Original story: ***We're not kidding around here, folks! Huge, massive spoilers for Ultimate Spider-Man #160 follow! Proceed with caution!***
The Ultimate version of Spider-Man really does meet his final end in this week's Ultimate Spider-Man #160, as revealed in a New York Post article published early Tuesday morning.
In the issue, Peter Parker dies from saving Aunt May from the Green Goblin. The Post (while being sure to get an obligatory Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark joke in), quotes series writer Brian Michael Bendis as calling the death "truly heroic and sacrificial," while bringing the title character's story full circle, since his origin stems from being unable to save his Uncle Ben's life.
"It occurred to me that if Peter passed away in a meaningful way, he
could be the Uncle Ben character to a new Spider-Man, which then
continues it to be a real Spider-Man story," Bendis told USA
"Then it became more than just, 'Oh my God, you killed him!'"
"10 years ago, Brian Bendis and Mark Millar changed the way people saw
super heroes with the birth of the Ultimate Universe", said Marvel Senior Editor Mark Paniccia in a Marvel press release Tuesday morning. "With ‘Death of
Spider-Man’ the two have done it again, creating a story just as big,
and something that would really resonate with fans. But Peter’s death doesn’t signal the end of
their larger plan—it’s the start of one of the most ambitious stories
you’ve ever read in comics.”
The comic, in stores this Wednesday, is the last chapter of "The Death of Spider-Man." Some fans may have been skeptical that the title was literal, but Bendis tells USA Today "this is the last hurrah" for Peter Parker.
"There's a real point to this and the point doesn't work if we don't stick to our guns," Bendis told the Post.
Ultimate Spider-Man was the first series in Marvel's "Ultimate" line of comics, intended to serve as a new reader friendly alternative to their long-running Marvel Universe titles. The book launched in October 2000, and lasted 133 issues before relaunching as Ultimate Comics Spider-Man with a new #1 in August 2009. Last November, the title reverted to its original numbering with #150. Bendis has written every issue of the series, and original artist Mark Bagley returned to the book for the five-part "Death of Spider-Man" arc.
This week's issue #160 (polybagged to protect readers from spoiling themselves inside of comic shops) ends the book's run, but it's relaunching with another Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1 in September, by Bendis and artist Sara Pichelli. The book will star an as-yet unrevealed character taking on the guise of Spider-Man.
"There's going to be a brand new Spider-Man," Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso told the Post, while declining to reveal the character's identity. "We're certain readers will fall in love with him the way they did with Peter."
"We’ve never seen a world without Spider-Man, a world without Peter
Parker, so his death is a significant event for the Ultimate Comics
Universe and we’re going to see how quickly it changes everything, Alonso says in the Marvel press release. "Readers are in for something very new…and surprising because everything
that happens in Ultimate Spider-Man #160 and Ultimate Comics Fallout sets the stage for even bigger stories."
In May, Bendis told Newsarama that aspects of the original Ultimate Spider-Man series will carry over into the new book.
elements of what Spider-Man means, and what he stands for, will continue
into the new series," Bendis said. "Some
of the characters from the older series returning. We don't want to say
Starting in July, the six-issue Ultimate Fallout will bridge "The Death of Spider-Man" and the new Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1. Co-written by Bendis with fellow Ultimate line writers Jonathan Hickman and Nick Spencer, the Post reports that the new Ultimate Spider-Man will debut in that series.
In April, the new Ultimate Spider-Man's costume was revealed, as seen here. Peter Parker's adventures as Spider-Man continue in several mainstream Marvel Universe comics, including the twice-monthly Amazing Spider-Man.
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