This week I wanted to read a classic Spider-Man story I hadn’t had a chance to read yet, Kraven’s Last Hunt. While I’ve certainly been aware of Kraven through the years, he was not really on the level of Green Goblin or Black Cat in my book so I hadn’t read many of his adventures.
Boy was that a mistake. Kraven’s Last Hunt has to go down in my book as my favorite Spider-Man story. If I had to compare it to anything, it would be like if Quentin Tarantino penned a book for Marvel. The mood is creepy throughout. The first image alone, with Kraven crouched on the ground front and center on the page, shows how ferocious, evil, and plainly insane the character is. I love how J.M. DeMatteis was able to portray Kraven as clearly insane but with enough sanity in him that keeps him more off balance.
When I’ve read Kraven in the past I never really thought he was truly evil, just morally bankrupt. As a hunter, someone with Peter Parker’s abilities would be the ultimate prize so I’ve always seen Kraven as someone more interested in his ultimate goal, everything else be damned. (Like politicians today.) But with failure after failure, anger turns to obsession then insanity as his ultimate prize keeps slipping through his fingers. That obsession turns into blame when Kraven ends up blaming Spider-Man for everything that went wrong in his life.
The art work is dark, dank, smelly, everything you’d want from a story this dark. From the first image to the last, you can almost taste the evil coming off the page. Penciller Michael Zeck and Inker Bob McLeod create a dirty world for Kraven and Peter to play in. Despite being created in the 80’s, it doesn’t suffer from the pastels and light colors other comics in the era suffered from. Mary Jane, who makes a brief appearance in the story, doesn’t have her Jersey Perm. She looks normal. Kraven is insanely powerful but not in a Rob Liefeld, grotesque type of way.
The only issue I could see with the story had to do with the fact that it is told over three separate comic titles. With the Marvel Unlimited app, that’s not a big deal but I know I would have been annoyed if I had bought this in the 80’s due to having to buy six issues in a two month span just to complete one story. It’s a personal pet peeve but I feel if you start a story in a particular comic, it should end in that comic. You shouldn’t have to buy thirty odd issues in a months’ time in order to finish a story.
Overall, you would do well by reading Kraven’s Last Hunt. It’s dark and evil without going overboard like a Garth Ennis Punisher story. (There’s nothing wrong with Garth Ennis Punisher stories. I love them. But it is safe to say they’re not for all members of the family.) You can find Kraven’s Last Hunt and other stories on the Marvel Unlimited app which is available on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. The cost is $9.99 a month or $69 a year.
Kraven’s Last Hunt Reading Order
1.Web of Spider-Man #31
2.The Amazing Spider-Man #293
3.Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #131
4.Web of Spider-Man #32
5.The Amazing Spider-Man #294
6.Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #132
New This Week on Marvel Unlimited
1.The Amazing Spider-Man & Silk: The Spider(fly) Effect Infinite Comic
2.Captain Marvel (2016) #1
3.Deadpool (2015) #6
4.Drax (2015) #3
5.Hercules (2015) #3
6.Marvel Universe Avengers Assemble Season Two (2014) #15
7.Ms. Marvel (2015) #3
8.New Avengers (2015) #5
9.Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat! (2015) #2
10.Silver Surfer (2016) #1
11.Star Wars (2015) #15
12.Star-Lord (2015) #3
13.Starbrand and Nightmask (2015) #2
14.Silk (2015) #3
15.Spider-Gwen (2015) #4
16.Squadron Supreme (2015) #3
17.Ultimates (2015) #3
18.Uncanny Avengers (2015) #4
19.Web Warriors (2015) #3