I've lost count how many times Marvel has relaunched its all-ages line. I've nearly given up on it, because the approach seems to be to keep the run of issues short and quickly relaunch a new number one. What keeps me coming back, though, is that the stories are fun and enjoyable, well written, and - most importantly - each issue is done-in-one.
Spider-Man has had a number of all-ages titles. Most recently, there were at two back to back iterations of Marvel Adventures Spider-Man, written by Paul Tobin. Previously, there were all-ages Spider-Man as tie-ins to an animated series. Ultimate Spider-Man Adventures is the latest iteration. An all-ages tie-in to the Disney XD animated series. I'm sure that this book will not come close to the numbering of the main Marvel Universe Ultimate Spider-Man, that ended its run at #160. But, I'm sure it will be enjoyable while it lasts.
There are only so many times and ways that an origin story can be presented as fresh. Man of Action's first story in Ultimate Spider-Man Adventures #1 does a pretty good job. In retelling Spider-Man's origin, he takes the point of view of the spider, who leaves home for work one day and ends up irradiated in the lab and biting Peter Parker, giving the high school student his amazing abilities. The fun and funny approach continues as Spider-Man spends most of the next few pages breaking down the fourth wall, reminiscing, while fighting The Shocker.
Peter is actually on a personal mission. To get his uncle's favorite cake for his Aunt May. It's been a year since he lost his uncle. A year that he's been Spider-Man. beating The Shocker catches the attention of a bakery owner and she invites Spider-Man in for his reward. He chooses his uncle's favorite cake. The story ends, directing readers to watch the premiere of Ultimate Spider-Man to see what happens to the cake. And Spider-Man.
Dan Slott and Ty Templeton's backup story, "Ultimate Peter Parker" shows how SHIELD helps Peter with his dual identity. Agent Coulson, now Principal Coulson, calls Peter into his office to introduce him to a Peter Parker Mandroid-13. Sending the robot back to class, Coulson assigns Spider-Man to shadow SHIELD Director Nick Fury and protect him against Hydra. Inexperienced at shadowing, Spider-Man hides in plain sight, much to Fury's disappointment. peter spends the whole time worrying that his robot twin will go rogue. Distracted, Peter misses Madame Hyrda and her squad take down Fury and reveal him to be a mandroid! The whole thing was a ruse to test the mandroids. Madame Hydra suspected the trick, and steals the self-destruct chip to set-off the sequence in ALL the mandroids - including the one impersonating Peter in school! It's a fun story that is so much like the old, Silver Age Superman stories with the Clark Kent and Superman robots. Robots in comics are fun!
The only downside to this issue are two stupid and pointless single-page Mash-Up features. Silver Age Spider-Man pages that have been re-dialogued for comic relief. One centers on how J. Jonah Jameson came to hate Spider-Man that involves fast food. The second one - which is far worse than the first - focuses on diarrhea. Both should have been left to die a quick death on the cutting room floor.
This book may not be long-lived, but it is fun and enjoyable. Like candy, enjoy it while it lasts!