The Ultimate Spider-Man series features the main storyline death of Peter Parker, but Spider-Man continues on through Miles Morales.
Several other storylines have seen Spider-Man die, but he always manages to come back to life in some way or another.
An established trope of superhero comics is that even when characters die, they come back more often than not. Throughout the history of Marvel, there have only been a handful of characters who didn’t return to life. Spider-Man doesn’t fit in the category. Even though he’s been killed multiple times, the creators brought him back sooner or later, in one form or another.
The reason for this is simple. Spider-Man is one of the most popular Marvel superheroes and has been since his comic book premiere in August 1962. Killing him off for good would be a move that would meet a lot of backlash from the fans. Yet some comic book stories had the courage to kill Spider-Man and not bring him back in the next issue or any time soon.
5 What If? (Dies Of Old Age)
The series What If…? can take greater liberties with the characters since it lies outside the main story. As such, one scenario shows what would happen if Peter didn’t manage to separate himself from the Venom symbiote. Spider-Man asks Fantastic Four for help but even the genius brain of Reed Richards isn’t able to help him.
In the end, it’s the symbiote who decides to leave Peter, not the other way around. Venom decides to attach to Hulk and Peter, whose life energy has been sucked nearly dry by the symbiote, is now an old man, aged 85, and he soon succumbs to his age. At least Black Cat kills the symbiote, getting revenge for Spider-Man.
4 Ultimate Spider-Man (Shoot And Beaten By Sinister Six)
The Ultimate Spider-Man series is one of the few times when Spider-Man dies in the main storyline, with no alternative universes, and doesn’t come back. It happens on a uniquely bad day for Peter Parker who is still a student in this series. First, he protects Captain America by catching a bullet for him shot by the Punisher. Then, with all the superheroes busy elsewhere, Peter returns home only to find out that the members of the Sinister Six are waiting for him.
He manages to fight them and defeat Norman Osborn but the shot wound plus the injuries suffered in the fight against the Sinister Six are too much and Peter dies in Mary Jane’s arms while his weeping Aunt May is unable to help her nephew. It’s a poignant moment, but even though Peter Parker is dead, Spider-Man survives – as Miles Morales is in the crowd witnessing Peter’s death and later decides to take on the mantle of Spider-Man.
3 What If? (Stabbed By Wolverine)
Only two issues after the previous story, Spider-Man yet again meets his end. This time, in an even more brutal fashion. Demons invade the planet and one of them manages to kill all the X-Men. The only one who survives is Wolverine, who’s now possessed.
He’s not the only one as most of Earth’s superheroes turn evil due to the demonic influence. Spider-Man is one of the few superheroes who remains a good guy. But this time around, the heroes don’t save the day. The possessed Wolverine attacks Spider-Man and manages to kill him by stabbing him with his claws.
2 Marvel Zombies (Zombified, Technically Dead)
One of the most disturbing comic book examples of Spider-Man dying happens in the Marvel Zombies series. Just like most superheroes and humans in general, Spider-Man dies and wakes up as a zombie, hungry for the flesh of humans.
That leads him to kill many innocent people, including the woman he loves, Mary Jane Watson, and his Aunt May. This Spider-Man might still be walking around and talking but everything that made Peter Parker the hero he was is dead.
Spider-Man faces dangerous enemies on an everyday basis and while he manages to come out on top in most fights – he isn’t always so lucky. But as the comics don’t want to kill him off for good, even when it seems that Spider-Man is done, he comes back in the end. It’s not an actual death, unlike the previous entries, but all of Spider-Man’s deaths still deserve a mention.
In the Six Arms Saga, Peter mutates into a giant spider and dies… only for a new human Peter to emerge from the dead body. Marvel Super Heroes Secret War sees Spider-Man die in an energy blast sent out by Dr. Doom, alongside other superheroes. He comes back an issue later after Black Panther tricks Dr. Doom into using his new powers and bringing the dead heroes to life. The Clone Saga has Peter die in a hospital, but he wakes up a while later as if nothing happened.
In Amazing Spider-Man #396, Spider-Man is poisoned by the villain The Owl, but it’s Doctor Octopus of all people who saves his life by coming up with an antidote and performing CPR on Peter. Another villain, Morlun, is partially responsible for Peter’s temporary demise in The Other storyline. In Uncanny X-Men #191 Spider-Man’s death at the hands of the sorcerer Kulan Gath is reversed when Doctor Strange and Ilyana Rasputin reverse time. As such, Spider-Man doesn’t even remember he died.
In Infinity Gauntlet, Spider-Man is killed by Thanos’s lover Terraxia, but his death is once again reversed at the end of the story. Spider-Man Vol. 1 #17 has Spider-Man die in a chemical explosion after he saves innocent people. That is until Death shows up and takes mercy on him, sending him back to his life.
Like most major superheroes, Marvel’s Spider-Man has met his end several times throughout the comics, only to later make a return. Read More