Peter Parker has survived many supervillains, global conquerors, alien invasions, and the hardships of ordinary life in New York City. But even he can’t live forever in Marvel’s universe. Amazing Fantasy #1000 ultimately revealed how Marvel’s most famous Spider-Man will die in the line of duty – and his Uncle Ben would be happy.
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Marvel has spent the entire year celebrating Spider-Man’s 60th anniversary by releasing memorable Spider-Man stories after another. With Spider-Man #1 in 2022, Zeb Wells took over the Spider-Man book, and the landmark book Amazing Spider-Man #900 was released with a Sinister Six-centric story over 70 pages long.
Miles Morales was also involved with the What If…Miles Morales? series releasing five issues this year. Now, the company returns to the Amazing Fantasy series, where Spider-Man first appeared, and invites readers to witness Spider-Man’s death.
So, how is Spider-Man going to die?
In the story “Sinister 60th” from Amazing Fantasy #1000, written by Dan Slott and illustrated by Jim Cheung, an elderly Spider-Man tries to save a woman held at gunpoint by a common mugger. The mugger shoots Spider-Man, and he collapses to the ground. Even the mugger is taken aback. “Nobody ever shoots the Spider!” he exclaims as he flees, but not before shooting Spider-Man several more times for good measure.
Peter Parker is well aware that this is exactly how Uncle Ben died. It’s a mundane and rather realistic death for a superhero who battled aliens, demons, and mad scientists on a regular basis, but that’s the point. Peter has always represented the proverbial “little guy,” the type of person who is all too often lost in the midst of a world-ending crossover event. No matter how many Gods or monsters he battles, Spider-Man never forgets his street-level roots.
This isn’t the end of Spider-Man. The story concludes with Peter escaping his hospital bed after he’s healed and ready to fight again. But it’s the closest Spider-Man has come to death. The absence of super-weapons, time travel, or other futuristic elements in the death helps the writer’s point: no challenge is too big or too small for Spider-Man, and he’ll face both with equal zeal and risk. In the future, Spider-Man may be killed by a common criminal, but he has saved many people from the same fate.