Marvel has been hyping The Death of Spider-Man in nearly all of their books in the Ultimate line. As the title would suggest its expected that Spider-Man will die at the end of this arc. In fact, in USM 157 he was recently shot by the Punisher while trying to protect Captain America. This is all in an effort to lead up to the supposed death of Spider-Man/Peter Parker. Marvel has also teased that the new Spidey will wear a brand new costume. The costume is pictured below.
Marvel issued the following press release to hype the event:
New York, NY—April 18, 2011—Marvel has announced that after the shocking events of Death of Spider-Man, the sold out storyline currently running through Ultimate Comics Spider-Man and Ultimate Comics Avengers Vs Ultimates, there will be a new Spider-Man and a new character under the mask. Something’s happened to Peter Parker and here comes an all-new Spider-Man…in an all-new costume!
“We called this story Death of Spider-Man for a reason,” said Axel Alonso, Marvel Editor In Chief. “This is a huge story that’ll have fans around the world talking for a long time as we set the stage for the debut of our new Spider-Man.”
The Ultimate Universe is irrevocably changed with the conclusion to Death of Spider-Man in June’s polybagged Ultimate Spider-Man #160, but right now you can get in on the red-hot story that leads to the birth of an all-new Spider-Man, including new printings of the sold out issues:
And now for the opinion piece of this news article. I have very strong doubts that Peter Parker will actually die at the end of this story-arc. He’s really the mainstay of Ultimate Universe, and losing him would incite some fan outrage. I know I would be upset since I enjoy the Ultimate books a lot more than Amazing Spider-Man lately.
The problem is that Bendis has almost written himself into a corner. In the Ultimate comics Peter has been pretty careless about protecting his secret identity. It seems as though all of Peter’s friends know he’s Spidey. Also, most of his enemies and allies seem to be in the know. Obviously this a problem.
So here’s my conspiracy theory about the death of Spider-Man. Spidey is shot and obviously looking like he’s in rough shape. The battle between the Ultimates and Avengers is being televised and covered by the news channels. Norman Osborn and his cronies will see that Spidey is injured and take this as the opportunity to finally eliminate him. They will enter the battle targeting solely Spider-Man and get quite a few licks in before the Avengers and Ultimates set aside their differences to try to save Spider-Man. It’s quite possible Spidey will be unmasked during the fight and his identity revealed to the world at large.
After a savage beating on TV it will appear that Spider-man is dead. In reality he will be badly injured and brought back to safety amongst his allies. In an effort to allow Peter to have a life, it will be announced that Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, died as a result of his injuries. In turn Peter and his family will be given new identities to allow them to live their lives without being constantly targeted.
Since Peter still believes that ‘with great power, comes great responsibility’ he will not be able to quit being Spider-Man. This leads to him making a new costume that looks quite different from his original. The hope is this will make people think there is a different man under the suit.
This is just my crazy idea though. I have no idea what Bendis is going to do. I really hope that Peter Parker is not killed off, as I think it’s really hard to do a Spidey series without Peter. The Spidey reboots in the early 2000’s didn’t do very well without Peter behind the mask. Stay tuned for Ultimate Spider-Man 160 to see how this all pans out. I’m assuming we’ll see the new Spidey (pictured below) in issue 161.