Aunt May’s influence on Spider-Man’s life is deemed to be more significant than Uncle Ben’s, according to the latest Marvel comic. In “Hope,” Spider-Man learns a valuable lesson about perseverance and hope from his late Aunt May. This one-shot comic reimagines the Spider-Man canon, revealing that Aunt May played a crucial role in shaping Peter’s optimistic and hopeful outlook.

Warning: Spoilers for Marvel Zombies: Black, White, & Blood #1!The Marvel Cinematic Universe may have been right after all as even Marvel’s comics agree that Aunt May had a bigger impact on Spider-Man‘s life than Uncle Ben. Movie-viewing audiences will recall that in Spider-Man: No Way Home, right before her death, Aunt May delivers Uncle Ben’s famous line, “With great power, there must come great responsibility.” The movie frames this as if it’s MCU Peter’s first time hearing this, giving him the long-lasting impact that Uncle Ben traditionally gives.

Now, the switch suddenly makes more sense in Marvel Zombies: Black, White & Blood #1. The story “Hope” by Alex Segura, Javi Fernandez, and VC’s Clayton Cowles puts a spotlight on Spider-Man specifically in a world overrun by zombies. In the opening pages of the story, Peter Parker makes it real clear as to why the title of the story is “Hope.”

The title is based on the values that Aunt May instilled in Peter since he was younger, all about holding out for hope in hopeless situations.

Spider-Man Learned His Most Important Lesson From Aunt May

The story opens with Peter breaking into a narration monologue in which he mentions that Aunt May taught him to never give up hope and that he doesn’t believe in no-win scenarios. As for this story, he slowly loses that hope as he defends the Daily Bugle from a horde of zombies, only to be confronted by a zombified Aunt May herself. However, the sentiment behind hope that she passed onto him paints the overall Spider-Man narrative into a new perspective.

Aunt May Truly Shaped Spider-Man’s Overall Journey

The idea of having hope in hopeless situations is a pivotal theme at the core of just about every Spider-Man story, even more so than themes of responsibility. Whether it’s something as trivial as paying the rent on time or losing his girlfriend to a fall at the top of a bridge, Spider-Man comes out of every worst-case scenario with a surprising amount of optimism. Even after being possessed by the Green Goblin recently and being wracked with guilt about the horrors he commits over the span of one night, he walks away with a newfound hope to walk into tomorrow ready to do better than he did the day before, hopeful for a better day.

This one-shot recontextualizes the entire canon of Spider-Man lore to suggest that those ideas of hope were instilled in him by Aunt May and continued to be instilled as she continued to raise him in Ben’s late absence. Even when Ben does die, he feels guilty, but he hangs on to hope, never gives up, and never stops believing that people can be redeemed. Those feelings originally came from Aunt May, and given how vital those feelings are to any Spider-Man narrative, it’s safe to say she left a bigger impact on Peter than Uncle Ben ever could.

Marvel Zombies: Black, White & Blood #1 is available now from Marvel Comics.

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