Published March 8, 2023

The Amazing Spider-Man: Who Is Benjamin Rabin?

Benjamin Rabin, who debuted in a three-issue storyline from 2008, plays a major part in the mystery surrounding Peter's actions in Zeb Wells and John Romita Jr.'s 'The Amazing Spider-Man.'

Ever since the series relaunched last year, Zeb Wells and John Romita Jr.’s AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (2022) has revolved around one central question: What did Peter Parker do to anger pretty much everyone in his life? Now, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (2022) #21 has started to answer that question, and the truth goes all the way back to a three-issue arc from 2008 that spanned AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1999) #555-#557. Here’s everything you need to know about that storyline.

What Happened in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #555-557?

In AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1999) #555, a mysterious snowstorm suddenly struck New York City. After receiving a mysterious warning from Doctor Stephen Strange about the supernatural nature of the storm and its potentially deadly implications, Wolverine and Spider-Man staked out the Sanctum Sanctorum, where the Sorcerer Supreme predicted an important event would take place. When the time came, they found a group of Mayan warriors attacking Dr. Benjamin Rabin. 

Wolverine and Spider-Man subdued the Mayan warriors and took them to the police station, where Parker’s friend Carlie Cooper worked. At the time, Spider-Man was a wanted man, so he opted not to stay at the station. Instead, at the behest of Rabin, he set out to find some of the doctor’s missing assistants. Due to the supernatural coldness of the storm, Spider-Man’s web canisters didn’t work properly, impeding his ability to move around the city. Wolverine, for his part, headed out on his own and didn’t play a role in the rest of the story.

At the police station, Rabin revealed he was a mathematician working on the science of alternate dimensions. Prior to the story, he had developed an operating system that relied on symbols rather than binary, and those symbols were eerily similar to sacred glyphs used by the Mayans. Rabin claimed the Mayan warriors took offense to his use of those symbols and attacked him during the Uayep Cycle, a five-day span in the Mayan calendar when the barrier between the mortal and godly realms was at its weakest, in hopes of sacrificing him to the god Wayep.

Outside, Spider-Man befriended a homeless man named Vern. Soon, though, Wayep attacked Spider-Man, forcing Vern to flee. After nearly hitting Parker with a truck, Wayep decided to spare him, calling him a “sun-blood.” Rather viewing him as a potential sacrifice, Wayep believed Spider-Man was one of his priests. Shortly after, Parker found Rabin’s assistants in the back of a truck and learned the doctor had been sacrificing them to Wayep. Parker freed them, incurring the wrath of Wayep in the process. 

Back at the police station, Rabin murdered one of the Mayan warriors and painted their mystic symbols on his body using the dead man’s blood. The other Mayans took their own lives. As Rabin revealed, he needed to sacrifice a man and a woman to Wayep to merge with him and become a powerful being called the Kuhul Ajaw. To accomplish the task, Wayep gave Rabin enhanced strength and other abilities, which he used to kidnap Cooper in hopes of completing the ritual.

With only minutes left before Uayep ended, Rabin headed out into the city. Dragging Cooper along as his prisoner, he went to a point in New York where the skyscrapers acted as a sort of stand-in for a Mayan sun temple. There, he found Parker, with Wayep arriving shortly after. A fight then broke out between Wayep, Rabin, and Parker. 

However, the homeless community turned up to help Spider-Man in his fight. The god, for his part, refused to attack the homeless, considering their unshaven faces to be sacrilege. In the end, the homeless set Wayep on fire and Parker threw one of his web canisters into the inferno. It exploded, and the webs bound up Wayep, incapacitating him. 

With Wayep out of the way, Parker took on Rabin and prevented him from sacrificing Cooper. Uayep ended soon after, and Wayep depowered Rabin before heading back to his realm, a dimension known as Xibalba. Parker then knocked Rabin out, and the villain was taken into custody, where he remained for some time.

More than a decade later, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (2022) #21 has brought Rabin back, and the villain wants to get revenge on Parker for stopping his fusion with Wayep. Based on what we already know, whatever Rabin does next will have devastating consequences for the wall-crawler. 

To find out more, pick up AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #21, on sale now!

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