When you read a lot of comics, it takes something truly special to stand out from the pile of panels and pages. As 2011 winds down, V. and I are taking our annual look back at the moments that stuck with us long after the issues went into the longbox. And we’re not only covering books this year, but also other comics-related delights that struck our fancy. Without further ado, I’m kicking off with a page that had me in tears.
Marvel had hyped Peter Parker’s death in Ultimate Spider-Man for months, so I expected the event to be anticlimactic. I couldn’t have been more wrong. With issue #160, the long-running and consistently wonderful series encapsulated everything readers loved about its working-class hero. Despite being gravely injured and up against that crazy, merciless bastard Green Goblin (Oh, how I hate him), Peter never stopped trying to live up to the words: “With great power comes great responsibility.”
Writer Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley conveyed the character’s fundamental goodness and bravery in the face of impossible odds. When Peter took a final breath, surrounded by those he loved most, I started looking for Kleenex. The fact that this moment took place outside of main Marvel continuity in no way diminished its impact. I’m very fond of new Spidey Miles Morales, but the courageous kid from Queens will always be one of my most beloved characters. Rest in peace, Peter.