J.J. and Henry Abrams Address Killing Off Major Spider-Man Character

J.J. Abrams and son Henry, who penned Marvel's Spider-Man, address the major death that launched the limited series in September. Spoilers follow.

In Spider-Man #1, the wall-crawling superhero does battle with new villain Cadaverous atop a near-destroyed bridge. After the battered Spider-Man is helped to his feet by Mary Jane, he's overcome by Cadaverous' swarm of robotic minions. When he's pinned, Spider-Man watches helplessly as the hooded new villain impales Mary Jane, sending her lifeless body over the bridge's edge.

12 years later, MJ's death has strained Peter's relationship with teenaged son Ben. When a disturbing vision of his dead mother shocks Ben awake, he's surprised to find himself upside down and clinging to his bedroom ceiling. It's then that Aunt May directs Benny to the attic, where he uncovers his father's torn and blood-stained Spider-Man costume.

Asked about the "women in refrigerators" trope by EW, the writing duo acknowledged the trope before explaining they wanted to explore multiple characters sharing a specific grief.

"We understand what some tropes are in superhero origin stories and with giant, mysterious, ominous villains. With this, our hope is to double-down on who these people are and why they do these things," Henry said. "What brings people together in this world? What tears them apart? How do you recover from a tragedy that's so immense? It just doesn't affect one family, it affects a whole city and world who feel the absence of this iconic superhero."

Like the many "mystery boxes" involved in Abrams' big-screen efforts, secrets behind Spider-Man's newest foe will be revealed as the five-part series unfolds.

"The story of Cadaverous doesn't go exactly the way you might think it will," J.J. said. "In the first issue, the intention was for him to be this horrific catalyst for this nightmare that not only the Parker family but also the city and the whole universe of superheroes goes through. You're not meant to know much in the beginning. Without giving too much away, what I like about this character is the notion is he was named by the news, in the spirit of classic heroes and villains, but he's this real mystery, and no one quite knows what he's about or where he came from. The thing that makes any villain interesting is what's behind their motivation. Where we go ultimately takes Cadaverous to places you would never expect when you first meet him."


Marvel next releases Spider-Man #2 Oct. 16.