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Zodiac Key from Ultimate Spider-Man Vol 1 153 0001

Zodiac Key

Black Cat & The Zodiac Key[]

The Black Cat, having not too long ago stolen the great The Zodiac Key from the office of the late Wilson Fisk, who knew how dangerous the key was and kept it hidden, is visited by Mysterio in an attempt to persuade her to give it to him. Black Cat refuses and in an attempt to attack Mysterio, ends up to accidentally level many city blocks with the Key. Meanwhile, Tony Stark is with Peter Parker when they are alerted to the blast and head off to investigate.[1] When they arrive, Mysterio uses the Key against them by firing a blast of energy. Tony's armor emits a force-field that absorbs the energy blast, but this leaves him drained of power. Another blast from Mysterio completely destroys Tony's armor. Peter manages to take the key while Mysterio is distracted by an attack from Black Cat. However, he accidentally opens a singularity in the sky by using only his thoughts, making the same mistake that Felicia did.

Peter Parker (Earth-1610), Mysterio (Android) (Earth-1610), and Felicia Hardy (Earth-1610) from Ultimate Spider-Man Vol 1 154 0001

Spider-Man, Mysterio and Black Cat fight over the Zodiac Key.

Mysterio almost regains the Key but is then grabbed from behind by Tony, who manages to subdue him, and reveals that Mysterio is nothing more than a robot that is being controlled remotely by someone elsewhere. Tony then takes the Zodiac Key and returns to his lab to study it, thanking Peter and informally offering him a job to work for him. Distraught, Peter swings to Mary Jane's house and she invites him inside.[2]

Peter Parker (Earth-1610) and John Jonah Jameson (Earth-1610) from Ultimate Spider-Man Vol 1 155 0001

J. Jonah Jameson offers Peter his old job back.

Back at Daily Bugle[]

The next day Peter gets fired from his job at Burger Frog because of his frequent absence from work (due to him secretly being Spider-Man). Almost immediately he is contacted by J. Jonah Jameson who offers him his job back (with the added bonus of not being fired due to absence because of being Spider-Man), as well as a gift in the form of a scholarship for when Peter attends college, in exchange for exclusive rights to Peter's stories as Spider-Man to publish on the Daily Bugle website. Jonah tells Peter that he owes him his life and wants to make up for all the lies that he has ever said about him in the media.

Ultimate Spider-Man Vol 1 155 Page 30

Peter celebrates his 16th Birthday.

Peter's Birthday & Back with Mary Jane[]

Shortly after, Peter responds to an explosion caused by the same group of roller blade hooligans that he encountered before. The Shroud also shows up to take them down. Peter, knowing she's really his ex-girlfriend Kitty Pryde, begs her to talk to him. He convinces her to rejoin his circle of friends.

When they arrive at his house, he is surprised by many of his friends, including Sue Storm, Ben Grimm, Johnny, Bobby, Gwen, Aunt May and Mary Jane, who are throwing him a surprise birthday party. During the party he professes his love, once again, for MJ and the two kiss.[3]

Death of Spider-Man[]

Ultimate Six (Earth-1610) from Ultimate Spider-Man Vol 1 156 0001

Norman Osborn and his Six escape.

Peter and Mary Jane are having lunch when they are visited by a very begrudging Steve Rogers, who tells Peter to suit up and meet him for training. Peter meets Rogers at the cemetery where they begin a lesson on fighting smart versus fighting foolishly and how the second one can lead soldiers right to a cemetery like the one they are standing in. Rogers gets called away by Carol Danvers, stating that General Nick Fury and his Avengers have gone rogue. Peter follows Rogers to the Queensborough Bridge where he witnesses a massive explosion.

Meanwhile, Norman Osborn once again transforms into the Green Goblin and escapes the Triskelion, along with Dr. Octopus, Sandman, Kraven the Hunter, Electro and Vulture and hides in an apartment building near Central Park. They witness the explosion on the news and Osborn states that since S.H.I.E.L.D. is occupied it's the perfect time to do God's work: kill Spider-Man.[4] Otto objects to this plan and, although he is grateful that Norman freed him from prison, decides that he has no grudge against Peter Parker and wants to continue his career as a scientist, and tells Norman that they should be proud that they created Spider-Man together. Norman transforms and hurls Otto out of the window. Otto uses his ability to control metal to form his "Octopus Arms" out of any and all of the metallic objects in the area. Norman leaps after him, stating that Otto is a fool for believing that ever he had anything to do with the creation of Spider-Man after which Norman overpowers Otto and deals a fatal blow to him.

Steven Rogers (Earth-1610) and Peter Parker (Earth-1610) from Ultimate Spider-Man Vol 1 157 0001

Spider-Man takes a bullet for Captain America.

