Jonathan Hickman and Marco Checchetto’s Ultimate Spider-Man will “zag” instead of “zig” when it debuts in January. Instead of taking the approach of the original Ultimate Universe, where Spider-Man was rebooted as a teenager, they plan to present an older Spider-Man, who is married with a family.
So it’s more Renew Your Vows, less Miles Morales.
“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 told Marvel.com. “Peter and MJ being married is one of many decisions we made that underline this being quite a ‘different’ kind of Spider-Man story.”
“A very different place than what’s traditionally expected” seems like a good tagline for this new Ultimate Universe as a whole, which will feature an X-Men title re-imagined by Peach Momoko and the first Ultimate Black Panther title. And it’s what you’d expect from Hickman.
This of course isn’t the first time Peter and Mary Jane have appeared as a married couple in comics. In the classic “616” Marvel Universe, they were married back in 1987 in the Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1, an event that was mirrored in the Spider-Man comic strip and in real life, where Stan Lee officiated a wedding at Shea Stadium.
20 years later, Marvel eliminated the wedding from continuity in the controversial One More Day storyline — which is almost 20 years old itself at this point, but is still a popular topic for questions at Marvel panels and a point of contention for a lot of fans.
In the new title, Peter Parker is described as “an older, wiser web-slinger who balances his super hero duties with his responsibilities as a husband and a father.” Whether that will appease fans of the original Spider-marriage remains to be seen.
You can check out Elizabeth Torque and Ryan Stegman’s variant covers for the first issue above. Ultimate Spider-Man #1 arrives in stores Jan. 10.