Comic Rewind: Spider-Man: Kraven’s Last Hunt

Spider-Man villain, Kraven, goes on one last hunt for the only prey he has never bested, Spider-Man, in Spider-Man: Kraven’s Last Hunt.

Kraven has hunted and defeated every animal known to man. He has even punched Bigfoot’s head off in a single blow.  He is obsessed with hunting Spidey and comes up with a very complicated plan.  Kraven is going to find Spidey and then shoot him in the neck with a dart.  After this he is going to shoot him in the chest and take his identity. His plan goes off without a hitch and he buries Spidey in a cemetery.  

Kraven dawns Spidey’s black costume which is the best costume and beats the living crap out of bad guys.  He breaks the bad guys bones and doesn’t hold anything back. Kraven then takes on a villain Spidey was only able to defeat with the help of Captain America, Vermin.  Vermin is basically a shy wolf-man and doesn’t like hurting people, but he does all the time. Spider-Man: Kraven’s Last Hunt was written by J.M. DeMatteis with art by Mike Zeck.  Marvel Comics published the issues comprising the volume in 1987.

I usually stay away from comics written before 2000 because I find them to be too unintentionally campy.  An example is when the character explains their powers to the reader.  Something like “I will just use my spidey sense power I developed when I was bitten by a radioactive spider in order to evade my opponent.”  Luckily nothing so heavy handed is in this comic, but everything short of that is.

In order to think like Spider-Man Kraven gets high on potions and eats handfuls of spiders.  These old stories are full of unrealistic elements like that.  I like a normal world inhabited by extraordinary people and things.  If I can’t believe what is happening then I can’t get invested in the story. However, this story-line is supposed to be one of the best Spider-Man story-lines so I had high hopes.  I was unfortunately disappointed by the story because it was so unbelievable. I wanted more of a cat and mouse game between the two characters.  However, Kraven finds Spidey and shoots and kills him right away.  There was no build to that moment at all and Kraven easily does it. The story is mostly about Kraven and his life, but they tell the reader very little about Kraven’s life.  I know Kraven’s parents escaped communism and that is it.

This comic had no cool fight scenes, action, drama or surprises.  I was bored out of my mind and couldn’t wait to finish reading it. I have no idea how this is one of the best Spider-Man comics of all time.  It may be a great story for its time, but it doesn’t hold up.

If you want a story similar in vein I suggest Superior Spider-Man.  Doctor Octopus takes over Spidey’s body to prove he is a superior spider-man.


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