By Eric Drumm
Peter Parker, now known to the world as Spider-Man after the events of "Civil War," has often relied on the fact that he was in control. His Uncle Ben taught him that "with great power comes great responsibility." Never forgetting his uncle's words, Spider-Man has always been able to curb his anger and rage, and never cross the line when it came to dealing with supervillains. In the heat of battle, and despite the deaths of friends and lovers due to his actions, he has always pulled his punches to ensure that he wouldn't make a murderous mistake. Until now. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #540 may show us that even Spider-Man has a breaking point.
"Civil War" left Peter with a mess on his hands. Along with his wife Mary Jane and his Aunt May, Peter was run out of his home in Stark Tower after turning on Iron Man and the Superhuman Registration Act. Marked as a traitor and with nowhere to go, Peter moved his family into a cheap motel while he joined Captain America's Secret Avengers. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Peter, the Kingpin, still imprisoned yet as powerful as ever, hired a hitman to take out the Parkers. After Cap's surrender and defeat of the Anit-Reg heroes, Peter returned home still a fugitive and marked for death.
With the whole world seemingly against him, Peter arrived back at the motel to the relieved open arms of his wife and aunt. As the sniper took aim, Peter's Spider-Sense went off. Pushing his wife out of the line of fire, he realized that he had not been quick enough to protect his Aunt May as well. May dropped to the floor and Peter cried out in terror. Incapacitating the sniper by literally throwing a Jeep at him, Peter web-slinged May to the hospital and instructed Mary Jane to stay with her.
Wild with rage and no longer caring about the consequences of his actions, Peter--sans Spider-Man costume--goes on a rampage across New York to find clues on who shot his aunt. After savagely beating some gun runners and brutally interrogating one of them, Peter donned a long stashed-away black Spider-Man costume.
With his back already against the wall, his aunt's deteriorating health may finally put Spider-Man over the edge. Through the years Peter was able to keep his innocence in tact despite his horrific tragedies. Even after such devastating events as the deaths of Gwen Stacy and Uncle Ben, Peter was able to restrain himself from taking a life. Through all of the terrible heartbreaks, Uncle Ben's words have resonated within Peter making him a hero, not a killer. However, Aunt May's attack on top of the devastation of "Civil War" might be too much for Peter to bear, and he may not be able to control himself any longer. Has Peter finally had enough? Will he still be the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, or will he switch out "friendly" with "murderous"?
Back in the black costume with a black heart to match, April's AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #540 continues the darkest chapter in the life of Peter Parker yet. For this one, there is NO going back. Get onboard Peter's wild ride with AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #540, on sale April 25.