How Did Uncle Ben Die? Did Sandman Really Kill Him?


In the superhero world, there are often defining moments depicted as pivotal for creating that inner drive and change in them. In many cases, those things are tragic events and losses, and the same happened with Spider-Man when he lost his beloved Uncle Ben. Peter Parker lived with his uncle and aunt after his parents died; they were parental figures in his life. However, tragedy struck, and Peter had to learn to be brave and responsible. But let’s see what happened to Uncle Ben, and is Sandman the one who killed him?

In the comics, Ben was killed by the burglar Peter let run past him, and the same happened in some iterations in the movies. However, ‘Spider-Man 3’ decided to change that a bit, and it was demonstrated that Flint Marco, later known as Sandman, was the culprit. Beloved uncle was calm and wise; his death marked Peter forever and taught him much.

Now that we know what happened to Peter Parker’s uncle let’s see how it all went down in more detail. So, keep reading to learn more!

Who actually killed Uncle Ben?

The murder of Uncle Ben was one of the main moments in the comics and the movies, which made Spider-Man really think about what kind of man he wants and needs to be in the future. He also realized that is his duty to put his powers to good use and help those who couldn’t defend themselves. Because, as his uncle said in the movies – ‘with great power comes great responsibility.’

As for the culprit who murdered Uncle Ben, both in comics and in the movies, we’ve seen some consistency, and it is stated that the person who killed him is the burglar who shot Uncle Ben when he confronted him.

In the comics, Peter realizes he got powers after a radioactive spider bit him. So, he names himself Spider-Man and enjoys all the attention and admiration he’s getting. This was new to him because everyone teased him before and did not take him seriously.

For a moment there, Peter became arrogant and selfish, so he decided not to stop the thief before entering the elevator, which enabled the thief to get away.

A few days later, the police came to Peter’s home and informed him that the burglar murdered Uncle Ben. The policeman also informed Peter that they knew the killer’s location and that he was hiding in an abandoned warehouse.

Peter immediately put his Spider-Man costume on and went to find the killer. Peter found him and knocked him down. At that moment, he realized the same burglar had run past him a few days earlier, and he did nothing to stop him.

Spider-Man apprehended the killer to the police but blamed himself for his dead uncle. The fact that he could’ve done something to prevent all that didn’t fill him with great guilt and sorrow. And that’s when he realized that it is his responsibility to use his powers to protect others, not for his personal fame and glory.


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The iterations of these events are similar but slightly different in ‘Spider-Man’ movie. In the movie, Uncle Ben is murdered by a thief on the run. Moments before that happened, Peter was the one who let the thief run past him because he was angry at the event promoter, who didn’t want to pay him the money he earned by winning the fight.

Later, Peter found the thief and his uncle’s killer, and their confrontation ended with the criminal falling down the window.

In the comics, Uncle Ben’s killer is known as ‘the burglar,’ and in the movie, as Dennis Carradine. However, in ‘Spider-Man 3’, there is a plot twist, and it is revealed that the police made a mistake and that Flint Marko was the one who killed Uncle Ben, and Carradine was only an accomplice.

This revelation was a bit far-fetched, but it created further tension and animosity between Spider-Man and the man who would become the Sandman.

In ‘Spider-Man 3’, there is a plot twist regarding Uncle Ben’s murder

Before Flint Marko became the Sandman, he was a petty thief and a desperate father who needed the money to finance his daughter’s treatment. For years he was in and out of prison, and they connected him with Uncle Ben’s murder after Flint confessed his crime to his cellmate, and other witnesses could confirm that.

It is revealed that while Carradine was robbing a wrestling ring where Peter was a contestant, Flint Marko wanted to secure a getaway car, and he threatened Uncle Ben with a gun to obtain his vehicle.

Initially, he did not intend to kill Ben; he only wanted his car. Peter’s uncle tried to comfort Flint and calm him down – he urged him to put the gun down and go home. Years later, Flint realized that Uncle Ben just wanted to help him.


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When Flint saw his partner running toward the car with the cash, the gun in his hand accidentally fired and shot Uncle Ben. Carradine escaped in a car, and Flint was left on his own. Eventually, he asked Peter for forgiveness and explained to him everything that happened. Peter realized that his uncle died trying to help the struggling person, which was no surprise because that’s just who his uncle was. He forgave Flint, who then turned into sand and went away.

Which Spider-Man did Sandman kill?

The storyline where Sandman kills Spider-Man is happening in the Marvel Zombies universe. In ‘Marvel Zombies: Dead Days’ comic issues, superheroes became soulless monsters hungry for human flesh. Spider-Man was infected as well. The zombie version traveled to Earth-91126, where the Sinister Six arrived at Peter’s college during the protest. As the Spider-Man from that Earth went to put his costume on, zombie Spider-Man nearly killed all of the Sinister Six on that Earth, but Sandman managed to escape.


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Sandman later encountered a normal Spider-Man from that Earth, and that’s when it all went down. Peter had no idea Sandman was enraged because zombie Spider-Man had tried to eat him before, so he was caught off guard. Sandman was furious and poured huge amounts of sand into Spider-Man, which eventually caused Peter to burst from the inside. It was a morbid moment and unexpected, for sure.

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