Peter gets a phone call from Mary Jane saying that Norman has escaped prison and will most likely come after Peter's family. He decides his family is more important than joining a fight he doesn't belong in and swings home before Norman and his crew can get there. Peter arrives at home and warns both Aunt May and Gwen to pack and drive away from the city until he calls them. He then heads out to find Norman to put an end to this, when he once again is called by Mary Jane. She tells him that she just witnessed Norman murdering Otto Octavius on the news. Peter heads to where the battle took place to find Otto's body lying lifeless in the middle of the street. A bystander points up to where Norman fled the scene to and Peter went to investigate the apartment above. Finding nothing there he once again heads out in search of Norman and the rest of his team of fugitives, when he spots Captain America standing over a beaten Nick Fury and decides to intervene. He arrives at the scene and sees the The Punisher aiming a rifle at Cap. He immediately dives towards Cap and pushes him out of the way, getting shot himself.[5]

Meanwhile, Osborn and the remaining members of his group show up at the Tinkerer's Lair and demand he supply them with weapons, including Vulture's Suit as well as blasters and knives for Kraven.

Meanwhile back at the Queensboro bridge, a squad of S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents arrived at the bridge and, during the momentary confusion caused by Spider-Man's appearance, shoot and attempt to apprehend Fury. Filled with remorse, Frank begged the agents to "punish him" for shooting an innocent kid. Captain America promises Peter that his wound is not fatal and commends him for taking a bullet for him without a second thought, stating that when he grows up Peter will be the best out of all of them. War Machine then arrives and blows up the bridge, causing everyone but Spider-Man, who uses his ability to stick to surfaces, to fall into the water below. Peter manages to gain his composure and dresses his wounds with his webbing. He then decides he needs to go to a hospital, however doing so will require him to reveal his secret identity, which he decides he is fully prepared to do. He then spots Osborn and his crew and follow them to his house instead of going to the hospital.

Norman Osborn (Earth-1610) and Jonathan Storm (Earth-1610) from Ultimate Spider-Man Vol 1 158 001

The Human Torch defeats Osborn with fire.

Osborn and his group then appear at the Parker residence looking for Peter. However they are instead met by Johnny and Bobby. Johnny manages to overpower Norman, but Sandman intervenes and completely engulfs Johnny in sand, putting out his flame. Ice Man tries to help Johnny but is swiftly defeated by Electro. Just as they are about to enter Peter's house, they spot him down the street, unmasked. He quickly takes out the Vulture with his webs and, even though he can barely stand, prepares to fight the rest.[6]

Maxwell Dillon (Earth-1610) from Ultimate Spider-Man Vol 1 159 0002

Electro is shot by Aunt May.

Peter lies and tells the rest of the villains that S.H.I.E.L.D. and the New Ultimates are on their way, and that it would be in their best interest to just surrender. However Electro points out that Spider-Man is hurt and Sandman, Kraven and himself prepare to attack. Peter, thinking quickly, kicks open a fire hydrant and aims the jet of water at them using his hands. Electro shorts out and electrocutes both Sandman and Kraven. Peter then decks Electro, knocking him out. Peter then, exhausted, notices that a crowd of his neighbors has gathered around him in the street. Some of them are even recording him on their cellphones. He asks them to call the police and an ambulance.

Peter then gets attacked, once again, by Sandman, Vulture and Electro, leaving him even more injured than before. In a panic, one of the neighbors calls Aunt May and informs her that her nephew is Spider-Man and that he's about to be killed. May turns the car around and speeds back home. She arrives just as Electro is about to deal the final blow to Peter and manages to shoot him three times in the chest with her revolver. Electro falls to the ground, though to be dead, but not before once again shorting out and electrocuting Sandman and Vulture, leaving them all unconscious.

Peter Parker (Earth-1610) and Mary Jane Watson (Earth-1610) from Ultimate Spider-Man Vol 1 160

Mary Jane and Peter's last kiss.

May grabs Peter and they embrace. Norman then wakes up and charges straight towards them.[7] Peter grabs hold of May and Gwen and swings them to safety. He then knocks Norman down long enough to wake Johnny up. Johnny lights up and confronts Norman, only to have Norman absorb his flame and knock Johnny to the ground. Empowered, Norman unleashes a storm of fireballs at Peter and the surrounding vehicles. In the fiery chaos Peter manages to flank Norman and hit him from behind with a mailbox and hurl him into the open jet of water from the fire hydrant he earlier used to take out the rest of Norman's group.

