A Time to Kill – The Times Spiderman has Killed in the Comics
Not a lot of superheroes are relatable. Unless you are a tech-savvy billionaire, then chances are you can’t relate to Iron man. Captain America isn’t either, because he’s a war veteran with superhuman abilities thanks to that experimental serum. Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, the Hulk, and several other superheroes are also not exactly the kind of characters you can relate to. Which is perhaps why Spiderman is one of the most beloved superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Think about it, Peter Parker is just a broke, smart high school/college student with a pathetic love life. Without his Spidey abilities, he is pretty much like any other young adult. His struggles just seem very familiar and seeing him grapple with everyday teenage problems makes him pretty interesting right?
However, you can’t just ignore the fact that Peter Parker is, in fact, Spiderman, a superhero with superhuman powers. Now, like with every superhero, sometimes, Spiderman has to make difficult decisions which usually end with someone dying.
Not so relatable anymore right?
Well, not everything is black and white and yes, Spiderman has had to kill people a number of times as a superhero. Most of these are usually not his fault anyway and moreover, expecting a superhero to not kill villains, is just not realistic. In this article, we are going to look at the times, Spiderman has actually had to kill people for whatever reason. So brace yourself; here are 10 times Spiderman has sent people to their death;
1. When he bombed the Finisher
We were first introduced to the Finisher in the 1968 publication of the Amazing Spiderman and thanks to Spiderman, we had to say goodbye to him within the pages of that very publication. So while on his search to find his parents, Peter discovers that they were in fact spies for the US government and what’s worse? They were traitors! Further digging uncovered the fact that it was Red Skull who got his parents involved in the mess.
Well, Spiderman didn’t like that so much and what better way was there to express his anger towards Skull than to fight him? Skull couldn’t be bothered to engage Spiderman in a fight so he sends the Finisher to deal with him. So the Finisher goes on to fire missiles at Spiderman who cleverly misses and deflects them back to the Finisher. The Finisher gets hit in the process and is blown up. Boom! And so was the Finisher finished.
2. When he used the Whisper as a human shield
So in a publication of “In the Web of Spiderman” Betty is brought back as Spidey’s love interest along with a newly introduced villain duo. In the course of the story, the duo decides to attack Betty and well, Spiderman, of course, comes to the rescue. The brawl comes to an end when Spiderman uses Whisper, one half of the duo as a human shield to block the shots from the attack. That’s the story of how Whisper dies, courtesy of Spiderman.
3. When he eliminated the Shade in the Astral Plane
Spiderman was also responsible for wiping out Shade from the Universe. Shade was a villain who specialized in abducting homeless men on the sidewalk He would then take these men to the “Astral Plane” in outer space. Spiderman, who had teamed up with Doctor Strange during this period, of course, decided to do his super-heroics but his powers would not have been much help in the Astral Plane. So Doctor Strange gives him some of his magic powers to fight Shade. Thanks to his newly acquired magic powers, Spidey was able to kill Shade, completely erasing him from existence.
4. When he sunk Gog in Quicksand
In the Amazing Spiderman 104, Peter is going to some place called “Savage Land” after his girlfriend, Gwen Stacy is kidnapped from a camp while visiting Savage Land. As the name clearly implies, Savage Land is not exactly all sunshine and roses. There, he encounters a creature named Gog, a hideous scaly being who along with Kraven are being the kidnap. He somehow manages to lure Gog into a patch of quicksand where the creature eventually sinks.
5. When he killed digger
In the Amazing Spiderman 64 volume 2, Spidey meets Digger, who happens to be some weird gamma radiating Frankenstein-like monster. Digger who is apparently at the end of his life is on a rampage. Spiderman who is usually very particular about innocent lives decides to ensure that Digger causes as little harm as possible and the best way to see to that was to fight him. The dying creature who is weakening by the minute is unable to withstand Spiderman who beats him to a pulp and eventually kills him.
6. When he teleported Moondark to his death
In Spiderman and the werewolf, we are introduced to a new villain by the name Moondark, a magician who has never been heard of again in the series, thanks to Spidey. So Moondark is being a nuisance and all which eventually lands him in a brawl with Spiderman. During the fight, Spiderman throws a punch at the magician which sends him flying all the way across the golden gate bridge teleporting him through a portal where he disappears forever.
7. When he ate Morlun
Sometimes, superheroes have to do weird things even if those weird things involve momentarily becoming a cannibal. Sometime in the series, Spiderman becomes very weak and disoriented because of a deadly radiation based illness that is killing him. On a quest to extend his life span, he travels across the Marvel Universe seeking for help from other superheroes including Doctor Strange and Bruce Banner but unfortunately, no one is able to help him.
To worsen things, Morlun, an insane villain begins a hunt for Peter drain whatever life is left in him. He finally catches up with him and a big fight ensues. During the fight, Morlun rips out Peter’s eyes and eats it – right in front of the now one eyed mess that is Spiderman. Spidey eventually eats up Morlun’s face and about a day later, his dying body is regenerated back to normal. Strange right?
8. When he made Drom disappear
Introduced in Marvel team up Spiderman and Iron Man, issue 31, Drom, a villain in the Marvel Universe was quite similar to Benjamin Button in the sense that he was aging backward, instead of growing older, he was getting younger. Drom stayed young by absorbing energy from people and dissolving it into a magic mirror which then disrupts his natural aging process.
When Spiderman learns about the mirror, he confronts Drom and unsurprisingly, it escalates to a fight. During the fight, Spiderman smashes the magic mirror onDrom’s head. Smashing the mirror must have heightened its magic powers because Drom progressively gets younger and younger until he is turned into a baby before fading away into nothingness.
9. When he deleted Doctor Octopus
In the Superior Spiderman storyline, Spiderman finds out that Octopus is dying and pays him a visit in the hospital to say his goodbyes, the compassionate soul that he is. Doctor Octopus being the mad scientist, decides to swap minds with Peter when Peter gets too close to him. So while Peter’s mind is left to rot in Octopus’ dying body, the Doctor gets to take over Peter’s young body. Although Doctor Oc’s mind remained dominant in Peter’s consciousness, Spidey’s mind was still there, in his subconscious.
Eventually, the doctor realises he could not completely erase Peter from his consciousness and perhaps it wasn’t right being in Peter’s body. He allows his mind to be deleted from the body giving back full control to Peter. Essentially, while it can be said that Doctor Octopus did sacrifice himself in some way, Peter ultimately deleted him from existence.
10. When he killed Gwen Stacy
Okay, there is a lot of debate about who killed Gwen Stacy, Spidey’s longtime girlfriend in the series. While a lot of comic heads are of the opinion that the Green Goblin is far more responsible for her death, a smaller section of the Spiderman fan club argues that Spidey himself may have been partially responsible for her death. So the Green Goblin throws Gwen off a bridge and just before she hits the ground, Spidey’s web stops her suddenly, the jerk from the sudden impact inadvertently killing her. Regardless of whose actions actually killed her, it was not good for Gwen or Peter.
Finally, irrespective of the people who have met their death at Spiderman’s hands, it is important to remember that Spidey is actually a good person. He tries his best to save lives and is always rather careful not to kill his enemies unless it is absolutely necessary like in certain cases as explained above. Nevertheless, every death has been for the greater good, after all, what’s the death of a few dangerous villains if it will save thousands of innocent lives?