Marvel Comics mastermind Brian Michael Bendis launched the Ultimate Universe with the Spider-Man-as-a-high-schooler comic-book reboot back in 2000 — now Disney's gonna have a go in Fall 2011. It's one of the first fruits of the Disney-Marvel marriage.
Spider-Man has had something of a checkered cartoon past. There have been seven webslinger 'toons in the past 30 years or so, and the ones that are remarkable are so because they were either trippy (the '60s show, with it's lava-lamp exteriors and great theme song), lame (Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends in the '80s), or experimental (MTV's all-CG Spider-Man: The New Animated Series, with Neil Patrick Harris as Peter Parker). While they all had their merits, none of them seemed to capture everything Spider-Man had to offer — not nearly as well as, say, Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 2.
So the Mouse House, looking to woo a young male demographic, is stepping up to the plate by hatching Ultimate Spider-Man for the Disney XD channel, set to premiere in Fall of 2011. The only thing troubling is this little bit from the official Marvel release:
"Ultimate Spider-Man will be a unique journey exploring our favorite web-slinger as he teams up with other fan favorite Marvel Super Heroes in never before seen stories with a new life filled with great challenges, new friends, intense action and character growth," said Eric S. Rollman, President of Marvel Animation.
"Never before seen stories." Now, I'm sure that Marvel will find a batch of writers for USM that can do the job, but Bendis already did the job. For nine years. Sometimes, boys and girls, new isn't always better.