2011 Memorable Moment: Peter Parker’s Ultimate Sacrifice

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.

3 thoughts on “2011 Memorable Moment: Peter Parker’s Ultimate Sacrifice

  1. So, I stopped buying the Ultimate Spider-Man trade paperbacks after #22, which, I believe, ends with issue #133. You mean I need to keep buying/reading because Peter dies again?

    I’m clueless because I don’t keep up with the Marvel world. I’m a DC guy. So…yeah…ummmm… Should I keep buying trades, if they exist?

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    • Hi, Ed! Nah, you don’t need to go back nearly that far, and the numbering is deceptive. Ultimate Spider-Man was relaunched as Ultimate COMICS Spider-Man in 2009, and there were about 15 issues before it switched back to the original numbering, picking up at #150. I honestly think Pete’s gone for good this time, especially since there is a new Ultimate Spidey. As someone who is very tired of temporary superhero deaths, I found it very moving.

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  2. why did they kill peter? the FIRST spiderman. Then replace him whith a whiny-teenage-crybaby-with no experience-who does not belong in spandex!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. What a discrasefull betrayle of marvel I am never reading again

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