In April, Amazing Spider-Man writer Zeb Wells teased fans by claiming his issue #26 would be so controversial that his editor told him “not to do any comic conventions once this issue comes out.” This announcement led fans to speculate Wells would be killing the beloved character Mary Jane, but what they got instead was apathetic disappointment when previews revealed the death of Ms. Marvel.
The announcement came as more of a whimper than a roar, with the issue originally solicited as being “The most shocking issue of Amazing Spider-Man in 50 years.” With the teasers Wells put in prior issues, Wells created a lot of misdirection which didn’t apply to Ms. Marvel at all, but foreshadowed Mary Jane adding to the trauma in Spider-Man’s mythos, joining the famous deaths of Uncle Ben and Gwen Stacy.
RELATED: Marvel Writer Zeb Wells Claims Upcoming ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ Reveal Is So Controversial That Editorial Warned “Not To Do Any Comic Conventions After This Issue Comes Out”
Wells had done enough damage to Mary Jane as a character during the run, set up in issue #1 where Mary Jane is shown with children from another man. It’s later revealed she was trapped in an alternate dimension where time moved at a different rate, and so she had her children and eventually came back.
Peter, meanwhile, continued to follow her around like a sad puppy dog in one of the cringiest iterations of their relationship.
It would have made sense for MJ to die, though writer Howard Mackie already pulled the trick back in Amazing Spider-Man vol. 2 #13, having Mary Jane become a victim in a plane crash. When she was brought back, the editorial mandated the marriage be axed again with the notorious One More Day storyline, which many fans say ruined Spider-Man continuity forever.
The reveal of the Ms. Marvel death has been underwhelming after such a buildup of suspense. It comes across as a sales gimmick to get people talking about Kamala Khan before the movie The Marvels comes out later this year. Because of the movie’s imminent release, it’s obvious the death won’t be permanent. The Ms. Marvel book is said to be continuing on through this death, which is leaving fans to scratch their heads as to why this story is happening.
RELATED: ‘Ms. Marvel’ Actor Mohan Kapur Accused Of Sexually Harassing And Grooming 15-Year-Old Girl
Ms. Marvel’s death in Amazing Spider-Man is also confusing as Peter Parker and Kamala Khan don’t have a long history together. They are not close as characters, and she is not involved in the Spider-Man mythos in any meaningful way, only having appeared in a handful of panels in the book prior to this. It further adds to the feel of a cheap publicity stunt with the issue.
The issue didn’t please the extreme-left of the fanbase either, many of whom are proving to be the most upset by the character’s death. Readers are taking to Twitter to call Zeb Wells racist and misogynist. “Hey so what the f*** were Zeb Wells and Nick Lowe thinking by killing off Kamala Khan – the ONLY mainline brown character Marvel has – in a Spider-Man book Shit feels racist and misogynistic,” tweeted one fan.
“This is racism,” said another. “And sexism knowing Zeb Wells,” tweeted more in an exchange about the topic.
Another accused the company of fridging the character writing, “Notice how Peter f***ing Parker is the one in the center. As if he’s the one suffering the most. Not her parents or friends or ACTUAL mentors. Peter. Benjamin. Parker. Fridging one of your most popular female characters in 2023 is a new low Marvel! Justice for Ms. Marvel.”
More readers are pointing out this isn’t even the first time Kamala Khan has been killed in a Spider-Man comic. She was killed in Miles Morales’s version of the character, and Miles brought her back to life.
But not everyone is upset by the death. Veteran comic artist Ethan Van Sciver couldn’t be happier, tweeting, “Hooray! Kamala Khan, AKA Ms. Marvel, the WORST CHARACTER Marvel Comics ever excreted, is finally DEAD! YAY!!!!”
He followed up the humorous tweet with a video on the topic, explaining why the art on the teased cover is subpar and why the storyline doesn’t make sense for the Spider-Man character.
Regardless, with this being Marvel, we can expect the character back in a matter of months. Kamala’s demise won’t be permanent, just like any other death in Marvel Comics, and so the emotional impact for the storyline is minimal at best. It makes fans wonder how many times Marvel will be able to pull off a stunt like this and still have readers care.
What do you think about the death of Ms. Marvel? Leave a comment down below and let us know.
NEXT: ‘Cyberfrog’ Creator Ethan Van Sciver Explains “The Problems With SJW Comics Today And The Reasons COMICSGATE Was Born”