Peter Parker (Earth-1610) from Ultimate Spider-Man Vol 1 160

Stripped of his new power, Norman manages to once again get up and is about to deal a fatal blow to Peter when Mary Jane runs into him with a truck she managed to steal. The truck flips over but Peter manages to get her out and the two kiss. He then throws her to safety and, in one last effort, lifts the truck over his head and crushes Norman with it... twice. Unfortunately, before Peter is able to get to safety the truck explodes, critically wounding him, and hurdles him onto the grass. Mary Jane and Johnny (having woken up) rush towards him. MJ says they need to get him to a hospital. Johnny suggests that he fly him to the hospital, but MJ says he can't be moved in his current condition. Aunt May finally manages to get away from Gwen and back to the scene of the fight with Gwen chasing her, only for them to see Peter lying on the ground, dying. They immediately rush towards him, with Aunt May, asking him what he had done. He manages to tell Aunt May that he is happy that he finally was able to make up for not saving his Uncle Ben by now saving her. He then seemingly passes out and Johnny listens to his chest for a heartbeat, but to everyone's horror, hears none.

In the fiery wreckage Norman, transformed back into his human form, manages to smugly smirk before he, too, dies.[8]

Avengers vs. New Ultimates[]

Triskelion from Ultimate Avengers vs

The Triskelion is stranded in Iran.

With the Triskelion having recently been transported to Iran, Thor is slowly teleporting S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel, including Tony Stark, who recently had a relapse of his brain tumor, home to Manhattan. The New Ultimates, also having recently added Giant-Man and Black Widow to the team, learn from Gregory Stark that New Prototype Super-Soldiers were stolen from one of his facilities. The team is then sent to Bulgaria to intercept the train believed to be transporting the stolen property.

The team manages to derail the train and witness one of the prototype Super-Soldiers, called the Mimic, emerge from his containment unit and, shortly afterward, die a painful death. Captain America questions the conductor of the train, who reveals to them that he was hired to steal and transport the prototypes by Nick Fury.[9]

Meanwhile, Fury manages to recruit the Punisher (promising him the keys to every cell in the prison in which he is currently incarcerated) and Blade (promising to deliver to him the man who killed his mother, Deacon Frost). Hawkeye also gets recruited for Fury's mission.

Leonard Williams (Earth-1610) and James Rhodes (Earth-1610) from Ultimate Avengers vs

Tyrone Cash proves his might against War Machine.

Posing as civilians, the group observes the sale of Maximus, a still-gestating Prototype Super-Soldier presumably similar to the Mimic. The team strikes and attempts to intercept the case containing Maximus, however they are attacked by the man responsible for the sale, Tyrone Cash. War Machine attempts to neutralize Cash, with little success, when Blade intervenes and manages to hypnotize him, reducing him to his withered form. Cash then confesses to Fury that he is working for Carol Danvers, and that she has been selling secrets for years.[10] They then escort Cash to his home, where Frank kills everyone within except for the prostitutes, and force him to reveal the secrets of his transformation. Cash tells them that the secret is to ingest a special pill that he invented once every 24 hours and the transformation can be done at will. Fury then shoots Cash in the head, killing him.[11]

Monica Chang (Earth-1610), Eric Brooks (Earth-1610), and Carol Danvers (Earth-1610) from Ultimate Avengers vs

Black Widow intercepts Blade as he tries to kidnap Carol Danvers.

Meanwhile, Tony wakes up after his surgery and has a bad feeling that something terrible is about to happen. He asks a hired model, dressed as a sexy nurse for Tony's enjoyment, to contact his secretary to ready his Iron Man armor. Carol Danvers converses with Captain Britain, who is currently leading the task of transporting the Triskelion back to New York, when Nick Fury appears. Danvers orders her men to attack, revealing that War Machine, hiding himself with technology that allows him to become invisible, is also there. Iron Man arrives in time to save Danvers, but is forced into battle with War Machine. Blade appears among the chaos and knocks Carol unconscious and proceeds to kidnap her with the help of Hawkeye. They are intercepted by Giant-Man and Black Widow, while Captain America hunts down Nick Fury on the Queensborough Bridge and beats him almost to submission. Frank Castle, watching from higher ground, decides to try and take out Rogers' knee caps with a sniper rifle. He takes a shot, but Spider-Man arrives and sees him pointing a rifle at Cap. Not willing to see Cap die, Spider-Man dives and pushes Cap out of the way and gets hit by the bullet instead.[12]

Steven Rogers (Earth-1610) and Peter Parker (Earth-1610) from Ultimate Avengers vs

Captain America holds a wounded Spider-Man.

A squad of S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents arrived at the bridge and, during the momentary confusion caused by Spider-Man's appearance, shot and attempted to apprehend Fury. Filled with remorse, Frank begged the agents to "punish him" for shooting an innocent kid. Captain America promises Peter that his wound is not fatal and commends him for taking a bullet for him without a second thought, stating that when he grows up Peter will be the best out of all of them. War Machine then arrives and blows up the bridge, causing everyone but Spider-Man, who uses his ability to stick to surfaces, to fall into the water below. Thor then arrives and attempts to rescue them, damaging War Machine in the process. Blade manages to take down Black Widow, only to then be severely wounded himself by Iron Man, who was unaware that Blade was not actually super-powered. Carol Danvers calls for backup when she is hit by a Police Cruiser.

