Spider-Man Breaks His No-Kill Rule for a Heartbreaking Reason


  • Spider-Man breaks his no-kill rule in Marvel Zombies: Black, White & Blood #1 for the most heartbreaking reason possible: mercy-killing Aunt May.
  • The story “Hope” showcases Spider-Man’s darkest moment yet as he must make the difficult decision to kill Aunt May in order to end her suffering in a zombie-infested Marvel Universe.
  • Spider-Man’s willingness to break his no-kill rule for Aunt May demonstrates the lengths he will go to help those he cares about, even if it results in personal heartache and the sacrifice of his moral compass.



Warning: Spoilers for Marvel Zombies: Black, White & Blood #1Few heroes ever have a truly legitmate reason to break their no-kill rule, but readers can empathize with the heartbreaking reason that Spider-Man breaks his. This isn’t to say that Spider-Man has never broken his no-kill rule. However, when he has, it has been unintentionally, indirectly, or in a truly dark moment for him.

Marvel Zombies: Black, White & Blood #1 contains the story “Hope” – by Alex Segura, Javi Fernandez, and VC’s Clayton Cowles – which features Spider-Man in his darkest moment yet. In the story, he makes the difficult decision to kill one person at her own request: his Aunt May.

panels from Marvel Zombies: Black, White & Blood #1, Spider-Man gets through to zombie Aunt May

In a bleak iteration of the Marvel Universe, overrun by zombies, Peter Parker has to do the worst thing possible in order to do what is right for his sick aunt. When May becomes a zombie, the Webslinger has no choice but to mercifully end her painful existence, having already lost her.

Related: Why Marvel Zombies Doesn’t Actually Have a Captain America

Spider-Man Kills Zombie Aunt May At Her Request

panels from Marvel Zombies: Black, White & Blood #1, zombie Aunt May asks Spider-Man to kill her

“Hope” centers around Peter Parker as the Daily Bugle is swarmed by zombies. Spidey is the sole hero on hand to fight them all off. He’s disappointed to see some zombies take the form of past allies like Betty Brant and Robbie Robertson, but he’s especially shocked to see that one of these zombies is Aunt May. He takes off his mask and talks to her, trying to help her come back to herself, even if it’s only for a moment. It works, but while this zombified Aunt May suffers a second of momentary sanity, she begs one thing from her nephew: “Please kill me,” and he begrudgingly does just that.

Marvel Zombies: Black, White & Blood was released on October 25, 2023.

Truly, in so many universes, it seems Spider-Man is the unluckiest man alive. This is the supreme expression of that; Spidey’s luck could not get any worse than feeling compelled to break his no-kill rule with his aunt is the victim. On one hand, it speaks to the lengths that Spider-Man will go to help anyone he can, even if breaking his ‘no-kill’ rule is what he has to do to help someone. On the other hand, the visible pain on Peter’s face as fulfills his aunt’s final request, as well as the rage in his eyes after, is nothing less than heartbreaking.

Spider-Man Pays The Price Of Being A Hero

panels from Marvel Zombies: Black, White & Blood #1, Spider-Man beats zombie Aunt May

Being a superhero is all about making tough decisions; not many superheroes know that reality better than Spider-Man. More often than not, most of Spider-Man’s toughest decisions are centered around Aunt May. After all, the much-maligned One More Day arc had Spidey make a deal with the devil in Mephisto to save his Aunt May’s life. He sacrificed his moral compass and his marriage to Mary-Jane Watson, all for his Aunt May. Readers have witnessed time and time again the extent to which Spider-Man will go to do what’s best for his Aunt May, even if it means breaking his biggest rule to extend her one final mercy.

Marvel Zombies: Black, White & Blood #1 is available now from Marvel Comics.


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