Is this the end of Spider Man?

Marvel today announced that, for the second time this year, one of their major characters is going to be killed. Spoilers ahead!

Yes, in the grand tradition of comicbook spoilers, Marvel has decided to let the cat out of the bag about the final moments of Peter Parker’s life. The point, just as it always is, is to bring increased sales for at least that issue, expecting non-regulars to the line will all want to have copies of the final issue. It worked well enough earlier this year with the death of The Human Torch, though sales went right back down again after the firstfew issues of FF.

The spoilers deepen as Marvel reveals everything but who the killer will be: Parker is going to die specifically protecting his aunt, fulfilling the promise he made to his uncle so many years ago, and simultaneously becoming a posthumous role-model for another character who will decide to take up the Spider-Man mantle.

So, the Spider-Man line will not be at an end, but Peter Parker will be gone from it. This new young web-slinger will likely join the Future Foundation, and don the new white Spider-Man costume which was announced earlier this year.

“This is the last hurrah. This is it,” Writer Brian Michael Bendis told the New York Post, “There’s a real point to this and the point doesn’t work if we don’t stick to our guns.”

“I won’t lie to you,” he told the Associated Press, “It’s embarrassing to say this out loud. Tears were rolling down my face, I was very emotional in writing it. This is a character that I have stayed with the entire time, that I have been almost solely responsible for. It represents such a great deal of my life.”

Of course, we all know life is cheap in comicbooks, so Parker may be back someday.

Spider-Man’s death will occur in Ultimate Spider-Man #160, which will be released this Wednesday.