Amazing Spider-Man: Book of the Dead

A comprehensive guide to the recent gallery of fallen Spidey allies by Marcos Martin!

Share:

Comments:

By Ben Morse

It’s only been a week, but more than a few folks who when they talk people listen have come to the same conclusion: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #655 by Dan Slott and Marcos Martin really struck a chord.

The powerful issue followed the consequences of Marla Jameson’s death at the hands of Alistair Smythe in issue #654, from her husband Jonah’s silent suffering to Peter Parker’s guilt and remorse. Slott composed a powerful and haunting story matched in impact by Martin’s immaculate and heartfelt heart.

In the midst of the story, the duo presented their masterpiece: a mind-bending two page spread by Martin in which Spider-Man stumbled through his psychedelic dreamscape searching for Marla to give him absolution and along the way encountering the other friends, family, allies and lovers he’s lost over the years.

Black and white art from AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #655

You can see the piece in black and white to your left and in color a bit further down; with the help of Dan Slott, we now present a comprehensive guide to the characters featured in this sequence, including when and how they met their demise.

Top row, left to right

SALLY AVRIL (first appeared in AMAZING FANTASY #15, died in UNTOLD TALES OF SPIDER-MAN #13): A high school classmate of Peter Parker’s who turned him down for a date then later adopted the costumed identity Bluebird in hopes of becoming Spider-Man’s sidekick; killed in a car accident speeding to the sight of a battle involving Spider-Man to take photographs.

NICK KATZENBERG (first appeared in WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #50, died off-panel): Daily Bugle photographer with low moral character who once attempted to blackmail Peter Parker, but also developed an odd friendship with him; died from lung cancer brought on by years of cigarette smoking.

NATHAN LUBENSKY (first appeared in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #47, died in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #336): Retirement home resident who met, fell in love with and became engaged to Peter Parker’s Aunt May; killed by The Vulture while helping Spider-Man save May, whom the villain had taken hostage.

UNNAMED WAITRESS (first appeared in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #559, died in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #560): Waitress who filed a lawsuit against actor Bobby Carr after he lost his temper with her and was killed by his super-power stalker, Paper Doll.

The death of Captain Stacy

CAPTAIN GEORGE STACY (first appeared in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #56, died in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #90): Heroic police captain, father to Peter Parker’s girlfriend, Gwen Stacy, and a paternal mentor to Peter himself; killed saving a child from falling debris during a fight between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus, revealing to Peter he knew his secret identity and asking him to take care of Gwen with his last words.

Right-hand middle section, top to bottom

BILLY CONNORS (first appeared in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6 (1963), died in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #631): Son of Doctor Curtis Connors, aka The Lizard; killed by The Lizard, who was attempting to subvert the Connors persona.

MARTHA CONNORS (first appeared in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6 (1963), died in SPIDER-MAN: QUALITY OF LIFE #4): Wife of Doctor Curtis Connors, aka The Lizard; died from complications during an operation after contracting terminal cancer.

JACKPOT I (first appeared in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN FREE COMIC BOOK DAY #1, died in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #35): Alana Jobson, powerless vigilante who acquired a super hero registration identity and fought crime alongside Spider-Man; died from an overdose of Mutant Growth Hormone, which she was taking in order to simulate powers.

LISA PARFREY (first appeared in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #550, died in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #551): New York City mayoral candidate; killed by Menace, who was seeking to secure the position for her father, Bill Holister, without his knowledge.

SEAN ROCKWELL (first appeared and died in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #560): Corrupt manager of actor Bobby Carr who was secretly supplying DB publisher Dexter Bennett with his whereabouts in order to provide invasive coverage; killed by Paper Doll.

Bottom row, left to right

The death of Ben Reilly

THE SCARLET SPIDER (first appeared in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #149, died in SPIDER-MAN #75): Ben Reilly, a clone of Peter Parker who had both his own costumed identity and also briefly became Spider-Man while Peter was retired; killed in battle by Norman Osborn, aka The Green Goblin, and combusted afterwards due to his unstable genetic makeup.

KAINE (first appeared in WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #118, “died” in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #635): Imperfect clone of Peter Parker who served as both an enemy and ally to him and Ben Reilly over the years; took Peter’s place and sacrificed his life to the Kraven Family to buy Spider-Man time, but unbeknownst to anybody, apparently survived.

NED LEEDS (first appeared in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #18 (1963), died in SPIDER-MAN VERSUS WOLVERINE #1): Reporter for the Daily Bugle, husband of Betty Brant, and sometime rival to Peter Parker; framed as the original Hobgoblin and killed by agents of The Foreigner, hired by Jack O’Lantern to secure the villainous identity for himself.

TIM HAMMOND (first appeared in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #248, died off-panel): Young boy suffering from leukemia that claimed to be Spider-Man’s biggest fan and got to meet his hero—who told him his origin and even unmasked—shortly before his death.

