I think I used to watch Spider-man cartoons, or certainly I had Spider-man somewhere in my consciousness, but I haven’t seen the films (although I got a free download of the latest one for my PS Vita when I bought it, I should look into that) and I wasn’t entirely clear on Spider-man lore. So the Ultimates collection seems to be a good choice for me, given that they update and clarify the origin stories as a start. And lucky me, my girlfriend has a whole stack of them.
(I hear Ultimate Cap is a dick, though. Bluh.)
Peter is a fun hero — snarky and sassy, but not cocksure. He’s sassy because he doesn’t know what he’s doing, he doesn’t know what’s happening. This volume establishes the way he gets his powers, and why he becomes a superhero. Definitely enjoyed it, and I recommend it. It’s not bogged down by extraneous details, there are no other heroes muddying the waters (i.e. Young Avengers style: they’re somewhat hampered by nursemaid!Cap and Iron Man), and the art is clear with all characters easily distinguishable. Peter’s an adorable dork, and I’d like to see a lot more of Mary Jane.
I won’t post reviews of all twenty-two volumes here, but I might post reviews of my favourites as I go along.