Some time in the next year I’m going to catch up on reading my pile of comic-books. One of those comics is going to feature the death of Peter Parker, otherwise known as Spider-man. Issue #160 of Ultimate Spider-man has the web-slinger finally buying the farm at the hands of his nemsis, The Green Goblin.
In 2007 we saw one of Marvel’s other flagship titles wave goodbye to it’s starring character, Captain America. As is the norm in comic-books, as soon as the “death” hype has died down, the “returns” hype builds up. In Captain America’s case he was returned from limbo just in time for the movie.
In the past we have seen the likes of Superman, Batman and even Peter Parker’s dear old Aunt May croak it, only to be re-animated in order to preserve the mythology. In my mind, character deaths in comic-book amount to no more than marketing stunts cynically designed to create “special” issues and gain the attention of the wider public.
In the case of Ultimate Spider-man #160, this isn’t even the “real” Spider-man, it is the Ultimate version launched in 2000 (again I could scream marketing stunt, but it is actually quite good). Suffice to say, I doubt it’ll be the game-changer that Marvel’s PR folks say it will be. At the rate at which I read my comic-books, I’ll probably be reading the “death” and “returns” issues in the same sitting.