Kemper's Reviews > Ultimate Comics Spider-Man: Death of Spider-Man

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man by Brian Michael Bendis
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Apr 28, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2012, comics, superhero
Read in April, 2012

I’ve been a pretty vocal critic of the major comic publishers' habit of stunt killing major characters to get a boost in publicity and sales. This seems like it should fall squarely in that category. It doesn’t.

I’m a little shocked at the emotional impact this book had on me. Yeah, I’ve been a Spider-Man fan since I was a kid and you‘d think the ‘death‘ of one of your long time favorites would hit even a comic nerd in the squishy emotional places we don‘t like to admit to having, but I’ve been through several of these superhero snuffings at this point so I thought I’d be able to read this while keeping an ironic distance. Then I figured I would write up a smart-ass review about making bets on how long it will be before Marvel resurrects him.

I won’t be doing that.

Normon Osborn, better known as The Green Goblin, has been a constant danger to Peter Parker since the beginning of the series because he knows that he’s really Spider-Man. When Osborn stages a destructive break-out from SHIELD custody, he also frees some of Spidey’s biggest foes: Dr. Octopus, Vulture, Electro, Sandman and Kraven. Their plan is to go to immediately to Peter’s house and kill him along with anyone else who happens to be there.

The Ultimates are too busy fighting their own black-ops Avengers team that’s gone rogue to be of any help. Spider-Man gets caught in their crossfire while saving another hero and is badly wounded. Most people would just fall over and wait for an ambulance, but most people aren’t Peter Parker who was once taught a hard lesson about power and responsibility.

Critically injured, outnumbered and alone, Spider-Man fights a pack of supervillains in front of his home to save Aunt May, Mary Jane and the rest of his friends. You can tell from the title how it ends.

Two reasons this is the first superhero death to really get to me: First, because this occurs in Marvel’s Ultimate line, I think this one may actually stick. They’ve already worked out a story for a replacement Spider-Man who is not Peter Parker, and by doing this in the Ultimate universe, they can still have him in the original Marvel stories yet actually allow Peter’s death to play out with consequences in the Ultimate line.

Second, the Ultimate version of Peter Parker has been around long enough to build up his own stories, and I’ve really enjoyed what they’ve done with the character. By taking Spidey back to his high school roots, Marvel not only gave us an updated origin story without decades of history about Venom or clones or retconned weddings, they returned to the essence of Peter Parker as Spider-Man. Guess what. He was a good guy. A really good guy. I’m going to miss him.

Now we just have to hope that Marvel will know better than to screw up Peter’s story by bringing him back.
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Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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message 1: by Ben (new)

Ben Babcock Have you seen this dramatic retelling of the death and return of Superman?


Kemper Ben wrote: "Have you seen this dramatic retelling of the death and return of Superman?"

I have seen that before and laughed my ass off. I also love the one he did where he recaps the Batman Knightfall story.


message 3: by Ben (new)

Ben Babcock Kemper wrote: "I also love the one he did where he recaps the Batman Knightfall story. "
Hmm, I didn’t see that one. I’ll check it out!

I don’t read comics so much as read commentary about comics. :D It makes me feel vaguely like I’m keeping up without having to subject myself to the torturous whims of retcons and multiverses!


message 4: by Kemper (last edited Apr 29, 2012 08:54AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kemper He's got some others about the history of Robin and a version of Watchmen out there too. They're all pretty funny and make a lot of great points about comics.

Random trivia: The kid who did these is named Max Landis. He's John Landis's son and he wrote the movie Chronicle which was out recently.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnDyuN...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quM_64...


Sesana That cover alone packs quite a punch.


message 6: by Brandon (new)

Brandon Great review, sir. I'd like to read this. I have no knowledge of any history when it relates to Ultimate Spider-Man.

Is there any previous stuff I should read before I give this a shot?


Kemper Sesana wrote: "That cover alone packs quite a punch."

Yeah, it does get the point across.


message 8: by Kemper (last edited May 01, 2012 06:05AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kemper Brandon wrote: "Great review, sir. I'd like to read this. I have no knowledge of any history when it relates to Ultimate Spider-Man.

Is there any previous stuff I should read before I give this a shot?"


If you've got basic Spider-Man knowledge, you could just read it and get most of it. I kind of lucked out and read the prelude to this which delivered a lot of the set-up. If you like it, I'd recommend the Fallout and Ultimates Vs. Avengers to get the rest of the story.

And the whole Ultimate Spidey line is well worth checking out.


message 9: by Brandon (new)

Brandon Nice. I'll give that a shot.

I grew up on Spider-Man so I think I may have a good grip on what I need to know.


Kemper Brandon wrote: "Nice. I'll give that a shot.

I grew up on Spider-Man so I think I may have a good grip on what I need to know."


The essentials are the same. Peter Parker gets bit by a weird spider and gets powers. Uncle Ben dies. He's still in high school and living with his Aunt May. Mary Jane is his girlfriend. There's some twists put into the story by the Ultimate universe but it's all familiar enough that you shouldn't have any problems figuring it out.


message 11: by Brandon (new)

Brandon Isn't there a different back story with Peter's Dad working with Eddie Brock's Dad and creating the symbiote?


message 12: by Kemper (last edited May 01, 2012 06:25AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kemper Brandon wrote: "Isn't there a different back story with Peter's Dad working with Eddie Brock's Dad and creating the symbiote?"

Yeah, that's one of the changes. There's a lot of origin updates and revisions like that. The Ultimate line does a lot of taking the original stories and putting modern twists on them. Like Norman Osborn actualy mutates into a creature when he becomes the Goblin, it's not just him being driven crazy and having high tech weapons.


Waseen i raed this book this is really good with a sad ending


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