Spider-Man: Who Is Cadaverous?

Today’s Spider-Man #1 by JJ Abrams, Henry Abrams, and Sara Pichelli is packed with twists, from the death of a major character to the birth of a new Spider-Man. But there’s one major mystery that remains. The issue introduces a brand new villain named Cadaverous. The villain and his minions are responsible for altering the lives of Peter Parker and his family forever. But who is the villain? Marvel hasn’t revealed anything about the new villain officially, but we do have a theory about who the villain may be. SPOILERS for Spider-Man #1 by JJ Abrams, Henry Abrams, and Sara Pichelli follow.

Spider-Man #1 opens with Cadaverous and his minions attacking New York City. Spider-Man is fighting against Cadaverous, but the battle isn’t going well for him. Mary Jane arrives to remind him that he has other responsibilities that he needs to see to. She ends up impaled by Cadaverous. Cadaverous throws her body off the side of the bridge. Spidey catches it, but he can’t save her.

The issue flashes forward by 12 years. Peter and MJ’s son, Ben Parker, is in high school. Peter isn’t Spider-Man anymore, and it isn’t there for his son. Instead, he’s focusing on his career as a photojournalist while Aunt May looks after Ben. Mixed in with this narrative, we get a scene of Cadaverous, apparently still at large, murmuring and looking at what appears to be a woman sealed away in some sort of machine.

We don’t know Cadaverous’s story but have formed a theory. It seems possible that this may be Peter Parker from the future, or possibly from another reality. Cadaverous asks for Spider-Man’s help in that first battle. We don’t know what he needed help with, but Spider-Man himself seemed to be the target. The issue also suggests that Peter is unable to move on after losing MJ. Cadaverous could be the outward, physical manifestation of that theme.

So what’s Cadaverous’s deal? Maybe he’s a version of Peter Parker who took MJ’s body, put it in stasis, and is searching for a version of reality where MJ survives. He may have killed MJ because she wasn’t “his” MJ and thought it would motivate Spider-Man to help him, or perhaps that moment sets his whole tragic time loop into motion.


We don’t have much more to go on just yet, but this our working theory. JJ Abrams does love a good time travel/alternate reality story, so it seems like the kind of thing he’d do with Spider-Man. We’ll just have to wait and see if that’ how things work out.

Who do you think Cadaverous is? Let us know in the comments. Spider-Man #1 is on sale now.