I'm going to be honest and say that Spider-Man was never one of my favorite heroes growing up, but when I saw him in cartoons as a teenager, I suddenly realized that Spider-Man is basically what I would be like as a superhero: always cracking jokes, dropping bad guys left and right, and navigating his complicated love life. Given that he's such a relatable hero, it's hard not to feel his pain when he faces tragedy — and there's perhaps nothing more tragic in the life of Spidey than the death of Uncle Ben.
I was watching The Amazing Spider-Man recently with a group of friends when one of them leaned over to me and said, "Wouldn't it be crazy if the Winter Soldier killed Uncle Ben?" I laughed in the moment, but his comment got me thinking after the movie ended. What if the Winter Soldier really was responsible for bumping off Uncle Ben? Granted, in the universe of The Amazing Spider-Man, this is about as likely as Steve Rogers becoming War Machine, but what about the MCU? Is it genuinely possible that the Winter Soldier secretly offed Uncle Ben? Let's look at some evidence that seems to support this theory.
1) Uncle Ben (Probably) Had An Idea What Peter's Parents Were Up To
Ben Parker, being the brother of Spidey's dad, likely knew that his brother worked for the CIA, and Peter's mom was in the OSS. Even if he didn't know the specifics of their work, chances are Ben knew enough to assume that the Parkers were involved in eradicating terrorist organizations like Hydra. So, with this in mind, it's fairly likely that if Hydra bumped off Spider-Man's parents in the MCU, they may also have investigated family members who knew too much — including Uncle Ben.
2) Muggings Happen, But Uncle Ben's Death Was Awfully Suspicious
Let's face it. We know this is New York City and muggings in NYC happen more frequently than Tony Stark says he's Iron Man, but it just seems awfully convenient that Uncle Ben just happened to run into a mugger and just happened to get shot. So, what if there was more to it than that? What if a disguised Winter Soldier pulled the trigger on Uncle Ben? It's likely that the Winter Soldier wore disguises on missions, because people would tend to notice a dude with a metal arm and a high-powered machine gun. Stories of Uncle Ben's death vary, but most agree that he surprised a burglar, who promptly shot him. So what if the burglar was a disguised Winter Soldier, out hunting for Hydra information, (or even just wanting to buy some plums!), who bumped into Ben Parker, and sent him to the great beyond without batting an eye?
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3) If the Winter Soldier DID Kill Uncle Ben, It Could Be A Major Plot Point Later
Now you're probably thinking, "Y'know, for fighting the dude who may have killed his uncle, Spidey seems awfully cheerful." So here's my caveat. What if Spidey doesn't know that the Winter Soldier killed his uncle yet? What if he finds out in a subsequent installment of the MCU, possibly Spiderman: Homecoming? This would actually make sense because not only would it give Peter more incentive to protect Aunt May, but it would almost certainly strengthen his ties to Tony Stark, whose own parents were also killed by the Winter Soldier.
Whether this theory is true or not, there's no denying that it's at least plausible. Even if it is completely inaccurate, (which, let's face it, it probably is), it certainly could fit within the bounds of plausibility, at least as they relate to the suspension of disbelief that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, the Wall-Crawler discovering that Bucky offed his uncle under orders from Hydra could certainly become a major plot point in later MCU films, especially as such an event could be used to rapidly mature Spider-Man into a leader for the newer, younger generation of the Avengers.
What do you think? Did the Winter Soldier kill Uncle Ben? Comment below! And if you can't wait for Spider-Man: Homecoming, check out our video of the 10 best times Spidey saved the day below!