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George Marston

One of the most iconic moments in Spider-Man's 60 year history is rewritten in Ultimate Spider-Man #4

Ultimate Spider-Man #4.

"With great power comes great responsibility."

That's a slight variation on one of the most famous quotes in all of comics, if not all of fiction.

The original quote goes, "With great power must also come great responsibility," wisdom imparted by Uncle Ben onto Peter Parker which has guided him for over 60 years as Spider-Man.

Now, in Ultimate Spider-Man #4, a version of those words - "With great power comes great responsibility" - are spoken by a very different character who has a totally different relationship with Peter Parker, helping cement his new origin as Spider-Man.

But the words themselves may still have the same impact on Peter's direction as a hero that they did all the way back in 1963's Amazing Fantasy #15, and the person who offers him this fateful advice may have an even bigger role in Peter's new Spidey origin than we even realized.

Spoilers ahead for Ultimate Spider-Man #4

Ultimate Spider-Man #4 by writer Jonathan Hickman, artist David Messina, color artist Matthew Wilson, and letterer Cory Petit primarily consists of a double dinner date between Peter Parker and his wife Mary Jane Watson and fellow couple Harry Osborn and his wife Gwen Stacy (yes, that Gwen Stacy) which Peter and Harry arranged at the end of the previous issue.

The meal progresses in a fairly normal but vaguely intense way, as Harry and Gwen do their best to relate to Peter and MJ, with the barrier of Harry and Gwen's vast wealth and high-powered jobs leading to a few awkward stumbling blocks in the conversation.

Things take a slight turn when Gwen and MJ excuse themselves to the restroom. In this private moment, Harry and Peter share a quiet tête-à-tête in which Harry questions Peter about whether MJ knows his secret identity as Spider-Man (a name he still hasn't technically coined), confessing that he himself has told Gwen everything about his life as the Green Goblin.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Peter stumblingly confides to Harry that he hasn't told MJ, and that he's not sure he even wants to continue on being a superhero. But Harry catches him off-guard, telling Peter that he's seen him in action, and he knows that deep down Peter does want to continue on.

What's more, he tells Peter that they have an opportunity to right the wrongs wrought upon reality by the Maker's machinations, implying that he too may be one of Tony Stark's recruits. But Peter has even more potential for good than he does. Where Harry only has his Green Goblin armor, Peter has actual powers.

"You have great power, Peter," Harry tells him. "And with great power comes great responsibility."

And with that, the dinner is over. On the way home, Peter and MJ discuss how intense the double date was, while Peter mulls over part of their conversation in which Harry and Gwen said that the world needs heroes, clearly pondering what might happen if he were to tell Mary Jane his secret.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

It's interesting to see Peter Parker receiving this wisdom from a fellow hero rather than a father figure. And what's more, like Peter, whose Aunt May died in the terrorist attack which the Maker blamed on Tony Stark that kickstarted the story of the new Ultimate Universe, Harry Osborn lost his father Harry - meaning he's relating to Peter on an entirely different level here, as someone who shares his grief.

That does seem to raise the question though - is Aunt May's off-panel death before the start of the series the tragedy that will spur on this Spider-Man, as most Spidey's have a tragedy of some scale in their origin stories? Or is the invocation of Peter's most sacred lesson precursor to something even worse coming down the line?

The story continues in Ultimate Spider-Man #5, releasing on May 29.

Stay on top of all the new Spider-Man comics Marvel has planned for release.

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