SPIDER-WOMAN III (first appeared in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #262, died in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #634): Mattie Franklin, young woman with similar powers to Spider-Man who donned her own costume and took over the Spider-Woman identity; sacrificed by Sasha Kravinoff to bring her son, Vladimir, back from the dead.

FREDERICK FOSWELL (first appeared in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10 (1963), died in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #52): Daily Bugle reporter who became the criminal Big Man, but later reformed; stepped in front of a bullet intended for Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson out of gratitude for having received a second chance.

LANCE BANNON (first appeared in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #208, died in WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #114): Daily Bugle photographer and Peter Parker’s chief professional rival; killed by the villain F.A.C.A.D.E after learning his or her secret identity.

The death of Gwen Stacy

GWEN STACY (first appeared in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #31 (1963), died in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #121): Peter Parker’s longtime girlfriend and perhaps the love of his life; kidnapped by The Green Goblin and thrown off the Brooklyn Bridge, her neck snapped when Spider-Man attempted to save her.

THE BOOKIE first appeared in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN FREE COMIC BOOK DAY #1, died in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #582): John Ladue, fixture at the Bar With No Name who took bets on superhuman conflicts; attempting to repay a debt to Spider-Man, who had saved his life, The Bookie ran afoul of police officers attempting to frame the hero for a murder spree and was killed to keep him quiet.

CAPTAIN JEAN DEWOLFF (first appeared in MARVEL TEAM-UP #48, died in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #107): New York Police Captain and public supporter of Spider-Man, the only one he had on the force; shot by her unbalance lover Sergeant Stanley Carter, aka the Sin-Eater, who had become unhinged following the death of his partner and felt Jean represented the system that had allowed the crime.

EZEKIEL (first appeared in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #471, died in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #508): A wealthy man endowed with mystical spider powers that mentored Peter Parker and attempted to help him develop his connection to his own abilities; nearly sacrificed Peter to supernatural beings in order to keep his powers, but changed his mind and gave his own life instead.

OKSANA SYTSEVICH (first appeared in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #617, died in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #625): Waitress who fell in love with and married the original Rhino; killed by the new Rhino to lure his reformed predecessor out of retirement.

Art from AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #655

BENNETT BRANT (first appeared and died in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #11): Brother of Betty Brant who owed a gambling debt to criminal Blackie Glaxton; shot during a fight between Glaxton’s gang, Doctor Octopus and Spider-Man.

Facing forward

CHARLEMAGNE (first appeared and died in SPIDER-MAN VERSUS WOLVERINE #1): Skilled mercenary and assassin who was among Wolverine’s best friends; on the run, “Charlie” sought a quick death by interjecting herself into a fight between Wolverine and Spider-Man, taking a punch meant for the former by the latter, and becoming the only person Peter Parker has ever killed.

MORE IN Comics See All

Comments

14 comments
diaglafan
diaglafan

why isn't Uncle Ben on there?

trellan
trellan

Ok, I can forgive not mentioning the clone Peter fought when the Jackal first appeared because years later a hundred also showed up, but why no mention of Gwen Stacy's clones? There were only two, right?

djhall92
djhall92

...Peter wasn't looking for Marla. He was chasing Gwen. I think this constitutes a no-prize.

Old_School
Old_School

Great. But can't we finally put Aunt May on this list? PLEASE. And MJ, since they decided to screw that all up.

marvelite86
marvelite86

dear god, that's a mind warping cover. Looks like a JR snr style. Love foswell and the stacy family there too.

Cris84
Cris84

I have to agree with pineappleprotein. It would be pretty amazing to be able to read the Spider-Man vs. Wolverine issues, so pretty please, with many cherries on top, do add them to the digital comics unlimited archive. Also, what is going on with all the spam?

pineappleprotein
pineappleprotein

Marvel, can you please add "Spider-Man Vs. Wolverine" to Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited? It's referenced heavily in this issue, and is hard to find since it's so old. Fans would love to read it since it ties in. I remember you added the Spider-Man vs. Juggernaut issues to the digital comics when he re-appeared in this series. So this would be the same kind of deal. Thank You. And LOVE this issue!

BMorse2
BMorse2

Uncle Ben appears elsewhere in the story, gets his whole own sequence.

SilentmanX
SilentmanX

1) Why isn't Ben Parker in this?2) Wow...look at this list. Peter is literally messed up with the list of people that are dead

CDOG1995
CDOG1995

@CT92Yeah, that is very odd they don't put UNCLE BEN in this.

tonyh20
tonyh20

Marvel should bring scarlet spider back to life

CT92
CT92

Ok I got to ask this, how is Uncle Ben not on this???

CDOG1995
CDOG1995

Pretty interesting to learn about all the people in all the different Spider-Man series that died.