Spider-Man: Kraven’s Last Hunt Review
As an peripheral fan of Spider-Man, I never thought much of Kraven. Watching him on the 90s Spider-Man cartoon, I always saw Kraven as a second-rate villain meant to fill in the gaps between Green Goblin and Venom stories. Released as a six-issue event spanning three different Spider-Man comic lines, Kraven’s Last Hunt is meant to represent the Russian hunter’s finest hour. I haven’t read enough Spider-Man to say otherwise, but this might also be one of Peter Parker’s best as well.
Kraven takes great pride in taking down prey of all sorts. However, there’s one opponent he’s never been able to defeat: Spider-Man. This time, he pulls out all the stops in his attempt to one-up his longtime adversary, which includes shooting him with a rifle and burying him in a casket. If you think that’s nuts, wait till you read the rest of the book!
Peter Parker may get top billing, but this is really a story about Kraven the Hunter. Through internal monoluges, we get a glimpse into his past and understand why this mission is so important to him. Better yet, the ways in which he proves his point are highly entertaining while giving him the respect he deserves.
Not to say that Spider-Man is chopped liver in his own series. Here, we catch Peter in a very vulnerable state. In light of recent deaths around him, along with his recent marriage to Mary Jane Watson, Kraven catches him during a time when he’s very cognizant of his mortality. Light on his signature swagger and wisecracks, we get to see a more fearful and angry side of the webslinger. Kraven may steal the show, but Spider-Man shines bright as he’s forced out of his comfort zone by a worthy adversary.
Beyond the iconic cover of Spider-Man rising up from the grave, the art in this book is stellar. Yes, the art is clearly of the 80s, but it holds up extremely well and I think looks fantastic throughout. All of the details in the action and drama come through each panel, especially the fight scenes.
Coming into this book with a bit of skepticism due to its featured antagonist, Spider-Man: Kraven’s Last Hunt genuinely caught me off guard. It’s deeper and more clever than a straight-up action story while showcasing both parties at their best. I’m still very early into my adventure with the Spider-Man series, but this sets a very high bar for everything else to come.