shocker will hopefully be an early wake-up call for Peter to take being Spider-Man more seriously. Let’s find out with Ultimate Spider-Man #3.


Writer: Jonathan Hickman

Artist: Marco Checchetto

Colorist: Matthew Wilson

Letterer: Cory Petit


“PETER PARKER’S NEW LIFE GETS EVEN MORE COMPLICATED… Spider-Man sizes up the new hero Green Goblin! As they team up to fight a new super villain, secrets about the corporations running North America are revealed… And you’ll never guess who discovers Spider-Man’s secret identity!” – Marvel Comics


Ultimate Spider-Man #3 continues to deliver a refreshing reading experience for the franchise. Jonathan Hickman and Marco Checchetto just understand the direction they are taking Ultimate Spider-Man in order to create their version of a world that does feel new. In the process they make the environment around Ultimate Spider-Man come across as organically developing.

Right away we see this example with how the Parker family interact with each other in Ultimate Spider-Man #3’s opening. Pairing the family up to father-daughter and mother-son was perfect. MJ and Richard being suspicious that Peter and May are hiding something was great. It nailed this dynamic of each parent connection with their kids. It provided us with more time to see how they have this great family dynamic that has nothing to do with Spider-Man.

Having May involved in her father designing the iconic Spider-Man costume made this entire sub-plot fun. Hickman nailed the blunt honesty of a daughter with her father. Peter even sounded like he was trying his hardest to impress May. With every piece of feedback May gave he was adjusting the design of his Spider-Man suit to what he thinks his daughter would think is cool. It made how Checchetto paid homage to other Spider-Man designs for a cool costume change for fans. The overall character design scene lasted as long as it needed to make seeing Peter swinging around with May in his iconic Spider-Man costume feel special.

From there we see Peter continuing to learn as he goes when it comes to being Spider-Man. Hickman has emphasized that while Peter is older and more mature he is still new to the superhero game. With the risks involved no matter how quickly Peter has gotten accustomed to using his Spider-Man powers he still lacks the experience.

Peter Parker and Mayday Parker - Ultimate Spider-Man #3
Peter Parker takes his daughter, May Parker, out with him to take his new costume for a swing in Ultimate Spider-Man #3. Credit: Marvel Comics

That experience shines through with how he enters the fight between Green Goblin and Bullseye that takes place in Ultimate Spider-Man #3. As we saw with the Shocker fights, Bullseye being an experienced hitman spotlights how Peter still needs to figure out how to maximize his powers. He is still using his powers individually rather than chaining his Spider-Sense with his super strength and agility. The only reason he was able to defeat Bullseye was through dumb luck and Green Goblin being there.

Speaking off, Hickman is doing a good job at the presentation of Ultimate Green Goblin being a vigilante with a purpose. It’s made clear Ultimate Green Goblin isn’t necessarily trying to be a superhero. Rather, Green Goblin’s focus is purely on taking down Wilson Fisk. Fighting villains like Bullseye is just part of accomplishing that goal.

Which makes the development that this team up is what is starting the friendship between Peter Parker and Harry Osborn a cool twist. Not having the history of meeting in college alters their entire dynamic. Both Peter and Harry come into this new friendship from completely different life experiences. Harry being Ultimate Green Goblin adds another layer to this as Hickman can play with our expectations as we continue to be on an unknown path with the Ultimate Universe.

The presentation of Ultimate Bullseye was also nailed. Checchetto does a great job making Ultimate Bullseye’s design feel unique to this version of the character while maintaining iconic elements. Ultimate Bullseye only utilizing playing cards to methodically break Green Goblin’s Iron Man-like armor was a cool touch. It put over his ability and fighting style as Spider-Man and Green Goblin needed to use Bullseye’s overconfidence against him.

With how heavy Ultimate Spider-Man #3 is on the superhero side of things Hickman and Checchetto make sure we see other parts of the world. The dynamic between J. Jonah Jameson and Uncle Ben in particular continues to steal the show for this series. Their friendship is so natural with how they easily bounce off each other’s dialogue. Having Peter interact with them added to the dynamic. It works to get you invested in the role Jameson and Ben’s news organization has in this series once they finish up all the business aspects.


Ultimate Spider-Man #3 continues to the pure fun that this series has been since it launched. Jonathan Hickman and Marco Checchetto nail all the different dynamics between the cast. The relationships, especially Peter and May Parker’s father-daughter dynamic, make it easy to get lost in experiencing how the story develops with each page you turn. It all works to elevate to have the final moment between Spider-Man and Green Goblin maximize the impact Hickman and Checchetto were going for.

Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 10 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 9.5 Night Girls out of 10

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