Many of Marvel’s most popular characters have such complex and convoluted histories, that Marvel feared it would actually deter potential new readers. After all, with nearly four decades of history to deal with, who wouldn’t feel overwhelmed?
The Ultimate line was created to solve this problem by taking the characters back to their origins, but with an updated look and feel. Peter Parker, Spider-Man, is once again a nerdy high school genius, still learning about his powers and the responsibilities of being a hero. Readers don’t have to worry about years of clones, dead girlfriends, wives, and parasitic costumes. In the tradition of Marvel Team-Up, the young hero is paired with others, and given the Ultimate makeover. In this instance, the young Spider-Man is paired up with Wolverine, a mutant with no past and on the run from a government that tried to turn him into their own private killing machine.