After getting shot saving Captain America’s life Spider-Man follows the Green Goblin, Electro, Kraven, the Sandman and the Vulture to his house in Queens, where after a large fight Spider-Man appears to have caused the death of the Green Goblin by slamming a truck repeatedly on him. During the fight Spider-Man uses up all of his energy and after getting caught in an explosion lands pretty badly on his neck. With his friends and family safe,Peter dies in Mary Jane and his Aunt May’s arms.
This issue opens with a full page spread of the front page of the Daily Bugle with the headline, “Spider-Man R.I.P.: New York City’s fallen hero was Queens’ High School Student Peter Parker” and a black and white image of Spider-Man that just so happens to be the cover to Ultimate Spider-Man #1. A distraught Gwen Stacy is staring unbelievably at the newspaper that is sitting on the coffee table in May’s house in Queens. After covering her face with her hands, she slowly lowers them, and says that she is cursed.
In his office J. Jonah Jameson sits at his desk and agonizes over a piece he is trying to write for his paper. He writes “I knew the truth about Peter Parker. I knew he was Spider-” before he stops and erases it.
Floating up in the sky over the Empire State building Johnny Storm let out a loud yell as he bursts into flames, lighting up the sky all around him.
At night a group of men are breaking into a store and stealing large screen, plasma televisions when Kitty Pryde turns up and makes quick and brutal work of them. With tears streaming down her face and anger in her eyes she says that she hates them all.
Flash Thompson is sitting in an empty classroom looking around. He asks his teacher who is sitting at her desk with her face in her hands if class was canceled. He then asks himself is he was the only person who didn’t know Spider-Man’s secret identity.
A large number of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and employees at the Queensborough Bridge are fixing it up after the Ultimates’ battle that happened there earlier. Hiding in the back behind some rubble is Mary Jane Watson with a video camera. She is taking a number of videos when she is spotted and makes a break for it. She is caught and her camera is taken away when Nick Fury shows up. He tells everyone that he knows who she is and that they need to confiscate her camera but to let her go. He tells MJ to leave now and not to come back but she fires back that she believes Nick Fury is responsible for Peter’s death and she won’t stop until she proves it to everyone. A visibly shocked Fury repeats himself telling her to leave.
Aunt May and Gwen are sitting in the back of a limo with Tony Stark when he tells May she doesn’t have to worry about the funeral expenses, that he’ll take care of it. May starts to tell him that she doesn’t want anything big but Tony cuts her off saying that he believes she doesn’t have much say in that matter. They pull up to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and it is completely surrounded by people.
After seeing the size of the crowd May doesn’t believe she has it in her to go in; that it’s all just too much. Tony tells her that the gathering outside of the church wasn’t planned, it just happened on it’s own and that the people of the city, the city itself, need to mourn Spider-Man’s passing. He tells her that this is really Spider-Man’s funeral. Peter’s funeral, with all the people who actually knew him and loved him, will come later. With his words convincing her, May steps out of the backseat.
Tony, May and Gwen begin to make their way through the police blockade when a little girl asks May if she’s Spider-Man’s mommy. May tell the little girl that she was his aunt but that she was like a mom to him and the little girl then tells her that when she was little Spider-Man saved her from a fire, the scar tissue can still be seen on her face. The little girl then asks May is she needs a hug. They embrace and everyone is brought to tears but through the tears, May feels a small sense of joy because of her nephew’s brave actions while he was alive and the lives he had touched.
Inside the church Tony and Gwen lead May to an empty pew in the first row. She sits down and bows her head as a shadow falls over her. Looking up she sees Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, dressed in his army greens. He tells May that he knew Peter and then drops the bombshell that it was his fault that Peter is dead.
How does everyone react to the passing of Spider-man? This issue and this series is suppose to explore that and we are witness to a number of characters dealing with the tragic event, some through anger and some through sadness. Gwen believes that she is cursed, Jonah can’t seem to put into words his feelings on the matter, which is a big deal for him seeing as his background is in reporting. We see Kitty and Johnny both take out their frustrations using their powers; Kitty pounding on some bad guys and Johnny bursting into flames in the sky. We also see Flash sitting alone in a classroom and realizing that he didn’t really know what was going on around him.
Mary Jane on the other hand is looking for someone to blame and she finds Nick Fury fits the bill pretty well. Trying to uncover some evidence on the Queensborough using her video camera, she comes face-to-face with Fury and threatens him that she won’t rest until the world knows that Fury was responsible for Peter’s death.
At Spider-Man’s funeral at the Saint Patrick’s Cathedral an enormous gathering has massed outside the doors to say their goodbyes to New York’s hero, and one of them, a little girl tells May that the only reason she is alive is because of Spider-man. This exchange brightens May knowing what kind of a person her nephew was. That he put so many people above himself and the amount of people who have shown up proves that.
Inside the church after having taken her seat May is approached by Steve Rogers who tells her that it was all his fault that Peter is dead. Probably not the best time to tell May little bit of information.
I loved seeing how all of the supporting characters from Ultimate Spider-Man are dealing with his death. We get a full spectrum of emotions from confusion, anger, dread, guilt and, ultimately, sadness. If the story just focused on one or two main characters we wouldn’t have as rich of an emotional display that we are given. The only people that are not shown are any of Spider-Man’s villains, but including them would have changed the entire tone of the book. Not only are the characters reflecting on Spider-Man’s life but the readers should be as well. By not having any reactions from any villains we are given enough time to do just that before the cliffhanger at the end starts up a new plot line to dive into to.