Peter Parker’s return in ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ doesn’t surprise me, but it still thrills me

(Marvel Comics)

Check out this beautiful cover.

Look at that face, that smile. The feeling of sheer exhilaration and joyful abandon.

Yes, it’s been confirmed. Peter Parker’s back (but come now, was there really ever any doubt?).

Just over a year after having his body taken over by Doc Ock, everyone’s favorite nerd from Queens will be making his triumphant return in The Amazing Spider-Man #1 to be released in April.

Writer Dan Slott must be relieved that he can finally put down his burden. See, it’s been reported that over the past year, the Spider-Man scribe has received sincere hate mail and even death threats, though it strikes me as odd that any adult who’s grown up reading Marvel comics, and witnessing the numerous deaths and resurrections that are a staple of Marvel storylines, could genuinely have thought that Peter’s death was final.

I’m not saying that a real and final death someday isn’t beyond the realm of possibility, but it would be a nobler death, one that Marvel’s flagship hero deserves, not the cruel, emasculating death that he endured last year in which one of his worst enemies takes over not just his body but his ex-wife as well (yuk).

I do understand, however, the kids who were broken-hearted and who would approach Slott at conventions asking if Peter was really dead.

“To do that for a solid year of my life, that’s the hardest thing I’ve had to do — to look small children in the eye at a convention and lie to them. One of them with an honest-to-God Little League uniform and a quivering lip. Inside, part of me was dying,” Slott said in an official statement.

While I’m not surprised at Peter’s return, I am nevertheless pleased. It’s because, obsessed with symbols as I am, I enjoy the symbolism of it. It’s like seeing an old friend again. It’s like the return of the glorious sun after a dark, bitterly cold night. I know it’s gonna happen, but it doesn’t make me any less glad when it does.

Truth be told, I probably won’t even read the issue when it comes out. I’m just too busy these days.

But I hope those kids will, those kids who, wide-eyed with surprise, delight and wonder, will gingerly lift their copy of Amazing Spider-Man #1 off the shelves as if it were a holy relic. I hope that they’ll get from it what comics gave me and that gradually, on an unconscious level, they’ll come to interpret Spider-Man’s resurrection the way I interpret all superhero resurrections throughout comic history: as symbolizing the eternal return of the human spirit, of the eventual triumph of goodness and love in the face of persistent evil.

Welcome back, Spidey. We missed you.


About The Pop Mythologist

The Pop Mythologist
The Pop Mythologist is the founder and editor of He has been a staff writer for the nationally distributed magazine KoreAm , the online journal of pop culture criticism Pop Matters and has written freelance for various other publications and websites.


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