While Nick Fury is in custody and Carol Danvers is in the hospital, the leadership of S.H.I.E.L.D. is given to Gregory Stark by the President of the United States. Gregory then takes Fury onto the Helicarrier U.S.S. Jimmy Carter where he reveals to him that he was the one who pitted the Ultimates against the Avengers. He in fact was using the smuggled Super-Soldiers to supply the rebels of the rogue states to help the Pro-Democracy Forces. He then has his men shoot Fury and leave him for dead.[13]

Gregory Stark (Earth-1610) and Nicholas Fury (Earth-1610) from Ultimate Avengers vs

Gregory Stark overpowers a bulky Nick Fury

Fury then begins to transform, using the special pills he acquired from Tyrone Cash a few days prior, into a Hulk-type physique, thus protecting him from his wounds. The other Avengers, also having taken the pills, join Fury in confronting Gregory, however he reveals that he is prepared for any and all opposition to his plans and activates a nanite fleet, similar to his brothers', in his body, imbuing him with Super-Powers. He easily defeats the Avengers and, causing the U.S.S. Jimmy Carter to tilt, hurdles all of them but Fury over the edge.

Meanwhile, in Pyongyang, North Korea, the revolution begins with many Super-Soldiers, led by The Spider, causing mayhem. The New Ultimates are alerted to this attack but are ordered to stand down by Gregory on the grounds that intervening would breach the U.N. Treaty. The Spider, revealing himself to be a Korean himself, though grown in Gregory Stark's Lab for just this occasion, confronts the Korean Military. However he is interrupted when the New Ultimates, going against Gregory's orders, show up with the Avengers.[11]

A huge battle erupts between the Korean forces and the Ultimates & Avengers. When the Punisher confronts the Spider, Hawkeye intervenes and crushes the Spider with a giant block of concrete, killing him. Before he can deal a fatal blow to Nick Fury, Gregory Stark is informed that the Ultimates are in Korea. He teleports to Korea to confront them. He steals Thor's Hammer and easily takes down Thor and Captain America. When he is about to kill Giant-Man, however, Tony smashes him into the ground. The two brothers battle, but Gregory damages Tony's armor and he is unable to fight. Instead, Tony uses an Electro-Magnetic Pulse to deactivate Gregory's Nanites, thus removing his powers. Thor, thinking quickly, summons lightning and horribly burns Gregory.

Antonio Stark (Earth-1610) and Gregory Stark (Earth-1610) from Ultimate Avengers vs

The Stark Brothers battle each other.

Even though the uprising in Korea had been stopped, it came to light that Gregory's true target was Iran, where the Triskelion currently resided. Iran, now under a democratic rule, allowed the Triskelion to remain there while work began building a new one in New York. Gregory was then taken off of his life-support and he seemingly perished.

Triskelion from Ultimate Avengers vs. New Ultimates Vol 1 6 0001
Nick Fury met with Carol Danvers and informed her that by order of the President of the United States she was being forced to resign as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. due to the fact that under her watch not only did Gregory Stark commit crimes against the United Nations, but Spider-Man was killed. Nick Fury then took up his old position as S.H.I.E.L.D. Director. Monica, with the referral of Nick Fury, became the new leader of the Avengers. A new Triskelion was also in New York Harbor.[14]



  • Ultimate Spider-Man #160 is the final chapter of the Death of Spider-Man event and final issue of Ultimate Spider-Man. It was shipped Polybagged to help protect the secret within from early spoilers.


  • While published as being part of the same event, Ultimate Spider-Man and Ultimate Avengers vs. New Ultimates both tell different stories. However, the two stories cross-over in Ultimate Spider-Man #157 and Ultimate Avengers vs. New Ultimates #3, both showing the events leading up to, and including, Spider-Man getting shot by the Punisher.
  • There is some inconsistency between Ultimate Spider-Man #157 and Ultimate Avengers vs. New Ultimates #3 despite occurring at the same time: Spider-Man follows Captain America to the Queensborough Bridge where he witnesses an explosion. The explosion is even covered all over the news within the pages of Ultimate Spider-Man. However in the pages of Ultimate Avengers vs. New Ultimates there is clearly no explosion on the bridge from the time that Captain America arrives to when Spider-Man is shot. The explosion is then shown to happen in the pages of Ultimate Avengers vs. New Ultimates #4, while Spider-Man is already on the bridge after getting shot.
  • Due to this event being broadcast in the media without many details about the background of the story, many people believed that the character who died was Peter Parker from Earth-616.
  • It resembles the DC comics storyline The Death of Superman. In both stories, the hero kills the villain (Green Goblin and Doomsday) and dies later. However both heroes and villains return to live later.

See Also

Links and References